Expanding Communities Now
We are honoured to host the 2018 Provincial Conference in Merritt!
The theme for this year’s conference is Expanding Communities Now!
Conventional wisdom states that the rural economy is in decline due to changes in the modern economy. As an example: traditional rural industries are shrinking, mainstay activities like farming need fewer people as they become more efficient, there is often poor broadband and mobile connectivity and limited transport services that further exaggerate the distance between rural communities and their potential markets.
How can our rural communities use connectivity and technology to flourish and produce maximum impact but at the same time protect their natural resources? How can we be innovative entrepreneurs without launching a car into space? Innovation just means making changes in our methods, ideas or products to stay ahead of the curve.
The theme for our conference is “Expanding Communities Now”. We will discuss how to best utilize Technology and Innovation while we work in collaboration with our youth and indigenous people to grow our rural communities.
About Our Speakers
About our Speakers
Jim Harris is one of North America’s foremost management consultants, authors and thinkers on change and leadership and travels the globe to work with international companies.
Jim is the principal at Strategic Advantage where he works with organizations to address issues of most concern to executives: leadership, change, Customer Relationship Management, and creating learning organizations.
Jim speaks internationally at more than 40 conferences a year on topics including innovation and creativity, customer relationship management (CRM), eLearning, creating learning organizations, environmental leadership, energy efficiency, strategic planning, and creating common organizational mission and vision. Association magazine ranked him as one of the North America’s top speakers.
Jim’s engaging delivery provides research, statistics and great visuals to drive this home in an entertaining way. His thought-provoking presentations challenge audiences to think in new ways. He is strategic and results – focused, with insightful business savvy customized to each group, and his approach to working with partners is “win-win”.
To learn more about Jim Harris, please visit the website
Roger Brooks is a Certified Speaking Professional; Roger’s enthusiasm inspires and empowers audiences to achieve their highest aspirations. He is extraordinarily dynamic and also very funny, combining humorous video clips and fascinating real-life stories, while providing steps, rules and ingredients-bottom line solutions – that every audience member can implement today to make a positive difference tomorrow.
Over the past 35 years, Roger and his team have assisted more than 1,500 communities and travel-industry organizations around the world with their branding, product development, and marketing efforts.
A former board member of the U.S. Travel Association and author of the popular book “Your Town: an amazing Destination – The 25 Immutable Rules of Successful Tourism”, Roger has become one of the world’s most popular keynote speakers and authorities in the travel industry.
To learn more about Roger Brooks visit the website
Eric Termuende is founder of the DRYVER Group., a consultancy focused on the attraction and retention of top talent. Eric has been featured in Forbes and the Huffington Post, and in 2015, Eric was recognized as a Top 100 Emerging Innovators under 35 globally by American Express. He sat as Community Integration Chair for Global Shapers Calgary, a community that functions under the World Economic Forum.
Eric is a former Canadian G20 YEA Delegate, representing Canada in Sydney in 2014. In 2016, Eric spoke at TEDxBCIT in Vancouver giving his presentation entitled ‘Bigger than Work’. Eric has worked and spoken with clients across the world. His new book, Rethink Work is now available on Amazon. Eric continues to receive resoundingly positive reviews from clients and is amazing at customizing presentations to specific groups.
To learn more about Eric and his presentations, please visit the website
The hotel rooms have been blocked for the 13th, 14th, and 15th of September 2018. If you need additional nights, please contact our office to make other arrangements. To take advantage of these early bird rates, please make your reservation before May 31st, 2018.
3713 De Wolf Way, Merritt, BC V1K 1C4 – 2.8 km. to Merritt Civic Centre
• Single King/Queen/ $115;
• 2 Queens/2 double beds/rooms with kitchens $125; and
• Full Hotel Breakfast is included in these rates.
When calling to make your reservation, please mention the group rate code “CommunityFutures”.
• Single King/Queen/ $129.99;
• 2 Queens/2 Double beds/ $129.99; and
• Full Hotel Breakfast is included in these rates;
To make your reservation, please go to the following link: https://www.bestwestern.com/en_US/book/hotel-rooms.62132.html?groupId=G21PB1Z2
Registration will open on March 19, 2018. There will be early bird pricing; please make sure we receive your registrations before April 19, 2018. Our registration package will be available by March 19, 2018.
Merritt Civic Centre
1950 Mamette Ave, Merritt, BC V1K 1B8
This conference centre is located next to City Hall.
101 Things to Do in Merritt and the Nicola Valley
101 Things to Do in Merritt and the Nicola Valley
Looking for something to do as the days of summer start to count down? Check out these activities to keep you and your family busy!
Nicola Valley Museum & Archives: “Visit the past without a time machine!" A place full of history, interesting facts about Merritt, and visually appealing interactive displays.
The Baillie House: The Ballie House is not only a historic site in Merritt, but also the local stop for Visitors Information. With a gift shop, free refreshments, and a great backyard to have lunch at, it is no wonder the Baillie House is ranked in the top 3 for “Things to Do in Merritt” by Trip Advisor.
The Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame: A great place to spend an afternoon touring around the historic building among iconic Canadian country music artists.
Country Legend Murals: These murals are located throughout the community representing legendary country musicians. Most murals are of artists whom have performed in the beautiful City of Merritt itself during past country festivals.
Walk of Stars: The Walk of Stars is an initiative to display the handprints of musicians who performed at the iconic Merritt Mountain Music Fest over the 18 years the event was in Merritt. More than 100 bronze stars are located in plaques throughout the community.
Merritt Golf & Country Club: This golf course is centrally located in Merritt on Juniper Drive. It includes a gorgeous golf course and tennis courts!
