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Upcoming documentary celebrates Shuswap music scene, past and present

Celebrate Shuswap highlights music community’s resilience through pandemic
The documentary, Celebrate Shuswap, will stream on June 19. (File image)

An upcoming documentary aims to strike a note for the Shuswap’s music community and resonate among those longing for the return of live music to the region.

The filming of Celebrate Shuswap began last year, after the pandemic had closed concert venues and prevented artists from performing live. Around the same time, Salmon Arm’s newest live music venue, Song Sparrow Hall, was set to host its first series of concerts. Subsequently, conversations around a documentary started between the venue’s owners, Craig Newnes and Clea Roddick, and Acoustic Avenue Music’s Ted Crouch. An application was submitted to Music BC for a grant through SoundON, “a province-wide campaign and resilience fund to help bring B.C.’s music community back together, and provide support to artists, presenters, production staff and venues.”

The application was successful, and plans were under way for the Celebrate Shuswap documentary. Over a three-week period, local artists performed and shared their stories, not with a live audience, but to video cameras.

Crouch explained delays due to the pandemic provided an opportunity to increase the scope of the documentary, allowing it to delve into the greater arts community as well as provide some historical context. In addition to performing musicians, including Megan Abel, Chicken-Like Birds, Devon More, Skullinz/Tara Willard, Mozi Bones, Jimmy Two Shoes and the Lost Soles and Newnes and Roddick, the documentary also features interviews with artist and Salmon Arm Arts Centre director/curator Tracey Kutschker, musician/music educator Jim Johnston, Larry Keats, Roots and Blues’ David Gonella and Peter North and Secwepemc knowledge-keeper Louis Thomas.

Read more: Documentary to celebrate the Shuswap’s music scene

Read more: Secwepemc knowledge-keeper’s contributions recognized by Province of B.C.

Crouch said more that 700 people involved in the Shuswap’s music scene expressed interest in taking part in the documentary. Though it wasn’t possible to feature them all, all of their names will be included in the credits.

The documentary will be streamed on Saturday, June 19, and will be available to view free of charge, with the option to provide a donation.

“It’s bringing awareness to… just how important live music is to people, and it’s been a rough ride for all of them who just like to play music…,” said Crouch, who is hopeful the documentary will get people excited about live music returning to the Shuswap, possibly later this summer. “It’s coming back, we’re going to survive this, and we’ll be standing stronger with a gorgeous new facility… where more shows can be presented.”

For more information, including how to stream Celebrate Shuswap, visit
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Lachlan Labere

About the Author: Lachlan Labere

Editor of the Salmon Arm Observer, Shuswap Market, and Eagle Valley News. I'm always looking for new and exciting ways to keep our readers informed and engaged.
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