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KamloopsKamloops is a city in south central British Columbia, Canada, at the confluence of the two branches of the Thompson River and near Kamloops Lake. It is the largest community in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and the location of the regional district's offices. The surrounding region is more commonly referred to as the Thompson Country. It is ranked 37th on the list of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in Canada with 92,882 residents in 2006.
Geography and location
Kamloops is situated at 50?43'N 120?25'W, in the Thompson Valley (UTC-8) and the Montane Cordillera Ecozone. The central core of the city is located in the valley near the confluence of the North and South branches of the Thompson River. Suburbs stretch for more than a dozen kilometers along both North and South branches, as well as to the steep hillsides along the south portion of the city. Kamloops Indian Band areas begin just to the northeast of the downtown core but are not located within the city limits. As a result of this placement, it is necessary to leave Kamloops' city limits and pass through the band lands before re-entering the city limits to access the communities of Rayleigh and Heffley Creek. Kamloops is surrounded by the smaller communities of Cherry Creek, Pritchard, Savona, Scotch Creek, Adams Lake, Chase, Paul Lake, Pinantan and various others.
Kamloops and the Thompson River, 1886
The Kamloops area was exclusively inhabited by the Secwepemc (Shuswap) nation (part of the Interior Salish language group) prior to the arrival of European settlers. The first European explorers arrived in 1811, in the person of David Stuart, sent out from Fort Astoria, then still a Pacific Fur Company post, and who spent a winter there with the Secwepemc people, with Alexander Ross establishing a post there in May 1812 - "Fort Cumcloups". Later in the year, with the rival North West Company establishing another post - Fort Shuswap - nearby in the same year. The two operstions were merged in 1813 when the North West Company officials in the region bought out the operations of the North West Company. After the North West Company's forced merger with the Hudson's Bay Company in 1821, the post became known commonly as Thompson's River Post, or Fort Thompson, which over time became known as Fort Kamloops. The post's journals, kept by its Chief Traders, document a series of inter-Indian wars and personalities for the period and also give much insight to the goings-on of the fur companies and their personnel throughout the entire Pacific slope. Soon after the forts were founded, the main local village of the Secwepemc, then headed by a chief named Kwa'lila, was moved close to the trading post in order to control access to its trade, as well as for prestige and protection. With Kwalila's death, the local chieftaincy was passed to his nephew and foster-son Chief Nicola, who led an alliance of Okanagan and Nlaka'pamux people in the plateau country to the south around Stump, Nicola and Douglas Lakes. Relations between Nicola and the fur traders were often tense but in the end Nicola was recognized as a great help to the influx of whites during the gold rush, though admonishing those who had been in parties waging violence and looting on the Okanagan Trail, which led from American territory to the Fraser goldfields. Throughout, Kamloops was an important way station on the route of the Hudson's Bay Brigade Trail, which originally connected Fort Astoria with Fort Alexandria and the other forts in New Caledonia to the north (today's Omineca Country, roughly), and which continued in heavy use through the onset of the Cariboo Gold Rush as the main route to the new goldfields around what was to become Barkerville.
The gold rush of the 1860s and the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880s brought further growth, resulting in the City of Kamloops being incorporated in 1893 with a population of about 500.
"Kamloops" is the anglicised version of the Shuswap word "Tk'emlups", meaning 'meeting of the waters'. Shuswap is still actively spoken in the area by members of the Kamloops Indian Band. Another possible origin of the name comes from the French "Camp des loups" meaning 'Camp of Wolves', likely spoken by fur traders. One story perhaps connected with this version of the name concerns an attack by a pack of wolves, much built up in story to one huge white wolf, or a pack of wolves and other animals, travelling overland from the Nicola Country being repelled by a single shot by John Tod, then Chief Trader with his musket - at a distance of some 200 yards The shot caused the admiration of native witnesses and is said to have given the Chief Trader a great degree of respect locally, preventing the fort from attack.
Major Kamloops-area industries include primary resource processing such as Domtar Kamloops' Pulp Mill, Tolko-Heffley Creek Plywood and Veneer, LaFarge Cement, Highland Valley Copper Mine (in Logan Lake), and various other industries. There are tertiary services as well, such as the British Columbia Lottery Corporation and Pollard Banknote (which makes the lottery tickets) and NRI distribution, among many others. Kamloops is also a transportation hub for the region due to its connections to Highways 5 and 97C, the Trans-Canada and Yellowhead Highways. It is the first major city east of Abbotsford on the highway. Kamloops is home to Kamloops Airport (Fulton Field), which is a small airport.
