Mass moves: Play ambassadors dance in a flash mob in front of the Main Stage organized by busking co-ordinator Roxy Roth on the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds during the Roots and Blues Festival on Saturday

Mass moves: Play ambassadors dance in a flash mob in front of the Main Stage organized by busking co-ordinator Roxy Roth on the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds during the Roots and Blues Festival on Saturday

Activities win crowd approval

Festivalgoers to this year’s Roots and Blues musical extravaganza were treated to on-the-spot entertainment

They came, they heard, they played.

Festivalgoers to this year’s Roots and Blues musical extravaganza were treated to on-the-spot entertainment and interactive experiences.

Board member and festival cultural committee head Elaine Holmes was a delighted with the success of the new program.

“I think what we were trying to achieve happened… I feel like we’ve planted the seeds for performing arts and interactive play.”

An equally elated busking co-ordinator Roxy Roth said her team of performers blossomed to more than 30 and several others have asked to be included next year.

“It started as a pilot project to bring young, local talent onto the site busking,” she says, noting artistic director Peter North asked her to do something for kids and she asked if she could expand it to include all ages.

“With the influence of Elaine, it evolved to include visual arts and the driving force was to have playful, interactive experiences.”

Roth, a local music teacher and owner of In the Groove Studio, says she was grateful for the artistic freedom and that feedback was phenomenal.

“I had an amazing team of outgoing, competent people and they maximized the opportunity,” she says of the buskers and play ambassadors. “They put their vulnerability out there, grew through the experience and got the reward.”

Roth says not only did they make new festival friends, many want to come back again next year.

“I look forward to seeing it grow,” she says. “I really feel this is just the beginning.”

And that makes Salmon Arm Folk Music board chair Lody Kieken happy. He offered high praise for Roth’s efforts and enjoyed the new experiences as well.

“I was sitting backstage when the giant puppet peeked over the fence,” he says. “Then he walked in front of Royal Southern Brotherhood and I saw some of them nudging each other onstage.”