Magical, Mystical & Legends 7th Annual Community Arts Show!

Community Art Show Poster

We are excited to present our 7th Annual Community Arts Show. Join us for our Reception Saturday Feb 2nd from 4-6pm. The Courthouse Gallery is located in the Olde Courthouse Arts Centre at 1840 Nicola Avenue. Our hours are: Thursday 4-8pm and Friday and Saturday from noon until 6pm. You can contact us at:

PO Box 2762, Merritt, BC V1K 1B8 …. Phone: 250-378-6515 or check us out at: or you can catch us on Facebook.

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Maritime Night: Fundraiser for the Navy Cadets & Goodbye Brigdens Party this Saturday!

When: Sat, May 5 @ 6pm
Where: Culture Club (2058 Granite Ave)

Join the Navy Cadets as they fundraise for their programs and activities! Saturday’s event will also be a farewell party to the Brigden’s who are leaving the sunny Nicola Valley. Tickets are $15/each (adults only) and will include a wonderful fish & chips dinner and entertainment.

Art on Ice Press Release

November 7, 2011
For Immediate Release

To celebrate the new hockey season, the Courthouse Gallery and the Nicola Valley Arts Council present “Art on Ice.” Opening November 18 and running through December 16.

A seeming departure from the usual shows at the gallery, this show features hockey photography and memorabilia. Come and see the artistry that is hockey. Witness the grace and elegance of the players as you’ve never seen them before. Relive the power, determination, and raw beauty of the players through the lens of a hockey fan.

The photos have been generously donated by local Centennials fan and photo enthusiast, Ian Webster. Proceeds of the sales of prints will go to the Merritt Centennials Jr. A hockey club.

In addition, a second photographer, Anya McVean has been added to the show. The esoteric nature of her contribution is expected to add a slight twist to the show’s theme.

This is a great opportunity to view Canada’s national sport from a different perspective. There will also be Cents Hockey memorabilia displayed as well as many other surprises.

Join us for the reception on Tuesday November 22nd from 5-8pm, where you will have the opportunity to browse the show. You’ll be able to meet and greet the Centennials and get some autographs. This is a unique chance to support your local hockey team and your local arts.

The show runs from November 18th to December 16th. The gallery is open Thursdays 4-8pm, Friday and Saturday 10 am-4pm.

For more information please contact Kathi at 250-378-6515 or email

BC Arts and Culture Week:Lets Celebrate the Arts!


This week is BC’s Arts and Culture Week! It is a week created to celebrate and highlight the vital contribution that arts and culture make in life and learning.  Arts are an important part of the economy as the “ arts and culture sector employs over 63,000 people in communities across BC, with a growth rate three times the provincial average. The film and television industry alone brings in $2.82 billion to our economy. BC artists in all disciplines are recognized internationally as among the best. Each year, our museums, galleries, festivals and performances attract visitors from around the world.” BC Arts and Culture Week Website.

Here are just a few ways to celebrate Arts and Culture week in the Nicola Valley:

– stop by and check out the Photography Exhibition at the Courthouse Art Gallery (Gallery Hrs 4-8pm Thurs, 10-4pm Fri & Sat)

– pick up your copy of the Visual Artists of the Nicola Valley book – swing by the Museum and Archives see images of the past and present

– check out some local author’s books at Country Bug & Books and the Library – decide that this year you’ll celebrate the arts by attending more local events, buy a membership to community organization or volunteer your time

For more information check out the BC Arts and Culture Week website:

Upcoming Community Event- Centennial Community Concert

Mark your calendars for the upcoming Centennial Community Concert scheduled Tuesday April 19, 2011. The event will take place at the Merritt Civic Centre at 7pm.

This will be one of the many great fun family events created to celebrate Merritt’s Centennial. An exciting line up of community performers are scheduled to perform incluidng the Community Choir, Akachuk Brothers Hoop Dancing, Ray Tippe and Friends, Judy Okababe, Ceilia Dyck, the Bench Choir and so much more. We hope that you’ll be able to join us!

From the Merritt News- Painting with friends keeps PRISM dynamic

Merritt News
March 4, 2011

Robin Poon
News Reporter

Although they became art lovers independently, the ladies of PRISM (Painting Really Inspires Something Magical) find that painting is at its most inspiring when they are together.

PRISM is an artist collective made up of Merritt women Wendy Eeckhout, Jean Kiegerl, and Shirley Reynolds. The group’s first exhibition together opens at the Olde Courthouse Arts Centre Friday and runs until the end of the month.

PRISM’s members say that painting together has greatly improved the quality and quantity of their work.

“Our relationship is synergistic. Two of us is good. Three of us is terrific. The energy level goes way up,” says Kiegerl.

PRISM started meeting in November 2009. Its members get together to paint at least once a week and often more frequently than that, Kiegerl explains.

“Tuesdays are PRISM days. We jab and paint all afternoon and into the evening.”

Each of the group’s artists hosts the others at her home on a rotating basis on Tuesdays, which the members keep open for painting as much as possible. Kiegerl says the members’ husbands, having seen their passion and ability grow since starting PRISM, do their best to stay out of the way when the women paint.

“They are very supportive about making sure they don’t interrupt the Tuesdays.”

Having a set day and painting companions keeps the artists both motivated and organized, says Kiegerl. “You kind of have to have your reference materials together.”

Any other chances to meet are seized upon as well, Kiegerl adds. She recalls house sitting at a home on the B.C. coast with Eeckhout and Reynolds and painting throughout their weeklong stay. “We get a lot done that way. When the three of us get together, we’re completely different people.”

Asked if PRISM’s painters have influenced the others’ styles, Kiegerl says, “We thought that it might happen, but we have our individual styles and where we help each other more…is in artistic technicalities.”

Eeckhout agrees. She notes that Reynolds’s work is often very colourful and that Reynolds often takes a more abstract approach to subjects. “Jean, I think, enjoys something more realistic, and I think I’m somewhere in between,” says Eeckhout.

Nevertheless, she says that Reynolds and Kiegerl have been helpful in critiquing her work and giving advice on techniques, especially since Eeckhout only recently returned to painting as a pastime.

“There’s a lot of transferable stuff that we can share.”

Kiegerl says topics of discussion frequently include the use of colours and the composition of paintings.

For the last few weeks, PRISM has worked to prepare between 75 and 100 paintings for their first exhibition. Much of the excitement comes from seeing work framed and lit for the first time, says Eeckhout.

Reynolds says the group hoped to provide a viewing experience similar to what one would find at a major art exhibit.

“We wanted to bring the gallery to a whole new level.”

With that in mind, PRISM looks forward to participating in the Lake Country ArtWalk, a massive outdoor art show in the Okanagan, this August.

Reception Success!

A big Thank you to everyone that came out to support the Arts last night. The food was delightful, the art inspiring and the crowd was enjoying the show. For those of you that joined us at the 5th Annual Community Arts Show and the Winter in the Nicola Valley Reception we say Thanks!

And of course we can’t thank our sponsors enough for assisting with the funding to make this event possible: