By Tracey Kutschker, Salmon Arm Arts Centre
Despite the year’s twists and turns, the Salmon Arm Arts Centre launched a number of vibrant and engaging programs in 2021.
Over the spring and summer, the Arts Centre team created The Wharf Sessions, a digital album celebrating the spirit of Wednesday On the Wharf, which is available free online. It features 11 bands and one fantastic storyteller from the Shuswap, and can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and on the arts centre website.
The Salmon Arm Art Gallery remained open throughout 2021, and presented seven engaging exhibitions. The highlight was Piqw (Secwepemctsin meaning “to look”), which featured 470 miniature works of art by all ages of artists. The summer exhibitions of Walking at 6000’ and Sound Machines were well attended and spawned digital offerings that can be found on Salmon Arm Arts Centre’s YouTube channel.
In August 2021, the triple-rainbow crosswalk was installed in the intersection in front of the arts centre. The original Pride flag, the inclusive Pride flag, and the Transgender Pride flag make up the three colourful crosswalks and have been the subject of many jubilant photos and social media posts. Also in August, a Tri-Partite agreement was signed between the Shuswap District Arts Council, City of Salmon Arm, and Salmon Arm Economic Development with the goal of advancing the action plans within the new Cultural Master Plan.
The arts centre marked the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with a ceremony on the front plaza attended by over one hundred people, with Secwepemc knowledge-keeper Louis Thomas leading the ceremony, and Erica Seymour and her family performing the honour song.
October saw the second annual Salmon Arm Pride Project Arts and Awareness Festival. It was a huge success, with many in-person and online events using the arts to promote acceptance and awareness of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
The exhibition Breaking the Binary continued in the art gallery, and through art, shared stories about human experience outside of the male-female/gay-straight binaries. Over the course of this past year, the arts centre published 21 Family Saturdays episodes, 19 artist talks and five Pride Project mini-docs, which can be found on YouTube at Salmon Arm Arts Centre.
The Salmon Arm Arts Council is honored to serve the community, and to continue to find new ways to spark creativity and connection in Salmon Arm.
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