April, 2012 Archives

120 people at 9 Restaurants in 2 Nights - Kamloops is a Foodie Paradise!

S Since Rocky Mountaineer started their first train trip 22 years ago, over 1 million passengers have passed through Kamloops on their way to and from Vancouver, Banff and Jasper. Each of these passengers spends one night of their journey in our beautiful city which, as you can imagine, contributes positively to the entire community. These guests stay at hotels, eat in restaurants and spend their evenings perusing local shops and partaking in attractions and events.

For years, Rocky Mountaineer has operated a dinner theatre entertaining and feeding numerous passengers each night.  However, the dinner theatre is no longer operational leaving guests to indulge in the many diverse dining options offered by local restaurants. As most passengers are first-time visitors to Kamloops, they rely on their onboard attendants for dining suggestions and recommendations.  To assist the onboard attendants in making suitable dinner recommendations, Tourism Kamloops hosted a downtown restaurant tour to showcase some of the local diversity!

This tour was literally an equivalent to speed dating.  Twenty minute stops at each restaurant with 10 people per group and a 5 minute walk time to get to the next one. Here were some of the highlights:

The Noble Pig -  Pre-sampling the new Witless Blonde Wheat Beer and touring the quaint brewery with David Beardshell - a brewmaster with a passion for yeast!

The Commodore - Sampling a selection of delicious share plates including the most spectacular baked Qualicum brie our group had every tasted!

Frick n Frack - Beers from around the world (over 100 in stock to be exact) and sampling a trio of dishes from different countries.  Looking for international selection - this is your spot!

Sanbiki - Ocean wise fish, organic beer and an authentic Japanese flare that is un-matched in downtown Kamloops.  The mural in the restuarant is an attraction in itself... showing a condensed map highlighting landscapes from Vancouver to Kamloops!

Hot House Bistro - Fresh local produce are the highlight at this Mexican/Mediterranean style restaurant.  Must try = Avocado & Lemon ice cream... an unpredictable delight! (RM Onboard Manager, Wade & I all smiles after trying the delicious ice cream).

Embers - Newly renovated, this location offered up a real 'high-end' feel. An assortment of unique tapas was the real highlight of this stop!

The Brownstone - The Sangria alone is worth the short walk - so the tempura prawns were just a bonus!  Lovely ambience in this heritage brownstone building.

Dorian's - The Greeks know how to eat!  We were truly spoiled with a delicious feast here. Warning:  Ensure you go in with an empty stomach!

Terra - This was a triple threat... crab cakes to start, risotto and lamb for our mini-entree and the most delectable cheesecake I have ever tried for dessert. Next time you're there - ask them about the history of their basement ;)

All in all, this tour was a fantastic reminder about all the amazing and diverse restaurants we have in Kamloops.

I bet you're hungry now, aren't you?

~Kamloops Kendel

Spiderman Schmiderman. These Boys Scale Walls Too!

The image of kids climbing the walls is a frightening one… unless they’re at Cliffside Climbing Gym located on Laval Crescent in Kamloops. As a mother of two young boys, I am constantly looking for things for my boys to do to help keep them active and to burn off a little energy.

The inside climbing gym is a perfect place for them to be kids and to have a great time. When you first enter the facility, there’s a lounge area, brightly coloured walls and a shoe rental/front desk area, plus some funky tunes coming out from the stereo system. It just looks like it’s going to be fun as soon as you walk in. The team at Cliffside are great too, especially Sabrina, who you can tell loves having the kids come in for some fun. Even though it’s fun, it’s pretty educational too as both boys know what ‘carabineer’ and ‘belay’ mean, and both know how to get in their harness unaided. My boys were in a class that ran each week and you could see real differences in them from the start of their sessions to the end in the difficulty of the walls they were climbing. Both boys were even having fun climbing blindfolded, and my 8 year old got so good, he was assisting in belaying kids bigger than him, a real confidence booster.
There’s a great balcony area for parents to watch the kids if they are not interested in climbing, but it makes for a good family time too. You’ll quickly be amazed at how good of a workout it is hoisting your body around a vertical wall, because the kids make it look REALLY easy (which it’s not).

The Cliffside Climbing Gym has group classes and drop in times, plus you can host parties there too, making it an all around awesome facility. And safety is of top concern to the staff, so you can rest assured that your kids will have fun and be safe too. So move over Spiderman, and watch your kids dazzle you with their wall climbing antics.

~ Awesome Aleece

Local professional photographer shares his favourite spots.

As a full time commercial and tourism photographer I've seen some amazing places in our province; let's face it British Columbia as a whole is really a magical place that we should all be proud of.  The Thompson area has been my home most of my life however, Kamloops for the last 11 years.  Our fair city has a lot going for it:  Vibrancy, fantastic people, economic development, great weather which in turn leads to a healthy active lifestyle, and of course photographic opportunities that are unparalleled.

