Kamloops | British Columbia's First Bee City

 

 

Spring in Kamloops brings sage green-hued hillsides, the rush of the Thompson Rivers as the alpine ice packs thaw and the return of many pollinators such as honey bees, bumblebees and butterflies that kickstart Kamloops’ lengthy growing season.  Kamloops is extremely fortunate to have such a long growing season – and our farmers can certainly attest - this video explains.

Farming begins well before the greenery pokes from the soil. Much of the planning starts in the winter months with seeds being ordered in January, greenhouse planting in February/March, and outdoor planting in April.  By the time the Kamloops Regional Farmers' Market opens on April 22nd, farmers have been tending to their bounty for three full months. Walking through the Saturday market, you can expect to find root vegetables such as carrots, beets, garlic, potatoes, and cabbage that have been stored through the winter, though most exciting are the fresh, tender greens like purple and green lettuce, kale, and lettuce mixes perfect for spring salads.

The Kamloops Regional Farmers’ Market is celebrating 39 years of operation this year, and will be operate twice weekly throughout the season - Saturdays starting on April 22nd on the 200 block of St Paul Street, running from 8am-12pm and Wednesdays starting May 3rd on the 400 block of Victoria Street. The market is an eclectic showcase of local artisans – bakers, wine makers, artists, potters, beekeepers, florists and more.

An early season visit will reveal the freshest of Kamloops’ agricultural abundance.  Exploring Kamloops flavours is quite simple – The Kamloops Flavours Trail highlights 3 options for visiting farm gardens, wineries, craft breweries, cafes and local foodie hotspots tasting the best of the season.  Complete with a must-have “Shopping List”, your local souvenirs may consist of jars of honey, smoked salmon, local oatmeal and artisanal salsa.  The Flavours Trail brochure can be picked up at the Kamloops Visitor Centre upon arrival to the city or plan ahead and download it online at www.tourismkamloops.com/flavourstrail.

Want to check out the busy workers that make all of this possible?  Monte Creek Ranch Winery – Kamloops’ newest winery – also produces up to 400 litres of honey each year. Their honey is all natural, hand packaged and unpasteurized to present its full flavour while preserving the healthy, live enzymes that make honey good for you.  To produce just one litre of honey, bees are estimated to have to fly more than 75,000 km.

Kamloops embraces the importance of these buzzy buddies and has recently been recognized as BC’s first Bee City by Bee City Canada - an organization that promotes habitat development and preservation for the country’s 800 bee species.  As such, Kamloops’ certification will work to inspire and encourage local gardeners and farmers to introduce more bee-supporting plants and undertake public education on environmentally friendly pest management and the benefits of bees.

We certainly owe our thanks to our bees.  Kamloops’ vibrant agriculture and urban food culture are a result of their hard work and tenacity helping to produce edible experiences that are perfect compliments to any Kamloops itinerary.  Craft brews on a downtown patio, picnics paired with wine in the vineyard, food truck fare in the park or a three-course chef’s table are all options to add to your day.  And…you can leave the driving to someone else!  Let a local tour company play host for the day – DiVine Tours, Tailgate Tours, Tastefull Excursions and Wine Lover’s Tours all welcome you to sit back and relax.

Spring in Kamloops is the perfect season - no rush, no crowds, delectable flavours, stunning scenery, fresh abundance…and lots of sunshine!  Come see what all the buzz is about!

 

Contributed by: Adrienne de Candole

After the Tournament ...

As the bus rolls towards Kamloops for the big tournament, you pull up Tourism Kamloops’ Facebook Page on your smartphone. ‘What else does the Tournament Capital of Canada have to offer,’ you wonder to yourself. A quick scroll through #explorekamloops makes you wonder if you should have planned a few extra days – between the tournament schedule and seeing what this beautiful valley has to offer, it looks like an action packed extended weekend ahead!

No trip to a new place would be complete without a little local shopping - the boutique shops and shopping districts throughout the city check this off your list. The foodie in you gets excited when you start to discover the fabulous and diverse culinary scene between the amazing selection of ethnic restaurants, fine dining options and craft breweries, the hardest part of the weekend might be choosing where to eat!

Then you find a post about the city’s arts and culture scene - at that moment you know that you will need to come back.

