Bed & breakfast keeping ag history alive

By Brenda Birley, Peace Country Sun

Some might consider a luxury granary to be one filled to the top with golden grain, but for Heather Newman of Dawson Creek and her many guests, a luxury granary is a honeymoon paradise or a relaxing get-away.

The Granaries on Bear Mountain offer the weary traveller or the romantic couple a lavish bed and breakfast accommodation minutes from Dawson Creek. Since it’s opening in the summer of 2003, the single summertime suite has had many guests from far and wide.

“Our first guests were the assistant consulate of the Swiss Embassy and his wife” said Newman.” They were a lovely couple just travelling through and they said they were honoured to be our first guests.”

Since then, guests have included European travellers stopping during a Rocky Mountain tour, American travellers of the Alaska highway and northern adventurers coming from the lower mainland.

Surprisingly, or maybe not, many of the Granaries’ guests are local. “People from Grande Prairie, Fort St. John, even Dawson Creek come to stay. Many are newlyweds, others are celebrating anniversaries and some just want to get away.” said Newman, adding some visitors are nostalgic for the country life, others are simply curious about theG ranaries and how they came to be a high end bed and breakfast.

“It was an idea that got away.” said Newman. “I started with the garden and  then I wanted a lake. A rustic building would add character and charm to the scene. A business plan would give purpose to the project, and the bed and breakfast was born.”

In 2000, the hole was dug for the small lake. A year later, the granaries(two square bins and one round bin) were transported and placed on skids beside the man-made lake”The granaries came from a field six kilometers away,” said Newman. While it would have been much easier to build new, the granaries appear a more natural choice paying tribute to the region’s agricultural history.

“We had to take the roof off the round bin to get it under the power lines, said Newman. A new roof was contructed in traditional fashion. While it’s basic structure remained the same, once restored in its new location, the sides of the round wooden bin were shingled and four French doors were added. Local artist Laine Dahlen added a romantic touch to the interior of the granary with his painted mural. It encircles the dome and glows in the sunlight, which pours through the skylight-once a simple opening for grain.

“As ot be expected in an old granary, nothing was square or measured exact,” said Newman in regards to the square bins. “That made remodelling a bit more difficult.”

Nonetheless, the buildings were strapped with plywood, doors were cut and beadboard and drywall was put up inside. The auger openings became windows and the original beams remain visible. Aside from the windows and flower boxes, the exteriors of the square bins appear as they might in a farmer’s field with faded red paint and antique tools hanging from the walls.

A deck was built around the bins as a means of connecting the three rooms of the bed and breakfas suite. The two square buildings became the bathroom and bedroom. A double jacuzzi bathtub, vintage fixtures and furniture, a fireplace and warm wooden floors of the bathroom and the queen sized bed with it’s lush down duvet in the master bedroom offer a relxing respite.

“OriginallyI had thought about opening up the round bin and turning it into a tea room.” said Newman Instead, it is the dining or lounging room of the suite, complete with microwave and hot plate enclosed in an antique bureau, a dining table and confortable lounging chairs.

There is no TV or internet at the Granaries, but they are not missed. Guests are welcome to walk through the many garden trails, gaze at the birds and butterflies and follow the tracks of the visiting wildlife-moose,deer,fox,rabbit,coyote, and beaver.

“There is a buffalo ranch across the road, it is quite an attraction for some of our guests who enjoy watching and listening to them roaring and rumbling,” added Newman.

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Bird and Breakfast

At this northern B.C. getaway, nature is the star attraction.

by Nancy Payne

Canada is full of destinations where visitors can catch a glimpse of wildlife and enjoy nature, and they’re not necessarily remote, hard-to-get-to areas.In the case of The Granaries on Bear Mountain, near Dawson Creek, B.C., you don’t even have to leave your room to experience the thrill of seeing wild animals wandering by.

“I love it here,” says two-time guest Jan Enns. “I’m on the road a fair bit, so typically I’d stay at a hotel or motel. Here, at breakfast, I can watch mountain chickadees right outside the window.”

