Thursday, April 21, 2016

Riverside Park in April ~ Kamloops, BC

We see the beauty of Riverside Park in Spring

Riverside Park in downtown Kamloops has been a great attraction for summertime and water activities for many years.  Our summers usually begin early and end well into September but our time spent down in the park in mid-April appeared to be rather quiet but a hot summer day.

Boats on Thompson River at Riverside Park
There is no doubt that we’ve had some great weather in past Aprils but this one seems to be breaking records for hot days and many are getting out there to enjoy those days at the local parks.

Spring growth in Riverside Park
Riverside Park was officially named in 1933 but used for many years previous to that.  The workers who were building the Canadian Pacific Railway back as far as 1885 used the park as a campsite.

Riverside Park history
This is a photo taken of Riverside Park in 1939 which shows a beautiful park down by the Thompson River and some of its’ history.  The park went through many very interesting changes over the early years and we are very fortunate to still have this beautiful gem as part of our downtown area.

Variety Kids Waterpark
The Variety Kids Waterpark has not opened yet this season, but there were some wishing that it was.  This waterpark replaced a wading pool and the Centennial Pool of long ago where many of us enjoyed spending our summer days when we were kids.  It was warmer than the river and easier for swim lessons.  I believe it was built as a celebration of the 1958 Centennial.

Lush and green Riverside Park
The park makes a great meeting place for family gatherings and picnics where the kids can play on playground equipment to waterparks and others can sit in the shade of these big old trees and enjoy their time spent at the park.  So many things happen here, like Music in the Park in July and August and Ribfest in August to just name a couple of them.

Tranquility of Riverside Park
Several events are held here every year and to see some of these celebrations of the past for the Bicentennial Day, Canada Day, special events like the MS Walk (to be held May 1, 2016)  and Remembrance Day, plus many more Summerevents, click on them to take you to that page. 

The Rivers Trail begins here
The Rivers Trail is a legacy of the 2000 Millenium.  It has a continuous trail between Westsyde and the Yellowhead Bridge which brings these neighbourhoods together and celebrates the importance of the Thompson Rivers to Kamloops.

Uji Friendship Garden
In 1990, Uji, Japan became a sister city to Kamloops and Mayor Philip Gaglardi and the mayor of Uji signed friendship agreements to enhance relationships and understandings between the citizens of both cities.  There have been many cultural exchanges done between the two cities with music, art and sports groups over the years. 

Entrance to Uji Friendship Garden
Mayor Mel Rothenburger reaffirmed this agreement with the Mayor of Uji on the tenth anniversary in 2000 and a tree was planted with Mayor Peter Milobar to commemorate the twentieth anniversary.  The Uji Friendship Garden is a favourite spot where local high school grad classes come to take their photos.

There are several areas of the Riverside Park to visit and be enjoyed including the Rose Garden, tennis courts, a concession and the pier has a great view of the Thompson Rivers with Mt. Peter and Mt. Paul as a backdrop.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Murals ~ Back Alley Art Gallery ~ Kamloops, BC

Alley murals in Kamloops, BC

Murals are a great way to tell a story or share some history and we have some talented artists in Kamloops that have contributed to the story telling with murals.

Mural in 200 Victoria St. alley
In 2010, the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association decided that the alleys of downtown Kamloops needed some cleaning up and improvement.  Murals were the answer and the Back Alley Art Gallery was born.

The Big Boot Inn mural
The Big Boot Inn has been in business for many years and is part of the history of Victoria Street.  The mural offers a display window look into the past.

Great optical illusion
Murals do improve the appearance of our downtown alleyways.  Before the murals were there, alleys were quite unsightly but they seem to keep cleaner since their addition.

Overview of Kamloops shops and the rivers and hills
The sad part is that these murals are not often seen by the locals or visitors to our city unless they are making a point of walking through the alleys. There are several other cities that have done this mural painting, as well, as it is a great way to feature some of the history of the city.

Plan a walk down the alleys between Victoria and Seymour Street on the 200 and 300 blocks the next time you are downtown and see these murals.  Share the sights with others.

Images of Marilyn Monroe

Details of mural at Castles and Cottages
I spoke with Rosie, owner of Castles and Cottages to hear what was behind her choice of this mural behind her shop.  Rosie was approached by the KCBIA a couple of years ago but she had no thoughts of what she might like until she saw the artist Kelly Wright’s picture of a mermaid.

Castles and Cottages store
Rosie’s inspiration comes from her Mediterranean ancestry, the love of the water and with Kelly’s artistic contributions led to this mystical mural with mermaids and King Neptune, mythological god of the sea.  Castles and cottages are part of this wonderful mural, too, shown in the top left corner.

Street musicians
Some murals feature the stores they are behind, others have a fantasy touch or famous actresses and others may be a story but whatever they are, we appreciate and enjoy their great addition to our alleyways.  Hopefully they continue and there will be some of our local history shared this way, too.

Venice in Kamloops
Tourism Kamloops has listed the murals as a cultural walking tour in Kamloops and you will see the addresses listed on their page.  The murals that are listed on their page include the artist’s names, as well.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

2016 Ice Hockey Women's World Championship ~ Kamloops, BC

The exciting week of  Women's World Hockey 

This past week Kamloops has been host to the 2016 Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship and what a week it was!  The world was well represented by some very talented women who worked hard to take home the gold!

Flags of each Women's hockey team
Represented by a team were Finland, Russia, United States, Czech Republic, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland and Canada.   Finland, Russia, United States and Canada were in Group A the others were Group B, based on their previous ratings.

Home to 2016 Ice Hockey Women's World Championship
Kamloops has a great reputation for the volunteers that always come out to help on these occasions and this was no exception.  There was a total of 450 volunteers involved in this week’s activities, held at the Sandman Centre and the McArthur Island Sport & Event Centre.

USA and Russia play
The referees and linesmen, which appears to be a misnomer, were an international group of women if I saw that correctly.  I did not see all games, but we were fortunate enough to watch one of the games that were played by USA and RUSSIA down at the Sandman Centre.   We saw a few more, thanks to TSN, from the comfort of our home.  These photos are of the USA and RUSSIA game.

USA dominated the scoreboard
Canada and the USA team have been competing against one another for the gold for the history of this tournament since it began in 1990.  There have been sixteen tournaments in total and this one is number seventeen.  Canada has won the gold ten times and the US won silver on those years.  The US won gold on six occasions and Canada won silver on those years.  The competition is strong.

Everyone played to win
The final game was played, as expected by Canada and the US teams.  What an incredible game.  The crowd was showing a full house of red and made lots of noise to support team Canada!  There could not have been a more exciting game played, the score after 3 periods was 0-0.  It then went into overtime.

Anthem played for winning team
The final game was played into overtime.  The goalies from each team were definitely the stars of the game but all players played their hearts out and did a great job of trying to win the gold.  The winning goal was scored at 12.5 minutes into overtime by team USA to take home the gold and Canada won the silver.

Emerance Maschmeyer of Alberta, the goalie for team Canada, made 33 saves in this final game.  She was named the top goaltender by the International Ice Hockey Federation directorate for the tournament.  This young woman was amazing for her first start in this world tournament.  Alex Rigsby of team USA made 32 saves in this game and was an awesome goalie for her team.

This was a job well done by all who participated in this great tournament, players and volunteers. 

                         Way to go, Kamloops, BC!