You nudge your fellow hockey-mom seated beside you on the bus, “are there seriously 10 professional full scale murals in the back alleys of downtown alone? That sounds amazing! And a symphony, year-round live theatre, and museums all within walking distance from the downtown core? Wow. What is this place?” 

When you come to Kamloops for a tournament, make sure to take a few extra days if possible to experience what locals know about the gem they live in – whether its arts, culture, food or adventure – Kamloops has it all and more!

Hitting the Trails in Kamloops

Credit: Sterling Lorence

As soon as the snow melts, riders can take to the hills. Not only is the season extended because of the prompt arrival of spring but the hundreds of kilometers of trails allow families to keep coming back to discover new twists and turns in the landscape. The long season and the diversity of the landscape in Kamloops has always been a draw for mountain bike enthusiasts. Pro rider and Kamloops resident, Matt Hunter explains, “It’s interesting to travel the world and experience different mountain bike towns; and Kamloops is definitely a mountain bike town. There is something special about our landscape and the people who are here. It’s a magical combination.” Matt goes on to explain that the grasslands and forests of Kamloops are a recipe for smooth and flowy trails- there’s nowhere else quite like it.

Top photo: Sterling Lorence

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Don't forget to stop by the Kamloops Visitor Centre to pick up your FREE Trail Guide or download a copy here.

 

 

Press Release | Tourism Kamloops Awarded Silver Medal Designation by Green Tourism Canada

Tourism Kamloops Awarded Silver Medal Designation by Green Tourism Canada
 
For Immediate Release
March 17, 2017, Kamloops, British Columbia – Tourism Kamloops partnered with Green Tourism Canada recently to become a leader and mentor employing a sustainable approach to tourism operations. The process included a green audit and action plan for continuous improvement. Tourism Kamloops has achieved a Silver Medal Designation by Green Tourism Canada and the organization looks forward to implementing the report’s recommendations to improve its results in the future. 

"We are thrilled to welcome Tourism Kamloops as our newest Silver member," says Angela Nagy, CEO of Green Tourism Canada.  "Tourism Kamloops has taken a strong leadership role in going through the Green Tourism assessment process for the Kamloops Visitor Centre, gaining valuable insight into ways that they can improve their sustainability performance, setting an example for tourism operators, and helping them to meet growing consumer demand for responsible business, demonstrating to visitors that Kamloops cares about sustainability. 

The report indicates Tourism Kamloops and its staff are working towards a number of green initiatives that are expected to have a positive impact on its operations and the community at large, including:

  • Concentrated waste reduction efforts in the Visitor Centre
  • Shifting from traditional print marketing to online and digital promotions
  • Partnerships with local artisans to showcase hand crafted products in the Visitor Centre
  • Launched a new multi use trail guide promoting outdoor activity to visitors
  • Pioneered the Bee City designation in partnership with the City of Kamloops and local Communities in Bloom
  • Construction of a public garden at the Visitor Centre
  • Support of the BC Wildlife Park and its conservation and education programming

 
“Tourism Kamloops has a leadership role to play introducing and executing green initiatives”, notes Beverley DeSantis, Tourism Kamloops CEO. “Sustainability is a key strategic platform that guides and inspires our continued efforts to drive green tourism-focused programs in the city.”
 
This initial report provides a baseline for Tourism Kamloops to measure annual progress and presents a number of recommendations about how the organization can continue to demonstrate leadership in sustainability and environmental stewardship.
 

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For more information about Tourism Kamloops, visit www.tourismkamloops.com.
 
Media Contact:
Monica Dickinson, Director – Industry Relations & Communications
Tourism Kamloops
P: 250.372.8000
C: 250.819.0151
E: monica@tourismkamloops.com

Posted in Press Release

Tourism Kamloops Releases First Multi-Use Trail Guide

For Immediate Release
Tourism Kamloops Releases First Multi-Use Trail Guide 

Tourism Kamloops, in collaboration with the community, releases the highly anticipated 2017 Trail Guide 

March 4, 2017 - Tourism Kamloops is pleased to announce the release of the Kamloops 2017 Trail Guide.  A result of extensive community collaboration and strong partnerships with passionate, local trail enthusiasts, Tourism Kamloops’ Trail Guide presents over 200km of trails that visitors can explore and enjoy 12-months of the year. 

