Tag Archive for: Nicola Valley History

Weddings in Merritt BC

Wedding Planning, Venues and Destinations in Merritt British Columbia Canada

If you are looking for inspiration for your big day, look at these ideal locations for weddings in the Nicola Valley 

Wedding Venues Merritt BC – The Nicola Valley is quickly becoming a top destination spot for couples planning their dream wedding. Wedding venues in Merritt BC give you some of the most amazing natural scenic beauty, along with moderate year-round temperatures.  Albeit,  summer weddings are magical, there are more couples opting for fall and winter dates. Increasingly, more love birds are choosing the Nicola Valley as their “Dream Wedding” destination. Foregoing traditional rented halls,  couples are discovering or seeking a more earthly natural wedding ceremony. Including having their reception held at the same venue. Having that choice to hold the most important day of your life amongst some of the most beautiful scenic natural places found right here in Merritt BC. Canada

Wedding Venues in Merritt BC Canada

Wedding Venues in Merritt BC Canada. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

“Couples are planning their wedding place’s with great importance on affordability and thorough venues.”

Merritt BC Canada weddings

Brides and Bridesmaids. Photo credit Tania Stewart

Nicola Valley wedding celebrations

Nicola Valley wedding celebrations. Photo credit Tania Stewart

Unique Wedding Venues in Merritt BC

Whether you are looking to hold a rustic outdoor event or rent a historic hotel with its cowboy saloon, or a fishing lodge that caters to your needs in fine detail. or a farmer’s field, or a mountain summer camp with rustic cabins. Unique wedding venues can be found here in and around the Nicola Valley year-round. Moreover, the Nicola Valley has a few hidden gems that would make your dream day complete. Providing a historic hotel, scenic lodges summer camps with cabins, and enmities that are endless. Equally, many couples are seeking venues that enable them to have the ceremony, reception, and dance with accommodations for guests within one location. 

Wedding Planning Has Challenges

Planning a wedding is hard. From the guest list,  invitations, the choice of venue, and the honeymoon. With so many things to think about it can become very overwhelming. Considering the endless questions and doubts can bring bride anxiety to its fullest. What theme to choose,  vendors, dress styles, location, season, table settings, and more, literally can bring on Bridezilla! Most can say that the most important thing besides your wedding dress is your choice of venue location. While I can not help you with your theme, here in the Nicola Valley can offer you some magical wedding venues. Along with a few catering recommendations. 

Happy times. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Weddings with friends. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Wedding ceremony in merritt bc

Wedding ceremony and vows. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Wedding Venues in Merritt BC

There may be nothing more romantic than an outdoor wedding.  Whether you have the wedding on a lake, river, beach, mountainside or in a field. Bringing in the natural elements always lends a beautiful backdrop. Truly, the amazing outdoor beauty, the Nicola Valley has in abundance. Picture the amazing sunset that graces the mountain tops as it sets, bringing in the night stars. The romantic allure, combined with the aromas of the season out right beats any cramped hall. Even more, nature will accommodate your outdoor wedding any time of the year you choose. Worth to take note,  that with outdoor events you will need to factor in the weather. Rain, no problem, pole tents with portable fire pits will save the day. Having a backup plan is essential. 

Mountain crests, sunsets, starlit skies! The photographs will be priceless! Tania Stewart

Open Field Wedding Venues Merritt BC

Rent a field for a wedding and it can never be overcrowded, no matter the number of guests.  Outdoor wedding locations give flexibility to sitting arrangements and movements. So, if you’re thinking of a small backyard wedding ceremony idea or a big wedding, the outdoor allows space for fresh air and easy breathing.

Wedding Venues Merritt BC

Photo courtesy Douglas Lake Ranch

Historical Quilchena Hotel Resort

Exchange your vows at this historic hotel resort called Quilchena.  Ideal for a country-themed wedding while being centrally located. Its historic history makes this your ideal unique wedding opportunity. Available to rent as an un-staffed & user-ready facility for those seeking a smaller event occupancy with a spacious room. Packages include house-kept rooms, cold storage, dining areas, a conference room, ready kitchen for catering. And most of all a “Private Saloon” with bullet holes from the old western days. Wedding guests can come and enjoy what the Nicola Valley region has to offer. 

Wedding Venues Merritt BC

Western Saloon. Photo by Tania Stewart

Wedding Venues Merritt BC

Quilchena Hotel. Photo by Tania Stewart

Your Private Wedding Retreat in Merritt BC

Moreover, come and escape the city and enjoy all the scenic beauty the Thompson-Nicola has to offer.  The Historic Quilchena Hotel is a truly timeless venue for your upcoming special day. Celebrate your wedding with the turn of the century charm. Experience your event surrounded by period antiques, heritage rooms, and even a pedestal wash-sink. Moreover, maybe a ghost or two. Truly this venue will give all couples the ability to fuse their distinct personal styles with an exquisite historical hotel that makes a celebration to keep. 

Corbett Lake Lodge Weddings

Corbett Lake Lodge is located 2.5 hours from Vancouver and 15 minutes from Merritt, BC.  The lodge provides stunning backdrops along with exceptional scenic beauty. Truly the perfect setting with beautiful views, wildlife, woodlands, and grasslands makes Corbett Lake Lodge your ideal wedding destination spot. Dreaming of that rustic wedding or a simple intimate ceremony, there is no place more suitable than Corbett Lake Lodge.

Wedding Venues Merritt BC

Wedding Venues Merritt BC. Photo by Tania Stewart

Wedding Venues Merritt BC Canada.

Wedding Venues Merritt BC Canada. Photo Credit Tania Stewart

Facilities and capacity

Corbett Lake Lodge with vast open spaces and endless photo opportunities to capture all your special moments. Additionally, features a full-service bar and lounge area that can seat up to 60 people. Accommodations include cedar cabins offering views of the lake. Additionally,  full kitchens, bathrooms with showers, along with fireplaces. And if this is not enough, the team at Corbett Lake Lodge is always ready to assist. Helping you with your wedding planning. Providing excellent services to make each detail more personalized and unique. 

Merritt BC Catering for weddings. Photo credit Tania Stewart

Merritt BC catering for weddings. Photo credit Tania Stewart

Corbett Lake Lodge. Photo credit Tania Srewart

Corbett Lake Lodge in Merritt BC

Best wedding photos

Capturing beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. When planning an outdoor wedding and deciding on the location. The rule of thumb is how will the scenic background fit in with your pictures. Albeit, magnificent backdrops of nature with the sky, colors, and all-natural elements will only enhance your day. As well as keep your guests happy with open fresh air. Worth noting, that ceremonies are for a day, but the memories last a lifetime.

Unique Rustic Wedding Venue A-P Guest Ranch

A-P Guest Ranch Nicola Valley Merritt BC.  This rustic “Western Guest Ranch” is owned and operated by Andre and his wife Susan Patry. Established in 1986, this scenic ranch is nestled in a valley setting in the heart of B.C.’s prominent ranching country. The ranch is surrounded by impressive fishing lakes and thousands of acres of rolling terrain for picturesque trail riding and winter sports. Importantly Andre and their family at A-P Guest Ranch believe in providing 5-star treatment for all their guests. Along with great “Lodge Packages “(including meals & lodging). A-P Ranch also has a Bed & Breakfast. Also for those campers with tents or trailers,  there are camping facilities as well.

Love at AP Ranch. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Love at AP Ranch.

Married at AP Ranch.

Love at AP Ranch. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

In Conclusion …

Merritt is an ideal wedding destination with small town hospitality. We have the venues, the parks, the wilderness lakes and photographers for your wedding photos. We have some great pubs  and restaurants for your bachelor and bachelorette party. Prior to the wedding we have spas and salons which can get you all beautiful for your special day. See you soon about your Merritt BC wedding. 

Weddings in Merritt BC

Wedding Planning, Venues and Destinations in Merritt British Columbia Canada

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC

Merritt’s Top Fishing Holes

 Top Fishing Lakes & Camping Spots Within the Nicola Valley

 

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC – Merritt’s Top Fishing Holes 2022 – Fishing & Camping surrounding Merritt BC. truly will provide you with a wide range of different species of fish when fishing in Merritt BC lakes. Along with unique desert-like temperatures and mild winters provides 12 months an extreme “Year Round” fishing destination spot.  Because most lakes are located within an hour drive of  Merritt, truly attracts a large number of anglers, campers, and even day-trippers. Furthermore,  boasting friendly locals who are always willing to help, answer questions and point you in the right direction to the best fishing holes.  Fishing & camping in Merritt BC. is your next destination spot here in Canada.

“Only problem you may face is choosing the lake!” Tania Stewart.

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC

Lazy summer days on Lundbom Lake. Pic by Tania Stewart.

 5 Favorite Fishing Spots

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC at Harmon Lake

With a small forested site for launching small boats, Harmon Lake is the spot for fishing & camping in Merritt BC. Known especially  for fly fishing rainbow trout, but also as a great place to camp. There are graveled camping sites for tents and motorhomes, a boat launch and parking area for day trippers. On site there are horse shoe pits, and a great family environment with a 24 – 7 site host. Harmon Lake is located in the beautiful Kane Valley, with lake trails, hiking paths, scenic views and to top it off, only 20 minutes from Merritt. Furthermore, “Dog friendly” to boot!

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC at Lundbom Lake 

Truly this recreational spot is ideal for camping, fishing, horseback riding, ATV/dirt biking, along with swimming. Located only minutes from Merritt, hence ideal for provisions or a shop-about in historical downtown. Additionally it is dog friendly, welcomes horses along with other amenities. The most popular species you find here are Rainbow Trout. Again, please inquire where you can fish and make sure to follow local rules and regulations. Lundbom Lake’s surrounding area provides excellent outdoor recreations that will provide you with countless trails, breathtaking scenery, while being only 15m from Merritt.  This recreation site is very popular and offers a variety of sites, with sunny ones or shady ones. Importantly, many sites can accommodate fairly large units. Albeit,  this is one of my “Top Fishing Holes” in Merritt BC.

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC.

Bring your horses! Pic by Tania Stewart.