The Granaries, which comprises one suite in restored and repurposed grain storage buildings as well as two rooms in an inn, was built with wildlife and nature in mind right from the start. “Trying to live green, recycling – it’s just part of my life,” says owner Heather Newman.


She and her husband Bob, worked for three years to create the unique property which opened in May 2003. It was designated at wildlife-friendly backyard by the Canadian Wildlife Federation n May 2005.

As if the reconstruction of the granaries wasn’t a big enough project on it’s own, Newman had another substantial undertaking in mind.”I think I wanted my own lake,” she says, “Dawson Creek is mostly prairie, with no great bodies of water. I wanted it for summer recreation and for the wildlife.”

Her vision left the excavators scratching their heads. As one told her, “We do square, we do circular, but we don’t do free-form.” Newman insisted her little lake be dug to three different depths to provide habitat for different creatures.”Everyone thought I was crazy, but we did it and it worked really well.”

Tadpoles and bulrushes soon commandeered portions of the lake.Deer and foxes came to drink; muskrats and ducks called it home now and then.She considered stocking it with fish, but decided against it, not wanting to tip the balance that was establishing itself.

As with other portions of the grounds, Newman had native trees and shrubs planted around the lake, which helped attract larger visitors.”We get a lot of moose. They’ve pruned the trees I planted, and not in a nice shape. But they have to eat too, so we coexist.”beebalm235
Many species of birds – mainly prairie species – light in the greenery, providing hours of fascination for guests. Newman provides binoculars and a bird guide to help with identification of species.

To encourage cavity nesting birds and other animals, dead trees are left to go back to nature in their own time. Birdhouses around the property also encourage feathered wildlife to take up residence.

The gardens, which drew astonished praise during the annual tour of gardens in the area, are mostly made up of native species and those that require little watering.

Rain barrels collect moisture to be used on the gardens. Lawns are not watered, and grass clippings left to decompose where they fall.

Kitchen waste and other items ware composted and anything that can be recycled is. “My footprint is slightly smaller because my waste is being recycled here,” says Enns.”Plus I can compost my apple cores and banana peels!”

Newman strives to buy as much local – organic if possible – food as she can, and uses lots of produce from her own garden in the summer. It’s all part of a philosophy of living with nature to provide room for everyone, from wedding parties to hungry moose.In an age when electronic gadgets invade every waking moment, her guests appreciate the emphasis on the natural world.”The only distractions are nature and each other. It’s a chance to slow down, sit outside and read a book.”

Satisfied guest jan Enns couldn’t agree more. “I really feel connected to nature and much more grounded when I stay here.”



Miniature Granaries

The Granaries on Bear Mountain is being recreated in miniature.
The Mirror

The Granaries on Bear Mountain, a unique local Bed and Breakfast, is being immortalized in quarter inch scale complete with tiny artwork , furniture, and fittings. Even mini pots of flowers.

An Alaskan resident, Megan Kirkingburg,  stayed at the Granaries on her journey north from the lower 48 and was so taken with them that she decided to recreate them in miniature.

The art of making doll houses is certainly not new. There are whole magazines dedicated to the craft. Building the shells is the easy part. Decorating the insides can be almost as costly as redecorating a whole house according to Megan and can take one to two years.

Heather Newman, owner of the celebrated bed and breakfast, suggested  a showing for the eventual finished  work of art at the Dawson Creek Art Gallery and contacted the curator Ellen Corea. She was thrilled with the idea and has tentatively booked the show for Aug 2008 to give other doll house hobbyists a enough  time to construct their inspirations to display.An Alaska highway theme would really tie the show together and could fit in perfectly with the launch of
Alaska Highway House and other aspects of the tourism plan for Dawson Creek commented Ryan MacIvor, local tourism director.

Granaries on Bear Mountain

Armed with lots of digital photos and measurements of all the buildings, Megan reports that she has the “Mini Granaries “well on their way. The walls are up with one set of french doors  installed and the remainder of the building parts  ordered . The rest of the pieces will be made by hand-a great winter activity.

