Pumpkin spice lattes, and harvest can only mean one thing … fall in Kamloops has arrived! Kamloops is the perfect escape for families looking to get away for a weekend – our weather is still warm, our markets are loaded with fall flavours, and there are plenty of fun seasonal activities for your kids to enjoy.
The perfect October Weekend Getaway in Kamloops starts with our picks for the top 5 attractions:
1. Flavours Trail
Did you know it’s harvest time at our farms and wineries – we love the fall colours that fill these destinations and so will your family!
Sip along Kamloops’ 4 award winning wineries to enjoy the flavours produced by our unique terroir. Then visit our Wednesday and Saturday Farmers Markets in Downtown Kamloops to grab products grown locally at our surrounding farms. Finally, indulge in a craft beer brew tour ensuring to stop at the Noble Pig to enjoy their limited edition Pumpkin Beer!
Left: Monte Creek Ranch Winery Right: Downtown Farmer's Market
2. Boo at the Zoo
It’s going to be another spooktacular Halloween at the BC Wildlife Park! Did you know the Park is home to over 40 wildlife species? The whole family will enjoy exciting animal encounters, the haunted maze, the spider scavenger hunt, Uncle Chris’ magic show, and story time at the witches’ corner. If you’ve been to the Wildlife Park before don’t pass up the opportunity to visit again during October. You can even put on your best costume for some trick or treating right at the Park from October 28th to 30th from 5:00 to 9:00pm.
Boo at the Zoo by Kelly Funk Photography
3. Ghost Train
How many trips have you been on where you can say that you time-travelled? That’s why Kamloops Heritage Railway’s Ghost Train is a must-see on our top October attractions list. Your family will be taken back in time to Halloween night 1915; the fog is rolling in thick and the train has embarked on its journey to Blue River. Your family’s adventure begins when you hear that the train has entered a thick cloud and disappears...
Will you dare to ride? Tours are offered on October 21, 22, 27, 28 & 29 all starting at 7PM.
Ghost Train by Peter Olsen Photography
4. Tranquille Farm Fresh
This October, it’s all about the mysteries of our mind at Tranquille Farm Fresh! Kicking off October 10th, this year’s corn maze is designed in the shape of a human brain and challenges the family to navigate its corridors by unlocking “brainy” clues. October 28, 29 & 30thcelebrates the Corn Maze Extravanganza…an amped up version of the corn maze with pyrotechnics, spooky encounters and haunted house finale….if you dare!
Tranquille’s history is deep. Take in this year’s tunnel tour theatre performance “The Disordered Mind” and uncover the story of a young patient whose mental situation is in the hands of Tranquille’s medical team during the 1960’s.
Tickets can be purchased through the Kamloops Live Box Office, running Friday-Sunday evenings.
Left: Corn Maze by Jan Nademlejnsky Right: Disordered Mind
Finally, it is still golf season in Kamloops in October! The sun is still shining and it isn’t too cold for a morning tee-time. The family can enjoy 13 courses in the area. You have the option to golf among big horn sheep, play a round at BC’s #1 golf course, or play on rolling terrain and strategic doglegs. Talking Rock Golf Course, Rivershore Golf Links, Tobiano Golf Course, Sun Rivers Golf Resort, Kamloops Golf & Country Club, The Dunes at Kamloops Golf Club, and Eaglepoint Golf Course are offering fantastic fall rates and packages so ensure you ask when you’re booking your fall getaway!
Sun Rivers Golf Resort
The Kamloops Art Gallery and the City of Kamloops are proud to announce the permanent installation of a new artwork at the entrance to the Tournament Capital Centre. The newest public artwork recently installed in the city is by important British Columbian artist, Cameron Kerr. The work is from the Kamloops Art Gallery’s permanent collection and is now installed permanently at the TCC location as part of a public art partnership with the City of Kamloops.
Cameron Kerr has a longstanding relationship with the Kamloops Art Gallery. He created the commemorative wildfire sculpture that is permanently installed outside the TNRD building, which houses the library and art gallery, and his work was notably included in the exhibition An Era of Discontent: Art as Occupation at the KAG in 2012. The acquisition of this work, Freud’s Ceiling, is indicative of the Gallery’s mandate to collect work by living Canadian artists who have previously shown in Kamloops Art Gallery exhibitions.
Installing the work at this location allows the Gallery to share its permanent collection with a broader public. Public art is a key marker of all mature cities and this initiative is indicative of the dual importance Kamloops puts on both sports and culture. This work reflects the KAG’s commitment to supporting artists who are working and contributing to the conversation in British Columbia’s vibrant art scene today.
