Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer Booker T. Jones leads his band in a song on the Roots & Blues main stage on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.

Fest a success despite wildfires

Roots and Blues earns good reviews, small increase in festivalgoers, sales

Smoky skies didn’t cloud the success of the 2017 Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival.

“With the summer we had, with emergency fire warnings and other festivals cancelling, we were pretty glad to come out on the black side with revenue,” executive director David Gonella told city council late last year.

Council responded with kudos.

“The profit last year and a little profit this year, that’s a tribute to the board,” Coun. Alan Harrison said.

“From those ticket sales graphs, you can see really they’re high in advance in March. If they hadn’t been, when the smoke rolled in, they wouldn’t have been so high… I’d like to thank the board publicly and the staff that’s there.”

The 2017 festival tallied a profit of about $40,000.

Gonella said general cost increases were across the board, including more than $10,000 for the office move, a series of break-ins at the quonset amounting to about $10,000, replacement storage $5,000, security costs $8,000 and travel and training costs of $16,000.

Related: Roots & Blues 2017 a family affair

Related: Crawl kicks off Roots & Blues

About 27,000 people attended the festival, “a slight increase from last year,” Gonella says.

The festival was promoted heavily in the Lower Mainland and Calgary, he said, as were day trips.

Fifty-seven per cent of attendees came from outside the area, 66 per cent stayed in the Shuswap two or more days, and 76 per cent said they are planning to return in 2018, according to statistics gathered from more than 500 surveys on site as well as a post-event online survey.

Eleven per cent of attendees were in the 18 to 34 age bracket, 27 per cent from 35 to 55 and 37 per cent 56 and up.

Gonella showed a map of the reach of the festival, which extended across North America, with even a few sales in Europe.

To make the festival financially successful, Gonella said the three core staff explored new grants and funding opportunities, expanded ticket sales via Askew’s, the Orchard Park Shopping Mall in Kelowna and with lots of help from the Hillcrest Elementary Parent Advisory Council.

The use of billboards was increased in locations such as the Tsawwassen ferry, West Kelowna, Chase, Three Valley Gap and Enderby. Roots and Blues also worked with Shuswap Tourism and Destination BC on promotions, and increased in-kind sponsorship.

Gonella said new sponsor, Canada Dry Motts, introduced a popular tasting area.

This year’s Roots and Blues Festival will be held Aug. 16 to 19. Tickets are available online at www.rootsandblues.ca, or by calling 250-833-4096.

In the meantime, one of the hugely popular entertainers at the 2017 festival, Irish Mythen, will perform on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at First United’s The Nexus, 450 Okanagan Ave. SE in Salmon Arm, doors open at 6:30 p.m, concert starts at 7.

For those interested in the inner workings of the festival, the Salmon Arm Folk Music Society annual general meeting will be held on Jan. 17 at the Comfort Inn in Salmon Arm. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the AGM will begin at 7. Membership, past and present, and the public are invited to attend.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@saobserver.net
.

@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Columbia Shuswap Regional District establishing junior firefighter program

Aimed at youth 15-17 in Columbia Shuswap region to help with training and potential recruitment

Okanagan clinical team to research Alzheimer’s Disease drug

Disease-modifying medication study seeks participants

School District 83 reveals fall budget changes due to surplus funds

Extra staff, counselling and supports a top priority for additional funds

School District to offer online performing arts courses

Courses give students credit for extracurricular performance projects

Depleted roster contributes to Silverbacks’ 5-0 loss to Merritt

Four key players off the ice due to injury, suspension

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Migrants, police mass in town on Guatemala-Mexico border

Many of the more than 2,000 Hondurans in a migrant caravan trying to wend its way to the United States left spontaneously with little more than the clothes on their backs and what they could quickly throw into backpacks.

5 to start your day

Man killed in shooting at Abbotsford bank, ex-Surrey cop to appear in court after Creep Catchers sting and more

Trump: ‘Severe’ consequences if Saudis murdered Khashoggi

Pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak on Wednesday said it had obtained audio recordings of the alleged killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Feds dead set against ‘ridiculous’ quotas to replace steel, aluminum tariffs

Donald Trump imposed the so-called Section 232 tariffs — 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum — back in June on national security grounds.

Campus brawl leads to charge against B.C. football player

Takudzwa Timothy Brandon Gandire, a 21-year-old defensive back from Vancouver, is charged with assault causing bodily harm.

Stadium vendor seen in pizza spitting video pleads guilty

The 21-year-old’s sentencing is Nov. 15. His lawyer has said he understood what he did was wrong and was remorseful.

Jury finds Calgary couple guilty in 2013 death of toddler son

Jeromie and Jennifer Clark were found guilty of criminal negligence causing death

Fed report to show $19-billion deficit in 2017-18

The deficit is slightly smaller than Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s prediction of $19.4 billion in last winter’s budget

Most Read