The City of Salmon Arm has stated it is not endorsing a public event planned to take place at city hall on Christmas Eve. (File photo)

The City of Salmon Arm has stated it is not endorsing a public event planned to take place at city hall on Christmas Eve. (File photo)

City of Salmon Arm not endorsing Christmas Eve gathering at city hall

City refers to public health order suspending public gatherings and events

The City of Salmon Arm is not involved with or endorsing an event planned for Christmas Eve at city hall.

“This is not a City event nor is it sponsored by the City in any way,” said Salmon Arm Chief Administrative Officer Carl Bannister, responding by email when asked about flyers found in the downtown on Wednesday, Dec. 23, announcing the evening event.

“Bring your Friends & Family and let’s stand together!” reads the flyer, which invites people to gather at city hall for “singing, hymns, prayer, candle lighting, hot chocolate and community.”

The flyer includes no names or contacts.

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On the morning on of Thursday, Dec. 24, Bannister’s response was reiterated in a public post on the City of Salmon Arm’s Facebook page, adding, “Under an Order of the Public Health Officer, all seasonal activities, including indoor and outdoor holiday events are suspended.”

Staff Sgt. Scott West with the Salmon Arm RCMP said if there are complaints, police will likely attend the Christmas Eve event.

On November 28, Salmon Arm RCMP monitored two public demonstrations, held in contravention of the provincial public health order, one at Blackburn Park and the other at city hall. One of the organizers was fined $2,000 under the COVID Measures Act, as well as a victim surcharge levy of $300.

West asked that people respect one another while maintaining distances and keeping safe.

”Get your immediate family together with some song sheets and go for a singing walk through your neighborhood and spread the joy… Take part in virtual services tonight and come together in that way,” advised West.

“I would like to think that my prayers have been answered over the years and it did not involve a building.

“Nurses and doctors played a large part in those positive outcomes.”

“From your local RCMP Detachment, I would like to extend our best wishes and our hope that people have a safe holiday season.”

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