Saturday, June 30, 2012

Canada Day ~ July 1 ~ National Flag


The Maple Leaf flag was first raised on February 15, 1965 in Ottawa, Ontario and is now seen all over the world as Canadians wave their flags.
Several flags of Canada flying in the wind in Vancouver
The National flag of Canada flies in Vancouver, BC 
“The flag is the symbol of the nation’s unity, for it, beyond any doubt, represents all the citizens of Canada without distinction or race, language, belief or opinion."
Honorable Maurice Bouget, Speaker of the Senate ~ February 15, 1965
A boat is covered with Canadian flags, passes by as a float in the parade.
Blind Bay Parade, July 1, 2011
July 1st is the anniversary of the date that Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain in 1867.  We celebrated Dominion Day until 1982 until it was officially named Canada Day in 1983.  The special day is celebrated across Canada and beyond and the flag can be seen in all shapes and sizes to show our pride and colors. 
Ship called Osprey 2000 flies the National Flag of Canada
Osprey 2000 on Kootenay Lake, BC
The flag is a symbol of pride and honor and should be treated with respect and take precedence over all other national flags flown in Canada.  The only ones to take precedence over these would be for Royal Family members or Her Majesty’s 11 representatives in Canada.

Soldiers stand behind the flags for the ceremony of Portraits of Honor
Portrait of Honor, Kamloops, BC
 When flown with other flags, the National Flag of Canada should be in the center of a combination.  This special display was during the ceremony for the Portraits of Honor in 2011 held in Riverside Park.
The flags for the Aboriginal, British Columbia and Canada all fly
Aboriginal Days in Kamloops, BC
 Flag etiquette is not governed by legislation but by an established practice over the years.  The etiquette information is here if you wish to check it out, but showing respect could be the number one rule.
The Shriners carry the flags in the parade includine the National flag of Canada
Shriners Parade in Kamloops, BC
When the National Flag is raised or lowered or carried past in a parade, all present should face the flag, men should remove their hats and all should remain silent.  Those in uniform should salute.  
The Pipe Band plays in the parade being led by those carrying flags.
Santa Claus Parade in Kamloops, BC
 Red and white have been the official colors of Canada since they were appointed by King George V in 1921.  This Santa parade also had another great symbol of red and white appear when Santa Claus went by, and that symbol began much earlier than 1921. 
The Canadian flag welcomes Canadians to this park in the USA
Flag of Canada flies in the USA
During our visits to the U.S. we often see our Canadian flag flown alongside the American flag to welcome us there.  It always gives me a special sense of pride to see our flag in another country, showing the ‘welcome mat’ and I’ve taken photos of many of them.
The flag was flying to celebrate July 1 at a family gathering.
The National Flag of Canada at Kamloops Lake
We may not be flag-wavers like other countries are, but we do have great pride in this great country we call home and July 1 is one time that we do show our patriotism and wave our flags high. 

Grandson wears the hat
Kamloops will celebrate July 1 with culture, art, music and festivities being celebrated.  The day begins with a Lions Pancake breakfast and ends the day with a fireworks display after dark.    Don’t forget the free concerts begin July 1 with Music in the Park from 7 – 8:30pm.  All of this takes place in Riverside Park.  See you there!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Aboriginal Day ~ McDonald Park ~ Kamloops, BC

Aboriginal Days were founded to recognize the culture and the contribution the First Nations, Metis and Inuit make to society. The Metis are now recognized by every level of government as being a nation. Aboriginal Day was declared in 1996 and has since been celebrated in many parts of the country.
The sign of McDonald Park with the tents and booths set up across the park.
Aboriginal Days celebrated at McDonald Park in Kamloops, BC
Many regions already celebrated the Summer Solstice because it holds specific meaning that it is the longest day of the year when the sun is at it’s highest peak in the northern hemisphere and also time for the first harvest.  It now holds a much more symbolic significance to the Metis since the declaration of Aboriginal Days. 
The three flags are displayed standing tall.
The flags of the Metis, British Columbia and Canada
The Blue Metis national flag is an infinity symbol, which looks like a sideways eight.  This signified the joining of two cultures and the existence of a people within the political and military force of the Metis going back as early as 1816.