 

Dragon Flies Merritt's Top Fishing Holes

Dragon Flies at Alleyne Lake. Picture by Tania Stewart

Kentucky-Alleyne Lakes for Fishing and Camping

Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park, is a beautiful lake with a surreal turquoise color. Popular for hiking, camping, fishing, and paddling. Hike around Kentucky Lake is kid-friendly and is a great hike for families. Easily accessible, located within a Provincial Park, these two lakes are ideal for anglers, hence making this a perfect place for family fishing. Interesting to note,  Kentucky is stocked annually with 8000 Pennask Rainbows. Ideal for trolling with small lures and spinning gear is the most popular method used on the lake.  Kentucky is considered to be somewhat slow, however it quite often produces large trout in the 4-5 lb. range. Furthermore great for summer kayaking, swimming, or just dipping your toes. 

Alleyne Lake Kayaking

Kayaking/fishing on Alleyne Lake. Photo by Tania Stewart

Alleyne Lake swimming and day trips

Fishing, swimming, camping! All is Good.

 

Alleyne Lake Kayaking

Kayaking Lundbom Lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Nicola Lake – Kokanee, rainbow trout, and burbot can be found in this large cold lake

Located 15m from Merritt makes  Nicola Lake one of the most recognized and favorite for anglers. Surrounded by mountains, deep crisp water is ideal for great fishing. Additionally for campers, Monck Park has full amenities located in a Provincial Park. With a boat launch for campers along with a sandy shaded beach, hiking trails. and a small general store. When not fishing, Nicola Lake offers a  wide assortment of recreational activities including camping, picnicking, swimming, fishing, boating, water-skiing, wind-surfing and hiking. 

Merritt's Top Fishing Holes Merritt BC.

Large deep lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Nicola Lake in Merritt BC Canada

Nicola Lake fishing dock. Photo courtesy Tania Stewart.

In addition to providing recreational opportunities, Monck Park protects a ponderosa pine, bunchgrass ecosystem and a volcanic rock cliff landscape.

Monck Park Beach

Monck Park Beach. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC.

Perfect shade for picnics. Picture by Tania Stewart.

For the Love of Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC

Swimming in Merritt BC Canada

Come and experience! Photo by Tania Stewart.

Peter Hope Lake in the Nicola Valley 

Added bonus Peter Hope Lake is located off Hwy 5A, Peter Hope is well known for fly fishing, stocked with Pennask rainbow trout that are known to put up a good fight. Bring a lot of bug dope, hence the abundance of insects. Peter Hope Lake is a popular site for fishing and camping. The campsite is located along the north shore of the lake and can accommodate motorhomes and large 5th wheels. There is a mix of sunny sites with a few shady sites also available. There are 2 boat launches available for use and a rustic playground for kids under adult supervision plus dog friendly.

Paska Lake in Nicola Valley

Paska Lake-Shirley Reynolds Photo

Brook Trout

This lake is fished year round, although most popular in fall/winter. Being aggressive and challenging will test your angler skills.  Try using small spinners, worms, or bugs that are in the area. Grasshoppers or mayflies help, although harder to locate during the summer. Being a non-native species in British Columbia, these fish are stocked in selected lakes by Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. Furthermore they are also stocked at the fingerling or yearling stage. Interesting to note, being sterile, these fish utilize all of their energy on growth so they can also become trophy-sized fish in a short span of time.

Fishing lures in Merritt BC

Big Fishing Story. Picture by Tania Stewart.

Rainbow Trout

Albeit Rainbow Trout as being one of  the most popular fish in the Nicola Valley. While found in most lakes, during the summer months Rainbow Trout will head to the colder deep water’s. You can find them closer to the bottom of the lake. Try using bright colored spoons, half-back nymph, and small leech patterns. Spring/fall trolling lucky bugs will work. Insects, leeches, small fish, crayfish and mussels are just a few delicious treats a rainbow trout likes to munch on. And likes to live in cool freshwater.

Did you know? The rainbow trout is a member of the salmon family and can get quite large. The largest recorded rainbow trout was 25.8 kilograms! Tania Stewart.

Julie Pollard kissing fish

Kiss the Fish! Photo Julie Pollard

Ponderosa Sports Tackle

Ponderosa Sports Tackle. Pic Tania Stewart.

Kokanee Salmon

Generally found hiding amongst the weeds and shoals, these curious fish want to know what is going on in their environment. Active when windy,  camouflaging themselves in the waves. Fly rod with a small nymph or lucky bug lure is best for Kokanee, as they like to jump into the air while hooked. Prepare for the fight. Kokanee defiantly provide an excellent sport angling experience, while being a tasty treat. Kokanee are also forage for bigger fish such as Rainbow Trout, Lake Trout, and Burbot. Due to this, Kokanee are programmed to flee from larger fish. Fast aggressive flashers or dodgers moving through the water can present a threat to Kokanee causing them to take off.

Fact – These chrome beauties are a popular sport fish in BC, only second to Rainbow Trout.

Camping in Canada

My friend Joanne caught a beauty at our site.

Merritt's Top Fishing Holes

Photo curtesy of Tom Reynolds.

The average size of Kokanee in BC ranges from 7 to 10 inches, but can reach over 20 inches in healthy ideal Kokanee fisheries. They are a fragile fish and do not handle catch and release well and their mortality rate is high even when handled and released the correct way. It is encouraged to limit your catch to feeding your family at dinner, not to just fill your freezer. 

Fact- The word Kokanee comes from the Kootenay First Nation word meaning “red fish”.

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC

Best Fishing Holes in BC

 

#merrittmatters

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Homes in Merritt BC Canada

A House for Everyone In The Nicola Valley

The history of housing in Merritt in the Nicola Valley

Homes in Merritt BC Canada vary greatly and are impacted by the various stages of its development when non indigenous settlers arrived in the Nicola Valley in the last 1800s.  The primary focus was on ranching.  However, when the turn of the century arrived the discovery of coal brought an increase demand for housing.  As a result the village of Merritt was established in 1911.

In this blog you will see pictures of many styles of homes that have appeared in the Nicola Valle over the past 120 years or so.  None of the homes pictured are for sale but they will give you a good idea of what is available.

Small Homes in Merritt BC Canada

The discovery of coal resulted in the need for housing for the miners and their families.  As was the case in most mining towns this need was met by building small economical homes.  The downtown area of Merritt BC still has many of these homes today.  They are generally around 90 Square meters (800 sq ft). They are mostly 2 bedrooms and one bathroom.  As well, they are usually on a good size city lot.

 

Small Homes in Merritt BC Canada

Small Cottage #2-Tom Reynolds Photo

small cottage #1

Small Cottage #1-Tom Reynolds Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Housing styles change in the Nicola Valley

Coal mining had a short period of activity from the turn of the 20th century to the 1950’s.  However the decline started in the 30’s.  While coal mining was fading out, forestry began to become more important.

Unfortunately there was a problem in the early going and the City of Merritt decided to bail out one of the mills and provided a significant loan.  This created a difficulty for the City as the United States put up tariffs on lumber that forced the mill into a bankruptcy that took the City with it.  Therefore, growth was slow during this period with the housing remaining small and simpler in design.

Bigger Homes were on the way

While forestry was becoming more important to the city during the 40’s, the actual boom started in 1958 when the Craigmont Mine opened in 1958 and was followed in 1962 by Highland Copper Mine (current mine name).  This period saw the opening of the “Bench” subdivision which sits above downtown on a hill.  At first the homes in Merritt BC Canada at this time were not fancy but were bigger than downtown.

 

Bench Homes in Merritt BC Canada

Bench Housing-Tom Reynolds Photo

The Coquihalla Highway Arrives

In the mid seventies growth was slow.  However, the announcement in the early eighties of a new highway connecting the lower mainland (Vancouver BC) to the interior generated a lot of excitement in the area beyond any previous period.  Expansion of subdivisions on the “Bench” were complemented with others in the south and east.

Bench Home

Bench Home-Tom Reynolds Photo

South Area homes in merritt bc canada

South Area Home-Tom Reynolds Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homes in Merritt BC continues to grow

Not much happened after 1996 as the area’s growth stalled.  There was some subdivision activity in the early 2000’s but not much building took place.  However, by 2018, house prices in the Vancouver area was making it difficult for young families to afford a home. Also at that time it was a great opportunity for seniors to cash in and get affordable homes in Merritt BC as well.

This pressure from the lower mainland has created a huge demand which has spurred on a major building frenzy.  Unfortunately it also has driven prices up to a point where Merritt has lost most of its price advantage.  For example, the million dollar home was not known in this area, but now there are lots of them, particularly along the riverside.

This is the type of home that is being built now.

New Home

New Home-Tom Reynolds Photo

Riverside Home

Riverside home-Tom Reynolds Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Nicola Valley Housing styles

This article has focused on the single family market but there are many other homes in Merritt BC for consideration such as condos, rental apartments, townhouses and mobile homes.  Perhaps another time I will discuss these options.

This blog is brought to you by Tourism Nicola Valley as part of their award winning program-Experience Nicola Valley.  

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“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program.  Therefore it is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region. 

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC Canada

Nicola Valley Remembers November 11

Canadians observe a minute of silence and visit Canadian memorials around the world to honor the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for our country.

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC Canada  has been observed since the end of the First World War to remember armed forces members who served in the line of duty.  November 11th is truly one of our most important days of the year. Therefore with the challenges we are facing today makes this a more memorable time to take a minute of silence.   “Lest we forget” is a day of Remembrance  in Merritt BC. Canada. Communities throughout Canada will hold ceremonies honouring our veterans and the fallen.  Moreover this is a time of giving homage and respecting our past while looking forward. 

