Chris Meikle helps Ava McCallum drop a blob of blue paint on her artwork in the making before Carson Meikle gets it spinning at the Meikle Studios tent at the 2019 ROOTSandBLUES. (File photo)

Chris Meikle helps Ava McCallum drop a blob of blue paint on her artwork in the making before Carson Meikle gets it spinning at the Meikle Studios tent at the 2019 ROOTSandBLUES. (File photo)

ROOTSandBLUES: Family continues to be a focus for festival organizers

Helping hands still needed for all four festival stages

By Barb Brouwer

Contributor

The only buzzing and humming at the 30th annual Roots and Blues Festival will be among attendees.

The noisy generators that kept electricity running in various spots on the fairground have been replace with permanent hydro power.

This project was completed with the help of the City of Salmon, The Salmon Arm and Shuswap Lake Agricultural Association and Valid Manufacturing, said festival executive director David Gonella.

“It will be lovely and quiet and I’m looking forward to that being a positive change,” he said.

Gonella is also excited that the former Engage Stage in the kids’ area will now be known as the Stage.

“Plulk’w means ‘gathering of the people,’ and our mandate is celebrating together, so it actually fits perfectly,” he said of the name Neskonlith Band member Kenthen Thomas chose. “I’ve been trying to get Kenthen on-board for years.”

Thomas will be in charge of the area and is lining up several acts to run throughout the day.

Gonella said the area has been the centre hub of the festival.

“The family is the centre of our event, and each year we will build on that, and each spoke of the wheel is the stages,” he said.

Read more: ROOTSandBLUES: Week of free concerts announced for downtown Salmon Arm

Read more: Food trucks feed festivalgoers’ want for unique dining experience

Another change of note in 2022 is the absence of cash except at the food vendors and marketplace. While there will be ATMs on site, festival goers will be required to use debit or credit cards at the box office for passes and beer and wine tickets, as well as in the merchandise tent.

Even with almost 200 more sites available than in 2019, camping has sold out and ticket sales are “where we expected them to be,” said Gonella, pointing out that by being one of the least expensive ways to stay in town, camping helps make the festival more affordable.

A 50/50 draw will be held in place of a raffle, which required substantial commitment from sponsors and many volunteers. Tickets are available for purchase online now and will be on-site during the festival. Ticket sales end on Aug. 21, 2022 at 7 p.m., with the draw and winning number being announced at 8:15 from the mainstage.

Online buyers will receive their 50/50 ticket numbers by email, while on-site purchasers will receive physical tickets.

Gonella said volunteer numbers have been decreasing over the past several years and more helping hands are needed for this year. Spots are available for site transport, in the volunteer lounge and at all four stages.

Go online to rootsandblues.ca for more information or to purchase festival or 50/50 tickets. Anyone interested in volunteering can click on the Festival Information tab.

In terms of going live after a two-year hiatus, both downtown and on the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds, Gonella said he is happy people will be able to enjoy the “best-kept secret of B.C.”

He said that without direct support from the province, the Ministry of Tourism, Creative BC, City of Salmon Arm, MLA Greg Kyllo and MP Mel Arnold, the Roots and Blues Festival wouldn’t be happening.

“We can’t thank the community enough for the support they have shown and we are excited to once again bring the sights and sounds of ROOTSandBLUES back to Salmon Arm,” he said. “Our hope is that support continues as we head towards the start of the festival.”


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