Nicola Valley Rod & Gun Club Target Range: Need a place to practice your aim for hunting season, or looking to learn how to safely use firearms? Visit Nicola Valley Rod & Gun Club Target Range promoting conservation since 1960!
Bird Watching: Merritt and the Nicola Valley have some of the most beautiful sceneries for bird watching. A great place for viewing some rare bird species is near Beaver Ranch located approximately 35km north of Hwy. 5A. There are close to 200 different species of birds in the Nicola Valley including: Williamson's Sapsuckers, Common Snipes, Great Blue Herons, Osprey, and more!
A Lake a Day as Long As You Stay: The Nicola Valley is packed full of lakes, rivers, and fish! With most lakes within 100 km of the City of Merritt, the city acts as a hub for anglers and visitors alike. With over 100 lakes just a short distance away, there is so much adventure to be had. Make Merritt, BC your next fishing destination!
Biking and Hiking Trails: With numerous mountain biking and hiking trails, the Nicola Valley welcomes you the get outside and play with us. If hiking and biking are your passions, trails proliferate throughout the region, from the ambling strolls alongside lakes to challenging back-country routes.
How to get to Merritt
How to get to Merritt
Merritt is located at the crossroads of several highways and along the Ranchlands & Rivers driving route. It is relatively close to three commercial airports. Therefore, reaching town by vehicle from various locations throughout BC or by air is easy.
Merritt is a three-hour drive from Vancouver and a 45-minute drive from Kamloops.
From Vancouver, take Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway) to Hope, where there are two choices for Merritt access: the Coquihalla Highway or Highway 1 Eastbound. Highway 1 winds along the equally dramatic Fraser Canyon and through the Thompson Valley to Spences Bridge, where Highway 8 connects to Merritt. Either route is well maintained year-round.
From Kamloops, Highway 5 provides a direct route into Merritt. An alternate route is along Highway 5A that winds past several small lakes and between rolling desert hills, past several historic ranches and along Nicola Lake. To reach Merritt from Kelowna, drive south along Highway 97 until reaching Peachland. Continue on Highway 97C (Okanagan Connector) to Merritt.
Our two closest airports are Kamloops Airport (YKA) and Kelowna International Airport (KLW). Also, car rentals are available at each airport. You may choose to fly to into either Kamloops or Kelowna and drive to Merritt (about an hour drive).
Airlines flying to Kelowna: WestJet, Air Canada, Pacific Coastal, Central Mountain Air and Flair Airlines.
Airlines flying to Kamloops: Air Canada, Central Mountain Air, and WestJet.
How to get to Merritt from the Kootenays, Northwest Region and Vancouver Island/Coastal
By Car: Drive 5 hrs. 45 min. through Kelowna or through Princeton
By Plane: Flying from Castlegar Airport to Vancouver or Calgary, transfer to Kelowna or Kamloops: Air Canada, WestJet, Central Mountain Air and Flair Airlines
Flying direct from Cranbrook Airport to Kelowna Airport with Pacific Coastal Airlines or transfer in Vancouver or Calgary to Kelowna or Kamloops with Air Canada or WestJet
Drive 3 hrs 30 min through Kelowna, Penticton or Princeton.
By Car: Drive 5hrs. 30min through Kelowna, Penticton or Princeton
By Plane: Flying from Trail Airport direct to Kelowna Airport or Kamloops Airport with Pacific Coastal Airlines or transfer to Vancouver or Calgary to Kelowna or Kamloops Airport with Air Canada, WestJet, Central Mountain Air and Flair Airlines
From Terrace airport, transfer in Prince George with Central Mountain Air or WestJet to Kelowna airport or Kamloops airport.Or transfer in Vancouver with Air Canada, WestJet, or Central Mountain Air to Kelowna airport or Kamloops airport.
From Queen Charlotte
From Sandspit airport transfer in Vancouver airport to Kelowna or Kamloops airports with Air Canada, WestJet, or Pacific Coastal
From Prince Rupert
From Prince Rupert Airport transfer in Vancouver airport with Air Canada to Kamloops or Kelowna airports with Air Canada, WestJet, or Flair Airlines
Fly from Smithers Airport transfer to Vancouver or Prince George airports with Air Canada, WestJet, Central Mountain Air, or Flair Airlines
From Dawson Creek
Fly from Dawson Creek Airport transfer in Prince George Airport to Kamloops or Kelowna airports with WestJet or Central Mountain Air or transfer in Vancouver with Air Canada, WestJet, Central Mountain Air, or Flair Airlines to Kamloops or Kelowna airports
From Vanderhoof, Prince George, Quesnel and Williams Lake
By Car: Drive 6hr 30min from Prince George, 5 hrs from Quesnel and 3 hrs 30 min from Williams Lake via BC-97 S and BC-97C.
By Plane: Fly from Prince George airport direct to Kelowna or Kamloops airport with Central Mountain Air or transfer in Vancouver with Air Canada or WestJet
Vancouver Island / Coastal
From Nuu-chah-nulth, Squamish, Port Alberni, Nanaimo and Duncan
Fly from Vancouver or Victoria airports direct to Kelowna or Kamloops airports with Air Canada, WestJet, Flair Airlines or Pacific Coastal
From Port McNeill
Fly from Port Hardy and transfer in Vancouver or Victoria to Kelowna or Kamloops airports with Pacific Coastal, Air Canada or WestJet
From Campbell River Airport
Fly with Air Canada or Pacific Coastal and transfer in Vancouver to Kelowna or Kamloops airports with Pacific Coastal, Air Canada or WestJet