 

 
Remembrance Day in Merritt BC

“Lest we forget” Photo Credit: Tania Stewart

Celebrating veterans in Merritt BC

Generations will not forget. Photo Credit: Tania Stewart

“Lest We Forget” We remember the more than 2,300,000 Canadians who have served throughout our nation’s history and the more than 118,000 who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC Canada

Remembrance Day in the Nicola Valley and throughout Canada has been observed since the end of the First World War in 1931.  Therefore, on November 11th, in Merritt BC Canada it is important to remember the members of our army, navy and air force and all who died in the line of duty.  Together, since I can remember, communities gather in memorial parks, community halls, workplaces, schools and homes to stand and observe all who have fallen.  Accordingly every year, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we gather in memorial parks, we Canadians mark the occasion every year with a “moment of silence”.  Firstly, and most importantly, it is an opportunity to say “thank you” to the soldiers who have protected our way-of-life, our freedoms and our system of democracy. Make an effort and come and Experience Remembrance Day in Merritt BC. 

Remembrance Day Merritt BC.

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC. Canada. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Thus on Remembrance Day in Merritt BC.

On this day, when we honour those who have fought for our country and our freedom, it’s hard to find the words to express just what they have given each and every one of us.

In Addition 

Remembrance Day is also called “poppy day” on November 11th in Canada. Many other countries of the world celebrate this day on the same date. Around the world people give homage and decorate the graves of their heroes who sacrificed themselves for their country. Many Canadians spend Remembrance Day with their family and friends. There are many of us who attend the local Remembrance Day  ceremony in our home towns as a family.   

 

 “We only need to look at what we are really doing in the world and at home and we’ll know what it is to be Canadian.” Adrienne Clarkson

Civic Centre Merritt

“The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem.” —Aaron Kilbourn . Photo credit: Tania Stewart

Remembrance Day is a day for all Canadians to remember the men and women who served and sacrificed for our country. It is a day we encourage every individual, young and old, to pause, to give thanks and to remember. Legion.

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC. Canada

Members of the Masonic and appendant body Oder of the Eastern  Star.  Brian Stewart along with his wife Lily Stewart laying a wreath. Photo credit: Tania Stewart

But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for, is their monument today, and for aye.” Thomas Dunn English

A Day of Remembrance 

Remembrance Day isn’t just about war and those we’ve lost, but about ideals and what we stand for. It’s about respecting our past and looking forward, and more than anything, thanking those who have served our country.

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC. Canada

Laying a wreath. Photo credit: Tania Stewart.

History of Canadian Veterans Service.

Canadian Veterans have served throughout history in a broad range of conflicts and situations – from world wars to peacekeeping missions to crises on the home-front.  The Royal Canadian Legion, including the Merritt BC Chapter, is committed to honouring and remembering all Veterans, whether they served in theatre or on Canadian soil, whether they kept the peace or fought for peace, whether they found themselves in combat or in support of operations.

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC. Canada

Respecting our past and welcoming our future. Photo credit: Tania Stewart

 “Whether we live together in confidence and cohesion; with more faith and pride in ourselves and less self-doubt and hesitation; strong in the conviction that the destiny of Canada is to unite, not divide; sharing in cooperation, not in separation or in conflict; respecting our past and welcoming our future.” Lester Pearson

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC. Nicola Valley

“Patriotism is not dying for one’s country, it is living for one’s country. And for humanity. Perhaps that is not as romantic, but it’s better.” —Agnes Macphail . Photo credit: Tania Stewart

Remembrance Day in the Nicola Valley

“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” Benjamin Disraeli. Photo credit: Tania Stewart

The Poppy Campaign.

A great Canadian tradition is wearing a “red poppy” on your lapel between the last Friday of October to November 11. Tens of millions of Canadians put on a Poppy as a visual pledge to honour Canada’s Veterans.  And did you know the first poppy is presented each year to the Governor General of Canada. Furthermore, in local areas the Royal Canadian Legion presents their first Poppy to either a veteran, member of the military or dignitary.  

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Feature Maj. Thor Toms.

Beginning as a cadet himself, Major Thor Toms, joined the Navy League at the age of 10.  Later joining the air cadets,  followed by the Canadian Army. “Our youth are faced with so many influences in their lives and many of those influences don’t offer them the best choices for positive decisions.” Furthermore “The cadet program helps to guide our youth.” Maj. Thor Toms

Additionally my Grandfather Charles Stewart.

My Grandfather. L/CPL Charles M Stewart. Photo credit: Tania Stewart

Honouring and Remembering Canada’s Veterans.

It is important to know that the Legion acknowledges the end of conflicts and does not commemorate the start of conflicts.  The most sacred day is Remembrance Day. Every year, on November 11, the Legion recognizes all of Canada’s Veterans, serving and retired, commemorates our Fallen, men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP, Peace Officers, Merchant Navy, and Reserves. Honouring families and their losses. 

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” —John Diefenbaker

The National Remembrance Day Ceremony.

On Remembrance Day, at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, tens of thousands of people assemble to honour and remember those who have fallen to protect our freedoms. Contact your local legion. Merritt Royal Canadian Legion Branch 96.

Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others. ~ Aristotle.

Remembrance Ceremonies across Canada.

Royal Canadian Legion members take pride in organizing Remembrance Day Ceremonies in over 1,400 Branches across Canada and abroad. Through each Branch, the Legion continues the traditions of Remembrance so that Canada ‘never forgets.’

Never Forget.

Veteran 35yr Legion

Norman Phillips 1951. On his way to the Korean war. Proudly Served in the Korean War. Melvina White‘s father.

The Act of Remembrance
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
We will remember them.

How We Advocate.

Veterans served to protect the rights and freedoms we enjoy today, and The Royal Canadian Legion is committed to ensuring they receive the care and support they deserve. The Legion advocates for Veterans’ benefits and for the well-being of Veterans and their families. To find out more about this process, contact your Branch or Provincial Command.

 

In Flanders Field

LT,-Col. John McCae (1872-1918)

“In Flanders Fields” written by John McCrae 

Canadian soldier John McCrae penned the famous poem, “In Flanders Field”. He served in the Second Battle of Ypres in Flanders, Belgium. The poem was written in remembrance of a fallen comrade who’d died in battle and was buried with a simple wooden cross as a marker.  He observed how throughout the fields of Flanders, once alive with red poppies, was now filled with the bodies of dead soldiers.  

Comparatively it highlights one of the ironies of war—that soldiers must die so that a nation of people might live. Remembrance Day in the Nicola Valley November 11th. In Flanders Fields poem. John McCrae .

In Remembrance on November 11th. 

On Remembrance Day, take a moment to salute those patriotic men and women who served their nation. On this day, when we honor those who have fought for our country and our freedoms, it’s hard to find the words to express just what they have given each and every one of us.

Contact Information

Royal Canadian Legion Merritt Branch 096
1940 Quilchena Ave
Merritt, British Columbia
(250) 378-5631

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Remembrance Day in Merritt BC, Nicola Valley

Wear a Poppy in Canada

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“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program.  Therefore it is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region. 

Nicola Valley Parks and Playgrounds for Families 

Hiking, biking, horseback riding, mountain biking trails in Merritt

Parks in Merritt BC Canada – One of the most important things we look for when relocating to a different community in Canada besides a house, retail, safety,  are family parks. Merritt B.C. has much to offer when it comes to out-door enthusiasts. Moreover if you are thinking of moving to Merritt B.C. rest assured our community holds a certain standard to providing a wide variety of parks for all ages. Furthermore one can walk a short distance to most parks.  Truly there is a lot to experience in the Nicola Valley when considering play time in the outdoors in Merritt B.C. Canada. 

Parks in Merritt BC Canada with Experience Nicola Valley blogger Tania Stewart

Path through Rotary Park. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Rotary Bike Park – Parks in Merritt BC Canada

The Rotary Bike Park is one of the most visited parks in Merritt B.C. Canada for mountain biking.  The community park has a bike park, skate board park, playground park, also includes a walking trail. Rotary Bike Park was originally built in 2006 while receiving upgrades in 2018. Therefore with the introduction of this bike park, the sport of mountain biking in Merritt BC got a boost.  

Rotary Bike Park

Rotary Bike Park and Skateboard Park in Merritt BC Canada

“Ride As Much Or As Little Or As Long Or As Short As You Feel, But Ride!” – Eddy Merckx

Mountain Biking Parks in Merritt B.C.

Place to meet friends. Bike Park. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Mountain biking in the Nicola Valley BC

Adrenalin jumpstart! Photo Credit Tania Stewart.

Thinking of moving to Merritt B.C.

Watch me, I will get this jump! Photo Credit Tania Stewart.

Merritt Skate Board Park

Adjacent to the bike park is a well maintained skate board park. It is for all ages, being safe, and has a community friendliness about the park. Personally I have brought my son there since he was 7yrs old. What made me love our community even more were the older kids who were always on hand to teach new tricks or help dust my son off when he bit it. Social interaction is so important for children’s development and self-confidence.  

Thinking of moving to Merritt B.C.

Helmet is key! Photo credit: Tania Stewart

Moving to Merritt B.C.

Skate Boarding for all ages. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

“Children will learn coordination, movement control and confidence at the skateboard park” Tania Stewart.

Merritt Skateboard Park

Learning the ropes at the Merritt Skateboard Park. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Children’s Playground Park

Within this area is a playground park. It was built as part of a community and not affiliated with a school at all. The equipment is soft padded to help prevent injuries. There is a slide, swing, merry go round and more.  See… lots of activity and playground parks in Merritt BC Canada. And we are just getting started. 

Merritt bc playground park

Surrounded by “Nature!” Photo credit Tania Stewart

Nicola Valley Parks

Playground fun. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Valley Kitchen 

Hungry? We have that covered too. Located beside the Rotary Bike Park you can feed your hunger with a great burger at Valley Kitchen. With a kid’s menu as well as drinks, ice-cream, coffee, and one of the best burgers I have ever had. One of my blogger cohorts had an opportunity to sit down and have a chat with these young entrepreneurs. Below is the short interview.  

“Playing promotes social interaction without biases while developing imagination.”  Tania Stewart

Parks in Merritt BC Canada Have Health Benefits

Albeit exercise is key for our children! Therefore, it is safe to say, being exposed to sunlight and fresh air provides a healthy dose of the “sunshine vitamin D” when playing in our parks in Merritt BC Canada.  Who would’ve of thought that swings can help provide children with physical development. Some of the skills research shows swings have include grasping, balance, landing, pushing, while getting into a rhythm of the swing. Moreover the memories that are gained at the playground are priceless as there is no limit to a child’s imagination. Moreover this is one of the few places a child has control of play with little adult interference. 

