2017 in review: August

2017 in review: August

Smoke from distant wildfires blanketed the Shuswap and the local homelessness issuewas discussed .


Officials asked the public to use extreme caution, especially in the backcountry as crews continued to battle wildfires. The Shuswap got a double-whammy for smoke as acrid, ash-filled smoke emanated from Washington State and the Elephant Hill fire. The fire hazard was rated high to extreme throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre.

David Shea, a graduate of Salmon Arm Secondary, was on the hunt for underwater treasure – of the historical kind. At the bottom of Lake Ontario is believed to be the missing piece of Canadian aviation history. Nine prototype test-plane models of the infamous Avro Arrow jet were created and launched into Lake Ontario between 1954 and 1957. She is the vice-president of engineering for Kraken Sonar Systems, based in Newfoundland, which has developed an advanced sonar system. Shea was previously part of the successful Arctic search for the ship lost in the 1845 Franklin Expedition.

Joining the women’s team paid off for Skylar Presch. As coxswain for Team BC women’s 8 rowing squad, Presch and his teammates picked up a gold medal at the Canada Summer Games. While Presch usually rows with men, a change in the rules now allows for the coxswain, the strategist of the team who monitors the rowers’ techniques, to be of either gender.

“There’s a lot of amazing athleticism among this team. We all had the same goal in mind, to win gold, so when you have a group of athletes with the same mentality, it’s easy to build a crew.”

Groups came together to look for solutions to the growing visibility of homeless people in Salmon Arm.

“It’s not something we haven’t seen before, but we haven’t seen it last this long,” said city councillor Louise Wallace Richmond.

Sgt. Scott Lachapelle, who has worked in other communities with similar problems, said Salmon Arm doesn’t have the resources such as shelters that vulnerable people can rely on.

“Law enforcement is only a small part…Community involvement needs to be a bigger part.”

He said he favoured donating to organizations aimed at getting people into housing, rather than throwing $2 into a hat.

Building stats thrilled council: 73 building permits for single-family houses in seven months. The city’s monthly building department report showed 17 single family building permits issued in July this year, up over nine in July 2016. That brought the total number of single family homes to date this year to 73, nearly double 2016’s 39 for the same period.

“It is an exciting time for Salmon Arm and a time of high growth,” said Mayor Nancy Cooper.

When you think music schools there’s one name that stands out above the rest. Julliard. And that’s exactly where Salmon Arm pianist, Jaeden Izik-Dzurko is headed, with part of that financial cost being contributed by the Roots & Blues Fine Arts Development Scholarship.

Roots and Blues festival organizers are happy with the turnout, the weather, and the reviews.

“We’re still not sure of the numbers but I know we’re in the black,” said an elated executive director David Gonella. He said they put in an effort to providing the best festival possible, not just from a performer lineup point of view, but from the sights, activities, food and beverage amenities as well.

“I feel proud of the event, of the team that put it together – the community, city council, and city workers who came on their own time to water the roads, and those who come to reunite with friends who work together year after year.”

The Silverbacks hockey club reached a three-season deal with the Shuswap Recreation Society, securing their home at the Shaw Centre through the 2020 season. The deal also covered the club’s new operations with the Salmon Arm Hockey School ad the Maximum Edge Hockey Shop. The Silverbacks purchased the hockey school in May from the group that had been operating it for the past 37 years.

“Our goal is to rapidly grow the Salmon Arm Elite Hockey School and programs…so together we can make the Silverbacks viable long term,” said Silverbacks GM Troy Mick.