Barriere is a district municipality in central British Columbia, Canada, located 66km 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 town was originally a fur trading post, deriving its name from the rocks left by natives in the water as fish traps which formed a barrier to boat passage down the river. Placer gold was being found as early as 1861. The British Colonist, dated August 12, 1861, 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."
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 hospitals in the region is the Royal Inland Hospital located to the south in Kamloops
, BC and to the north in Clearwater
. 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, however the other industries which serve the town are tourism and agriculture, primarily alfalfa. Mining 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.
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 just south of the newly discovered Harper Creek Copper deposit, considered to be the 8th largest in the world. April 2008 http://www.yellowheadmining.com/
- North of the town center is Chinook Cove Golf Course.
- East of the city is East Barriere Lake as well as North Barrier Lake.
- Several lake resorts are a short driving distance from the community.
- The ski resort of Sun Peaks is approx a 1 hour drive from Barriere.
- There is a curling rink, library, Post Office, RCMP Station within the community.
- Schools include an elementary and high school.
- There are several parks including ball fields.
- The First Nations community of Chu Chua is located 10 minutes north of Barriere on Dunn Lake Road.
- Community halls are the Fall Fair Hall and Lions Club Hall. Other larger facilities include the curling rink and Seniors center.
- Local community Theater Group The 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 & Rodeo 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.
There are five houses of worship within the town, all of the Christian faith.
- Anglican Church of Canada
- Barriere United Church
- Bethany Baptist Church
- Pentecostal Christian Life Assembly
- St. George's Roman Catholic Church
- Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah Witnesses