Spring fever at the Shuswap Seed Swap

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.
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A Shuswap Passion Production

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]

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Ernie Philip – Shuswap’s living legend

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.
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An art show that is not to be missed

“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.

Phil McIntyre-Paul

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Local Secwepemc artist making waves





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.
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Splatsin Community Centre opens with great celebration

                            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.
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What happened to dancing?

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.

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Roots and Blues 2012

Some favourite photos from this year’s festival here



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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