Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tomato Festival ~ Farmers Market ~ Kamloops, BC

Saturday morning means Farmers Market for many in Kamloops and this Saturday was no exception.  The weather was perfect with sunshine and great temperatures to visit the market and all that is going on, including the Tomato Festival.
A sign for Farmers Market is over the entrance to the Stuart Wood school
Farmers Market in Kamloops, BC
Kamloops is known for its cattle industry, among others but did you know it was once known for the tomato industry?  For over 50 years, locally grown tomatoes and the canning industry were very important in Kamloops. 
Many people at the Farmers Market gather for the tomato festival
Crowds gather for the tomato festival in Kamloops
Many gathered to visit the second annual Tomato Festival held at the Farmer’s Market.  This is a fundraiser for the TRU Friends of the Garden and focusing on the fact that tomatoes play a major role in our agricultural history, it sounds like a perfect fit.

The judges are at the table with the entrants for the tomato festival
Judges Maria Valana and Shirley Wells
The judges Maria Valana, Shirley Wells and Ernest Philips had the challenge of determining the winners of the 60 varieties of tomatoes, some of which I had never seen before. Who knew there were so many varieties of tomatoes?
several people line up to do the taste test of tomatoes
Sampling the varieties of tomatoes
A donation given allowed visitors to taste the varieties on display and there was a steady stream of them ready to taste those delicious looking tomatoes.  For an added donation, visitors were able to sample tomato recipes from restaurants in the area, as well. There were several experts on hand to answer questions about gardening or preserving the tomatoes, a perfect opportunity to learn as they are the ones with the answers.
A table of tomatoes on display for samplimg
60 varieties of tomatoes offered for sampling
The areas we now know as Brocklehurst and North Kamloops were once mainly orchards and for added income the orchardists would grow vegetables between the rows of trees.  During the early 1900’s the best way to preserve these foods was canning so by 1915 a cannery opened in North Kamloops and by 1917 it was canning 20,000 tins of Kamloops tomatoes per year.

Varieties of tomatoes show entrants for the competition
Entants in the Tomato Festival in Kamloops
Until the mid ‘50s, food processing was the third largest industry in BC after forestry and mining and Kamloops had two of the 15 tomato canneries of BC.  The industry had several changes in Kamloops over those years and the last cannery, owned by the Skelly family closed in 1959 after 44 years of operation.
Table full of flowers in vases and lots of honey for sale
Honey and Flowers for sale at the Farmers Market
Several other vendors participate weekly in the Farmer’s Market and the crowds are able to take advantage of locally grown produce, flowers and other special foods.  This sunny day made it even better to enjoy all that is offered at the market.  More information on the Farmers Market is given in a post from the past.
The school yard is filled with tents of vendors selling their wares
Vendors at Farmers Market in Kamloops
There are several vendors with their talents on display and for sale from art to jewelry to Sandi’s Biscotti and more.  It is great to know that there are so many talented people that makes it possible to buy locally and support our economy.  The Farmers Market has long been a way for them to be known and a great opportunity for new artists, too.

The vendors tents shown on St. Paul St.
Overview of Farmers Market on St. Paul St. in Kamloops, BC
It is difficult to find information on the Kamloops canning industry of the past but I did find an article in “Kamloops, One Hundred Years of Community 1893-1993”.  John Stewart, the author of “The Rise and Fall of the Canning Industry in Kamloops” had some great information that I referred to for this blog.

A great place to visit in Kamloops and another reason to say there is no place like home.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Terry Fox Run ~ Kamloops, BC ~ 2012

No matter where we go in Canada, everyone knows the name Terry Fox and what he stands for. He was a young man dealing with cancer who decided he should run across Canada to raise awareness about cancer, little did he know what an amazing effect he would have on the people of Canada as well as the whole world.
Three photos of different monuments of Terry Fox
Canadian monuments of Terry Fox
We have visited Terry Fox monuments on our travels. This includes a sight we once saw while travelling north of Kamloops on the Yellowhead Highway which is Mount Terry Fox in the Selwyn Range of the Canadian Rockies. There is also a Mount Terry Fox Provincial park and they’re both just outside of Valemount, BC. 
the statue is at the tourist stop near Thunder Bay, Ontario
Terry Fox Monument in Thunder Bay, Ontairo
We especially enjoyed the monument in Thunder Bay, Ontario which marks the spot that Terry had to end his run due to the return of his cancer.  The monument includes the names of all the provinces in Canada and it is an incredible statue that shows the determination he had on his face.  Click here to see more on that monument.
The students do some warm-up activities before the run.
Dufferin Elementary students, Kamloops, BC
The kids at Dufferin Elementary, as many other schools in the district, held a ‘Toonies for Terry’ event and collect toonies and had a run on Friday to raise awareness, as well.  They had a warm up led by one of the student’s mom and this got them all ready for their run, most of them dressed in red.

students race across the field for their run
Dufferin Elementary students run for the Terry Fox Run, Kamloops, BC
Then they were off!! They’ve been practicing for this day and are all enthusiastic to go.  The kids have a route they use that includes a run up the hill behind the school then back. They’re still collecting toonies so a total wasn’t in yet. Way to go, Dufferin Elementary!
the crowd gathers at the bandshell
Terry Fox Run begins at Riverside Park Bandshell
Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012 marked the 32nd annual Terry Fox run. Terry began his Marathon of Hope in 1980 at 21 years of age and ran for 143 days covering 5,373 km (3339 miles).  His legacy continues and over $600 million dollars has been raised for cancer research from the many Terry Fox runs and fundraisers held throughout the world since that time.
Tables are set up for registration of participants
Registration for the Terry Fox Run, Kamloops, BC
The crowd was gathering and submitting their donations and who their run was in memory for. There was help from the Kamloops Blazers as well as the TRU athletes. Peter Olsen, a local radio announcer and photographer, gave a heartfelt talk about his own battle with cancer and how important the Terry Fox run and its’ contributions are to the cause. There were 367 participants and $15,600 was raised in Kamloops. 
Doing the warm-up dance before the walk
Councilor Cavers and athletes warm-up on stage in Kamloops, BC
The stage was filled with the athletes, volunteers and joined by others including Councilor Donovan Cavers for their warm up, which seemed to entertain them as well! Councilor Cavers blasted the starting horn to begin the Terry Fox Run and the crowd was on their way.
showing their Terry Fox t-shirts and hats
Mo and Joy Aboussafy, Kamloops, BC
Sitting for a rest, Mr. & Mrs. Aboussafy proudly wear the t-shirts they have had since the first Terry Fox run was held in Coquitlam, where they lived at the time.  They’ve preserved their shirts and worn them as they have participated in all but one of those runs ever since.
amazing tribute to Terry Fox in Thunder Bay, Ont
Terry Fox Monument~Thunder Bay, Ontario
We can thank Terry Fox for raising the universal awareness of cancer, we can thank the many volunteers who make this special event happen every year and we can thank all those who contribute to the cause. We must especially thank the volunteers like April Buder, the event coordinator in Kamloops since 1996 who have spent many years dedicated to this cause.

Once again, as I read about his life and journey, I am overwhelmed by the story of this young man who has such an impact on our lives. I have also written other pages on Terry Fox so click here and here if you wish to see and read more about this young Canadian hero.

Another great day and reason to say there is no place like home.