Other miniature enthusiasts should contact Ellen Corea at the Dawson Creek Art Gallery to learn more about the project

Destination Dawson Creek

Dawson Creek – Mile Zero, where the buffalo roam.

by J.B. MacKinnon

With its roaming buffalo and unpretentious Wild West ways, Dawson Creek is much more than a Mile Zero pit stop .- 2005-FallBCMag

“Whoa, now,” says Garry Loiselle, sounding just like the rancher he is, a man who pronounces his French family name loy-Zel, as if he wrote westerns for a living. Which might not be a bad idea. We are sliding backward downhill in a pickup truck, slick mud spraying up the windows, everything banging and thumping, everything trying to shake itself loose from everything else. Read full article.


The Comfort Zone

Euro Country meets Cape Cod

A relaxing haven bridges B.C. history and french country style

By Tanya Linton, photos by Janis Nicolay

Your house is your comfort zone

“I call it Euro Country meets Cape Cod meets Little House on the Prairie,” Heather Newman says with a laugh of her picturesque guest retreat in Dawson Creek, B.C. Situated across the lake from the home she shares with her husband, Bob, what was once only a dream for the former Vancouver couple has turned into a stunning reality – a combination of rooms with an airy feel and a multitude of French Country touches. “After 14 years here, we had beautiful gardens, a man-made lake, everything. The next logical step was to build a cabin on the other side of the water.” But instead of constructing something new, the couple opted for a trio of antique granaries that now make a singular statement on the opposite shore.

Canadian Home & Country article
Read full article  text and pictures

“We live in a small piece of B.C. that is more like the Prairies,” she says. “There are old wooden granaries everywhere. It got me thinking that we could cluster three of them together to make one lovely space.” The idea was a unique one, but dragging rotting wooden structures over six kilometres of land, renovating them and outfitting them with a French Country flair was more than just a weekend project. “It became my obsession for a few years,” Newman adds.“The round building needed a new roof,” she continues. “And I put in some sets of French doors. They opened up the space dramatically.”

Together the structures – a traditional round granary sandwiched by two rectangular versions – seem like they were always meant to be in this simple configuration. Not attached, but a “holler-width” apart. “They aren’t connected, which makes it interesting if it’s raining,” Newman says. “But it’s also part of the fun of the place.”

When it came time to decorate, Newman had her heart set on a sophisticated French Country scheme, but her bank book was leaning more toward cheap and cheerful rather than fine antiques. Shopping was a challenge as well, since Dawson Creek is nestled in the heart of the country and void of pretty home furnishing stores. Catalogues and the local hardware store offered the essentials, and formerly loved objects from Newman’s own house, such as salvage finds, slipcovered chairs and patio furniture, all found a new life in The Granaries on Bear Mountain, as the couple calls their bed-and-breakfast endeavour.

Budget-friendly decorating fast became Newman’s motto. Using bed linens to make window coverings was the inexpensive solution to buying designer fabric in bulk. In addition, multi-functional pieces abound in the B&B, like the antique buffet in the lounge that conceals kitchen essentials, such as a hot plate, microwave oven and coffee maker, for overnight guests. An old stove, tin watering cans and an original gate from the granaries create an exterior setting full of rustic charm. “Sometimes when the B&B isn’t full, my husband and I book a night for ourselves,” Newman states with a smile. “Our home is minutes away, but when we stay out here, we feel like we’re on vacation.”

The peace of the Granaries

B&B’s of B.C.

Each week throughout the summer the Vancouver Sun will visit one of the province’s unique lodgings. Today we visit Dawson Creek in the Peace River.
by Jeff Lukovich, special to the Sun

Bed and breakfasts have come a long way in the last few years. Many boast amenities that rival the most luxurious hotels. Others offer a wide range of value-added features including bodywork and spa treatments, romance packages or kayaking and cycling adventures.

