The Sprig of Heather restaurant is one of the newly completed attractions at R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum. (Contributed)

The Sprig of Heather restaurant is one of the newly completed attractions at R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum. (Contributed)

Public to play interactive role in Salmon Arm Heritage Week celebration

R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum silent auction to kick off events on Feb. 15

Pies may not be plated for tasting, but Salmon Arm’s 25th annual Heritage Week promises to be an interactive experience all the same.

Staff at R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum and their community partners have been preparing safe ways to celebrate Heritage Week with several activities connected by the theme: Where do you find heritage?

Because of COVID-19 and related restrictions, activities that normally take place at the Mall at Piccadilly, including the Best of the Shuswap Annual Pie Baking Contest and the related pie auction, will not be happening. The mall will still be sponsoring related contests (see the Mall at Piccadilly’s Facebook page for more).

For this year’s Heritage Week, R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum has set up several interactive activities with prizes to be won. One of them, the Leave Us A Comment Contest, asks participants to share on the Haney website where they find heritage in the community.

“It’s in the buildings around Salmon Arm, it could be in the extraordinary stories that your family tells, you can find it at the art gallery or in your visits here at R.J. Haney Heritage Village…,” explained Haney general manager Susan Mackie.

The On This Spot Photo Contest is another interactive activity that encourages people to safely explore their community using the On This Spot app, which allows users to compare historical images of local landmarks with what is there now. Contest participants are asked to post favourite photos taken at these landmarks and share them on their own social media pages as well with R.J. Haney via Facebook and Instagram (with #haneyheritagevilage).

Downtown Salmon Arm is also central to a scavenger hunt that will be hosted through the Haney website. Those who complete the hunt will be entered to win draw prizes.

Heritage Week kicks off on Feb. 15 with an online silent auction, an important fundraiser for R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum. More than 80 items from local businesses, organizations and individuals have been donated, and bidding will be conducted online.

“In the past we’ve been really lucky, we’ve had tons of support from the Salmon Arm community with this silent auction we usually have at the mall, but we’re taking it online so it’s experimental,” said Mackie. “We hope that everybody checks out the link and bids on items and helps make this very successful for us.”

Read more: On This Spot app brings historic Salmon Arm to life

Read more: Salmon Arm’s R.J. Haney heritage park closed but not sitting idle

The heritage village was closed to the public last summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, staff were able to keep up with maintenance and work on several projects, including completion of the Sprig of Heather restaurant – home to the dinner portion of future Villains and Vittles Dinner Theatre productions.

Right now work is underway on the Children’s Museum and Discovery Centre, and an outdoor play area will be open when Haney opens its gates to the public this spring.

“We’re being positive thinkers and we’re thinking if everything goes well, we would love to open,” said Mackie about the coming months. “So we’re planning on opening. The only thing that would stop us at this point is if there are health orders or if it just doesn’t make sense.”

Mackie explained Haney does have a safety plan in place that would allow the public to return while keeping staff, visitors and the attractions safe.

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