Mayor Nancy Cooper hands a slice of birthday cake to Emma Van Der Morwe at the 2015 Canada Day Children’s Festival. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds and will be followed this year with a Landmarks of Canada Community Picnic at Canoe Beach at 6 p.m. - Image credit: File photo

Salmon Arm celebrates Canada at 150

Two family friendly community events mark Canada Day on July 1

Just three more sleeps till the birthday party begins.

Families are encouraged to attend the annual Canada Day Children’s Festival that runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds.

This fun, free event has a few added twists this year – some new bounce play structures, a hockey skills area including hockey radar gun; a Canada-themed scavenger hunt with some great prizes and free Canada 150 t-shirts to the first 500 kids.

Sponsored by Salmon Arm Children’s Festival, Salmon Arm Rotary, Tourism Shuswap and the Roots & Blues Festival, this year’s event will feature great entertainment including Juno winner Norman Foote, magician Clinton Gray and entertainer Papa Thom.

A pancake breakfast will be hosted at the Fifth Avenue Seniors’ Activity Centre from 8 to 10 a.m. Pancakes, juice and sausages will be available for $2 a plate. Proceeds will go to the Girl Guides and Pathfinders who will cook and serve the flapjacks.

Celebrate the Canadian way by eating a slice of the large birthday cake that will be served at 12:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Kari Wilkinson at 250-832-8261 or Karen Bubola at 250-832-6192 or visit www.sachildrensfest.com.

Whether homegrown, from the other side of the country, or a welcome newcomer, everyone is invited to a special Landmarks of Canada Community Picnic that takes place at 6 p.m. July 1 at Canoe Beach.

“People come from all over; we love it here, but we do miss home,” says Louise Wallace Richmond, chairperson of the committee that worked hard to create the special Canada Day celebration. “Salmon Arm is a gift, a lot of people have found their way here and I think by creating a virtual map at the beach it’s a way to be thankful and re-connect.”

Wallace Richmond is talking about 13 large, colourful postcards representing all of Canada’s provinces and territories which will be strung out along the beach. Picnickers will be invited to make their way to their home province for a photo in front of a representative and iconic landmark. Guides will welcome people and direct them to their provinces where Sharpies to sign the back of post cards will be available.

She says she got the idea after viewing a Google map of the beach whose shape reminded her of Canada, with the train tracks representing the 49th parallel and the lake as the Arctic Ocean.

Musicians have signed on to play during the festivities and everyone is invited to bring along the instrument of their choice to join the family friendly event.

Take a picnic supper to enjoy with new connections made in your “home province” or with old friends here in Salmon Arm or buy a treat from the Canoe Beach Café.

Café owners Jimmy and Joyce Dunlop plan to have a full menu with special Canada Day items and will have kayaks, water boards and hydro bikes available for rent. And the couple is still looking to hire someone to help with prepping and cooking.

After dinner, DJ Patrick Ryley will play iconic Canadian songs while people continue to enjoy what the beach has to offer as well as enjoying each other’s company. And, around 10:20 p.m., the evening will culminate with a 10-minute fireworks display on a barge supplied by Landmark Solutions.

“There is nothing that connects us like food and music,” says Wallace Richmond. “It’s an authentic narrative; that’s what being Canadian is…”

She says the Canada 150 committee, came together and jelled very quickly, with many members already volunteering with other non-profit groups.

It was a committee that shared ideas in a very thoughtful way, she says, noting the issue of fireworks sparked quite a discussion and the decision was made to not “celebrify” colonial rule by having only iconic Canadian scenes.

“Regardless of our history, this is what Canada looks like, iconic scenes that make all of us feel at home,” she said. “If none of us were here, these iconic scene would remain; it’s about nature and geography, it’s bigger than us.”

Picnickers are invited to take their best picnic gear and food to this family-centred event, but leave liquor and pets at home.

Wallace Richmond said organizers are hoping participants will be respectful of the beach and others by packing a waste-free meal or taking their garbage home with them.

And she is hoping this special Canada Day celebration results in some kind of legacy.

“We didn’t want all that was left to be beer cups and garbage,” she said. “I know from Salmon Arm Centennial in 2005, there are things such as Pioneer Days that continue to be annual events. Maybe this will become an annual event.”

Wallace Richmond says the committee asks those who live in Canoe to walk to the beach and those who come from farther afield to share rides.

Children’s Festival

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