Despite the upscale trend, unlike hotel chains, no two bed and breakfasts are alike. Each has it’s own personality, and that personality is usually a reflection of the owner’s interests, passions and sensibilities.

Each Saturday over the summer, we will take you inside a different B&B in B.C. that reflects some of this diversity. Hope you enjoy your stay.

The Granaries on Bear MountainWhat: The Granaries on Bear Mountain

Where: The Granaries are on Bear Mountain, just outside of Dawson Creek and 1200 km northeast of Vancouver. This is the Peace region – rolling prairie landscape east of the Rockies. Hawkair has daily flights to Dawson Creek from Vancouver.

What’s the Attraction – Inside:

The Granaries bills itself as the Peace Country’s most unusual B&B. I think it’s one of the most unusual anywhere.

The owners have taken three nearly derelict wooden outbuildings from a nearby farm and transformed them into luxury accommodations and a very private retreat. Each building has a function and the three together form a single B&B unit. The circular granary is the dining-lounging pavilion. One of the flanking rectangular granaries is for bathing and the other for sleeping. A circular deck connects all three. They share viewed over a small lake in the one-hectare park-like grounds, as well as an enclosed courtyard. Multiple French doors, skylights and windows brighten each building. Antique furnishings, knickknacks, interesting fabric treatments and artwork provide visual interest.

The sleeping room contains a deluxe queen-size bed with custom linens and down duvet, robes and slippers as wells a TV-VCR and video collection.

The large skit bathroom has a double jacuzzi tub, bath salts, vintage fixtures, CD player and CD collection. The room is an invitation to relax and soak away stress.

The pavilion is skylit and decorated with a Tuscan themed mural by a well known local artist. A mini-kitchen is cleverly hidden in an antique buffet. A foldout queen bed provides a second sleeping area.

The grounds feature a small lake, rock gardens, walking paths, bridges, and native trees and shrubs that support a variety of birds and other wildlife.

The weather was perfect for our visit.It poured rain. We lounged in the jacuzzi tub, read and relaxed in the pavilion, listened to the sounds of rain on the roof and deck, and watched the mist floating above the water while birds flitted from tree to tree. In short, we did nothing – yet everything for which we usually have no time.

Breakfast was delivered to our door at 8:30 and was one of the best we’ve had. The menu included cinnamon oat pancakes with maple creme faiche, triple berry crush, bratwurst sausage and Starbucks Sumatra coffee.

What’s the Attraction – Outside:

If you’re wondering what might inspire someone to turn old granaries into a retreat, an exploration of Dawson Creek might provide a clue. The town has a long history of heritage preservation.The art gallery is in a former grain elevator. The museum and Tourist Info Centre is in the old train station.

Dawson Creek is perhaps best known for being at Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway. It’s a good home base for exploring other attractions of the Peace region such as W.A.C. Bennett Dam and Tumbler Ridge as well as the abundance of lakes, provincial parks and hiking trails.

What’s the cost:

Rates are $160/night weekdays and $180 on weekends and holidays. Extra guests are $20. Packages available at extra cost such as “Honeymoon Night”, “Romantic Evening” and “Weekend Getaway”  provide extras that may include fresh flowers, champagne, dinner and late checkout.

Contact Info: Heather & Bob Newman, tel: 1-888-782-6304/250-782-6304,, web:

Jeff Lukovich is a Delta freelance writer

College instructor’s “fine” work highlighted at unveiling

The picturesque, well composed new addition at The Granaries Bed and Breakfast encompasses the entire circumference of the day room and is close to the crown of the ceiling, where a sunroof illuminates the piece.
By Susan Michau, The Mirror

A small gathering of friends and family was privileged to see the unveiling of a work by Laine Dahlen, (Northern Lights College Visual and Graphic Arts Instructor) at the Granaries on Bear Mountain bed and breakfast location last week. Many of Laine’s students showed up and marveled at the piece as Laine so graciously explained the processes of the piece, and shared his thoughts on it with them.

