is a district municipality
A district municipality is a designation for a class of municipalities found in several locations, including Canada, Lithuania, and South Africa.-Usage in British Columbia:...
in central British Columbia, Canada, located 66 km north of the larger city of Kamloops on Highway 5. It is situated at the confluence of the Barriere and North Thompson Rivers in the Central North Thompson Valley. In 2003, a major forest fire swept through the area and destroyed both homes and industry, most notably the Louis Creek sawmill, a large local employer. At one point up to 3000 were forced to evacuate the area. On July 26, 2008 a wildfire dragon monument was erected in Louis Creek to commemorate the determination and compassion of those who fought the flames and those who aided in the rebuilding of the community.
The location of the town was originally the site of a fur trading post, and derives its name 'Barriere (originally and alternately, Barrière) from the rocks/nets placed in the water by first nations people to act as fish traps, forming a barrier to boat passage on the river. The descendants of those placing the fish-trap barriers are from the Simpcw/Secwepemc Nation, who still reside in present day Chu Chua, just north of Barriere.
Gold was discovered in the area as early as 1861, and was mined using the placer
Placer mining is the mining of alluvial deposits for minerals. This may be done by open-pit or by various surface excavating equipment or tunneling equipment....
method. The August 12, 1861 edition of the British Colonist mentions "...one party of Frenchmen at a place above Kamloops called Barrier (sic). They are fluming the Thompson, and expect to take out $25 per day to the hand, it is also incorpurated (sic)."
Depending upon where one resided, $25 could purchase an acre of land, a saddle, or double-barreled shotgun. To give some sense of proportion to these figures: Comparing $25 of daily productivity per hired hand to the price of a barrel of crude oil in 1861 ($0.49), the gold production would yield roughly more than 1200 barrels (190.8 m³) of oil per hand per day.
The community voted to became an Incorporated Municipality in November 2007. Winning the election for the very first Mayor was Mr. Mike Fennell, one of the founding families of the community.
The closest hospital in the region is the Royal Inland Hospital located to the south in Kamloops, BC and to the north in Clearwater
Clearwater is a district municipality in the North Thompson River valley in British Columbia, Canada, north of Kamloops. The largest community in the valley, with a population of 4,960, Clearwater is predominantly employed by the forestry industry. Tourism is also a major industry, with Wells Gray...
. BC. One of the main reasons for the growing community's existence is its location on the Yellowhead Highway #5, which offers the only viable route in the interior to northern British Columbia, Jasper, and Edmonton. A Canadian National Railway line passes through the town also.
Barriere is primarily driven by the forest industry
A forest product is any material derived from a forest for commercial use, such as lumber, paper, or forage for livestock. Wood, by far the dominant commercial forest product, is used for many industrial purposes, such as the finished structural materials used for the construction of buildings, or...
, however the other industries which serve the town are tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...
, primarily alfalfa
Alfalfa is a flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae cultivated as an important forage crop in the US, Canada, Argentina, France, Australia, the Middle East, South Africa, and many other countries. It is known as lucerne in the UK, France, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, and known as...
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...
development is on the increase in the North Thompson Valley, and is predicted that many forestry workers will migrate from forest to mining as these new developments begin production. There are two industrial park
An industrial park is an area zoned and planned for the purpose of industrial development...
s in the community. One is located in nearby Louis Creek and was the former site of Tolko Mill was destroyed in the 2003 fire. Barriere is just south of the newly discovered Harper Creek Copper deposit, considered to be the 8th largest in the world.
The primary employers in the town are Gilbert Smith Forest Products and Darfield Building Products, with 75% of the town's residents being linked to forestry. Many residents who live in Barriere commute to work in Kamloops, BC 45 minutes to the south.
Currently there is a community effort to promote the development of a TV,Film & New Media technology industry in the area.
Barriere is the same latitude as the world famous Stonehenge
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, about west of Amesbury and north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is composed of a circular setting of large standing stones set within earthworks...
. In October 2009 it was proposed by Coun. Virginia Smith, that the community erect a scaled-down replica of the 100-metre-wide Druidic temple.
- The Municipality is in the midst of a three-phase parks rejuvenation project, adding features such as a bandshell, small water park, paved walkways and trees.
- North of the town center is Chinook Cove Golf Course
A golf course comprises a series of holes, each consisting of a teeing ground, fairway, rough and other hazards, and a green with a flagstick and cup, all designed for the game of golf. A standard round of golf consists of playing 18 holes, thus most golf courses have this number of holes...
- Several lake resorts are a short driving distance from the community. East of the city is East Barriere Lake, South Barriere Lake as well as North Barriere Lake.
- The ski resort of Sun Peaks is approx a 1 hour drive from Barriere.
- There is a curling
Curling is a sport in which players slide stones across a sheet of ice towards a target area. It is related to bowls, boule and shuffleboard. Two teams, each of four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones, also called "rocks", across the ice curling sheet towards the house, a...
rink, library, Post Office and RCMP Station in the community.
- There are several park
A park is a protected area, in its natural or semi-natural state, or planted, and set aside for human recreation and enjoyment, or for the protection of wildlife or natural habitats. It may consist of rocks, soil, water, flora and fauna and grass areas. Many parks are legally protected by...
s including ball fields, there is a new park under construction near the elementary school.
- Community halls include the Fall Fair Hall and Lions Club Hall. Other larger facilities include the curling rink and Seniors center. At the Lions club hall there is a program called 'Cadets'.
- A local community theater group: Thompson Valley Players Society
- The North Thompson Museum
- Every Labour Day weekend the town hosts the North Thompson Fall Fair Rodeo. It is the communities' biggest yearly event produced by hundreds of volunteers. 2008's Fall Fair
A fair or fayre is a gathering of people to display or trade produce or other goods, to parade or display animals and often to enjoy associated carnival or funfair entertainment. It is normally of the essence of a fair that it is temporary; some last only an afternoon while others may ten weeks. ...
Rodeo is a competitive sport which arose out of the working practices of cattle herding in Spain, Mexico, and later the United States, Canada, South America and Australia. It was based on the skills required of the working vaqueros and later, cowboys, in what today is the western United States,...
is its 59th annual event. Approx 10,000 people attend annually, over the 3-day fair.
- Barriere & The North Thompson Fall Fair have the 3rd oldest Royalty Pageant program in British Columbia.
- Barriere Fall Fair and Rodeo contains a large parade
A parade is a procession of people, usually organized along a street, often in costume, and often accompanied by marching bands, floats or sometimes large balloons. Parades are held for a wide range of reasons, but are usually celebrations of some kind...
Schools include an elementary known as Barriere Elementary, a high school named Barriere Secondary and a Primary school called Barriere Ridge, which is now a daycare due to lack of students. Sometime in the 1960s, the Secondary school had burnt down and a new one was built.
There are five houses of worship within the town.
- The Church of St Paul - a worshipping community of Anglicans ACC, Uniteds UCC and Lutherans ELCIC
- Bethany Baptist Church
- Pentecostal Christian Life Assembly
- St. George's Roman Catholic Church
- Kingdom Hall
A Kingdom Hall is a place of worship used by Jehovah's Witnesses. The term was first suggested in 1935 by Joseph Franklin Rutherford, then president of the Watch Tower Society, for a building in Hawaii...
of Jehovah's Witnesses
Additionally, the First Nations community of Chu Chua is located 10 minutes north of Barriere on Dunn Lake Road.
- Plein Air painter Wayne Broomfield calls Barriere home for much of the year.