Locator map for Kamloops, BC
The climate of Kamloops is a semi-arid steppe climate (Koppen climate classification BSk) due to its rainshadow location. While situated in a semi-arid valley, Kamloops has winters that are generally mild and very short with an occasional cold snap where temperatures can drop to around -30 ?C (-22 ?F) when arctic air floods over the Rocky Mountains into the interior. However, until the winter of 2008/2009, when it was reported that the area experienced its lowest temperatures on record, Kamloops had not seen -30 since the mid 1990s. Snow can occur from November to March, but most of it falls over a few weeks in December and January. Winter mean temperature is -6.1 ?C (20 ?F) in January. The average number of cold days below -20 in one year is 6 as recorded by the government of B.C.
Perhaps surprisingly, considering that Kamloops is located at 50? latitude north, summers are quite hot with prevailing dry, and sunny weather. The average July maximum temperature is 28.3 ?C (83 ?F) and would be higher if not for occasional incursions of cool northerly airmasses. In most years, Kamloops can experience warm weather similar to that in southern California, as summer temperatures come close to or even exceed 40 ?C (104 ?F). Humidity is generally very low and night time temperatures are moderate.
Spring arrives very early, sometimes in February, due to mild air spilling over the coastal mountains from the Pacific Ocean. On February 27 2008 Kamloops recorded 15.1 ?C (60?F). Fall is generally a pleasant and a mostly dry season. On November 15 2007 Kamloops recorded a day time high of 18.1 ?C (65?F).
Kamloops lies in the "rain shadow" leeward of the Coast Mountains and is biogeographically connected to similar semi-desert and desert areas in the Okanagan region, the Osoyoos area, and the central parts of Washington and Oregon state as well as intermontane areas of Nevada and Idaho in the U.S. These areas of relatively similar climate have many distinctive native plants and animals in common, such as Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), prickly pear cactus (Opuntia fragilis in this case), rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis), Black widow spiders and Lewis's Woodpecker.
Kamloops hosted the 1993 Canada Summer Games. It co-hosted (with Vancouver and Kelowna) the 2006 IIHF World U-20 Hockey Championship from December 26, 2005, to January 5, 2006. It hosted the 2006 BC Summer Games. In the summer of 2008, Kamloops, and its modern facility the Tournament Capital Centre, played host to the U15 boys and girls Basketball National Championship. The city is known as, and holds a Canadian trademark as, Canada's Tournament Capital.
Sun Peaks Resort is a nearby ski and snowboard hill. Olympic medalist skier Nancy Greene is director of skiing at Sun Peaks and the chancellor of Thompson Rivers University. The Overlander Ski Club runs the Stake Lake cross country ski area with 50 km of trails. Kamloops is home to world-famous mountain bikers such as Wade Simmons and Matt Hunter. In 2007, the Kamloops Bike Ranch opened in Juniper Ridge along Highland Drive. The Kamloops Rotary Skatepark located at McArthur Island is one of the largest skateboard parks in Canada. Kamloops will host the 2011 Western Canada summer Games.
Kamloops is home to the Western Hockey League's Kamloops Blazers, who play at the Interior Savings Centre, the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League's Kamloops Junior B Rattlers, as well as the Kamloops Storm. Also calling Kamloops home is the Canadian Junior Football League's Kamloops Broncos, and Pacific Coast Soccer League's Kamloops Excel, both of whom play at Hillside Stadium.
Thompson Rivers University of Kamloops boasts the name the WolfPack, and has sports teams that include men's and women's volleyball, basketball, soccer, and badminton. Also the WolfPack have rugby, badminton, golf, and baseball teams.
Alumni of the Kamloops Blazers include:Mark Recchi, Jarome Iginla, Darryl Sydor, Nolan Baumgartner, Shane Doan, Scott Neidermayer, Rudy Poeschek and Darcy Tucker.
Kamloops is also the hometown of world champion curler Jason Manchester.
There is a proposal to bring a Golden Baseball League expansion team to Kamloops for the 2009 season. If successful, it would be the city's first professional baseball team and the league's third Canadian team.
Public schools in the Kamloops area are part of School District 73 Kamloops/Thompson.
