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



Media Contact:

Monica Dickinson, Director – Industry Relations & Communications

Tourism Kamloops

P: 250.372.8000

C: 250.819.0151


Posted in Industry News

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.



For more information about your perfect Kamloops vacation, visit
Media Contact:
Monica Dickinson, Director – Industry Relations & Communications
Tourism Kamloops
P: 250.372.8000
C: 250.819.0151

Press Release | Hospitality Award Nominees Announced

For Immediate Release

2017 Tourism Kamloops Hospitality Awards Nominees Announced

February 1, 2017 –  What a turnout!  64 nominations highlighting 34 unique nominees were received by closing time on Friday, January 27th for the 1st Annual Tourism Kamloops Hospitality Awards.  The response was tremendous – from the local community to past Kamloops visitors.  
Nominations were submitted for all 4 awards categories:

  • Most Valuable Player in Food & Beverage - Sponsored by TRU Faculty of Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism 
  • Accommodation Service Captain - Sponsored by Kamloops Accommodation Association
  • Attraction Services Leader - Sponsored by go2HR
  • Top Scorer in Tourism Services - Sponsored by Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association

We’ve teamed up with the Kamloops Blazers Hockey Organization to kick off a super fun, home-grown awards program that recognizes and celebrates the best our hospitality front lines have to offer.  These individuals continuously provide exceptional customer service when welcoming and engaging with visitors to our city and inspire them to come back.

“The comments from nominators are sincere and heartfelt and reflect the exact essence we hoped these awards would represent. We are so thrilled with the time and energy the nominators put into their nominations,” says Beverley DeSantis, CEO Tourism Kamloops.

A selection committee of 5 hospitality leaders will review and score the nominations to narrow to 3 finalists which will lead to determining a final winner in each category.

Winners will be announced at an Appreciation Reception on Sunday, February 19th at 3:00pm in Sandman Centre’s Parkside Lounge followed by some hometown hockey action as the Kamloops Blazers take on the Prince George Cougars at 5:00pm.  This is a must-attend event for your whole team – an afternoon of celebration with appetizers, wine and beer tastings, live music and great networking. Tickets are on sale now for the event at for $25 per person. 

The full list of nominees is below. 


Media Contacts:
Monica Dickinson, Director – Industry Relations & Communications
Tourism Kamloops
P: 250.372.8000
C: 250.819.0151

Lisa White, Industry Relations & Communications Specialist
Tourism Kamloops
P: 250.372.8000
C: 778.257.3605

Nominations for Accommodation Service Captain          

  1. Atish Patel – Manager, Scott’s Inn & Restaurant  
  2. Babita Narayan - Housekeeping Manager, DoubleTree by Hilton Kamloops           
  3. Bonnie Stonechild - Front Desk Clerk, Accent Inns Kamloops        
  4. Carrie Siemens – Guest Service Manager, Comfort Inn & Suites Kamloops              
  5. Lisa Hoaru - Front Desk Agent, DoubleTree by Hilton Kamloops
  6. Marj Richardson - Guest Service Representative (Front Desk), Hotel 540  
  7. Michelle Thompson - Front Desk Reception/Attendant, Best Western Plus Kamloops          
  8. Michael Kowk – Front Desk Agent, Scott’s Inn & Restaurant         
  9. Paige Mittelsteadt - Front Office Manager, The Plaza Hotel            
  10. Paige Knapp - Front Desk Ambassador, Coast Kamloops Hotel    
  11. Paula Jones - Head Housekeeper, Best Western Plus Kamloops Hotel        
  12. Randy Stewart - Front Desk Agent, Howard Johnson Inn Downtown Kamloops   

Nominations for Attraction Services Leader       

  1. Brett McLeod - Senior Zookeeper, BC Wildlife Park           
  2. Correen Genshorek - Executive Assistant, Cascades Casino Kamloops      
  3. Jordan Popadynetz - Rail tours assistant and Train Manager, Kamloops Heritage Railway
  4. Marc Andre Brzustowski - Tasting Room Supervisor, Monte Creek Ranch Winery               