Playground in Merritt bc

Bench School Playground. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Nicola Valley park and playground

Super slides. Photo credit: Tania Stewart.

Merritt Bench Elementary School

Located at Bench Elementary School are 2 playgrounds. One for younger aged children interested in playing hop-scotch, , and a second one for intermediate aged ones interested in playing basketball hoops within a forest setting.  Although I do believe there is no age requirement to take part in the adventure and fun enjoyed on playgrounds. 

Bench Elementary School

Bench Elementary School. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Child Development Is Supported by Parks and Playgrounds

Moreover playgrounds and parks can help stimulate our child’s cognitive development while helping with problem solving skills. Going across the monkey bars truly takes thought, with space, distance with a lot of bravery. Making it across that first time gave me the confidence to tackle everything at the playground. 

 

Merritt school playgrounds.

Playground team ship. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Smith Pioneer Park  Lower Nicola

Parks in Merritt BC Canada includes Smith Pioneer Park, which is really a Thompson-Nicola Regional District community park, located in the heart of Lower Nicola.  Let me assure you that this is an amazing recreational park for all.  Firstly, the equipment will surely  keep them interested and invigorated for hours.  Secondly, adjacent to the park is a arena for horse lovers who may want to train in a safe arena.

Horse riding arena next to parks in Merritt BC

Horse riding arena. Picture by Tania Stewart.

Playground Amenities

Many of our parks in Merritt B.C. offer a person a chance to cool down or have a family picnic while enjoying the beautiful scenery.  Moreover, many recreation areas are suited for parents who would like sit in the shade, relax while your children play. All is good when one knows their children are having fun, exercising while being where they should be “outside.” Truly because of the many benefits children gain playing outside only makes the need for playgrounds that more important when looking to relocate. The  “Annual Garlic Festival” is hosted in Smith Pioneer Park in late September. 

Thinking of moving to Merritt B.C.

Playtime is paramount for a child’s imagination. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Lower Nicola Park.

Picnic in shade. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Lower Nicola Merritt B.C.

Adventure time! Photo by Tania Stewart.

“Defending castles and slaying dragons were my playground adventures.” Tania Stewart.

Moving to Nicola Valley.

Arena for horse riders. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Fun for hours. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Rotary Water Park

So when all is said and done. A great way to cool down in those hot summer days is Merritt’s only water spray park, Rotary Park.  Located within walking distance from downtown is our only water park. Truly a place for children to cool down while parents can rest assure that this is a safe child zone. Furthermore, this park has been visited by the Easter Bunny, with an annual egg hunt, host to “Aboriginal Day”, “Canada Day Festivities” as well as “Music in the Park”. Along with having an amazing bandshell for live entertainment this park gives a unique venue for a family park.  

Merritt bc spray park - water park playground

With a children’s playground there is a small rose garden dedicated to Princess Diana.

Rotary Park Playground

Adjacent to the water park is a playground full of adventure for every age. Proving slides, swings, jungle time apparatus and more. Safely built with a child’s imagination in mind. Providing tons of fun with a short hop to the water park to cool off. 

Rotary Park. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Parks in Merritt BC slides and swings

Fun n play. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Parks in Merritt BC

Also beside the Rotary Park flows the Nicola River.  With safety and adult supervision a world of nature can be explored. Spotting some ducks, tadpoles, occasional frogs, chipmunk or a beaver swimming by is not unusual. More than often my son and I have come across a sleeping deer. What could be better than this, nature at your fingertips.

chipmunk in merritt bc - wildlife sighting

Spot a chipmunk. Photo by Tania Stewart.

wildlife sighting and self guided tour in merritt bc

Spot a sleeping deer. Pic by Tania Stewart.

 

Catching frogs. Photo by Tania Stewart.

In Conclusion

Knowing that one of the most important things we look for when relocating to a new community are family parks and child playgrounds.  The Nicola Valley  offers everything from a water park to skate boarders, bike park, and countless playgrounds. Ideal for all out-door enthusiasts.    With a wide range of different parks that provide unique experiences in the community of Merritt enables families to enjoy the outdoors.  

Parks in Merritt BC sunsets

Merritt B.C. sunset. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Parks in Merritt BC Canada

Moving to Merritt BC for Parks 

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Nobody's Girl - Michelle Wright

Nobody’s Girl – Michelle Wright – Merritt Mural

Merritt BC Downtown Walking Tour

“My earliest memories of music are singing in the car. Or spending the weekend with my father watching him put on a rhinestone-studded suit to perform in.” Nobody’s Girl –  Michelle Wright

Nobody’s Girl –  Michelle Wright Country Music Artist was born on July 1, 1961 in Chatham, Ontario but grew up in a nearby small town named Merlin, Ontario. The music scene was a heavy influenced throughout her childhood as both her parents were local musicians. 

Nobody's Girl - Michelle Wright

“We were never a family band, but I got a lot of inspiration and encouragement from my mother. That’s where my love of country music really began.” Michelle Wright

Nobody's Girl - Michelle Wright Country Music Artist

Melvina White (Experience Nicola Valley) / Mural Painted by Michelle Loughery

Michelle’s Education In Country Music   

Nobody’s Girl – Michelle Wright Country Music Artist was on her way. In 1980 this love of music grew while in college when Michelle joined a local band where she performed with them until 1983. Then in 1983 Wright started her own band.

But… in 1985,  a solo record deal with Savannah Records came calling. She released her debut single in 1986, “I Want to Count on You”, which peaked at No. 48 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks Chart. At this time she still was performing with her own band until 1988.  

Time To Go Solo For Michelle Wright

Michelle Wright’s debut album, “Do Right by Me”, was released in 1988. Not only did it produce seven hit singles, including Wright’s cover of the 1974 Andy Kim hit – “Rock Me Gently” – but, more importantly, the album’s Canadian success led to a record contract with Arista Nashville.  Michelle Wright became one of the label’s flagship artists.

Nobody’s Girl – Michelle Wright – Queen Of Canadian Country Music Of The 90’s

The years during the 90’s was a whirlwind of success for Michelle Wright. It started in April 1990 with the release of Wright’s first American single, “New Kind Of Love”… then quickly followed up with a second album “Michelle Wright” in July of 1990. Consequently, Wright became the opening act for Kenny Rogers 1991 tour. The country music album became a huge success in Canada.

A Canadian Super Star Was Born

Michelle Wright immediately became one of Canada’s most widely recognized country music artists and most awarded female country singers. The 1990’s saw a string of awards and accolades for Michelle. 

In 1990 Michelle was awarded Female Artist of the Year by the Canadian Country Music Association.

In 1991 her awards included Album of the Year for “Michelle Wright”,  Single of the Year for her song “New Kind Of Love”, as well as, Female Artist Of The Year by The Canadian Country Music Association. The success of the album and the single encouraged Michelle to move to Nashville Tennessee to advance her career. This move inspired the start of the third album of her career.

 

Take It Like A Man

1992 witnessed the release of Michelle Wright’s third album, “Now and Then”. The album’s first single “Take It Like A Man”, became an instant hit reaching #1 in Canada and #10 in the United States. The song crossed over to the contemporary charts, reaching Number #18 in Canada. The song was awarded Single Of The Year from The Canadian Country Music Association.

The Whirlwind Success Continues For Michelle Wright

1993 recognized Wright as the Top New Female Vocalist of The Year, for the album “Now and Then”, from the Academy of Country Music. In addition CBS featured her on a television special, Women of Country, where she performed “Take It Like a Man”.

The “Now and Then” album went on to produce six more singles including the Canadian number one hits “One Time Around” and “Guitar Talk”. The album also included “He Would Be Sixteen”, which reached #31 in the US and #3 on the charts in Canada. Winning Single of the Year for “He Would Be Sixteen” and The Fans Choice Award completed 1993 nicely for Michelle Wright.

1994 Wright, released the first single from her upcoming album “One Good Man”. Although it didn’t reach the top 40 in the US it became her fourth number one hit in Canada. Wright’s fourth album, “The Reason Why” was released in Canada in September. Cancellation of the release of the album in the US, resulted in the album’s release in Europe after a successful European tour. 

Michelle Wright On A Roll

1995 was a busy year for Michelle. She completed a 40 – city tour throughout Canada. Which at that time was the most extensive tour in the history of Canadian Country Music in Canada.

In August 1996, Wright released her fifth album, “For Me It’s You”, following the release of the first single. “Nobody’s Girl”,  reached Number 1 on the Canadian  Country Tracks and No. 57 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles . The album went on to be successful in Canada, producing three Top Five singles  “Crank My Tractor”, “The Answer Is Yes”, and “What Love Looks Like”.  

The Winding Down Of A Decade

In 1997 Wright keeps busy behind the scenes focusing on her humanitarian accomplishments such as her international work with the Special Olympics, her successful fundraising efforts for St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chatham, Ontario, as well as, her support for the Manitoba flood relief fund.

Because of her humanitarian efforts Michelle was awarded the C.F. Martin Humanitarian Award by the Canadian Country Music Association. The year came to a close for Michelle at The Canadian Country Music Awards, where she delivered a show-stopping gospel-tinged rendition of the Curtis Mayfield hit, “People Get Ready”, accompanied by a fifty-voice choir. A personal highlight for her career. She reflects:

“I still get goose bumps whenever I hear that version”

1998 saw a collaboration effort with pianist Jim Brickman producing the song “Your Love”.  The song was awarded the Vocal/Instrumental Collaboration Of The Year. In addition the video topped the CMT Canada charts.

“It felt great to be at that point in my career.”

1999 saw the “Greatest Hits Collection”. Michelle provided her listeners a look back at her ten magical years punctuated by hit after memorable hit.  Wright’s “The Greatest Hits Collection”, was released in Canada in October 1999. “I Surrender” and “When I Found You” two new songs, both became Top Ten hits. 