"Whether you are planning a relaxing family getaway or an adrenaline-packed weekend, Kamloops and our landscapes offer a multitude of trail experiences," says Lisa Strachan, Tourism Kamloops Director of Destination Development & Trade Relations. "When you look through the 2017 Trail Guide, it becomes easy to understand why Kamloops is renowned for its world class trail network."

"Due to the hard work of many volunteers, Kamloops has seen a huge increase in the amount of new and sanctioned trails in the last few years. Having a single guide to tie it all together puts this accomplishment into perspective. The 2017 Trail Guide is a great resource for locals and visitors alike," explains Catharine Pendrel, President of the Kamloops Bike Riders Association.

Bike enthusiasts are encouraged to use the guide to plan their next ride, and visitors who prefer to explore on foot can use the guide to enjoy signature Kamloops trails that will challenge them or simply provide activity levels for the entire family.

“We are so fortunate to have great partners who share our vision in showcasing Kamloops as accessible outdoor playground," boasts Strachan. "Incredible partnerships with the City of Kamloops, Kamloops Performance Cycling Centre, Kamloops Bike Riders Association, Pinkbike.com and Trailforks.com and many other local partners helped make the Kamloops 2017 Trail Guide possible."

The Kamloops 2017 Trail Guide is available at the Kamloops Visitor Centre or online at tourismkamloops.com
 

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Media Contact:

Monica Dickinson, Director – Industry Relations & Communications
Tourism Kamloops
P: 250.372.8000
C: 250.819.0151
E: monica@tourismkamloops.com

Cowboy Tours New to Kamloops

 

The Kamloops Cowboy Festival will be celebrating it's 21st anniversary in Kamloops from March 16th to 19th.  The Festival is a celebration of Kamloops' western heritage showcasing the best in cowboy and western fine arts featuring poets, musicians, artists and artisans.  It is a celebration of Kamloops' history and is considered the biggest and best of its kind in North America.

This festival highlights the Kamloops of the past, but many do not realize that Kamloops is still very much a cattle town.  It's strong ties to the ranching community make it the perfect host for North americans interested in western heritage and cowboy culture.

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Press Release | 2017 Tourism Kamloops Hospitality Awards Winners

For Immediate Release
2017 Tourism Kamloops Hospitality Awards Winners


February 19, 2017 –  The 1st Annual Tourism Kamloops Hospitality Awards presented by the Kamloops Blazers were a huge success! Over 150 people were in attendance in the Parkside Lounge at Sandman Centre as winners were announced in four categories from a pool of 34 unique nominations!

“We are ecstatic with the support and enthusiasm for this new awards program. The response for nominations and reception attendance speaks to the desire and interest for this type of industry recognition,” said Beverley DeSantis, Tourism Kamloops CEO. “We know that many of our frontline hospitality employees work tirelessly to go above and beyond ensuring our Kamloops visitors have memorable experiences, and to have peer recognition is so important.”

Nominations were gathered over a two-week period in January. An appointed selection committee comprised of local hospitality leaders scored the nominations narrowing to a field of three finalists and finally a winner in each category.

“We are so pleased to be a part of this program,” says Missy Cederholm, Ticketing and Promotions Coordinator for the Kamloops Blazers. “The event is a true reflection of Kamloops’ outstanding hospitality and encourages all service providers and community ambassadors to deliver exceptional experiences every time.”

Winners for the 1st Annual Tourism Kamloops Hospitality Awards are as follows:

  • Top Scorer in Tourism Services – Terri Axani, DiVine Tours
  • Attraction Services Leader – Brett McLeod, BC Wildlife Park
  • Most Valuable Player in Food & Beverage Services – Claudio Klarich, Citrus Restaurant / DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton
  • Accommodation Service Captain – Paige Mittelsteadt, The Plaza Hotel
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Media Contacts:
Monica Dickinson, Director – Industry Relations & Communications
Tourism Kamloops
P: 250.372.8000
C: 250.819.0151
E: monica@tourismkamloops.com
 

Posted in Tourism

Tourism Kamloops Launches New Photo-Kamloops Partnership

Tourism Kamloops Launches New Photo-Kamloops Partnership

New image database will help marketers showcase Kamloops through high quality photos

For Immediate Release

February 16, 2017, Kamloops, British Columbia – Tourism Kamloops has initiated an exciting new program, called Photo-Kamloops, which makes the work of local photographers available to anyone looking for high quality photos of the city and region.  Tourism Kamloops has connected with a number of local photographers, selected a collection of breathtaking images and negotiated great rates on their work. The images are inventoried in Barberstock and available for purchase through Tourism Kamloops.

