The Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival has fantastic fun for families

The 22nd annual festival kicks off Friday and goes all weekend long, Aug. 15, 16 and 17

At this weekend’s Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival, family is an important part of the annual event and the Hub International Barton Family Fun Zone provides fun and exciting activities for kids of all ages!

Coming to the 2014 Hub International Barton Family Stage: Dan Zanes, Rattle and Strum, and Nylon Zoo — three family-inclusive performers who focus on interactive play, storytelling and dress-up while they weave mature musical sounds with smart youth-centred content. These dynamic acts will get you dancing and playing whether you are two, or 62.

Dan Zanes is passionate about making homemade family music, and encouraging his friends and neighbors to do the same. Dan began his musical career during the ‘80s as a member of The Del Fuegos, later releasing a solo album before his foray into the field of family entertainment. In 2000, he released the children’s folk-tinged album Rocket Ship Beach, featuring musical friends Sheryl Crow, Suzanne Vega, Donald Saaf, Rankin Don and the Sandy Girls. It became an immediate hit with families all around America. The Dan Zanes Gusto Hour is a chance for families and people of all ages to gather and sing at the top of their lungs in a loose, communal and festive environment.

Rattle and Strum gets kids of all ages dancing, clapping, singing and playing. With Heather (Strum) on guitar, Steve (Rattle) on drums, audience on percussion, and everybody singing, this highly interactive band leaves nobody out and is known for original music that parents enjoy, too! Heather, formally trained as a music therapist, has been teaching children through music for years. Steve, who also teaches music to youngsters, has been playing drums since he could hold the sticks. Together Rattle and Strum are an irresistible combination with an unbeatable recipe for fun. Rattle and Strum released their first self-titled album in August 2013 and it quickly received a prestigious Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Armed with catchy tunes, grooves, visual props, extra instruments for the audience members, a great sense of fun and silliness, this is a show that will not be forgotten.

Ever been inside the belly of a giant magical salmon or frog? Ever munched on magical eucalyptus leaves that transform you into a real-life dancing koala? Join Nylon Zoo and enter a fantastical story “zoo-niverse,” a place where theatre, costume, dance, music and play allow you to journey to ancient kingdoms, to enchanted realms and to sparkly unicorn playgrounds and back again. This journey of the imagination is a celebration of colour, magic and play that will stay with the young and young-at-heart forever. Nylon Zoo is an art ensemble that specializes in interactive story activities. They incorporate giant story-telling inflatable creatures, theatre, costume, dance, music, stories and play, in presenting fun-filled, magical experiences. The Nylon Zoo is led by Alisoun Payne, a Shuswap native who has been a performance artist for 23 years.

The 22nd Annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Salmon Arm Fair Grounds, one block off the Trans Canada Highway in the centre of Salmon Arm. Kids 12 and under are admitted free of charge. For tickets, see