US radio welcomed Wright back after the “Greatest Hits Collection” due to the 1997 duet with pianist Jim Brickman. The song, “Your Love” gave Wright her only American adult contemporary hit reaching #19 on the Adult Contemporary Tracks. Despite the song’s success at AC radio, it would be Wright’s last charting single in the United States.

Successes Of The Next Decade 

The next decade adds to Michelle Wright’s incredible career and keeps her on the move.

The beginning of 2000, Michelle Wright: The Greatest Hits Collection was released. The album contained eleven of her hit songs that helped shape her career and celebrate her ten year anniversary with Arista/Nashville Records. This album was an overview of ten cherished years.

In 2002 Wright released five more CDs, generating more sales and more hits. “Shut Up and Kiss Me” was released in 2002.

Her first Christmas album, “A Wright Christmas”, released in Canada in 2005 and internationally on Savannah Music at Christmas time, 2008.

Savannah Music released the Album, “Everything And More”, in Canada in July, 2006, as well as internationally in late 2008. Savannah Music reissued, the remastered and repackaged edition of “Do Right By Me”, across North America in August, 2010, as well as internationally the following October. 

During 2009 and 2010 Michelle hit the road in Alberta and recorded live, “The Wright’s Songs” featuring a 17 song collection of her many hits on acoustic instruments. Savannah Music released this Album to Canada in 2011 as well as internationally in 2012

Merritt Murals of Canada

As a Country Music performer at The Merritt Mountain Music Festival, and returning to Merritt BC Canada to perform and support the Walk Of Stars as well as the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Galas. Michelle Wright earned her place on the wall. 

July of 2004 seen Michelle Wright grace The Main Stage of The Merritt Mountain Music Festival, as well as making her hand print that year for The Merritt Walk of Stars.

In 2006, Michelle again graced The Main Stage of The Merritt Mountain Music Festival. That same year, Michelle became a part of the walls known as Merritt BC Murals. This same year she signed her mural. You can find the Michelle Wright Mural at 1701 Voght Street, among the walking tour of Merritt BC Murals.

Merritt Murals and Music 2.0

The Merritt Mural Project was created in 2005. The Merritt BC Murals were part of a successful program called, the “Merritt Youth Mural Project”. A project designed for working with local young artists and “ youth at risk”. Merritt Murals were painted by muralist Michelle Loughery.

June of 2009, the sixth annual Walk of Stars Gala set the stage again for Michelle Wright to wow the Country Music fans of Merritt. Michelle delivered a show stopping performance,  once again in June of 2012, for the eighth annual Walk of Stars Gala. 

Michelle recruited a new team in 2016. She continues to record and write songs as well as perform across the Country and around the world. She is still proving to her fans that she won’t be going anywhere anytime soon and that the feisty girl from rural, Merlin, Ontario will be sticking around. There is no doubt that this 2011 Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Inductee continues to make Canada proud.

Or as she says, “What a way to make a living! I plan on making and playing music for a long time to come.”

Keep up to date and follow Michelle http://www.michelle-wright.com 

Country Music Artist Michelle Wright – Merritt BC Murals

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Outdoor Berry Picking in Merritt BC

Picking Berries in the Nicola Valley, Spring, Summer and Fall 

Outdoor family fun while picking berries around Merritt BC

 

As a consequence of the Nicola Valley’s dry climate we have many  berries 

Outdoor Berry Picking in Merritt BC –  Celebrate this time of year with your family and head out on a wild berry picking adventure in Merritt BC. Harvesting wild berries can strengthen your connection to the land and it is a great opportunity to be active outside with family and friends. Not to mention how great those berry’s will taste, after all everything tastes so much better when you’ve harvested it with your own hands. First Nation traditional foods in Merritt and throughout the Nicola Valley consisted of berries like Saskatoon berries, huckleberries, choke cherries and soap berries. So many Canadian Berries! Outdoor berry picking around the Nicola Valley can make a bad day into a good day one berry at a time. 

“A picking here, a picking there, here a pick, there a pick, everywhere a pick-pick.” Berry quotes.

Outdoor Berry Picking Merritt BC.

Can you almost taste it? Photo by Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Berry Picking Merritt BC.

My favourite, raspberry! Photo Tania Stewart.

Strawberry’s along with Raspberry’s Make For Good Outdoor Berry Picking Merritt BC

Albeit summer is truly a time of picking fresh berries. Whether in your garden or in the wild. Eating faster than you pick,  hands stained with juice, and smiles of enjoyment. Hard to imagine, but you can enjoy the ancestors of our modern-day ruby red strawberries in our wild meadows, roadsides, woods and coastline. British Columbia has native strawberries throughout, just waiting for you to pick and enjoy their a burst of sweet flavour.  

Outdoor Berry Picking Around The Nicola Valley, Spring, Summer and Fall

https://curious.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/native-strawberries-wild-ancestors-of-our-delicious-cultivated-fruit/

Outdoor family fun time picking wild berries around Merritt BC 

You can find wild strawberries almost everywhere in our province except in Haida Gwaii (the Queen Charlotte Islands), though it is much more common in the interior than along the coast. Indeed almost any open habitat, except bogs, supports wild strawberries, but the most favoured habitat has to be the open roadside, where clearing and scraping have created an ideal growing environment.

https://curious.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/native-strawberries-wild-ancestors-of-our-delicious-cultivated-fruit/

Wild strawberries make excellent jam as well the leaves can be used for anti-diarrhea. but getting enough berries is a challenge.

Outdoor Berry Picking Around The Nicola Valley, Spring, Summer and Fall

Canned Jam. Photo Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Fun Time Berry Picking in Merritt BC.

Leaf form and texture are helpful in identifying native strawberries. Many teeth typically line the edge of strawberry leaflets. Wild strawberry leaflets are often bluish green and the terminal tooth of each leaflet is usually shorter (smaller) than or equal to adjacent teeth. Wood strawberry has a terminal tooth that is larger and longer than adjacent teeth. Wood strawberry leaflets tend to be a bit softer and more yellowish than wild strawberry leaflets.

If you like to pick berries. Then you’ll want to know how to identify a few of these tasty treats. Tania Stewart.

Red Current Berries.

Firstly Red Current Berries can easily be identified due to their bright translucent red. Secondly , they are sour but palatable, even more sour than black currant’s. Thirdly, plant’s are about waist high. They tend to be growing in swamps, moist coniferous forests and rocky mountain slopes. Bring your bug spray along with H2O on every berry picking adventure.

Flowering/Red/Black – The berries, flowers and leaves are all edible. The berries make a great sauce for duck especially when combined with oranges as a marmalade.

Outdoor Berry Picking Around The Nicola Valley, Spring, Summer and Fall

Red Current.. the blossoms are tasty too.

Wild Blueberry

Additionally, wild blueberries are smaller than the commercial berries, but very delicious. Wild blueberry can be confused with blue huckleberries, but both are edible. Throw some of these tasty berries into your salad. Blueberries are the king of antioxidant foods, low in calories but high in nutrients. May help protect against aging and cancer. It is hard to argue with the strength of the “Blueberry”.

Blueberries.

Not to mention 

Berries have been an important part of First Nations and Aboriginal culture in BC for thousands of years. They have been used for both food and medicine. As a food, wild berries are nutritious and delicious. They can be eaten out of hand, tossed into a salad, added to baked goods, or be turned into jam or jelly. Bannock slathered with wild blueberry jam! Can you taste it now.

Saskatoon Berries

Saskatoon berries.

Berries are wild

Wild berries thrive in many different climates throughout Canada Eh.  They’re packed with nutrients and powerful plant compounds. Though wild berries can be tart, they’re quite versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways. Wild huckleberries grow in mountainous regions, forests, bogs, and lake basins in Northwestern America and Western Canada. The berries are small and either red, blue, or black. Ripe huckleberries are fairly sweet with a little tartness.

What about Choke Cherries?

First Nation traditional foods in Merritt and throughout the Nicola Valley consisted of berries like Saskatoon berries, huckleberries, choke cherries and soap berries. Gerome Garcia.

Chokecherries I picked. Photo by Gerome Garcia

In Conclusion.

Come enjoy our sunshine and outdoor berry picking around Merritt BC. Celebrate this time of year with gathering up your family and head out on a wild berry picking adventure. Harvesting wild berries can strengthen your connection to the land and is a great opportunity to be active outside with family and friends. Not to mention how great those berry’s will taste, after all everything tastes so much better when you’ve harvested it with your own hands.  

When berry picking there are a few rules you should follow. Firstly, leave no trace behind. Secondly, do not pick if you do not identify the species of berry. There are berries which are not safe to eat. Know the difference. Lastly, bears like berries too. Always be bear aware when picking berries in the backcountry. 

Berry Picking in Merritt BC

Adventures and activities in British Columbia Canada

 

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel & Adventure Guides

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merritt centennials

MERRITT CENTENNIALS

LONGEST CONTINUOUSLY RUN FRANCHISE IN THE BCHL

THE CENTENNIALS ARE IMPORTANT TO MERRITT

 

Merritt Centennials: Like many small towns in Canada, hockey is a big deal in Merritt, BC, Canada during the winter.  We have a strong minor hockey system but the crowning glory of our town is the Merritt Centennials Hockey Cub.  In 1973 Pooley Brothers Construction formed a group that purchased the White Rock  Centennials and moved them to Merritt.

“It is simply amazing that this level of  hockey exists in Merritt”  Steve from Vancouver!

A long Tradition Begins

The team has gone through several different types of ownership groups, from private to not-for-profit societies.  Every time it seemed like the club would fold a white knight would appear and save the day.  The Pooley Group ran the club until the 1980-81 season when ownership transferred to a non profit community group.  During the Pooley years the club had some great success.

merritt centennials

Ownership Changes

With the financial struggles the club changed ownership and a group that included Merritt’s own Mr Hockey, Brian Barrett, took over the reins and the club was again in private ownership for the 86-87  season,  Ownership was consolidated for the 89-90 with Brian being a big part of the group.  In 94-95 the Sanders family and others took over the club.  By the 98-99 season the club changed hands again with Frank Biller (Erin Mortgage Corporation) being in charge. This was short lived but then our most famous owner, Tiger Williams, formerly of the Vancouver Canucks stepped in.  And finally, ownership returned to a public entity for the 00-01 season and has remained under this current format for the past 20 Seasons.