Nominations for Top Player in Food & Beverage Service             

  1. Aaron Perdersen - Head Cook, Joey's Seafood Restaurant               
  2. Atish Patel – Manager, Scott’s Inn & Restaurant  
  3. Brian Smit - Head Chef, The Commodore Grand Cafe & Lounge 
  4. Bruce Johnson - 1st cook, Fireside Steakhouse and Bar     
  5. Christina Welbeloved - Kitchen Supervisor, The Art We Are Cafe
  6. Claudio Klarich – Server, Citrus Restaurant @ DoubleTree by Hilton Kamloops    
  7. Danielle Campbell - Bartender, The blue grotto
  8. Ehsan Naziri - Service Manager, ATLAS Steak & Fish      
  9. Greg Hanycz – Barista, Caffe Motivo        
  10. Kalen Hutton - Asst manager/counter sales person, The Chopped Leaf     
  11. Karalyn J Mayne - Lead Server, The Plaza Hotel  
  12. Kathy Mulhall - Banquet captain, Uptown chefs/coast hotel           
  13. Mike Kowk - Burning Barrel       
  14. Romeo Oloresisimo - Head Chef, Romeo's Kitchen & Spirits/Uptown Chefs            
  15. Tamara Francis - Buffet Associate, Cascades Casino Kamloops

Nominations for Top Scorer in Tourism Services             

  1. Terri Axani - Director of First Impressions, DiVine Tours
  2. Carlo Corno - Arena Crew Leader - McArthur Island Sports Centre, City of Kamloops   

Congratulations to all the nominees!

2016 Fall Familiarization Tour Recap


2016 Fall Familiarization Tour Recaps

Throughout the year Tourism Kamloops partners with a variety of organizations and businesses to host Travel Trade guests and Media. Our goals are to gain exposure and encourage increased length of stay in Kamloops.



September 27 – Rocky Mountaineer Media Fam
A group of 14 media experiencing a trip on the Rocky Mountaineer stopped in Kamloops for a visit. Alongside our partners we hosted them for wine and food parings for an evening. They were visiting from Rocky’s top markets including Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom all writing in a variety of publications. Here is one article that has already been published as a result of the event.
Special thanks to our partners:

Terra Restaurant

Harper’s Trail Winery

Monte Creek Ranch Winery

Privato Vineyard & Winery

Kamloops Wine Trail






September 30th - October 3rd | Fall Adventures in Kamloops & Sun Peaks

In partnership with Tourism Sun Peaks, the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and Destination BC, we hosted three media from our top target markets of Vancouver, Calgary and Seattle over a period of four days. They had a full itinerary including many of the great experiences Kamloops has to offer. Here is a blog that one of the media was putting together throughout her trip.

Media Profiles:

Janet Gyenes (Vancouver)

Twitter & Instagram: @nota7bene |

Sarah Deveau (Calgary)

Twitter: @SarahDeveau |

Charles Koh (Seattle)

Twitter : @charleskoh | Instagram: @charleskoh_

Special thanks to our local partners:

Art We Are Café

Brewloops Bike Crawl & Block Party

Brownstone Restaurant

Harper’s Trail Winery

Hello Toast

Hotel 540

Kamloops Wine Trail

Monte Creek Ranch Winery

Privato Vineyard & Winery

Sagewood Winery

Paddle Surfit Stand up Paddleboarding

Tailgate Tours

TasteFull Excursions

Tranquille Farm Fresh

September 30 – October 2

In partnership with Destination BC we welcomed Bob Kronbauer from Vancouver is Awesome to experience our Brewloops Festival. He had a great time and published this article.


More Information

For more information on future Media hosting opportunities and or if you are interested in being a part of an itinerary, please email Lisa White at



September was a busy month for Tourism Kamloops and the travel trade team. We hosted 5 different familiarization tours with a total of 48 participants from 44 different companies. We had representation from markets such as: Germany, Deutschland, United Kingdom, Japan, Taiwan, China, Europe, Mexico and Spain. Through successful partnerships with Destination BC, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and Rocky Mountaineer we were able to showcase various products and attractions in Kamloops with the goal of increasing length of stay as well as including Kamloops in future itinerary planning.