In talking to Heather Newman, (owner of The Granaries on Bear Mountain), Laine discovered the Tuscany theme may have been his idea, but the vision came from a simultaneous decision after communicating their thoughts and ideas together.

The project started in October and is an oil project applied directly to the wall. The paint was applied with a mixture of linseed oil and turpentine, and applied as a step-by-step imprimatura and then wiped out, which resulted in the piece becoming more of a drawing than a painting at that stage. The decision to use the raw sienna was made at the preliminary stages of the conceptual drawing, with the intention of adding very pale pastel colours at the end, which he did. This is reminiscent of the manner of a Venetian ceiling painting of the eighteenth century. A stepladder was used to apply the medium and a unique brush system was designed to facilitate this rather lofty process. Laine fashioned extensions of the brushes from curtain rods, which were then attached to the brush handles to elongate the reach of the instruments.These came in handy for the initial drawing of major forms and blocking in large areas of tone. With the use of rags on the end of his fingers, he lifted off areas of paint to expose the highlights.

The result was a delightful piece that Granaries owners Heather and Robert Newman are extremely pleased with. The unveiling of the piece took place on the evening of June 7th, at The Granaries on Bear Mountain location, and marks the start of this artists intent to embark in a studio endeavor to enable him to focus more specifically on his own works. The piece will require a final coat of varnish in October, just to protect it further from the damages time can bestow on works of this nature.

After working on a piece for this length of time, artists tend to always look for “What the devil did while you were not awake,” as Laine so aptly puts it, but he is satisfied with the piece and grateful to be so well received. The piece adds a warm feeling of elegance and peacefulness to the room that guests will admire for some time to come.

For more information on the bed and breakfast and the special honeymoon, romance, wedding and spa packages available visit www. or contact Heather Newman toll-free at (888) 782-6304 or locally at (250) 782-6304

Peace Country B&B to be featured in decorating magazine

All the folk who viewed The Granaries on Bear Mountain B&B during last summer’s DC Horticulture Tea and Tour and suggested it should be in a magazine will be pleased to learn that professional stylist Heather Cameron and photographer Janis Nicolay recently trekked to Dawson Creek to shoot The Granaries for a feature article in Canadian Home and Country, an up and coming Canadian decorating publication.

The duo arrived with a van packed with photography equipment, some styling props and fresh flowers to complement the wildflowers and blooms currently on display in the Peace. Because the forecast was not encouraging, they were anxious to start shooting early in the morning before the weather deteriorated. There was some frustration trying to capture the elusive prairie light as it’s no small feat to drive 14 hrs to take pictures. Luckily, the Peace Country axiom” if you don’t like the weather, wait awhile” proved true enough and just as they decided to take a break and head into town for lunch, the clouds magically melted away and the sun beamed down.

Ten rolls of film later, by about 4 o’clock, all of the exterior and interior shots and vignettes had been taken. “ It’s quite an art”, explained Heather Newman of The Granaries. “While the décor might look perfect to your eye when you take in the whole room, the narrow focus of a photograph has to be carefully crafted for the magazine.” Heather C. and Janis spent much time popping back and forth between the viewfinder and the setting to get just the perfect arrangement of objects and furnishings to tell the story and spark the readers’ imagination. “I’m not sure I’ll recognize my own place when the issue hits the newsstands next May or June,” lamented Heather Newman. “I’m sure it will look beautiful though. They really seemed to know what they were doing. It was interesting to watch them play with all the little details when I wasn’t kept busy fetching new articles to include in the scenes”

Once the editors and producers have poured over the photos, a 2 hr interview is arranged, likely by phone in this case. This is the chance to tell the tale of the transformation of the granaries into a B&B and get all the details and credits sorted. The whole process often takes over a year from the time homeowners are contacted for a story till actual publication. “ Heather Cameron contacted me in March after hearing about The Granaries from a friend in White Rock” said Ms Newman who created the unique cabin from the ubiquitous prairie icons. “ It’s not too often that northern rural spreads grace the decorating magazine pages but they were obviously intrigued by the concept and the pictures I copied to help Heather Cameron pitch the idea. Hopefully, it will help to promote the region as an interesting destination.”