Tents, pelts, drums and set up for all to see
Teepees and other traditional items are displayed at Aboriginal Days in Kamloops
Canada’s Metis have their own language and flag and are the only mixed blood people in the world to be considered a nation.  We are here with many for the celebration of Aboriginal Days and appreciate what it means at McDonald Park on this day of Summer Solstice.

posters to illustrate the organization
 Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services
The Metis family is a support system to help build healthy Metis communties based on their traditional family values.  They have the support of the Ministry of Children and Family Development, the Metis Commission for Children and Families of BC as well as  members of the local Metis community. 
There are several displays with the teepee to show what they may have looked like in those days of teepees.
Dreamweavers and dried pelts displayed for Aboriginal Days in McDonald Park
The Interior Metis Child and Family Services officially became Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services in March 2012.  Michif is the language of the Metis and otipemisiwak means people who own or govern themselves, a term originating from the Cree.  
Young dancer in costume stands on a grassy area practicing his moves.
Young dancer awaits his turn at Aboriginal Day in McDonald Park
Interior Health funds the Michif Community Kitchen that has educational guided field trips to learn how to find and prepare food then also teaches meal preparations that include traditional foods. 
Several drums sit on the grass with tools
Instruments of the Metis drummer
The Michif Writing Workshop brings the elders to share their life experiences to the youth.  This is just one program available that will help to continue on the traditions of the past.   This is necessary to make sure their stories are not lost but remain and are taught in the form of songs, poems, stories and drawings. 
They gathered for lunch and the afternoon dancing performances.
Hundreds were there to enjoy Aboriginal Days in Kamloops, BC
The City of Kamloops is supplying funds to help create the Wall of Honour to celebrate the lives of some of the extraordinary elders in this community. Projects such as these will help teach the young about their ancestry and broaden the understanding of their culture.

To learn more about the Metis and their culture or any programs mentioned here you may wish to participate in, click here for more information and their location.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thompson River ~ Spring Runoffs ~ Oak Hills ~ Kamloops, BC

Kamloops means ‘the meeting of the waters’, so named from the Shuswap word Tk’emlups.  The North and South Thompson Rivers meet here, bringing with them the spring run-off of the melting snow from points beyond as well as the rising water levels due to the rains of June.

The view shows where the river meets with Mt. Paul in the background
 North and South Thompson Rivers meet in Kamloops, BC

The rivers give us a wonderful source of water for practical reasons and pleasure for most of the year but during the month of June, one thing it also brings is the high water level, dependent on the weather of which we have no control.  
The Thompson river at Riverside park is nearing flood levels.
South Thompson River at Riverside Park
During high water times, the expanse of the North and South Thompson Rivers can look like a lake but it still has the currents of the river so it is deceiving to see and boat on.  The rivers carry plenty of debris and so this time of year is not good for boating, best to wait until the water recedes to have that kind of fun. 
Mt. Paul and Peter are seen from the Riverside Park in Kamloops
Mt. Paul and Peter across the Thompson River from Riverside Park, Kamloops, BC
 The sandy beach that is part Riverside Park in the summer is underwater at this time of year.  Several sandy beaches that line the rivers will be appearing within a couple of weeks but for this time, we can sit on the benches that line the walkway and enjoy the view of the water from here.
The magpie leaves the tree at MacArthur Island on the Thompson River
A magpie takes flight over the Thompson River
 A nice sunny November day in McArthur Island shows the low level of the Thompson River and the wide sandy beaches that can be seen across the river.  The river normally covers most of this sand during the summer months but there is enough to enjoy sitting on the beach on a hot sunny day in most areas. 
The Thompson River from McArthur Island viewpoint, Kamloops, BC
 This same view shows the river at a high point during June that puts us in flood warning. We’ve been there before and will be there again.  The precautions have grown over the years and the risk of some of the flooding has decreased, but caution needs to be practiced while visiting anywhere close to the water’s edge.
The low water at McArthur Island on this November day.
Great Heron and the ducks swim at McArthur Island, Kamloops, BC
 The same day in November the ducks and the Blue Heron enjoy the water, little more than a puddle that sits in the slough, normally used for the boat launching at McArthur Island.  The river looks like a stream running past the puddle and between the big sandy beaches as we look towards Thompson Rivers University.
High water in the Slough of McArthur Island in Kamloops, BC
The Thompson River  Slough of McArthur Island in Kamloops, BC
This day in June shows that the puddle at the boat launch has grown and a lone duck floats out there.  I sure hope his nest was not flooded out as the river rose in the slough, there is no doubt that the rising waters have an effect on riverfront homes as well as the homes of the local critters and fowl. 
The marmots watch the pedestrians walk by likely hoping for food.
Curious marmots at McArthur Island
 There are several marmot families living at McArthur Island and it is always fun to see then scurry about.  They would definitely have some flooding issues so hopefully they are all wise enough to move to higher levels before that occurs.  Our family can certainly sympathize with them.
We are loading boats with our household goods after the house was flooded in Oak Hills flood of 1972
Oak Hills flood of 1972
It was June 1972 and the dike at Oak Hills broke one afternoon and let the North Thompson River flood our homes and cover our streets and yards.  We were all very fortunate that only material goods were lost and repairs could be made to, in our case,  our brand new home.  We had the help of friends and family to take our pets and remaining dry articles to safety before the possibility of more damage could be done. 
The flood in Oak Hills in 1972 covered the roads and boats were used.
Boating down Sandpiper Drive in 1972
The river was high and our house was filled with water so you do what you have to do! The only way to get around the subdivision was by boat and there were plenty of boats and helping hands arriving to assist everyone who lived there.   Fortunately the subdivision was not yet fully developed, this ‘lake’ was where the Oakhills School now sits as we boat our way to dry land. 
This was one very big Kamloops community effort of neighbors helping neighbors. 
I only hope the marmots have the same kind of friends and neighbors and that everyone in their family is safe, too.

