The view from Bastion Mountain, photo by Wendy Clay
Secondary school students returning to Shuswap schools this fall have a new resource to use that will improve their knowledge about their home place. Everything Shuswap will form part of their social studies curriculum and will be used in other classes as well. Although it is the most comprehensive source of information about our region to date, there is much more to be learned about the Shuswap and the book can be used as a source of ideas for more study and research.
Thanks to so many dedicated people, the 25th Roots and Blues Festival was a big success. Shooting footage for my annual festival video review kept me busy visiting many stages and interviewing attendees, artists, vendors and volunteers. My filming primarily focuses on my favourite music genres, and there was no shortage of great bands and artists this year. The diversity of music was in sync with the diversity of the festival attendees who were of all ages and from all corners of the globe, as our festival has now become one of the best in Canada.
It was inspiring to spend a day inside the massive Splatsin Centre with hundreds of people, all eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring. The 23rd annual Shuswap Seed Swap held on Saturday, March 4th was a huge success, as in addition to the significant sales of seeds, produce, tasty food and handmade items, the many participants enjoyed meeting up with friends and sharing information about sustainable living.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip addresses the crowd at the Splatsin Centre grand opening
Did you know that in addition to reading these Shuswap Passion columns in this paper and online, you can also watch Shuswap Passion videos? Since 2011, I have produced 91 videos, most of which can be watched on my YouTube channel. While many of the videos focus on music, there are also mini-documentaries on hiking, skiing, paddling and environmental issues. My most recent video documents an extraordinary event, the December 16, 2016 grand opening of the massive new Splatsin Centre and includes clips of speeches, drumming, marching, story telling and singing. [SPLATSIN CENTRE VIDEO]
His smile is infectious, his spirit boundless, and he offers warmth and friendship to everyone he meets. Legendary dancer, Ernie Philip was born in Tappen in 1930, lived on the coast and returned home in 1989, where he continues to live today. Over his lifetime, he has earned countless awards, danced in countries around the world, worked in film and TV, and inspired many First Nation youth to take more pride in their ancient culture.
“Lily pad haven” Humamilt Lake photo by Jim Cooperman
The light bulbs were shining brightly above their heads three years ago when Trail Alliance Director Phil McIntyre-Paul and Salmon Arm Art Gallery Director Tracey Kutschker jointly conceived their collaborative project to meld experiencing Shuswap trails with art and photography. The result, an exciting and unique show, is open for the summer and deserves to be seen by everyone. Prepare to be inspired, as the paintings, the photos and the stories will both engage you and encourage you to experience these remarkable areas yourself.
Tania Willard on the cover of Spirit magazine
Sometimes it takes a trip to Vancouver to learn something new about where you live. One of the goals of our recent visit to the big city was to attend a show of historical photos at Presentation House Gallery in North Vancouver. In addition to collecting art including many of Charles Collings’ watercolours, Uno Langmann had over the years amassed a remarkable collection of original photographs from British Columbia and he recently donated all 18,000 of them to the UBC Library. We chose to view many of these prints on the evening he gave a talk about the collection.
Splatsin Community Centre, image by George Williams
Peace, harmony and goodwill are integral to the holiday season and these ideals are also part of the spirit behind the new Splatsin Community Centre, which was officially opened on December 5th. A massive round building with room for upwards of 2,000 people, the magnificent building is designed in the shape of the traditional underground winter lodge with a sod roof. There are 24 huge log posts and beams surrounding the multi-use main floor, and on the upper level there is a circular balcony running track along with offices and meeting rooms.
Roots and Blues Festival Boogie Barn dance scene
Despite the enormous increase in opportunities to hear live music in the Shuswap, there has been an unfortunate decline in community dances. A number of factors have resulted in the decline, including more stringent rules and regulations, more expensive fees for use of facilities, and a waning of interest in dancing. This situation was certainly not always the case, as the Shuswap has a long history of dancing.
Some favourite photos from this year’s festival here