On This Spot markers will be placed throughout the city marking points of interest. (Contributed)

On This Spot app brings historic Salmon Arm to life

Guided walking tour of city allows app offers then-and-now comparison of local landmarks

Salmon Arm residents and visitors can take in the city’s past and present simultaneously with the help of the app, On This Spot.

As of B.C. Day, people will be able to go on a guided walking tour of Salmon Arm using the free app. At various stops on along the tour, the app allows users to view and compare different landmarks and locations with what is there now.

“Users will even be able to stand on the same spot and re-stage the historic photos themselves using their own phone cameras,” explains a Friday, July 31 media release from Salmon Arm Economic Development Society, one of the local partners behind the project. “Fifteen of the best photo stops are organized into a historic walking tour that winds through downtown.

Curated from the archives at R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum, the photos along date from the 1880s to the 1950s, and “dramatically illustrate the city’s evolution from a tiny settlement surrounded by orchards and woodland, to a substantial city and tourist idyll.”

The walking tour takes On This Spot users through the city and region’s early history, beginning with its geography and the Secwepemc people. It then tells the story of the early pioneers, and how Salmon Arm has grown and prospered over the past 130 years.

Read more: Our history in pictures: Downtown Salmon Arm, 1949

Read more: Our history in pictures: Make way for downtown

The project was spearheaded by the City of Salmon Arm’s Community Heritage Commission, which partnered with organizations including the R.J. Haney Heritage Village & Museum, Salmon Arm Economic Development Society’s MRDT Committee, and Downtown Salmon Arm to make it a reality.

The Vancouver-based On This Spot sent a researcher and photographer to Salmon Arm in early July to work with Salmon Arm Museum curator Deborah Chapman to gather information and re-stage photographs.

Salmon Arm Economic Development Society said the community will be promoting the app in various ways, including displaying decals on the windows at locations with the best photo opportunities, to remind people to download the app and create their own historic photo selfies.

“The On This Spot app is a perfect opportunity to tell Salmon Arm’s story in an interactive way that everyone can access. We are excited to launch this app for our residents and visitors,” commented Salmon Arm Coun. Debbie Cannon, chair of the city’s Heritage Commission.

On This Spot is free to download from onthisspot.ca, and available for iOS and Android devices. The photos and tours will also be freely available on On This Spot’s website.

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As of BC Day, guided walking tours of Salmon Arm will be available with the app On This Spot, which will allow users to view historic landmarks and locations in direct comparison to what the location looks like today. (On This Spot image)

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