When you walk through downtown Kamloops, certain things stick out, whether it’s the shops, restaurants or the Sandman Centre.
But for some in the city’s hospitality industry, there was something missing. Now there’s a chance for locals and visitors to learn about how downtown Kamloops came to be and what it used to look like.
Rob Lemire, founding partner of ACT Adventures, says two new tours being offered by his company along with Tourism Kamloops aim to give people the downtown’s backstory.
“We came up with two tours,” Lemire says. “The whole idea behind them is to give people a nice sampling of downtown Kamloops… while giving a historical account of Kamloops.”
Without giving too much away, Lemire says you can participate in the Ales and Wine historical interpretive walking tour, where you can learn the history behind old Chinatown or how Kamloops became a part of B.C. instead of the United States.
The Ales and Wine tour, along with the Arts and History tour, are aimed at showing what life was like for people in Kamloops up to 200 years ago.
“It gives people a connection to Kamloops when you give them a little bit more substance to the community,” Lemire says.
The tours are approximately two hours long and no more than two kilometres, during which people can sample local wine, food and beer.
Beverly DeSantos, CEO of Tourism Kamloops, says the new tours are part of making downtown Kamloops more vibrant for locals and visitors.
“We identified that there was a gap in our city centre and somewhat a gap between our high seasons of July and August and those other times when visitors are coming,” she says. “We really have a lot to offer in our downtown.”
DeSantos says walking tours are something her and her husband try to do for any city they visit to learn more about its history. She says for someone new in town, a lot can be learned.
“We’re in this amazing centre of such an important part of Canadian history and we never hear that story.”
Tours are held Sunday to Friday evenings and can be booked at ACTadventures.ca.