Canadian Home & Country article
Canadian Home & Country article

Granary Neogenesis

The Granaries on Bear Mountain

If you build it – A Renovation Story
What the heck is a granary?

The NEW INTERNATIONAL WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY & THESAURUS of the ENGLISH LANGUAGE lists “granary” as granary (gra’ner.e, gran’er-), n. pl..ries [L. granarium, a granry, from grana, pl., grain.]

1. A storehouse for grain

2. A country or region where grain grows in abundance

Original round bin for circular granary pavilionDawson Creek has a long tradition of preserving bits of prairie and pioneer architecture. The Art Gallery is a converted grain elevator annex.

The museum / tourist info center is housed in an old train station and then there’s Pioneer Village; a collection of several churches, schools, homes and other buildings resurrected to give a glimpse of the town’s early history. The latest offering is a truly unique bed and breakfast, The Granaries on Bear Mountain.

Many people start with property on a lake then build a cabin. We began by building a lake first, then trucking in three vintage wooden granaries to our rural acreage and transforming them into luxury holiday digs. The roughly 400,000 gallon pond was excavated to various depths to encourage a diversity of wildlife to visit and left to fill by nature. The various granaries were transported to the site, dumped in their approximate locations and eventually put in place with help from a picker service, our suburban and a tow rope.

What was done:

The original skids that the buildings were on survived the move but needed replacing since they were to become the foundations of the new complex. It was decided that each building should remain separate and free floating to accommodate our freeze thaw cycles and allow for settling. Functions were assigned to each granary – sleeping, bathing, and living. Separate power and water systems were installed and an additional line trenched to the enlarged sewage lagoon. Another road entrance and driveway were also constructed to provide vehicle access.

OpenFaceNext came the exterior and interior upgrades. We wanted to retain as much of the original character of the buildings as possible so shiplap siding was left intact but the roof shingles became kindling and a new corrugated metal roof was installed. The inside framing was strengthened with plywood and strapping, then finished with insulation, vapour barrier, bead board paneling and dry wall. Flex board was used to fit the interior curves of the round granary and cedar shingles were chosen to camouflage the exterior and weather to match the other granaries.

NNew old granary roof construction

Because the remnants of original round bin top had to be removed to fit under power lines en route to it’s new home, a new traditional cone shaped roof was constructed with beams radiating from a slightly larger central ring. A round skylight was fitted to that and overlapping metal roof panels custom fabricated to harmonize with the smaller granaries.

Five pairs of garden doors were installed as well as 4 single French doors and another skylight to flood each building with light and connect to a circular deck. The original granary openings were fitted with salvage glass and two additional demolition windows helped to reduce some of the glazing costs. Old cedar decking and fence boards were used for authentic weathered exterior details and window trim.

After many fruitless hours with a heavy sander on badly warped floor boards we decided to lay locally-milled tongue and groove aspen paneling for new flooring in the two smaller granaries. The round granary floor was made of much stronger stuff and was still in excellent condition.

Finally, a new double jetted tub and vintage bathroom fixtures were installed in the bathhouse. An antique Victorian cast iron fireplace surround was added for character and flanked by built-in cabinets.

Sunstream280In the round pavillon, a beautiful Victorian buffet was plumbed with a little bar sink and reconfigured to hide a MW, two burner hot plate,& bar fridge. Small curved shelves display glassware and canisters. Dishes, crockery and other small appliances are tucked into the end cabinets so guests can prepare light meals if desired.The final stage of construction involved tying the whole compound together with a shingle-clad wall that connects the two smaller wings and echoes the curve of the round granary. One of the original granary doors serves as the entrance to the courtyard from the driveway and parking area. A round metal grate was inserted at eye level and framed with more barn wood.