* Elementary Schools (Grades K-6 or K-7)
o Aberdeen Elementary School
o AE Perry Elementary School
o Arthur Hatton Elementary School
o Arthur Stevenson Elementary School
o Beattie School of the Arts
o Bert Edwards Science and Technology School
o Dallas Elementary School
o David Thompson Elementary School
o Dufferin Elementary School
o George Hilliard Elementary School
o Heffley Creek Elementary School
o John Tod Elementary School
o Juniper Ridge Elementary School
o Kamloops/Thompson Virtual School
o Kay Bingham Elementary School
o Lloyd George Elementary School
o Marion Shilling Elementary School
o McGowan Park Elementary School
o McQueen Lake Elementary School
o Pacific Way Elementary School
o Parkcrest Elementary School
o Pinantan Elementary School
o Ralph Bell Elementary School
o Rayleigh Elementary School
o R.L Clemitson Elementary School
o South Sa-hali Elementary School
o Stuart Wood Elementary School
o Summit Elementary School
o Westmount Elementary School
* Secondary (Grades 10-12 or 8-12):
o Brocklehurst Secondary School
o Kamloops/Thompson Virtual School
o NorKam Secondary School
o Sa-hali Secondary School
o South Kamloops Secondary School
o Twin Rivers Education Centre
o Valleyview Secondary School
o Westsyde Secondary School
o Beattie School of the Arts (Pineridge Campus)
o @KOOL Kamloops Open On-Line Learning
Kamloops is home to Thompson Rivers University, an undergraduate degree-granting university with satellite campuses in Clearwater, Barriere, Chase, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, Cache Creek, Ashcroft, and Lillooet. TRU also has an open-distance learning division. Kamloops is also home to a satellite campus of Simon Fraser University. TRU has begun to offer MBA, M.Ed, and M.Sc. programs as well as undergraduate degrees.
Officially recognized neighbourhoods within the city of Kamloops. Unofficially recognized areas are listed beneath the neighbourhoods to which they belong:
* Batchelor Heights
* Campbell Creek
* Heffley Creek
* Juniper Ridge
* Lac Le Jeune
* Lower Sahali
o Peterson Creek
* MacArthur Island
* Mission Flats
* Mount Dufferin
* Noble Creek
* North Shore
* Rose Hill
* South Shore
* Thompson Rivers University
* Upper Sahali
* West End
Below is a list of people who are from Kamloops, or who lived there for an extended period.
* Dylan Armstrong, 2008 Olympics shotputter who finished 4th.
* Michael Shanks, actor, Stargate SG-1, born in Vancouver, BC, but grew up in Kamloops
* Leonard Marchand, P.C., C.M., the first person of First Nations ethnicity to serve in the federal cabinet and the first Status Indian to serve as a Member of Parliament See External Links below for references
* Mark Recchi, professional hockey player
* Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames team captain NHL
* Maher Arar, falsely accused as a terrorist and was detained in Syria (Arar lived in Kamloops for only about a year.)
* Lesra Martin, lawyer who helped with Rubin "The Hurricane" Carter's prison release
* Ajaib Singh Bagri, suspect acquitted in the Air India Flight 182 terrorist bombing
* Mitch Berger, NFL player
* Peter Wing, North America's first mayor of Chinese descent
* Chris Masuak, Australian punk rock musician, lived in Kamloops 1968 to 1970
* Boris Karloff, actor, joined the Jeanne Russell theatre company in Kamloops in September 1911.
* Jolene Downey, Barrell Racer from Kamloops, who won the 2006 Calgary Stampede Barrell Racing Championship
* Todd MacFarlane Lived in and played baseball in Kamloops
* Steven Galloway, novelist, was raised in Kamloops
Elections in to the muincipality in Kamloops are held with the rest of the province every three years.
Provincially, Kamloops is considered to be bellweather, having voted for the governing party in every provincial election since the introduction of parties to British Columbian elections. By contrast, Kamloops has regularly voted against the party in power federally until the 2006 Federal election. Kamloops is represented in two provincial ridings - Kamloops and Kamloops North Thompson and one federal riding - Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo.
* Mayor ? Peter Milobar
* Members of the Legislative Assembly:
o Claude Richmond, Kamloops
o Kevin Krueger, Kamloops/North Thompson
Federal Members of Parliament:
* Cathy McLeod (2008?present) Conservative Party of Canada
* Betty Hinton (2000?2008) Conservative Party of Canada
* Nelson Riis (1980?2000) NDP
* Don Cameron (1979?1980) PC
* Len Marchand (1968?1979) Liberal Party of Canada
New member: Peter Milobar - Mayor Effective December 1
More recently, the city's name was adopted for a crater on the surface of Mars. Crater Kamloops was officially adopted by the International Astronomical Union, and Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (IAU/WGPSN) in 1991. The location of the crater on the Martian surface is -53.8 degrees South Latitude and 32.6 degrees West Longitude, with a diameter of 65.0 Kilometers.