There was just enough snow to make it look like Christmas last Thursday when the Simpcw First Nation bus picked up seven Chinese dignitaries and businessmen from the Kamloops airport. Escorting the visitors for a two day tour of the North Thompson Valley from Louis Creek to Blue River was Simpcw Band Councillor Tina Donald (who also drove the bus) and District of Barriere Economic Development Officer Andrew Hayward.
The two day tour itinerary included a number of stops including; the Wildfire Monument Site at Louis Creek, a tour of Barriere Southgate Industrial Park, a stop at the future site of the Simpcw First Nation planned Eco Heritage Park in Barriere, a tour of Gilbert Smith Forest Products, a tour of Barriere Industrial Park, lunch at the District Office, a stop at the North Thompson Agriplex and Fall Fair facility, a stop in Vavenby at the Yellowhead Mining office, a tour of Blue River, and a helicopter tour of Blue River/8 Peaks and Saddle Mountain.
Lunch at the District office was an informal affair which gave the visitors an opportunity to meet other community members including; Acting Mayor Bill Kershaw (Mayor Humphreys being unable to attend due to a prior commitment), Councillors Virginia Smith and Amanda Sabyan, Thompson-Okanagan Regional manager Myles Bruns, Chamber of Commerce president Scott Kershaw and vice-president Kevin Bryant, and TNRD Director Bonnie CruzelleMyram,
The visitors thanked the District, Chamber and Simpcw for their hospitality and said they were very impressed with what the area had to offer, and though some had never been here before they would most certainly return.
Gifts were exchanged. The guests presented Acting Mayor Bill Kershaw with a traditional Chinese art book, and the District presented all the visitors with a Barriere pin and information book.
Economic Development Officer Andrew Hayward said he felt the visit was very positive and was most encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by their guests.