Freud’s Ceiling is based on a pattern found on the ceiling of an addition that was built on to Sigmund Freud’s house in London, UK, where the artist Cameron Kerr visited. The design references a naturally occurring pattern that forms in the visual cortex of the brain when one is half asleep. As part of his exploration, Kerr was also interested in research developed by a neurological scientist at the University of Chicago, Jack Cowan. Cowan discovered the mathematical formula that occurs in the visual cortex which produces hexagonal patterns.
Commissioned by the City of Vancouver to celebrate the City’s 125th anniversary, Freud’s Ceiling is part of a body of work that emerged from research into various sources, including art history, modernist architecture, iconography in the built and cultural environment, as well as the fields of biology and psychology. Freud’s Ceiling is similar to Cameron Kerr’s earlier work, in which he produced sculptural objects based on hexagonal concrete city planters. The carved forms and markings in these works evoke familiar urban shapes and reference the rods and cones that form the human eye retina.
Kerr’s geometric sculptures suggest a bodily relationship to our built environment and allude to perceptual processes, where the sculpture embodies the very mechanisms of viewing in the object being perceived and understood by the eye. Now in its prominent location at the TCC, the architectural references of this sculpture acknowledge the importance of this civic building to the citizens of Kamloops.
Cameron Kerr developed his marble carving skills at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara, Italy and studied with William Tucker and Anthony Gormley in the UK. He went on to study at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, where he worked with well known artist Liz Magor. Working in marble, he developed an approach that merges traditional, figurative and conceptual strategies.
Please direct all media inquiries to Charo Neville, Curator, Kamloops Art Gallery, (250) 377-2410, firstname.lastname@example.org or Craig Willms, Assistant Curator, Kamloops Art Gallery, (250) 377-2406 email@example.com.
For Immediate Release
Downtown Kamloops is "Alive After Five" - August 22 to September 2
August 15, 2016, Kamloops, BC: Downtown Kamloops officially becomes the place to be this summer as local merchants, eateries, cafes and retailers open their doors until 9pm weekdays nightly starting August 22nd through September 2nd. Coined “Alive after Five”, this summer celebration embraces all the things we love about Kamloops’ downtown – live music, sidewalk dining, warm temperatures, natural gathering spaces all in the spirit of supporting local, distinctly Kamloops experiences.
“This initiative is the result of a new collaborative group called Focus Downtown, which includes the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association, Kamloops Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Kamloops, Rocky Mountaineer, Venture Kamloops and City of Kamloops and supported by the downtown merchants to unveil a Kamloops experience to our destination visitors that we, as locals, cherish,” says Gay Pooler, General Manager for the KCBIA. “Our downtown in itself is an experience and the support of the local businesses enhances its vibrancy to welcome visitors and locals alike.”
“Kamloops’ downtown is our secret gem, that we need not keep secret any longer,” adds Monica Dickinson of Tourism Kamloops. “Its charming ambiance, great shopping choices, exceptional dining options and proximity to Riverside Park all bundled with a fantastic summer forecast is the perfect mix for an exceptional experience.”
“Alive after Five” is only a snapshot of a longer term plan for Kamloops’ downtown. This preview will kick start planning for future summer-long initiatives seeing downtown merchants staying open later. This exciting movement will positively enhance Kamloops’ destination offerings ranking Downtown Kamloops as a “must do” activity on any itinerary and will encourage incremental overnight stays in the city.
For further details on participating merchants, visit www.downtownkamloops.com.
Director, Industry Relations & Communications
Our Destination Development Team at Tourism Kamloops continues to work collaboratively with our stakeholders to develop Kamloops as one of the top places to mountain bike in Canada. During the month of July,our mountain bike product was highlighted several times within print and online media.
Our local "ladies only" group, The Dirt Chix were showcased in the spring edition of Pedal Magazine. A one page article highlighted Kamloops' welcoming bike community and spoke to the development of womens riding in Kamloops. To find out more, pick-up the current issue at Chapters. Or check out http://pedalmag.com/.
Tourism Kamloops worked closely with Mountain Bike BC to host a film and rider group "The Free Radicals". The intention of our collaboration was to help build online film content for Mountain Bike BC which highlighted the Thompson Okanagan and Kamloops as a go-to mountain bike destination. Tourism Kamloops worked closely with our local partners to create a film that touched on a "mountain biker's" experince while they are in Kamloops.
