Mayors take up reading challenge

Sicamous Mayor Darrell Trouton and Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky get started with an Okanagan Reads challenge for all Okanagan mayors to read the book Shoot! - Jennifer smith/Morning star
Sicamous Mayor Darrell Trouton and Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky get started with an Okanagan Reads challenge for all Okanagan mayors to read the book Shoot!
— image credit: Jennifer smith/Morning star

A new chapter in political duties has been issued to mayors up and down the Okanagan Valley.

The Okanagan Regional Library has initiated a Mayor’s Challenge through the Okanagan Reads project.

“We will challenge all mayors to read the book, especially in the Okanagan,” said Sicamous Mayor Darrell Trouton, a cowboy at home and heart who is eager to dig into the selected western novel.

The challenge will see the elected officials read Shoot!, a novel set in the Thompson Okanagan in the late 1800s by award-winning Okanagan author and Canada’s first Poet Laureate, George Bowering.

“This will be a month-long project just to get the people of the Okanagan excited about reading,” said Tara Thompson, Vernon Regional Library’s new head librarian.

Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky, who has also picked up the challenge, is pleased to support local libraries.

“One of my first jobs when I was delivering newspapers back in Saskatchewan was at the library,” said Sawatzky. “I was there so much that they just hired me.”

Growing up with his nose in books, Sawatzky quotes another regional politician on the importance of libraries.

“Coldstream Coun. Maria Besso said recently she sees the library as a community’s living room,” said Sawatzky.

The Okanagan Reads project will see Shoot! author Bowering visit the Vernon library March 1 at 7 p.m.

In theme with the book, Cowboy poet Ken Mather will visit the Salmon Arm library Feb. 21 at  1 p.m.

Cowboy artist Rob Dinwoodie will be at the Enderby library Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. and at the Vernon branch March 2 at 2 p.m.

Folk Singers Jon Bartlett and Rika Ruebsatt will visit Salmon Arm March 7 at 1 p.m. and then the Armstrong branch March 8 at 7 p.m.

For more information on the project visit


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