Column: Big treble clef in key with community

Column: Big treble clef in key with community

In Plain View by Lachlan Labere

Lots of folks are chiming in on our story about the 44.5-foot red treble clef structure, with accompanying notes, planned for downtown.

It is to be installed, courtesy of Bill Laird, at the north end of Alexander Street NE at his Shuswap Park Mall property on Lakeshore Drive (where Downtown Askew’s is located).

Laird says the structure is to be constructed of powder-coated aluminum, will be one-inch thick and weigh about 1,000 lbs., and is intended to represent the creative endeavours undertaken in the community by its numerous musicians, writers, visual artists and others.

Upon hearing of this installation, my immediate response, “Yes! This will put Salmon Arm on the map with its own Big Thing!”

By Big Thing I am referring to the various giant structures that can be found across B.C., the country and, I suppose North America. Having a big thing would put us in company with 100 Mile House and its 40-foot skis (with poles), Prince George with its 27-foot Mr. PG, Duncan and its world’s largest hockey stick (205 feet), Golden and its 60-foot rowing paddle, Revelstoke with its Smokey Bear, Quesnel with its gold pan, etc. Say what you will of them, big things get people’s attention. You can be sure photos will be shared, possibly world over, of people posing in downtown Salmon Arm by the big treble clef.

Read more: Big red treble clef proposed for downtown plaza in Salmon Arm

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Giving more thought to the intention behind the treble clef, I’m reminded of how Salmon Arm, and the Shuswap for that matter, was on the map for music and the arts long before I started with the Observer. On one of my first visits to Salmon Arm, the town was hopping with live music. It was the Roots and Blues weekend of 2005. I hoped to visit the Observer office on Hudson Avenue NE (since torn down) and see where I’d be working. It was closed but I got to meet the paper’s former award-winning photographer James Murray. We got to chat a bit before he drove back to the fairgrounds.

Live music, photography, James Murray – it was a positive impression that’s stayed with me all this time.

I think the big treble clef is in key with Salmon Arm, complementing the rhythm of the community. As for its scale, I say bring on the Big Thing.


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