Check out the video here
Written by: Doug Smth
The rivers of Kamloops collect the meltwaters of mountain ranges of the Interior, flowing downstream where they meet to become the Thompson River. The South Thompson River comes from the Monashee Mountains to the east, collected in Shuswap Lake, then it flows 60 km west to Kamloops. The North Thompson River starts in the Cariboo Mountains to the north and flows for 355 km south to Kamloops. The confluence is right in the center of Kamloops. The Thompson River flows for another 15 km to Kamloops Lake and then beyond to Ashcroft, Spence’s Bridge and to Lytton where it joins the Fraser River. The rivers of Kamloops offer a combined total of over 100 km of recreation opportunities for on-the-water activities.
Paddlers can launch their boats at a number of spots along the South Thompson River. The best launch spot is at Pioneer Park where there is lots of parking, a boat launch area with beach landing spots, a back eddy start/finish, and choices of upstream or downstream paddling. A popular choice is to go upstream to the Yellowhead Bridge with an easy paddle back downstream for a 3.5 km out-and-back route. Paddlers can also go downstream to the confluence of the two rivers and back, staying close to the shoreline in either direction. Upstream paddling is all hard work, so it’s always best to stay close to the shoreline. Other launch/landing spots on the South Thompson River include Valleyview Boat Launch, the Lafarge Bridge (21 km upstream), the Pritchard Bridge (42 km upstream), and at Chase. An excellent choice is to paddle downstream only, leaving a vehicle at the landing spot. Downstream paddlers can expect to do 5 to 8 km an hour!
There are a few spots to hand launch on the North Thompson River. Paddlers can go upstream from Riverside Park which will be a good workout since the North Thompson River flows more quickly than the South Thompson River. There are a few spots along the river to launch in Westsyde with the best choice being the foot of Harrington Drive. It is possible to launch from Rayleigh, the Tournament Capital Ranch too, but there are no official boat launches. Farther upstream, paddlers launch at the McLure Ferry and the Little Fort Ferry for long downstream paddle adventures.
Paddlers can also launch from McArthur Island to explore Rabbit Island, the 12 km section downstream, or upstream to the confluence. At Cooney Bay the river empties into Kamloops Lake and paddlers can explore the shoreline west to Battle Bluff or along the east end of the 25 km lake. During freshet, the estuary floods and paddlers can explore the Tranquille Wildlife Protected Area wetlands.
All boats should carry safety gear (a pfd is essential) and paddlers need to take precautions for weather conditions, faster flowing water during freshet, river hazards, fitness considerations, cold water, other and paddling safety considerations. The best time to paddle the rivers of Kamloops are mornings, weekdays, or the off-season when the powerboats are not out in force. At those peak times, paddlers can go to one of hundreds of lakes in the area, picking a new location each time all season!
The B.C. Wildlife Park has gained some new residents from Quebec, including some interesting South American rodents.
This week two Patagonian maras and three timberwolves arrived from a zoo in Quebec. While the park already has a permanent wolf enclosure, the maras are new, general manager Glenn Grant says. Grant describes the new rodent residents as having the face of a rabbit, stance of a deer and movement of a wallaby.
“They’re something completely different,” he says. “They originate in Argentina, so they can handle the warmth.”
In the winter the Patagonian maras will be able to take shelter in a heated barn within their enclosure.
Staff at the wildlife park had been looking for an animal like the Patagonian mara for a little while becuase the park had an empty enclosure ideal for an animal of their size. Grant says these two were born in captivity and don’t have to skills to be released into the wild.
“Any animal that’s born into captivity is not a good candidate for release,” he says. “Normally they need their mom to teach them skills in the wild.”
The three wolves, a sister and two brothers roughly 20 months old, were also born in captivity, and are from the same zoo as the rodents.
“It’s great to have three new young wolves who will be there for many years to come,” he says.
The park previously had a pack of four wolves, but that pack is now down to just one. Grant says the lone female is old and has deteriorating health so will be taken taken to an enclosure out of public view for care.
All the animals are in their new public habitats today, June 24.
for more info visit http://www.bcwildlife.org/about-us.htm
You are invited to the 2016 Kamloops Wine Trail Open House! Saturday, June 11th & Sunday, June 12th from 11am to 5pm
Our open house celebration will feature complimentary wine tastings, winery tours, a variety of food items, live music and more!
Festivities will take place at each of our three wineries:
- Harper’s Trail – 2761 Shuswap Road
- Monte Creek Ranch – 2420 Miners Bluff Road
- Privato – 5505 Westsyde Road
Take a self-guided tour or book with one of our local tour operators:
- divine tours.ca
Be sure to collect a passport stamp from each winery for your chance to win a fine selection of local product.