The Struggles

The population base for the club is approximately 15,000 people, of which 10,000 are adults.  In order for the club to succeed they need to sell 500 season tickets and have 275 walk ups each game. We need 7.5% of our eligible population to participate.  In contrast the Vancouver Canucks only need .5%.  We therefore need 15 times more of our population to participate.  

Our small population also means our business base is not as big as larger centres so this source of funds is limited.  Having said that, the businesses that we do have go above and beyond with their support !

How have the Merritt Centennials survived

In the early years it wasn’t too difficult.  The losses were not too severe, therefore, the owners would kick in the shortfall and things would continue on.  But overtime the operational budgets grew and the losses grew to such an extent that owners could not justify this type of subsidy.

Inside the Arena-Julie Pollard Photo

In the 2000-2001 season a Board of Directors was put in place to guide the team financially.  This was an amazing group who put their heart and soul into this effort.  In 2003, given the expertise of the board, they decided to build a home on Nicola Lake and sell it for a profit. At the time the real estate market was hot and it looked like a large profit could be made.  Unfortunately, the boom did not last and in the end the project lost money.

 

The financial difficulties continued until a new board was elected   This group was made up of people associated with the forest industry.  They borrowed money from some of their members and were able to secure a community forest license which has helped keep the team afloat.

The new reality for the Merritt Centennials

For the Club the forest license has been great but it is not a forever thing, as such, the club needs to find other sources of revenue.  This is where you, the reader, comes in.  The Cents have an internet 50/50 draw that you can participate in.

You can get in on the action because each ticket only costs $2.00 to play.  With your purchase, that becomes your number and it stays in the contest even if you don’t renew it.  If you don’t renew it your number could still be drawn but you won’t get your share of the pot.  The pot as of January 6, 2020 is approximately $3400 of which your share would be $1700.  The draw is every Tuesday.

Currently the split between active tickets and those that have not been renewed is about 50%.  That means the pot has a very good chance to grow.  So if you want to take a whirl at this fun game you need to go to merrittcentennials.com and follow the links.

merritt centennials

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Contact Information

Merritt Centennials Junior A Hockey Club
PO Box 1730
Merritt BC V1K 1B8
Phone: (250) 378-3604

Centennials Game Schedule

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Merritt, British Columbia, Canada

Christmas in Merritt BC – Experience the Spirit

Creating a Float for the Merritt BC Parade

Remembering 2019 the Joy & Experience Building a Christmas Float for Merritt BC’s Annual Parade.

 

Due to Covid19 many of our traditional holiday celebrations have been put on hold. Surely with time and a bit of patience these much loved traditions will be back. Memories are our treasure to hold and look forward to more. Merry Christmas and looking forward to a new Year!

 

Santa Clause! Photo by Tania Stewart.

Santa’s Elves.

When ever I think of Christmas in Merritt BC Canada the annual Merritt Christmas parade comes to mind. Ironically this event also marks the time I start my holiday shopping. Many of our local businesses start the shopping season with great roll backs, sales and discounts. Additionally they provide that small town personal service we all have come to enjoy from our community businesses. More importantly the support for our local businesses is paramount to their survival hence the #shoplocalmerritt hashtag on social media supported and promoted by ExperienceNicolaValley.com and ExperienceMerritt.com.

Come along with us as we experience Christmas by building a parade float for the 2019 Country Christmas Parade in Merritt BC.

Christmas in Merritt BC float

Tourism Nicola Valley 2019 Christmas Float

Christmas in Merritt BC – “How” to create a float with ease 

Indeed, to some, it may seem easy to create and build a ” Christmas Float”. In all honesty, it takes a lot of time, organization and a bit of preparation work. Furthermore you need a “Theme”.  Celebrating Christmas in Merritt BC includes the weather being a bit frosty so make sure you have a warm dry place on your float. Lucky for us Doug & Norma Mervyn donated one of their warm empty shops to build the float in, as well as, a flat-deck trailer to pull and create our holiday float. 

Experience Christmas Float Merritt BC

Trailer for our float.

 

In particular make sure you have a “Handy Man” on duty.

While you may have a grand picture of what the Christmas float may look like, the assembling of the float it is a whole different story. For starters, make sure you have an experienced carpenter to assist you in the construction of your Christmas Float. Importantly I suggest a mild mannered handyman who comes with his or her own tools.

Christmas in Merritt BC float

Handy man Bill Stewart.

Christmas Parade

Hard at work. Coffee break soon?

To illustrate organization is “Key.”

Notably along with a great theme, being organized is crucial. Above all make sure you know what kind of material you will be using. Organic, re-purposing, recycling or decorations purchased from local businesses in the Nicola Valley made up the bulk of our materials.  

“A little “Hint” do not underestimate how many lights you will need,” Tania Stewart.

Experience Christmas Float

Warm shop courtesy of Doug Mervyn. Backroads Mini Storage.

“Without “Organization” you may get these expressions!” Tania Stewart

Experience Christmas Float Merritt BC

“You want to do what?”

Building floats is fun not stressful. 

We started with Melvina White’s creative image she had for the outcome of the float. We added some very determined helpers to make sure it came together. However when ideas didn’t work out, no worry, we adjusted and worked it out as a team. Remember this is supposed to be fun, not stressful. Designing and constructing a float can be daunting. Gathering materials is one thing. Placement is key. A team of happy elves is essential.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”Steve Jobs

Checking it once, checking it twice.

About Xmas

Notably the little touches are important. Historically the concept of “parade” is a direct descendant of the late Medieval and Renaissance revivals of Roman Triumphs. Parades had music and banners. The wagons were filled with the spoils of war.  Santa Claus being a descendant of Saint Nicholas became the highlight of the “parade”. Today we celebrate Christmas in Merritt BC with a Country Christmas Parade.

Merritt BC Christmas Float

It’s all about the Spirit of the Season.

Positioning of decorations is crucial. Experience Christmas Merritt BC

It is important that the spectators of a parade instantly know what organization or business you are representing. Minimize any need for guessing. Furthermore it introduces you to the public and what you have to offer to support the community. 

Experience Christmas Float Merritt BCTourism Nicola Valley

Things to do in the Nicola Valley.

Tourism Nicola Valley

Placement of sign.

 

 

Above all make sure all the lights work!

Lights need to shine bright in the night. Notably a Christmas float can not have enough lights. Christmas lights (also known as fairy lights) are lights used for decoration in celebration of Christmas. To many it is symbolizing Christ as the light of the world. Moreover this custom goes back to when Christmas trees were decorated with candles. Borrowed from pagan yule rituals that celebrate the return of the light of the sun as the days grow longer after solstice. Christmas trees were introduced by Christians into their homes in early modern Germany.

Experience Christmas Merritt BC

Checking Lights.

Experience Christmas Float Merritt BC

Melvina White & Ricky making sure everything is in place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally ready for the “Main Event”. Lining up for the Christmas Parade.

Of course one last check to make sure everything is in working order. Notably checking to see if anything was lost transporting float into town. 

Looking Good!

Additionally a sweet car in the parade.

Whats a parade without Merritt’s Local tow truck?

Clean up Time.

Lastly you must clean up. Notably destruction of your float goes a lot quicker. Takes hours n hours to construct your float, while only half a day to dissemble it. Due to using recycled material we kept a lot of it for next year. While burning the cedar branches. Rather than filling our landfills. 

Doug Mervyn.

Bill Stewart n Melvina White.

In conclusion.

Above all the spirit of Christmas in Merritt BC Canada can truly be experienced with family and friends. Coming together to create a float for our towns Parade. The true meaning of Christmas in Merritt BC is not what we get or what we spend. No, the true meaning of Christmas is coming together and enjoying each other’s time and creating lasting memories. Priceless!

Furthermore, it takes many people to put a float together including who pulls the float. Thank you to Valley Carriers who came to the rescue and towed our float.  

 

Carrie Ware & Company Inc.

Spirit of Christmas in Merritt BC

Creating Float for Merritt BC Parade

 

merritt muralRandy Travis – American Country Music Superstar

Grand Ole Opry Inductee Randy Travis Featured On The Walls Of The Merritt, BC Mural Walk

The First Chapter Of An Extraordinary Life

Randy Travis, is an American country music superstar and Christian country music singer, songwriter, guitarist, and actor.

Travis was born on May 4, 1959 in Marshville, North Carolina, USA as Randy Bruce Traywick. The second of six children  of Harold Traywick (the owner of a construction company and farmer, as well as a substitute teacher) and Bobbie Traywick (a textile factory worker).

 “My dad was always a big country music fan, so we grew up listening to a lot of the old stuff. Hank Williams and Patsy Cline were probably his favorites.”(Ricky Traywick)

Randy Travis and Brother Rick

Randy Travis and Rick

Randy Travis grew up with the family name of Traywick and was the younger brother of Ricky Traywick by two years. Growing up in the Traywick home there were no shortage of musical influences and encouragement. Listening to music wasn’t the only influence he and his brother had. “Actually, their dad took them to guitar lessons together. Afterwards, they would go home and “jam” in the den, learning from each other. They would take turns playing lead and rhythm, always trying to out play each other.“

Learning to play the guitar at the age of 8, he started singing in the Church of Christ choir. For the next 2 years he and his brother Ricky performed as the Traywick Brothers at local clubs as well as entering talent contests. He would become a solo entertainer in 1969.

Randy Travis Early Years

Randy Travis

Troubles In The First Chapter

The next few years would be troublesome for Travis. Although his father encouraged his pursuit of music. The two often quarreled, which in part was a contributing factor in Randy dropping out of school.

Now as a solo singer he would continue to perform. Performing in tough venues where acts would be protected from the audience by chain link fence.

As a teenager Randy’s love of country music was matched only, by his increasing experimentation of alcohol and drugs. Soon Travis was drinking excessively and using drugs. He has been open about his troubled teen years, telling Newsweek that he began drinking at 12 and using drugs at 14.