Special thanks to:

Tobiano golf Course

Dunes Golf course

Hoodoos Restaurant

Four Points by Sheraton

Fireside Steakhouse

The Noble Pig

Cascades Casino Kamloops

BC Wildlife Park

Monte Creek Winery

South Thompson Inn and Conference Centre

Fairfield Inn and Suites

Kamloops Heritage Railway

Best Western PLUS

Red Collar Brew

















More Information

For more information on future Travel Trade hosting opportunities and or if you are interested in being a part of an itinerary, please email Lisa Strachan at

Press Release | Tourism Kamloops Sets New Direction

For Immediate Release

Tourism Kamloops Sets New Direction
New 5 Year Strategic Plan Approved by Tourism Kamloops Board of Directors
October 12, 2016, Kamloops, BC: The Tourism Kamloops Board of Directors has approved the organization’s new 5-year strategic plan.  Beginning July 1, 2017, Tourism Kamloops will execute the plan in alignment with the recent approval of the Municipal Regional District Tax (MRDT) renewal and the approved increase to the MRDT from  2% to 3%. 
“This plan is the result of extensive consultation and collaboration with tourism industry stakeholders. The engagement process resulted in a proactive, focused and results-driven framework addressing five key strategic platforms of performance – Innovation, Sustainability, Brand, Community & Stakeholders and Experience,” explains Beverley DeSantis, Tourism Kamloops CEO.  “Kamloops stands out amongst competing destinations. Our strategic plan ensures that Kamloops elevates its distinct position and offers visitors exactly what they are seeking in a vacation experience”.
Tourism is a necessary economic driver for Kamloops and Tourism Kamloops’ strategic plan will benefit the entire community.  Priorities within the plan emphasize the importance of building local ambassadorship, identifying opportunities for exceptional tourism experiences, developing a compelling brand that will resonate with visitors, empowering and elevating industry partners and using dynamic marketing strategies to deliver the destination’s brand. 
Tourism Kamloops will be hosting a Stakeholder Forum to unveil  the plan on Tuesday, October 18th from 3pm – 5pm at the Coast Kamloops Hotel.  This forum is open to the public and all tourism stakeholders.  Please RSVP attendance to or by phone at 250.372.8000.


Media Contacts:                                                      
Beverley DeSantis, CEO                                           
Tourism Kamloops                                                    
P: 250.372.8000                                                                 
C: 250.517.9094                                                       

Monica Dickinson, Director of Industry Relations & Communications
Tourism Kamloops
P: 250.372.8000
C: 250.819.0151


Kamloops Wineries Awarded Eight Medals at Okanagan Wine Festival B.C Wine Awards

Kamloops Wineries Awarded Eight Medals at Okanagan Wine Festival B.C Wine Awards

Kamloops, BC, October 3, 2016 – Kamloops wineries shone brightly last Thursday when the Okanagan Wine Festival announced the results of the 2016 British Columbia Wine Awards marking the kick off to the 36th annual Fall Okanagan Wine Festival now in full swing.

A panel of ten expert judges from Canada and the U.S worked for four days to determine which wines were worthy of medal recognition. Competing for that recognition were a record 624 different wines from over 90 wineries across the province.

Among this year’s entries were two Kamloops wineries which combined earned a total of eight medals. Harper’s Trail Estate Winery won a gold medal for their 2014 Pioneer Block Riesling and a silver for their 2014 Cabernet Franc. Monte Creek Ranch Winery was awarded a gold medal for their 2014 Riesling icewine, a silver for their 2014 Cabernet Merlot and handful of bronze medals for their 2014 Ranch Hand Red Reserve, 2015 Reserve Chardonnay, 2015 Hands Up White and their 2015 Hands Up Red.

“This is a tough competition and represents some of the best wines in BC,” says Kamloops Wineries Association Director, Trish Morelli. “There were a lot of wines entered and to have two local wineries win eight medals is an incredible outcome and really helps to showcase the quality product coming out of the Kamloops Thompson Valley region,” says Morelli.

