The fourth annual Wild Salmon Festival is swimming into Lumby’s Community Park today and Saturday to bring attention for a fish passage on the Shuswap River.
Held previously in July, organizers moved the festival to September to coincide with the return of the salmon to the area, and with families returning from summer holidays.
“The Wild Salmon Festival creates awareness about our local wild salmon and the goal to build a fish passage around Wilsey Dam on the Shuswap River near Lumby, which would enable the chinook, sockeye and coho salmon to access 30 kilometres of pristine spawning area above the dam towards Cherryville,” said festival producer Randy Rauck.
The Wilsey Dam was constructed in 1929 by the West Canadian Hydro Electric Corporation (which later became part of BC Hydro), with the recommendation that a fish passage be constructed then.
“Historically, these spawning grounds were an important spiritual and cultural site,” said Rauck. “The dam turbines at Shuswap Falls also provided power to most of the North Okanagan area in past times.”
Besides presentations on the salmon, festival attendees can enjoy an eclectic array of musical performances, kids activities, vendors, food, including a wild salmon dinner, workshops, dignitaries, the salmon trail walk, and more.
This year’s music headliners include two of the Okanagan’s hottest acts, The Young’uns, who take the stage tonight, and High Voltage, an AC/DC tribute band, on Saturday night.
Many other Okanagan artists will play throughout the weekend including the Floyd Vedan Band, Wheelhouse, Gallon’s Corner, The Mabel Lickers, The Handles, Adrenaline Rush, the band formerly known as Crossfire, Barefoot Caravan… the list goes on.
Free workshops on Saturday include playing the ukulele with Christine Kendal-Ward at 2 p.m. and percussion and movement with Angela Roy (of Barefoot Caravan/Expression Collective) at 3 p.m.
Gates to the festival open at 5 p.m. today and at noon Saturday. Tickets are $15 today and $20 Saturday (kids under 12 are free) at the gate and in advance at Village Gallery on Vernon Street (Highway 6), Lumby.
For more information and a full schedule of events, visit www.WildSalmonFest.com.