Communities

Salmon Arm – Big ideas for a city with big rewards

photo by Mike Simpson, Big Sky Aerials

The result of the recent branding project for Salmon Arm, “Small City, Big Ideas,” engenders a vibrant future for the community filled with the promise of innovative, high tech businesses as well as exciting, new cultural and recreational opportunities. Given that the population last year skyrocketed with 9.3 percent growth that included many young families, another brand that might make even more sense to describe the community that exists now would be “Small City, Big Rewards.

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Gardom Lake Community Park in jeopardy

Why is it that success can sometimes lead to conflict and possible failure? That is certainly the case at Gardom Lake, where a strong sense of community spirit has resulted in decades of successful management of the 40-acre community park that includes a beach, two islands and a ballpark. Although hundreds of people enjoy the well-kept grounds and beach access, a disgruntled few who would prefer seeing half the beach area turned into a boat launch has likely pushed the provincial government to end its support for this community gem.

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Shuswap’s cowboy community

The friendly, unincorporated village of Falkland may be small with its population of 879, but it is a bustling, growing community with diverse and unique features and amenities. In the past, major employers included local sawmills, the railroad and the gypsum mine. Today, Falkland has become a bedroom community for Vernon that is just 35 minutes away, as young families are settling here to take advantage of the healthy, rural lifestyle and lower housing costs.

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Peaceful riverside living at its best

The Kingfisher Hall

Nestled adjacent to the Shuswap River approximately 10 minutes east of Enderby is the serene community of Ashton Creek, where thousands of tubers and paddlers begin their floats during the heat of the summer. Their journeys begin just downstream from the old, one lane, timber trestle Trinity Valley Bridge, which may be replaced in a few years with a modern steel and concrete structure.

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Enderby – Shuswap’s river city

With a population of slightly less than 3,000, one might think that Enderby is the province’s smallest city, however that title goes to Greenwood where just 665 people live. Enderby may be small, but it has much to offer given its many recreational opportunities, the importance it places on heritage and community values and its close relationship with the adjacent Splatsin community. Although its population is aging, there has been a resurgence of young families moving into the city, as the elementary school enrollment is over capacity.
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The close-knit community of Cherryville

Cherryville Community Hall

Nestled beneath the foothills of the Monashee Mountains in the southeast corner of the Shuswap is the close-knit, rural community of Cherryville, a hub for adventure tourism. With a population of just 1,010 residents and only two stores, the community relies upon its strength of cooperation and sharing, given its isolation and distance from major population centres.

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Lumby – where small is beautiful

 Lumby Days Mural, photo by Dale Eurich

E.F. Schumacher’s book, “Small is beautiful – A Study of Economics as if People Mattered” certainly applies to the Village of Lumby. With 1,833 residents, Lumby is indeed the smallest municipality in the Shuswap, but it may also be one of the friendliest. It is a close knit, outdoors oriented community that has many of the services available in larger centres, including an impressive parks and recreation program.
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Where farming is a way of life

The cozy, unincorporated communities of Mara and Grindrod are nestled into the picturesque lower Shuswap River Valley, where the meandering placid river, green pastures and fields of corn and alfalfa dominate the landscape. Although most of the agricultural income in the valley comes from dairy farming, the diversity is increasing yearly as new crops are being grown in the rich soil, including organic vegetables, blueberries and grapes.

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Gifts that keep on giving

Kathi Cooperman surveys the west Shuswap from the Blind Bay Lookout

As we approach the solstice and the holiday season, it is appropriate to reflect on how fortunate we are to live in the Shuswap. It is a gift that keeps on giving, to live here, surrounded by clean air, clean water, green trees, and friendly neighbours. Plus we have four seasons to enjoy a wide diversity of recreational pursuits from golfing, swimming and boating to hiking, biking, skiing and snowshoeing.
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The transformative, gateway community of Sicamous

Sicamous from the hang gliding ramp lookout. Photo by Ian Clay

At the eastern gateway to the Shuswap is the municipality of Sicamous, a transformative community that is poised to re-invent itself again. Its unusual name is a derivation of the Secwepemc word “Shick-a-mows” meaning  “squeezed in the middle.” The early surveyor and explorer Walter Moberly first used the written word on his 1866 map of the region to describe the narrows between Shuswap and Mara Lakes.
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