Additional notable recognition for Kamloops wineries came last week with the announcement of Cornucopia’s top 20 wine awards in Whistler, BC. Judged against 167 high caliber domestic and international wines, Harper’s Trail Estate Winery was named to the esteemed top 20 list with their 2014 Pioneer Block Riesling. In the 2014 competition, another Kamloops winery, Privato was awarded the prestigious top red wine at Cornucopia with their 2012 Pinot Noir.

The award winning Kamloops wines from Harper's Trail , Monte Creek Ranch and Privato are available directly from the wineries or from select retail outlets in the province.


For more information, or wine specifications please contact:
Trish Morelli
Kamloops Wineries Association
#KamloopsWineTrail, #ExploreKamloops

Posted in Industry News

Kamloops Accommodation Industry Endorses 3% Municipal Regional District Tax

For Immediate Release

Kamloops Accommodation Industry Endorses 3% Municipal Regional District Tax

September 15, 2016, Kamloops, BC: The Kamloops accommodation industry has confidently supported a lift in Municipal Regional District Tax (MRDT) from 2% to 3% commencing July 1, 2017. With 70% of the accommodation owners representing 83% of the room inventory voting in support of the tax increase, the message is clear that increased funding to support tourism marketing is a priority.

Every five years, Tourism Kamloops in partnership with the Kamloops accommodation industry and the City of Kamloops, seek to renew the levy as a significant funding source for destination marketing led by Tourism Kamloops.

“2016 has been a banner year for tourism in Kamloops,” notes Beverley DeSantis, Tourism Kamloops CEO. “The local tourism industry has witnessed impressive increases in revenues and visitation with accommodation revenues reporting an increase of nearly 18% year to date June 2016 over the same period in 2015. In addition, we are seeing similar increases in tourism visitation through our visitor engagement initiatives of 36% year to date August 2016.”

“Additional marketing funds to Tourism Kamloops will support the industry’s desire to shift from traditional summer tourism marketing, to an emphasis on “needs period” promotion encouraging visitation to Kamloops outside of July and August. Destination and experience development initiatives will be at the forefront to building tourism experiences in the winter, spring and fall seasons,” adds Joey Beltrano, Kamloops Accommodation Association Chair.

As part of the MRDT renewal process, Tourism Kamloops along with industry partners, have undertaken a renewed strategic plan process for the next five years 2017-2022. An overview of the plan will be presented to Kamloops City Council on September 20th with the request that a bylaw be passed for the provincial government to levy the tax on their behalf. The complete application for MRDT renewal will be submitted at the end of October to ensure a seamless transition on July 1, 2017.


Media Contact:
Beverley DeSantis, CEO
Tourism Kamloops
P: 250.372.8000
C: 250.517.9094


New Public Artwork installed at Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops

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, or Craig Willms, Assistant Curator, Kamloops Art Gallery, (250) 377-2406



Posted in Industry News

Downtown Kamloops is "Alive After Five"

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


Media Contacts:

Gay Pooler
General Manager
P: 250.372.3242
C: 250.318.0184
Monica Dickinson
Director, Industry Relations & Communications
Tourism Kamloops
P: 250.372.8000
C: 250.819.0151
Posted in Press Release

Register Now for the 2016 Tourism & Hospitality Occupational Health & Safety Summit

go2HR – BC’s tourism human resource association – is pleased to host a Regional Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) Summit for the tourism and hospitality industry in BC. Join us in Kelowna as we bring this annual event to the Thompson Okanagan region.

Date: Thursday, September 29, 2016
Time: 8:30am – 3:00pm
Location: Holiday Inn Express Kelowna Conference Centre (2429 Highway 97 North, Kelowna)
Theme: Mental health in the workplace
Registration deadline: September 15, 2016

The event program includes:

  • tips on responding with respect to mental health issues and strategies and applications for the workplace
  • afternoon breakout sessions focusing on specific issues such as bullying & harassment and stress management
  • announcement of the 2017 WorkSafeBC Industry Base Rates for various tourism sectors
  • incident and injury trends and stats within the industry; what is putting your employees at risk and driving up your claim costs
  • opportunities to meet and network with your peers from the BC tourism and hospitality industry


This event is expected to fill up quickly – please register now!

Learn More or Register at