For more detail click here
Written by, Nick Waddell
Looking for a place to see some Kamloops wildlife this summer? The British Columbia Wildlife Park and Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge are two great places for families, children, and animal lovers to get their fix on several interesting animals native to British Columbia.
British Columbia Wildlife Park Kamloops
The British Columbia Wildlife Park houses several different species of BC wildlife for rehabilitation, research, and breeding located just 15 minutes east of Kamloops along the Trans-Canada Highway. The 50 hectare park is home to everything from big cats, birds, bears, canines, small animals, hoof stock, to reptiles and amphibians. Their mission at the BC Wildlife Park is to encourage the appreciation of and respect for BC’s wildlife and to assist in preserving biodiversity through education, research, captive breeding, and rehabilitation services. The BC Wildlife Park’s goal is to connect people to BC’s wildlife and wild places in order to encourage a sustainable society.
There are several activities and events to go see at the wildlife park all summer including interactions with the animals, tours, special events like the bird of prey flight demonstrations and laser light shows. The park features a wildlife express miniature train as well as a playground and waterpark to help keep young children entertained. At the far end of the park there is a short hike to a waterfall for the perfect picture moment
I visited the wildlife park on a hot afternoon in April and was instantly impressed by the look and feel of the services and buildings offered by the park. The staff were helpful, kind, and my visit was self-directed which let me do my own thing around the park. The first thing you notice is the wide-open, grassy spaces, dotted with trees that look ideal for an afternoon picnic. My favourite part was actually the Home Hardware barn where farm animals and smaller live stock are kept. The goats would prop themselves up to eat out of hay baskets hanging from the ceiling. You could pet and take pictures of the animals. The birds of prey were mesmerizing and beautiful. I was glad to see the animals were getting the proper attention they needed after being injured in various accidents. I enjoyed the hike at the end and took some great waterfall pictures.
For more information about the BC Wildlife Park concerning directions, rates, and hours, check out their website at http://www.bcwildlife.org or give them a phone call at (250) 573-3242.
Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge
The Turtle Valley Donkey refuge is a beautiful farm to visit this summer for families, children, and animal lovers. The refuge, located just outside of Chase, BC, is run by founders Rob Miller and Shirley Mainprize who devote their time to caring for senior, neglected, and abused donkeys. The refuge began 19 years ago when the two developed a passion for the animal and wanted to create a space for neglected donkeys. The Donkey Refuge is now owned by the Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge society but the original founders still volunteer daily on the farm. As donkeys can live up to 50 years, many are abandoned by owners who were not aware or prepared for the commitment. Donkeys are often not taken care of properly due to the unique care they require.
Donkeys are native to South Africa, and the BC climate and topography allow for numerous health issues to pop up if the animals are not taken care of properly. Dental and hoof care are the most expensive and common things to attend to when caring for the animal. Turtle Valley runs on a budget of approximately $350,000 a year and obtains most of their funding through grants, sponsors, admissions, and donations. The refuge encourages visitors to sponsor an animal to help out with some of the costs and are ideally looking for 20 sponsors per animal. Due to expensive veterinary bills and an increase in the price of hay due to a shortage, any donations are highly appreciated.
The farm currently has 105 permanent resident donkeys to interact with which include 3 different sizes of donkey. The animals themselves are quite calm, friendly, and enjoy interacting with humans. The six staff members running the refuge offer tours and one-on-one time with the donkeys as well as information about individual donkey personalities and care.
I dropped by the refuge to be energetically welcomed by the two founders, Shirley and Rob. Having never been within 10 feet of a donkey before, I really didn’t know what to expect from the animals. However, I was presently surprised. As Shirley educated us about the miniature donkeys, they would simply come up and bump into you looking for attention. It was quite adorable and I continued to pet and give my attention to several donkeys who were interested in what we were doing. The entire experience was quite peaceful as you look at the beautiful mountainous and green surroundings of Turtle Valley.
For more information and directions to the refuge, check out their site at http://www.turtlevalleydonkeyrefuge.com. You can also get in touch with one of the founders Shirley Mainprize by sending an email or phone call to (250) 679-2778 and firstname.lastname@example.org respectively.
Written by: Bill McQuarrie
One of the first things you’ll notice about this ride is the lack of traffic. In fact it’s mostly on roads that nobody else seems to know exist. Mostly two lanes, paved and the perfect mix of sweepers and twisties with just enough straight stretches to let it go. Total distance for the ride, 350 km and a map can be found at the end of the blog.