There’s just no place like home. 

“As a result of the 1972 flood disaster on the North Thompson and other BC rivers, the Province embarked on a program to map the flood plains of many rivers throughout the province. This work led to the construction of a number of major dykes built to protect the lands from large floods. The Oak Hills subdivision in northern Kamloops lies behind one such major dyke.”   

Monday, June 18, 2012

Royal Canadian Mounted Police ~ Memorial Ceremony ~ Kamloops, BC

Fifty years ago today, I was sitting in a Grade 9 classroom at Kamloops High School and I remember the announcement that said we would remain inside the school due to a shooting.  The impact of hearing that was one I have remembered well, especially after hearing the whole story, one very few would forget. Three RCMP were killed that day by a troubled man for reasons unknown. 

the Pipe Band leads the RCMP parade down Battle Street in Kamloops.
RCMP Memorial Parade

Today, those three young RCMP Cst. Joseph Keck, Cst.Gordon Pedersen and Cst.Donald Weisgerber were remembered by RCMP troops from across the country and the people of Kamloops who gathered to honor their memory and the families that were left behind.

the RCMP continues down the street dressed in formal wear
RCMP in red serge uniforms
The ceremony began with the parade of the RCMP in their formal red serge as well as other units represented being led by the Pipe Band as they marched from St. Paul and 6th Avenue around the block to arrive in front of the RCMP detachment office where the service would be held. 
Officers exchange salutes as the others stand at attention
The RCMP officers perform formalities of the parade
 The sight, although solemn in nature was impressive to see in the formal dress of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as they marched around the block, leading the families of the slain officers riding in the vintage cars following behind.
RCMP line the red carpet with the MC at the podium
Staff Sergeant Grant Learned at the podium
The families of these young men were well represented today and that is also a testament to the kind of men they were as individuals, not only as RCMP as they protected the people of Kamloops on that day 50 years ago. Staff Sergeant Grant Learned was the MC for the service and the rows of these RCMP officers lined the red carpet walk that the families used to enter and leave the service.
RCMP and guests sit under the tents and listen to the mayor's address
Mayor Peter Milobar at the podium
 There were dignitaries there to represent the city of Kamloops and Mayor Peter Milobar spoke for them.  Hymns were sung and prayers were said.  Bagpipes offer a special feeling to songs played for these occasions and seem to add to the emotion of such events.  
The Last Post is played while the crowd listens
The Last Post is played
The Last Post was played on the bugle, reminding us of the nature of the occasion as it is played to commemorate those who have been killed in the line of duty, as the flag flies at half mast.  
The monument with names of fallen RCMP is called the Wall of Honour
The Wall of Honour
 Wreaths and roses were placed on the Wall of Honor by family members and a minute of silence was respected and then Reveille was played by Lisa Landry on the bugle. The Wall of Honour sits in front of the Kamloops detachment and also includes names of four others that were killed in the line of duty. 
The RCMP parade leaves the ceremony while the families watch
The RCMP depart
As the families lined the right side of the street, we all watched the Royal Canadian Mounted Police march past them, and when the command was given for “eyes right” it was with a lump in my throat that I watched these young men pay their respect to the families of those we were there to remember.  