Photo-Kamloops has launched with 13 local photographers and over 200 of their best photos.  Marketers can access pictures of local sports, events, landscapes, attractions and outdoor experiences all shot in the Kamloops area.

“We frequently receive requests for photos from all over the region”, says Monica Dickinson, Director of Industry Relations & Communications, Tourism Kamloops, “but lack of third-party image usage rights limited our sharing with partners, so we innovated to meet the market demand.”  Photo-Kamloops provides access to quality photography that can be used for annual reports, presentations, web sites, social media, marketing collateral and the like.

Photo-Kamloops allows Tourism Kamloops to highlight the importance of innovation in the tourism space. “Innovation is one of our key strategic platforms. By providing marketers with the tools to promote our city, we are helping to deliver our promise to showcase Kamloops in exciting and dynamic ways to our potential visitors,” explains Beverly DeSantis, Tourism Kamloops CEO.

“We were thrilled to work with the Tourism Kamloops team, as our first client globally, to launch a program like Photo-Kamloops on Barberstock. We welcome the collaboration and look forward to pushing the system to its highest abilities,” remarks Deanna Girardi, Barberstock’s Director of Operations.

People looking to access the Photo-Kamloops database can submit a request to http://www.tourismkamloops.com/images-and-photos-of-kamloops

 

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Media Contact:

Monica Dickinson, Director – Industry Relations & Communications

Tourism Kamloops

P: 250.372.8000

C: 250.819.0151

E: monica@tourismkamloops.com

Posted in Photography, Tourism

Press Release | Kamloops Named by Trivago as One of Canada's Best Value Cities in 2017

Come to Kamloops for a Canada 150 vacation that is affordable and memorable
 
For Immediate Release
 
February 7, 2017, Kamloops, British Columbia – Kamloops has recently been honoured with the designation of one of Canada’s best value cities in 2017 by Trivago, making it a must visit destination for Canada’s 150th anniversary celebration. The hotel search website created the list of affordable destinations through an algorithm that considers both hotel prices and overall ratings.
 
“We have always known that Kamloops as a travel destination provides exceptional value”, says Monica Dickinson, Tourism Kamloops, Director, Industry Relations & Communications. “It is an honour to have our city recognized and celebrated as one of Canada’s most affordable places to visit.”
 
Hotel affordability is important for Canadians in 2017 as they look to include travel within Canada to celebrate the country’s 150th anniversary. Tourism Kamloops believes that in addition to providing great affordability, the city offers tourists an impressive roster of experiences, enhancing the overall value of the destination.
 
“A Kamloops getaway is a great fit for many”, boasts Dickinson. “From our vibrant downtown to remarkable golf and renowned outdoor adventure to a rich arts and culture scene and everything in between – if you want to experience it, Kamloops has it at an affordable rate.”
 
In addition to a vast array of tangible vacation experiences, Kamloops offers four distinct and equally beautiful seasons, as well as easy access from major urban centres such as Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. But unlike those large urban centres, a vacation in Kamloops often requires minimal planning, no lines or traffic congestion, and rewards visitors with top-notch, value-added experiences.

 

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For more information about your perfect Kamloops vacation, visit www.tourismkamloops.com.
 
Media Contact:
Monica Dickinson, Director – Industry Relations & Communications
Tourism Kamloops
P: 250.372.8000
C: 250.819.0151
E: monica@tourismkamloops.com
 

Birding in Kamloops

 

Did you know that every year photographers from around the world travel here to photograph the magnificent Common Loon who nest and raise their chicks here? Greg Downing gdphotography.com and Alan Murphy alanmurphyphotography.com/workshops.htm conduct sold out workshops in exotic locations around the world. Every year they spend June right here at Lac le Jeune.

They return every year because they know their customers will return home happy with memory cards full of great shots.

The Kamloops area abounds with those type of opportunities, not just for loons but also the hundreds of other species that call the area home.  Local biologist Rick Howie has written a very comprehensive list of all the species that visit Kamloops, a PDF version can be downloaded here Birds of Kamloops.

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