Adams River Salmon Society
September 23, 2010
Salute to the Sockeye a World Class Event
Every four years the North Shuswap basks in the attention of provincial, national and international media thanks to one of the world’s largest salmon runs. With the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) predicting a total of 30 million salmon in the entire Fraser River system, the Adams River run may indeed be one of the largest in a hundred years.
To commemorate the run and to welcome the many thousands of visitors, the Adams River Salmon Society hosts the Salute to the Sockeye celebration at Roderick Haig-Brown Park, held this year from October 2 to October 24. At the event, three large tents are set up. Two tents contain displays about the salmon life-cycle and related issues and are run by staff from BC Parks, DFO and the Fraser Salmon and Watersheds Program. Another tent is for souvenir sales.
"The Salute to the Sockeye"is a unique opportunity to celebrate the diversity and strength of our natural world. It draws tens of thousands of people from around the globe to experience this miracle together," noted Jeremy Heighton with DFO. “The sockeye are a truly miraculous animal. They battle insurmountable odds in order to arrive, spawn and die; thus for many who witness their migration, this life cycle is inspirational,” added Heighton.
Art and music will be parallel themes throughout the event. During the Salute, the Salmon Society’s interpretative cabin is used to market local arts and crafts. This year the Artisan Cabin will be managed by Fireweed Gallery owner, Lynn Erin. Adding to the festive spirit will be a number of local musicians who will take turns busking at the cabin. As well, there will be a number of artists-in-residence during the Salute, who will be observing the sights and capturing the scene with their artwork.
Perhaps the next most popular pastime besides viewing the spawning salmon is enjoying the excellent food served at the four concessions. The Chase and North Shuswap Lions will have one concession and Chase Rotary another, with proceeds going to charities. As well, there will be First Nation booths that serve bannock, bison chili, chowder and BBQ salmon.
The Salute calls for the best hospitality skills that the Shuswap can offer. Many volunteers are needed to help set up, run the admission gate, help with parking, provide interpretive services and serve as event hosts for the expected 120,000 visitors. Over eighty volunteers have signed up so far!
On Sunday, October 3rd, the Adams River Salmon Society in conjunction with the Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band is hosting a one-day festival to celebrate the opening of this year’s Salute to the Sockeye. A full afternoon of free entertainment is planned, including a concert by Shuswap’s most famous Rhythm and Blues band, the Salmon Armenians, who are sponsored by Scotch Creek SuperValu.
The Festival begins at 1 pm with a Secwepemc opening prayer and song by Shuswap elder, Ethyl Billy, followed by a welcoming address by Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band Chief Felix Arnouse. The Festival Emcee will be the well known Shuswap folk singer and music producer, Ted Crouch.
In addition to short talks from Department of Fisheries and Oceans and BC Parks reps, there will be a keynote speech by the daughter of Roderick Haig-Brown, Mary Haig-Brown about her famous father and his connection to the park and his role in fishery conservation.
The theme for the 2010 Salute to the Sockeye Festival is music and one of the highlights will be the performances by the winners of “The Song for the Salmon” songwriting contest. Musicians from throughout the region have spent months composing their songs, which will be judged during the last week of September. The winner will receive $500, two passes to the 2011 Roots and Blues festival and a hand sculpted glass trophy by Chuck St. John. The second place winner will receive $250.
The Festival could not happen without the generosity of our local sponsors: Scotch Creek Super Valu, Peoples Drug Mart and Adams Lake Lumber. For more information, contact Sandra Spicer at 955-8189.