More than $400,00 in federal funding will go towards enhancing music-related tourism in Salmon Arm, including efforts to have the city recognized as the Live Music Capital of B.C.
On Thursday, Feb. 23, Pacific Economic Development Canada (PacifiCan) announced 16 recipients within the Thompson Okanagan that will receive more than $2.5 million in funding to revitalize public spaces and enhance tourism experiences.
Among the several recipients in the North Okanagan-Shuswap, the Salmon Arm Folk Music Society (SAFMS) is receiving the largest amount, $436,722. The funding is to be used to support events in the region, including the Salmon Arm Pride Festival and Indigenous Music Festival, and to develop a plan to enhance music-related tourism experiences.
“This funding will help expand local events into multi-day festivals showcasing local Indigenous culture, music and art – attracting thousands of domestic and international tourists,” reads a PacifiCan media release.
SAFMS and ROOTSandBLUES executive director David Gonella said the money will also go towards “creating a formal implementation plan to cultivate Salmon Arm and the Shuswap to be known as the Live Music Capital of BC.”
The money will also be used to purchase a mobile stage to use at community events, said Gonella.
Other PacifiCan funding recipients in the Shuswap include the Adams Lake Band, which will be receiving $130,000 to design an amphitheater to expand Indigenous tourism offerings; Shuswap Water Tours Inc. is to receive $367,500 to build a new floating dock and purchase additional watercraft for boat tours in Blind Bay; and $61,500 is going to the Scotch Creek Hub to expand tourism experiences at the Hub’s Family Fun Centre.
Gonella and SAFMS are excited by PacifiCan’s commitment to supporting growth and diversity of cultural events in the Shuswap community, including the Small Hall Concert series, the second annual Pride Festival Concert, and the creation of a new Indigenous Music Festival.
“These events celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the area, and provide a platform for talented artists to showcase their skills to a wider audience,” said Gonella. “PacifiCan’s investment in the Live Music Capital of British Columbia initiative will help ensure that the Shuswap remains a top destination for cultural events and tourism, while also helping to facilitate the production of high-quality events that attract visitors from far and wide.”
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