You’ll be riding along side a clear mountain creek past a few lakes, through some high country mesa, sandstone cliffs, ranchland, a few small towns (pubs, restaurants, gas) and even a chance to stop at a local cider brewery. Towards the end, when you are following the famous Thompson River, you’ll be on Highway #1 but even then, most if it will be on two lanes. And speaking of roads, if you’re a dual sport biker you will be passing a lot of forestry roads, so bring your GPS and do some extra exploring.
I just did this ride May 6/16 with morning temperatures around 15’C (About 60F) and late afternoon temps that were closer to 30’C (High 80’s in Fahrenheit), so expect to end the day in a T-shirt.
By the way, the least expensive gas in the region is found in Kamloops, so top up before leaving. Now let’s get going...
Heading west out of Kamloops on Highway #1 towards Savona, you’re going to turn left onto the Tunkwa Lake Rd just before entering Savona (about 43 km from Kamloops and well signed). This road is paved but a bit uneven in places.
However, the scenery is spectacular and the turns and climbs make it all worthwhile.
Your next major junction is only 40 km away, so take your time and enjoy.After riding through the provincial park, you’ll arrive at the Logan Lake junction and you want to continue straight ahead on 97C. Unless you’re hungry or need gas in which case hang a left into Logan Lake. I recommend the Black Bull Pub on Poplar Dr. if you’re looking for lunch.
Back on the road and heading south on 97C, you’ll see Left Field Cider on your right. I wasn’t much of a cider fan until I stopped their last summer and learned what real cider should taste like. I now enjoy cider and I recommend you stop as well.
The next 35 or so km are going to take you through rolling hills and a mix of grasslands and forest before heading into cowboy country as you approach Merritt. At the intersection of 97C and Highway 8 (Nicola Highway) you have a choice. You can turn left for a quick trip into Merritt or go right to continue towards Spences Bridge. There’s no gas between here and Cache Creek so might be an idea to head into Merritt and gas up
Merritt is a ranching community and I’d recommend heading downtown for a visit and maybe something to eat. They’re known as the Country Music Capital of Canada and you might want to visit the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.
Back on the road, you’ll be heading west towards Spences Bridge on 8, following a valley carved out by the Nicola River. It’s two lanes all the way and you’ll be riding by grasslands, pine forests, semi-desert sagebrush country, sandstone cliffs and the clear running water of the Nicola. There’s parks and recreation sites along the way, so lots of chances to stop and explore the countryside. Mind you, the road seems to have been built for bikes, so you may not want to stop. It’s around 65 km to Spences Bridge and some say this is the best part of the ride.
Once you’re in Spences Bridge and just before hitting the junction of 8 and Highway 1, look up and to your right and you’ll spot the tallest waterfall in the area.
Turning right onto Hwy 1 you’re on your way to Cache Creek. It’s 50 km away and the road is in perfect shape…Mostly 2 lanes but long passing lanes on the hills. You’re now following the historic Thompson River and the highway you’re riding on began life as part of the Cariboo Gold Rush trail.
As you near Cache Creek and start your decent into town, the speed limit drops to 70 km/h and then quickly to 50. It’s a well-patrolled section of highway…just saying.
From Cache Creek, it’s 45 minutes to Kamloops on Hwy 1 and again, mostly two lanes with lots of passing lanes in the hilly sections. If you’ve timed this last part of the ride right, the sun will be on your back and beginning to set. Long shadows in the hoodoos beside the road, the tops of the hills lit up, Kamloops Lake eventually appearing on your left and cooling things down a bit as you near the end of the ride. And if you want to watch the last of the sunset happen, stop at the lookout at the crest between Savona and Tobiano. You can climb out on the rock bluffs and watch the sun go down.
When you’re back in Kamloops I recommend you stop by the Noble Pig, one of our local brew pubs. It’s right downtown on Victoria St., makes all it’s own beer on premise, has a great scotch bar as well, large selection of wine and menu that insures you won’t go away hungry.
If you’re looking for a place to stay that is nearby, check out the Thompson Inn (next door), the 540 Hotel (a block away) or the Plaza Hotel (2 blocks away). There’s also a good choice of motels up on Columbia St that are just 3 or 4 blocks away. So it’s easy to park your bike for the night and enjoy an evening at the Pig.
If you’ve decided to stay another day to experience more rides, - something I really think you should consider - then I’ve got another great highway touring ride to tell you about. Or for dual sport riders, there’s an incredible ride that will take you through the Douglas Lake Ranch on mostly gravel roads.