Siblings and Nico’s Nurseryland managers Maaike Johnson and Marty van der Pauw stand in front of the newly replaced front entrance to their business which was badly damaged by fire on June 8, 2022. (File photo)

Siblings and Nico’s Nurseryland managers Maaike Johnson and Marty van der Pauw stand in front of the newly replaced front entrance to their business which was badly damaged by fire on June 8, 2022. (File photo)

Year in Review: The Observer looks back at headlines from July 2022

  • Dec. 25, 2022 1:30 p.m.

The Salmon Arm Observer looks back at the stories that made headlines in 2022.


• Teacher Ryon Ready’s Grade 9 French immersion students have once again wrote to city council, inquiring about the future of the City of Salmon Arm’s flag. About 25 students either signed or initialled the same letter, expressing their dislike for the flag, adding there is still time to work with youth and local artists to come up with a new and better design. Another letter came from Ready, which began by thanking council members for all the work they do for the community. “Secondly, thank you for tolerating one annoying young teacher’s passion project and (hopefully) relatively neutral way of introducing our young students how to engage with a civic issue.” One student wrote, “Our current flag is a great slogan, but a terrible flag…”

• Salmon Arm Coun. Chad Eliason would not be seeking re-election after 17 years on city council. Eliason was first elected in 2005 as a 27-year old. “I’m going to stop doing politics for a bit. It’s been a good 17 years. I want to let other people have a shot and do it. Seventeen years is a long time to do something…,” he said. “I think we did some really good things as a team, as a council, over the terms. I’m on my third mayor; management, everything, has changed through and through. “ think the people at the table have done a pretty good job of getting stuff done.”

• Intersections along the Trans-Canada Highway continue to be the most dangerous in Salmon Arm for vehicle crashes. ICBC released its annual provincial crash statistics, including the Salmon Arm area. In 2021, the intersection of Highway 1 and 30th Street NE hung onto its unenviable top spot with nine crashes. The statistic includes the 10th Avenue NE frontage road and turning lanes. Also seeing nine crashes was the Trans-Canada Highway and 10th Street SW intersection, which includes Lakeshore Drive SW and turning lanes.

• Concern around ongoing use of a public park for political rallies prompted the city to reply. On Tuesday, July 12, the City of Salmon Arm issued a statement saying the mayor, council and staff “share in the community frustration over the disruptive and disrespectful use of Blackburn Park on a number of recent occasions.” The city described the park as a cherished community asset welcoming residents and visitors alike, with amenities widely used by children, teens, families and seniors. “It is a shared space worthy of all our care and concern,” the statement reads. When planning to use the park for a public event, the city explained it is customary to write the mayor and council for permission. Permission is granted subject to appropriate insurance and the expectation that the event be held in a civil and appropriate fashion…”

• It’s been a stressful, sometimes traumatic, six weeks, but Nico’s Nurseryland in Salmon Arm was getting back to normal. On July 21, managers (and siblings) Maaike Johnson and Marty van der Pauw reopened the business’s front entrance and store front following a fire on June 8. Although van der Pauw predicts it will likely be January before things are completely back to the way they were, “it’s coming along,” he said on July 22. Johnson and van der Pauw expressed their gratitude for all the people who supported them after the blaze.

• An 89-unit apartment building allowing seniors to ‘age in place’ was proposed for 10th Avenue in Salmon Arm near the Mall at Piccadilly. Two parcels at 1511 and 1561 10th Ave. SW, combining at 1.3 acres, will require rezoning from C3, service commercial, to C6, tourist/ recreational commercial. The two parcels are between Westgate Mall to the west and the Piccadilly mall to the east.

Shuswap residents are again opening their hearts and doors to people fleeing war. Thanks to the efforts of more than 60 volunteers from Sicamous to Chase, three Ukrainian families will be welcomed over the next two months – two families in August and the third, about a month later. Additional host families, funding, volunteers and household and clothing items are required. The group, Shuswap Support to Ukrainians, set up a GoFundMe page, which is accessible at

• When the Salvation Army’s Lighthouse Shelter in Salmon Arm closed its beds for good on May 31, little information was available regarding what would be offered to people without homes come November. In an email to the Observer, BC Housing said the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has been selected as a new shelter operator. “We are still searching for a new appropriate shelter location, as the old shelter is being used for other purposes. We never want to see people sleeping on the streets, which is why we are working closely with the City of Salmon Arm and stakeholders to find a permanent location for a new shelter that will operate year round to avoid further relocations.”

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