Monthly Archives: June 2012

Shuswap Coffee House piano still in tune

Although the Shuswap Coffee House music festival was a washout, it did not dampen the enthusiasm for events during the remainder of 1980 and throughout 1981. A team of volunteer directors that included myself as president, Jake Jacobson as treasurer, Dale Bush as vice-president and Linda Tanaka as publicity director sponsored 17 events in 1980 alone. A major change occurred that year, as the Shuswap Theatre purchased its current venue, a former auto repair shop. And in October we held the final event in Tappen, dubbed “The Last Tango in Tappen,” that featured singer-songwriter extraordinaire, Dan Rubin, who played  a variety of instruments including the piano, guitar, violin, and bouzouki.

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The Shuswap’s first music festival

The Shuswap’s first music festival

“Coffee House scores a hit” read the headline of the December 20, 1978 Salmon Arm Observer, which went on to describe the first night in the new Shuswap Theatre in Tappen as a “resounding success,” at which “a new club has been launched.”  This event was the beginning of a golden era for musical entertainment in our community. Often the audiences were full for both open mikes that featured local talent and for entertainers from throughout Canada, including some international groups.

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Memories of the Shuswap Coffee House Days

Memories of the Shuswap Coffee House Days

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival, although one year was skipped just prior to the first year of the outdoor festival at the Fall Fair grounds. For many years the festival was just one project of the Salmon Arm Folk Music Society, which also sponsored concerts and dances throughout the year. Before the Folk Music Society there was the Shuswap Coffee House that sponsored dances, concerts and many open mic’s from 1976 until 1983, in a variety of venues.

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