“Sometimes a lot harder drugs, but at least marijuana every day,” he admitted. “I think all that was part of why I got into so much trouble. Because I drank so much and did so many drugs that it was like it wasn’t me. It was like another person was in control. Nobody can handle that kind of abuse. You go crazy, you’re not mentally in control. I’m just thankful that cocaine wasn’t around when I was going through my bad time. I’d have probably died. I’d have probably killed myself with it.” (Randy Travis to Newsweek)

By this time he had dropped out of school and briefly held a job as a construction worker. Over the next few years. Randy was in and out of trouble. Arrested for assault, breaking and entering as well as other misdemeanor charges.

The Start Of A Slow Turnaround

Randy Travis was a kid with a golden voice and a habit of making trouble when he was discovered in his home state of North Carolina in the late 1970s.

In 1975, Randy won a talent contest in Country City USA a nightclub in, Charlotte, North Carolina. The club owner, Elizabeth “Lib Hatcher” took an interest in the young singer. She hired him as a cook and gave him regular singing gigs at the club.

Still in his late teens, Randy had one more run in with the law. At his hearing, Hatcher seeing promise in his music convinced the judge to let her become Randy’s legal guardian. Hatcher spent the next few years grooming Randy. The two began to focus on his career full time.

In 1978, he recorded a self-titled album, Randy Traywick, for Paula Records. One single from the album, “She’s My Woman”, spent four weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts.

Travis moved in with Hatcher, which put further strain on her already fragile marriage. She eventually left her husband and, in 1982, she and Travis moved to Nashville, Tennessee. Hatcher became manager of the Nashville Palace, a tourist-oriented club near the Grand Ole Opry. Randy performed as “Randy Ray” in the club as well as worked as their short order cook.

During this time an unlikely romance began to form between Travis and Hatcher. Travis and Hatcher eventually came forward with their relationship. They married in a private ceremony in 1991.

Travis would later comment, “I think we discovered how much we needed each other.” (Randy Travis)

Randy and Elizabeth Travis

Randy and Elizabeth

Chapter Two The Complete Beginning To The Rise Of Fame

Travis was rejected by every major record label in Nashville in the early 1980’s. Labelled and criticized by record executives, he was passed over by Warner Brothers twice as being “too country”. He would become a pivotal figure in the history of country music, including positioning as a major force in the neo traditional country movement.

 Warner Bros. senior vice president Martha Sharp went to the Palace to hear “Randy Ray” perform in 1985 and offered him a contract on the spot.

“I loved his voice,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “But I knew I was going to get a lot of guff. The prevailing opinion at that time was that he was too country, nothing that country would work. Still, my gut told me to go ahead.” (Martha Sharp)

Martha Sharp with Faith Hill

Martha Sharp and Faith Hill (An Older Picture)

The first thing Sharp did was change Randy Traywick’s stage name to Randy Travis. Then she encouraged him to focus on his strengths—especially his robust but edgy voice and the vein of irony that helped temper his more sentimental songs.

After being told he was too traditional, “On the Other Hand” released in 1985 only reached number 67 on the charts. Despite the disappointing review of “On The Other Hand”, Warner released “1982” which became a top ten the same year.  Randy Travis quickly became the hottest young country artist in America. He was adored by fans of contemporary and traditional country.

In 1986, both songs appeared on Travis’s album Storms Of Life, which secured a place at No. 1 for eight weeks and sold over five million copies.

Randy Travis was well on his way of marking a generational shift in country music.

Chapter Three Continuing To The Rise Of Fame Throughout The “1980’s”

In 1986, Warner Bros. re-released “On the Other Hand”, and the re-release became Travis’s first No. 1 single on the chart.

Travis’s first album, Storms of Life, was released by Warner Bros. in June of 1986 with anticipated sales of 20,000 units. By the end of the year it had sold more than a million copies and yielded four hit singles: “1982,” “On the Other Hand,” “Diggin’ Up Bones,” and “Reasons I Cheat. “On the Other Hand”, “Diggin’ Up Bones”, and “No Place Like Home” were all co-written by Paul Overstreet.

Randy Travis

Randy Travis

Storms helped the world recognize, Randy Travis was no longer a secret.  The Album earned him The Country Music Association’s  Horizon Award now known as (New Artist Of The Year Award).

“Diggin’ Up Bones” also won Travis his first Grammy Award in 1986, for Best Male Vocal Country Performance. “Storms of Life” received its highest Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sales certification in 1992, when it was certified triple-platinum for shipments of 3 million copies.  The album’s producer was Kyle Lehning, who would also produce nearly all of Travis’s subsequent albums. In December 1986, Travis became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was the youngest inductee at the age of 28 to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

When his Storms of Life came out in 1986, country music was still wallowing in the post-urban cowboy recession, chasing elusive crossover dreams. Travis brought the music back to its basics, sounding like a perfect blend of George Jones and Merle Haggard.

The Hits and Awards Keep Coming

He became the dominant male voice in country until the rise of “hat acts” like Garth Brooks and Clint Black, releasing seven consecutive number one singles during one stretch. He won the CMA’s Horizon Award in 1986 and was the association’s Male Vocalist of the Year in 1987 and 1988.

During the early years Travis and his band travelled to concerts in a converted bread truck, equipment was hauled in a van and horse trailer. By the beginning of 1987, the Travis entourage, still managed by Hatcher—traveled in the comfort of a $500,000 bus. Hatcher also found Travis a publicist, who signed the engaging young singer to some unlikely television appearances, including one on the rock-oriented Saturday Night Live.

His second album, Always and Forever, sold well over three million copies and remained at the Number One position on the country charts for a record 43 weeks. The release’s most popular hit single, “Forever and Ever, Amen” was named favorite country single of 1987 by both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music. Always & Forever won Travis his second Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance in 1987.

Randy’s third album, “I Told You So” was issued in July 1988. Its first three singles, “Honky Tonk Moon”, “Deeper Than the Holler”, and “Is It Still Over?”, all reached No. 1 as well, while “Promises” was less successful at No. 17. The album achieved its highest RIAA certification of double-platinum in 1996. This was followed by Travis’s first Christmas album, “An Old Time Christmas”, late in 1989.

Closing Off The Decade Of The 1980’s

In 1989, Travis recorded a cover of “It’s Just a Matter of Time”, which was originally recorded by Brook Benton thirty years prior. Travis cut the song for a multi-artist tribute album titled Rock, Rhythm & Blues which was also released by Warner Brothers, and persuaded the label to include it on what would become his fourth Warner album, No Holdin’ Back.

Travis’s version of the song, produced by Richard Perry (who also provided bass vocals on it), was the lead single to that album, and charted at No. 1 on Hot Country Songs in December 1989.  Two more singles were released from No Holdin’ Back: “Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart”, which became Travis’s longest-lasting No. 1 single at four weeks in 1990, and “He Walked on Water”, which peaked at No. 3. The album included one other cover song, “Singing the Blues”, along with the track “Somewhere in My Broken Heart”, co-written and later recorded by Billy Dean.

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame

Randy Travis’s Part In Neotraditional Country

Classic Travis material and carefully crafted vocal delivery, helped bring neotraditionalism to the forefront of country music. New (or “neo-“) traditionalism looked to the elders of country music like Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams, Kitty Wells and George Jones for inspiration, and was a precursor to the more general categorization known as new country.

Randy Travis 2003

Randy Travis

The 1980s and ’90s were the time for a new, yet old, take on country music, neotraditional country. Randy Travis, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Patty Loveless, and Marty Stuart, among others, were all ambassadors of the down-to-earth brand of music. Which drew on traditional bluegrass sounds and down-home themes.

Neotraditional country, also known as new traditional country, is a country music style that emphasizes the instrumental background and a “traditional” country vocal style. Typical instruments – Guitar · Steel Guitar · Dobro · Harmonica · Bass · Fiddle · Drums · Banjo  and the Mandolin.

Travis came from the same neotraditional background as George Straight, especially on his album “Storms Of Life”. The album marked a milestone as the first debut album to sell one million albums.

Like Straight, Travis removed the undesirable elements attributed to the drinking, honky-tonk approach found with the outlaw artists. He was still able to personify a traditional country style.

Along with country pop and country rock, neotraditional country remains one of the veins of country music that holds mainstream popularity in the mid-2010s.

Chapter Four Acting and Music During The 1990’s

In the 1990s, Travis took on an acting career. He won roles in the made-for-TV movies Dead Man’s Revenge (1994) and Steel Chariots (1997). He made appearances on some of TV’s most popular series, including Touched By an Angel, Frasier and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.  Travis landed supporting roles in the feature films The Rainmaker (1997), T.N.T. (1998) and The Million Dollar Kid (1999).

Randy Travis-Million Dollar Kid

Million Dollar Kid

In addition to his acting efforts, Travis’s music career continued to thrive with the release of Full Circle (1996), You And You Alone (1998) and A Man Ain’t Made Out Of Stone (1999).

Travis’s sixth studio album, Heroes & Friends, consisted almost entirely of duets. It produced two singles: “A Few Ole Country Boys” (featuring George Jones) and the title track, also the only solo cut on the album. Both made top 10 on the country music charts in 1991. Other featured artists included B. B. King and Clint Eastwood. “We’re Strangers Again”, a duet with Tammy Wynette. Written by Merle Haggard and Leona Williams. The rendition by Travis and Wynette later appeared on the latter’s Best Loved Hits compilation for Epic Records, who issued it as a single in August 1991.

More Music In The 1990″s

In 1991, Travis took part in “Voices That Care”, a multi-artist project that featured other top names in music for a one-off single to raise money for the allied troops in the Gulf War.

The project included fellow singers Garth Brooks, Kenny Rogers, and Kathy Mattea. In addition, Travis recorded the patriotic song “Point of Light” in response to the Thousand points of light program initiated by George H. W. Bush.

This song was also the lead single to his seventh Warner album, High Lonesome. This album produced three more singles, all of which Travis co-wrote with fellow country singer Alan Jackson. “Forever Together”, “Better Class of Losers”, and “I’d Surrender All”.

