Friday, September 13, 2019

Summer Becomes Fall ~ Kamloops, BC

There is no place like home.  Our summer is drawing to an end with shorter cooler days but not without the same beautiful surroundings we are so fortunate to be able to enjoy no matter the season.  Perhaps my opinion is slightly biased but I don’t think I am alone.  

Mt. Paul and the Dome Hills
Mt. Paul and Mt. Peter (behind Mt. Paul) sit at this meeting of the waters on the Kamloops Indian Reserve.  The Dome Hills and Strawberry Hills sit north (left) of them.  Unfortunately, the KIB no longer give permits to hike the trails of these mountains but The Kamloops Trails blog has lots of information on all the hiking trails in our area. Not speaking from personal experience, a hiker I am not, but I’ve seen photos of how grand it looks from some of the hikes.   Click here to learn more about the trails.  

Mt. Paul and Mt. Peter from Schubert Dr.
Another view of Mt. Paul and Peter is from the North Shore across the North Thompson.  The river is high but calm at this time from the spring runoff of snow in the mountains up north of Kamloops.  We’ve passed the potential flood time without a problem and the level will get much lower as summer progresses. 

MacPark marmot
Summertime brings out the busy yellow-bellied marmot families down in MacArthur Park.  The babies come out of their hiding places at about one month old and are now running around finding their own lunch.  Hibernation takes place over the winter months, so Spring visits to the Park do not offer too many marmots to see until their doors open for the babies. 

Marmot curiosity 
I love these little fellas and enjoy getting up close and personal, although sure not this close.  Great to have the lens that allows me to take these close-ups.  Marmots are timid but curious and will come if they think you might have some food.  I’ve never fed them, it’s not a good idea and there are signs that say that, too.  

The Power of Hope
The City of Kamloops partnered up with the Kamloops Food Bank to create a fundraiser called “Locking in Hope” that we can see and enjoy. “The Power of Hope” is seen at Riverside Park where the North and South Thompson Rivers meet.  We can purchase a Hope lock, decorate it and hang it on this public art.  Learn more here.  All proceeds will go to the Kamloops Food Bank.

"Rivers" on Lorne Street 
This view is from the pedestrian bridge that crosses over the railway tracks on 3rd Avenue.  The sculpture is called ‘Rivers’ and was installed here in 2014.  This sculpture by Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas for Kamloops “recreates the moment before the North and South Thompson join and become the single Thompson River”,  Although my viewpoint is quite high, I cannot see the top of this sculpture that points to the sky.  To see and read more of this, click here.

Deer visitors
A drive through a quiet Westsyde neighborhood and what do we see?  This deer Mom and two babies.  One of the young ones quietly snuck away when we stopped to take some photos but these two thought nothing of us.  They posed for a moment then went on with their business of keeping the grass short.

Hoodoo valley
A drive along Shuswap Road on the north side of the South Thompson River, gives some great views of the hoodoos there.  Kamloops is located in the valleys created by the rivers and in a semi-arid area so hoodoos are quite common here in several locations.  Although our hills may not qualify to be called mountains, no matter what they are called, we are surrounded by great views.

View of North Shore
The name Kamloops is derived from Tk’emlups, which means the meeting of the waters.  The North Thompson meets the South Thompson here, creating Kamloops Lake a short distance west then continues on as the Thompson River from the end of Kamloops Lake in Savona until it meets the Fraser River in Lytton.

Autumn morning

The colors will soon change and the leaves will fall but in that short space of time we will be surrounded by some colorful scenes.  This photo was taken last Fall as we drove up Summit Extension and with the morning fog of a sunny day just lifting, it was such a pretty sight.

There really is no place like home!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Kamloopa Powwow ~ Tk'emlups te Secwepemc ~ Kamloops, BC

The 40th annual Kamloopa PowWow was held at the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc In Kamloops in August.  This annual event draws large crowds to enjoy and learn about the years of stories and events that are told in the many performances here.

Grand Entry
Kamloopa PowWow is one of the largest celebrations of the First Nations in Western Canada.  It begins with the Grand Entry daily with tribal flags representing them as they are being led onto the grounds of the arena. Tk’emlups Chief Rosanne Casimir will lead the groups of performers who are introduced as they enter the arena. 

Leading the Grand Entry
The details in their regalia, their special dress, is incredible.  They all have stories as historical categories and as individual creations. The making of powwow dance outfits is an art form all its own. 

Tribal dancing
Many elements included in the regalia are often associated with the ceremonial function.  Examples are eagle feathers, animal hides, bear claws and items handed down through generations. Some designs were given in dreams and visions. 

Hundreds of dancers
It can take years to build up a wardrobe for performing their dances.  These are rarely made by the dancers anymore, although some are.  They may have been passed down the generations or even part of them such as moccasins or beadwork.  The skills required to make these are varied and special.

Dancers fill the arena
Over 1000 dancers are participating with their beautiful and colorful traditional regalia and are all gathered and dancing and singing as they fill the circle arena. In years gone by, often songs were using ‘vocables’ so that the other tribes who may not know the same language could also sing along.  This may explain why I wasn’t hearing distinct words.  I believe we were hearing the same.

Princess Pageant
These beautiful ladies were competing in the Princess Pageant for 2019.  They each had their individual performance sharing expressions of their heritage using their talent or dance.  Song and dance is a great display of storytelling and their spirituality.  

Drumming contest

The drum contest is another one of many contests held throughout the Powwow.  Different dance categories are Golden Age, Men’s Buckskin, traditional, Chicken, Jingle, Grass, Fancy Feathers and Fancy Shawl.  Young and old are here to share their heritage and perform to celebrate that.

Colorful regaia

Many of the regalia seen in these photos can be identified once we know the names of the different dance categories.  When enjoying the day, the Jingle regalia can be heard coming, and the Fancy Feathers can be seen from afar.  It would be difficult to choose a favorite as each one has its beauty and special markings to be admired.

The Powwow also includes several booths with Native Arts and Crafts which can be purchase when you are there. There is absolutely no alcohol or drugs allowed on the grounds which makes for a very clean and safe atmosphere during the powwow. 

Lots of hard work was done by many creating the greatest results with the Kamloopa Powwow.  Well done to all who made this happen.

You can view other photos from another Kamloopa Powwow here.