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Butterflies to soar through the sky to support Shuswap Hospice Society

‘The butterfly is symbolic’: Fundraiser will see upwards of 60 butterflies take wing

Butterflies will take to the skies in a show of support for Shuswap hospice care.

The Shuswap Hospice Society is hosting its first butterfly release fundraiser on Aug. 6 to help bolster its various programs supporting those with sick loved ones who need additional care.

The butterfly release will take place during a day of activities and live music from 12 to 2:30 p.m. hosted at Northyards Cider Co. in Salmon Arm.

The society’s program coordinator Jen Dies heard about butterfly release fundraisers happening on the B.C. coast and being quite successful, explained fundraising coordinator Cecilia Yap.

The releases became popular during the pandemic and have raised a lot of money in places like Chilliwack and Abbotsford for their hospices, said Yap.

“The butterfly is symbolic,” she said.

“People love butterflies and the idea of rebirth, continuation, so that’s where it came from.”

Yap said the idea started to take shape in February and the community has been gracious and supportive.

Making sure the society had enough butterflies for everyone that wanted to donate was a bit of a challenge, said Yap. The butterfly farm in Quebec said she had to place an order for the butterflies two weeks in advance, to ensure enough were ready and to factor in shipping time. The numbers were fluid but the society placed its final order, for 62 butterflies, last Friday. Yap ordered five extras in case anyone wanted to be involved last minute.

Anyone interested in releasing a butterfly can contact the Hospice Society at 250-832-7099. Volunteer and donor information can be found at

Salmon Arm Mayor Alan Harrison is scheduled to make a speech before a poem is read and the butterflies are released at 1 p.m., Aug. 6. There will also be kids’ games and activities, face painting by Girl Guides volunteers and David Simmons serenading the crowd on guitar. A vendor who is also connected to the annual She Shoe Swaps charity event will also be at the butterfly release, said Yap, signing people up for the shoe drive in the fall.

“We think it’s going to be beautiful and we hope to do it again.”

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Rebecca Willson

About the Author: Rebecca Willson

I took my first step into the journalism industry in November 2022 when I moved to Salmon Arm to work for the Observer and Eagle Valley News. I graduated with a journalism degree in December 2021 from MacEwan University in Edmonton.
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