Thank-you to all RCMP who risk their lives every day in order to protect us.  Thank-you also to their families who support their duties, we pray all will remain safe.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer in Sun Peaks ~ Kamloops, BC ~ Canada

We know that Sun Peaks is an award winning ski destination resort with all the benefits that these accolades bring with it, right in our own back yard, but do we know what it has to offer during the summer months?  Let's take a look at summer in Sun Peaks Resort.

Part of the village is seen at the base of the ski hill on Tod Mountain.
Summer view of the ski hill at Sun Peaks Resort
The summer season begins slowly with the flowers blooming and the resort comes to life again after the quiet time following the winter wonderland for downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing and other wonderful celebrations there.  This is a perfect time for many to just view the sights and enjoy the quiet of this mountain gem. 
The hotels and restaurants on quiet streets at Sun Peaks
Village of Sun Peaks Resort, Kamloops, BC
We wandered the streets finding very few people at this time but some restaurants and shops were open for our dining or shopping interests.  The tour buses, a big part of the tourism traffic for the summer will bring visitors up to enjoy Sun Peaks, too. 
The summer brings out the deer to enjoy the green grass below the chairlift.
The deer graze at the bottom of the ski hill at Sun Peaks
 The Sunburst chair lift will open  June 29th until Sept.3rd for hiking and biking or just enjoying the alpine wildflowers on Tod Mountain.  The Alpine Blossom Festival is happening August 4th and 5th and there will be lots of fun stuff for the kids to do on climbing walls, bouncy castle, kid’s zone, with lots of entertainers and performers for the young right up to the not-so-young and all those in between.
Tod Mountain and several ski runs can be seen behind the village during the summer months
Tod Mountain is the view from the village of Sun Peaks Resort
 The Summer Kick-off weekend has entertainment and activities for all ages,  and those that are 19 years and older can participate in the Mountain of Beer and Chile Cook-off.  Check the calendar here to see all the activities planned. 
The path from the golf course leads across the covered walking bridge to the village of Sun Peaks.
The village from the Sum Peaks Golf Course
 The biggest news for the summer events has to be that Kevin Costner and Modern West will be performing a free concert in the Sun Peaks Village on July 7, 2012.  This concert is just part of the celebrations planned for the 5th Annual Wine and Culture Festival. To learn more about the free concert or the packages offered at Sun Peaks during this weekend, click here and check it all out.  You could be rubbing elbows with Kevin Costner!
This shows one hold on the golf course that meanders across the mountain.
The Sun Peaks Golf Course
Sun Peaks Resort also offers an 18 hole golf course on the mountain.  The course opened June 1 so is in full swing (: no pun intended) for the summer.  There are plenty of activities for everyone on the mountain and they hold a Farmer’s Market every Sunday 9:30am to 1:30pm from July 1st to Sept. 9th. 
The banners hang on posts above the street to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of Tod Mountain skiing.
Sun Peaks celebrates 50 years at Tod Mountain
 The season 2011-2012 was a big celebration for Sun Peaks Resort. Tod Mountain offered their first ride up the Burfield 50 years ago in 1961 and grew slowly adding other ski runs on Sundance and Morrisey over the years.  It became Sun Peaks in 1992 and has continued to grow and develop. 

Take some time this summer to enjoy what we have close to home at the Sun Peaks Resort and you may be surprised to learn that not only is it a world class ski hill but a wonderful summer retreat, as well. 

There is just no place like home.