Nicola Valley-raised rancher is face of farming in CBC special


A former family of the Nicola Valley represented the faces of Canadian farmers in an ambitious CBC special showing life across Canada over a 24-hour period.

Pete and Cheryl Van Immerzeel of the Colour V Ranch in 150 Mile House appeared on CBC’s 1 Day, commemorating the broadcaster’s 75th anniversary.
The special program, broadcast in August and November, sent 12 camera crews to record the lives of individuals and families across the country over a 24-hour period on April 30.

The crew covering the Van Immerzeels—consisting of a sound technician, a cameraman, and director Melanie Wood—arrived at about 1 a.m.

“They stayed throughout the day, right until midnight that night,” recalls Cheryl.

“We had one mare, Kota, due to foal on April 30 and another mare, Blue Jay, due to foal on May 1, so we were really hoping to catch one foaling.”

However, the horses did not actually give birth until several days later.

Cheryl says, “I think they were a little nervous with all that was going on.”

Nevertheless, Colour V Ranch had a full day of work and play with the camera crew in tow. 

Among the activities the camera recorded were burning brush piles, building a horse paddock, breeding a mare to one of the ranch’s stallions, giving a 4-H breeding and grooming demonstration, weaning piglets, and checking on the pregnant mares.

“It was definitely a packed day that absolutely exhausted the crew as well as us,” says Cheryl.

Cheryl is the daughter of Wayne and Sheree Byer. The Byer family has lived in the Nicola Valley for decades. 

David Brown, a family friend, explains, “Cheryl grew up in this valley here and that’s where she cut her teeth with animal husbandry.”

The Van Immerzeels own and operate the Colour V Ranch, which raises a variety of horses for show, work, and rodeos. They also raise pigs for sale and several head of cattle for their own use on the ranch.

Pete and Cheryl have three children: six-year-old Elizabeth, four-year-old son Trace, and youngest daughter Zadie-Lynn, now two years old. 

Brown says the Van Immerzeels’ inclusion in 1 Day is a sign of how many Canadians have connections to Merritt and the Nicola Valley. 

“We get touched on in so many ways.”

CBC first contacted her family last February, says Cheryl.

“At first we thought it was a crank call or joke or something. They said they were making a documentary film on Canadians and the diversity of Canadians to celebrate their 75th anniversary.”

Jackie Carlos, the CBC director that called the Van Immerzeels explained that the 1 Day program wanted to portray a typical farm family and were drawn to the beautiful scenery of the Colour V Ranch, its animals, and the family’s three children. She invited the Van Immerzeels to participate in the documentary.

“We thought, ‘Wow, what an opportunity this would be for us,’” says Cheryl.

Source: Merritt News