The fun stuff:

Once the major work was finished inside and out, my real work began. I learned a bit about taping and mudding and got lots of practice. My crew of teenage daughters (not really “pressed” labour) helped with sanding, painting, and staining all the trim, floors, doors, walls and furnishings. Sewing machines whirred; black and gray toile fabrics were chosen for their timeless appeal . Furnishings and antiques were discovered at local shops and auctions as well as stores in Edmonton, Grande Prairie, and Vancouver. I borrowed several items from our own quarters. Knickknacks throughout have an old world or vintage feel.
The black and white decorating is carried through to some of the artwork. Framed B&W vintage photographs hang in the bedroom and plaques by Sid Dickens are mounted in the bathroom. A local calligraphic artist composed an illustrated work and a grand mural is currently coming to life in the round pavilion evoking the vistas and emotions of a Tuscan tableau as it encircles the room. The work, by Laine Dahlen , a well-known local artist, draws the viewer into the landscape and transports them miles away in both time and space.

The gardens:

Lakeside picnic blanketWhile the interiors were still being outfitted, the initial landscaping was completed. In the fall of 2002, we selected big rocks from gravel pit up the road and hired big hoe to place them round lake for more natural appearance. Tadpoles and bulrushes have arrived on their own to further the impression The cat also distributed the stockpiled earth from the lake excavation. It was used to contour and fill some of the slopes round the lakes and add a raised planting area at one end of a elevated boardwalk.. When all the destructive earth moving machines were finished, there was a narrow window of good weather to lay the sod, plant the trees, shrubs and some perennials to blend with the native scrim left by the first bulldozers. The “pretties”, as one garden designer labels them, were added the following spring plus more structural specimens to flesh out the new garden areas.


The transformation of almost derelict farm outbuildings to luxurious accommodations required a major effort and quite a lot of faith. The whole process, from concept to completion, occupied 3 years. My degree in physiotherapy/occupational therapy did not really equip me for the sort of rehabilitation required but helpful contractors, supportive friends and family, and a love of design kept me going. We were all quite proud when close to 500 amazed people trooped through the granaries on the local Horticultural Society garden tour last July. It’s been the talk of the town since then and many people have suggested it should be in a magazine. Perhaps someday it will.

Honour is enough for the Granaries

Peace River Block News , Friday, November 26, 2004

Bed and breakfast owner Heather Newman (The Granaries on Bear Mountain) was thrilled and a little mystified last week when she was notified of her third place win in Canadian House and Homes 2005 Design Contest.The entry outlining the transformation of three old granaries into a unique and luxurious guest house was actually submitted for last years contest but somehow ended up in the pile with this year’s entries. Design editor Sabrina Linn said she was impressed by the project’s use of recycled materials and the fact that everyone got into the DIY act including “the crew” of teen-aged daughters.

Third prize for the 2005 Design contest is a sink valued at $200 and a one or two page spread in the April 2005 issue of the magazine. But, when CHH discovered that “The Granaries” has already been photographed for an upcoming   feature by Canadian Home and Country, the prize had to be withdrawn and the article and pictures cancelled.

” It wouldn’t be nice to scoop a story that was due to be published in a competitors magazine after they have invested time and money in an idea”, explained Hilary Smyth, deputy editor at Canadian House and Home when she broke the news to Newman. “We wouldn’t appreciate it the situation was reversed”.

“Of course I was disappointed” confessed Newman. “It would have been great exposure for the bed and breakfast and Dawson Creek if it hadn’t missed the line-up last year and had won. There would have been no conflict then.Newman said she submitted the entry online but was not sure if it had ever got there.

“It’s still pretty exciting to be recognized by CHH as well as having a lengthier feature in Canadian Home and Country due out in May or June to kick off next year’s season and, it’s been interesting to reflect on the politics and ethics   of publishing. I do understand where they’re coming from”, Newman said.

Smyth said she would forward the file to their sister publication ” Gardening Life” for a possible story with a different angle.