For an overview of the city centre, and the role that both the South and North Thompson rivers play in the sustainability of Kamloops, I've found no better place than at the end of Powers road; the Southeast part of the city.  Here the two rivers meet and the view is spectacular.  There really isn't a bad time to photograph here but if I had to choose I'd go with sunset and dusk.  With a tripod and long exposures, traffic light patterns can be captured, giving the city a vibrant flow of life.  The light source will be mostly behind you, making the contrast  minimal and the need for graduated neutral density filters a non issue.  Plan to be there a half hour before sunset until a half hour after for the most stellar light.

From this location on Powers road, easy and quick access to iconic hoodoo formations characteristic of the area can be found off of East Shuswap road.  After driving by Sun Rivers golf course the hoodoos can be seen on the North side of this country-like road.  Little traffic and wide open spaces make this an enjoyable area to sight see, regardless of whether or not you're carrying your camera.  The best times for photography are in the early morning or late afternoon, just before sunset.  The play of shadows off of the formations give more character to the images and intensify the density and colours.  The use of a polarizer will help even more, and will help cut glare coming off the brightest clay pillars.  Use a large number aperture, like f/11 or f/16 to make sure you create a sharp foreground and a sharp background.  Tip:  An easy way to remember what creative role the aperture plays is, 'A small number on your aperture equals a small sliver of focus, while a large number equals a large sliver of focus'.

A mere 15 minutes from East Shuswap road will take you into what is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful areas Kamloops has to offer; the 'Lac du Bois Grasslands protected area'.  (see here for more information http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/lacdubois_grass/ )  Easily accessed by the Halston connector and then Bachelor drive, the area goes from a sea of sagebrush to expansive grasslands, and finally dense forest as you drive North on a very good gravel access road.  Prepare to want to make a full day of photography in this area, as the opportunities abound.  In the spring, the area is literally covered by huge, yellow Balsam root flowers near Lac du Bois.  The fall offers an amazing mixture of sweeping rust coloured Blue bunch Wheat grass mixed with pockets of Aspen and poplar trees.  A tripod for early morning and late afternoon photography is beneficial and a polarizer is a must to accentuate colour and cut down on any glare coming from the water's surface.  Graduated neutral density filters are highly recommended in both hard and soft versions.  Please respect the area as it is very sensitive.

Kamloops lake, East of the city and backdrop to one of the most prestigious golf courses in Canada (Tobiano) creates stunning late afternoon images as the sun plays off the North mountains on highway 1.  About 15 minutes East of Kamloops there is a large rest area on the right, before Savona.  Most people stay in the picnic area that is provided but marked trails take you toward the lake for breath taking views and amazing photography. There's even a rock climbing area here called 'The beach'. Please proceed with caution as steep cliffs are prevalent.  Unobstructed 180 degree views make this a photographers dream, whether shooting landscapes, sports or lifestyle imagery.  The mornings, as seen in the shot here can produce very dramatic results, shooting West toward our city.  Graduated neutral density filters are a must for sunrises.  Here I used a 3-stop hard grad filter to cut the contrast and allow the foregound to not be under-exposed.  Taken in manual mode, I actually over-exposed the scene slightly, once again to add more character to the sage.

Kamloops and the surrounding area is indeed full of photographic potential.  With such a unique topography and the country's best weather it's hard not to want to capture the area's diversity and vibrancy while behind the camera.

~ Kelly Funk, Natural Wonders Photography


* If you are interested in a guided photography tour & workshop while in Kamloops, Kelly runs a variety of workshops aimed for beginners to advanced photographers. Check out the workshop dates and detials here.


Enter to Win a Family Getaway!

Enter to win:

  • 3 Nights' Accommodation at The Coast Kamloops Hotel & Conference Centre

  • Fifteen minute Helicopter Tour with CC Helicopters

  • Tickets to Project X's production of James & the Giant Peach

  • Off road Segway Tour with Shuswap Unique Adventures

  • 2 hour stand up paddle lesson with SurfIt

  • Ride on the Kamloops Heritage Railway's Spirit of Kamloops

  • Passes to the BC Wildlife Park

  • Family pass to the BIG Little Science Centre

  • Sunday Brunch at ORA Restaurant

  • Private family Chef's Tasing at ORA Restaurant

  • 100.00 gift certificate to Hoodoos Restaurant & Ric's Mediterrean Grill

The retail value of the prize is $2500.00

Enter to win here!


New April Desktop Calendar Available

April 2012 Desktop Calendar:












Download it here -  http://www.tourismkamloops.com/home_showSection_ID_950.html