Warner Bros. released two volumes of a Greatest Hits package in September 1992: Greatest Hits, Volume 1 and Greatest Hits, Volume 2. One single from each compilation made No. 1 that year: “If I Didn’t Have You” from Volume 1, and “Look Heart, No Hands” from Volume 2.

Also released from Volume 1 was “An Old Pair of Shoes”, which charted at No. 21. Later in 1992, Travis cut the album Wind in the Wire, a disc of cowboy-inspired Western music intended to accompany a television movie of the same name in which Travis appeared.

Wind In Wire Randy Travis

Randy Travis

This disc was his first not to produce any Top 40 country singles. Due to Wind in the Wire and other TV movies in which he starred, Travis took a hiatus from recording and touring for most of 1993. He later told Billboard magazine that “There seems to be this perception that I’ve completely quit”.

Music Keeps Charting In The 1990’s

Lehning remarked of Travis’s ninth album, This Is Me, that the singer seemed “reinvigorated”, while Travis himself said that the songs on it seemed more “rowdy” than those on previous albums.

Four singles from this album made the charts: “Before You Kill Us All”, “Whisper My Name” (which peaked at No. 1 in 1994), the title track, and “The Box”. His last album for Warner was 1996’s Full Circle. Which featured the singles “Are We in Trouble Now”, “Would I”, and “Price to Pay”. The last of which failed to reach the country top 40.

Also in 1996, Travis covered Roger Miller’s “King of the Road” for the soundtrack to Traveler. This rendition, issued by Asylum Records, spent 15 weeks on the country charts despite only peaking at No. 51.

Travis signed to Dream Works Records in 1998, where he issued “You and You Alone”. For this album, Travis co-produced with Byron Gallimore (best known for his work with Tim McGraw) and James Stroud.

You Alone Randy Travis

Randy Travis You And You Alone

Featured artists on the disc included Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, and Melba Montgomery. Actor Patrick Swayze also contributed backing vocals on the track “I Did My Part”. Its singles were “Out of My Bones”, “The Hole”, “Spirit of a Boy, “Wisdom of a Man” and “Stranger in My Mirror”.

His only other DreamWorks album, A Man Ain’t Made of Stone, followed in 1999. Also co-produced by Stroud and Gallimore, it produced a Top 20 hit in its title track. Three other singles all failed to make top 40.

Balance – The Silver Lining And Inspirational Journey in The 2000″s

Travis’s career from 2000 onward was dominated by Christian country music. His first full album in the genre, 2000’s Inspirational Journey, was issued via Word Records.

One cut from this album, “Baptism”, was originally recorded by Kenny Chesney as a duet with Travis on Chesney’s 1999 album Everywhere We Go. The version appearing on Inspirational Journey, a solo rendition by Travis, charted at No. 75 on the country charts in late 2000. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Travis recorded the patriotic song “America Will Always Stand”, which charted via distribution from Relentless Records.

Travis’s most successful venture in Christian country music was “Three Wooden Crosses”. Released in December 2002 as the lead single to his album Rise and Shine, that song became his sixteenth and final No. 1 single in early 2003. It was followed by Worship & Faith, consisting mostly of gospel standards, in 2003. This album earned an RIAA gold certification three years after its release.

Merritt BC Murals Selfie Photo

“Passing Through”, came next which accounted for his last solo chart entries in “Four Walls” and “Angels”. “Glory Train”, Songs of Faith, Worship, and Praise in 2005 also consisted largely of gospel covers. While his second Christmas album, Songs of the Season, followed in 2007.

“A lot of people don’t pay attention to the fact that his first album sold three million copies,” Ray marvels about Travis. “He’s the first solo male artist to ever sell three million copies in the history of the genre. He single-handedly turned this genre around and he has legends like Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, George Strait, going, ‘If it wasn’t for Randy Travis I don’t know if I’d be where I am right now.” (Michael Ray)

A Return To The Country Roots

Around the Bend in 2008 returned Travis to a traditional country style, coinciding with a return to Warner Bros. Nashville. Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted of Travis’s career in the preceding years that his turn to Christian music “was fruitful, producing a series of good, heartfelt records. They also included a nice side effect of putting commercialism way on the back burner. The gospel albums were made without the charts in mind. While adding that “Around the Bend “stands apart from trends, not defiantly but comfortably.” In 2009, Carrie Underwood covered “I Told You So” with Travis on duet vocals, and this collaborative version charted at No. 2 on the country charts. Travis released two more cover albums in 2013 and 2014. Influence Vol. 1, “The Man I Am”, and Influence Vol. 2, “The Man I Am”.

Randy Travis and Carrie Underwood

Randy Travis and Carrie Underwood

Merritt Mountain Music Festival Performance July 2006 And The Randy Travis Mural Featured On The Wall Of The Merritt, BC Mural Walk

The crowd is at capacity with high expectations. Randy Travis is one of the most influential voices in country music. When Travis was introduced and walked on stage the entire crowd stood up.

“I am just a good ol’ country boy at heart and down right human”!(Randy Travis)

There just is no other voice quite like Randy’s and as soon as he began to make a sound you knew who it was! Randy is at his most creative, energetic and exuberant. His performance was warm, funny and engaging. He was at home with his audience and performing at his best.

The audience was lively, responsive and engaged in his every move. There was a feeling of genuineness and love that he has for his music and his fans. For Randy, it is not being a star or a performer. It is the flood of love outpouring from his fans and the enjoyment of being able to be with them and entertain them that is the inspiration for him to keep going.

The crowd was attentive and mesmerized throughout the show. However, broke into a roar when he started singing his closing song “Forever And Ever Amen”.

It was a an overall performance delivered in fine fashion. Capturing his wonderful talented voice as well as his boyish charm and appeal. It was definitely a show to remember. (Claude Lelievre-Merritt Mountain Music Festival)

Randy Music Festival

Randy Travis

‘We Can’t Save Him…Pull the Plug’

Randy Travis has sold more than 25 million albums, earned seven Grammy Awards, and toured the world. In 2013 he suffered a massive stroke that left him paralyzed on one side, limiting his speech and ability to do what he loves most: sing and perform.

As a result of the stroke, Travis had lost his ability to speak and had difficulty walking, but in the years since, has been making progress on both counts as well as relearning how to play the guitar and sing.

Earlier in 2013, Travis became engaged to Mary Davis. The couple married in 2015. Six years on from Randy’s massive stroke, Mary says the experience has taught the couple a lot about love, perseverance, and patience.

Randy Travis and Wife Mary

Randy and Mary married

“You learn to love each other and adore each other in a way that was far beyond what you thought was possible. So we learned a lot about love. There wasn’t anything that I feel like was going to tear us apart.” (Mary Travis)

With Randy unable to speak much, Mary does most of the talking for her husband.

He’s highly septic, with a staph infection we can’t get in control and it’s replicating. As well as other hospital born bacteria, collapsed lungs, chest tubes, he was intubated. He had a tracheostomy, and his skull was still off. 

“There was just so many things working against him but there was a couple things working for him and that was God Almighty and that was His will.” (Mary Travis)

The Decision

Mary asked Randy if he wanted to keep fighting in a partial comatose state. “That’s when that tear fell. And he squeezed my hand and we hadn’t got that much out of him in weeks. So I knew then that he knew what was going on. I also know that he wanted to fight,” she adds.

Randy Travis Hall of Fame Inductee

Randy Travis at induction in to Country Music Hall Of Fame.

During his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016, Randy surprised the audience and fans by performing “Amazing Grace” — his first public performance since his stroke three years earlier.

“I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place. I still get emotional when I think about it.” (Mary says, tearing up)

It was noted in 2017, that Travis had suffered permanent damage. It disabled his right hand and has limited much of his speech and singing ability. Travis continues to make public appearances but no longer sings. Mainly because of his apprehension about his ability to do it as well as he used to.

Randy appeared on-stage with Michael Ray during a cover performance of “Forever and Ever Amen” in June 2017, to which Travis contributed the final “Amen.”

He did the same during his 60th birthday party, thrown by the Grand Ole Opry on May 4, 2019.

Randy Travis A Must See Attraction On The Walls Of The Merritt, BC Mural Walk

Visit downtown Merritt in the beautiful Nicola Valley, Merritt, BC and take part in the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, Merritt, BC Mural Walk. The Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame includes Hall of Fame Inductees as well as CCMA Award Winning Artists.

randy travis mural in merritt

Experience Nicola Valley Blogger Melvina White – Mural painted by Michelle Loughery

True country music fans will want to start the downtown mural tour at Merritt’s National Attraction. The Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, situated on Quilchena Avenue in The Country Music Capital of Canada.

The Merritt, BC Mural Project created in 2005, became a successful program called, the “Merritt Youth Mural Project”. The project, designed for working with local young artists and “ youth at risk”. Merritt Murals were painted by muralist Michelle Loughery.

Randy Travis mural can be found on the wall of The Adelphi Hotel at 2101 Quilchena Avenue.

Travis Forges Ahead, Seeking New Ways to Sustain His Career After Stroke

Randy Travis‘ new memoir, Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith and Braving the Storms of Life, takes readers on a journey through some of the singer’s darkest moments and most difficult challenges.

While Travis admits that parts of the book were difficult to relive, there were also aspects of his past that he loved going back to and revisiting.

“Mary’s commitment to me has been truly astounding,” Travis writes in his memoir. “I was healthy, in fantastic physical condition, and a highly successful country star when we fell in love. But she married me after I had been incapacitated by a stroke, knowing full well what she was getting herself into. That was a major commitment — a commitment of love.”

Travis has enjoyed many “pinch me” moments over the course of his career, earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to his induction into the Grand Ole Opry. He  has never stopped feeling humble and grateful regarding his accolades, and that humility continues to help his fans relate to him.

“There’s lots of joy,” says Mary. “There’s lots of silver linings, even in the clouds.”

experiencemerritt

The information for this article was obtained from Wikipedia and Randy Travis-Singer, Guitarist, Songwriter-Biography

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