Canadian plans resort course in British Columbia


By Robert J. Vasilak

Can a country music festival and a golf community make beautiful music together?

Claude Lilievre sure hopes so. Lilievre staged the first country music festival in British Columbia, then rinsed and repeated for 15 consecutive years. After a hiatus in 2010, he resumed the Merritt Mountain Music Festival in July 2011, with a show headlined by Vince Gill, Crystal Gayle, and Dierks Bentley.

Somewhere along the line, Lilievre got to thinking about developing the 900 acres he owns in Merritt. Eventually, his Active Mountain Entertainment Corporation laid out a grand plan to build houses, a 150-room hotel with a convention center, a 25,000-seat outdoor entertainment center, a Formula One race track, an amusement park, a medieval village, a brewery, a winery, a pair of RV parks, and lots of other stuff on the property, including an 18-hole golf course.

But Active Mountain’s plan never became a hit. Investors came and went, and Lilievre was forced to reconsider his options.

The result: Lilievre has downsized. On the 750 acres not used by the festival, he now aims to offer 2.5-acre lots in an equestrian community, plus lots for 600 single-family houses and 400 townhouses. At some point in the future, be believes his property can accommodate as many as 2,600 houses.

And yes, the golf course remains part of his plans. The track will be designed by Delta, British Columbia-based Ted Locke, who once apprenticed with Graham Cooke.

Lilievre has budgeted $3 million for the layout. “We need a good golf course that people will enjoy playing, but not a PGA course,” he says.

Lilievre hopes to break ground on the course in 2013.

This story originally appeared in the World Edition of the Golf Course Report, in a slightly different form. For a sample copy of the World Edition, call 301/680-9460 or write to

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