Launching into Shuswap

Geographical journal explores vast, diverse region

From primordial soup to lush landscapes and diverse wildlife and human populations, environmentalist Jim Cooperman’s Everything Shuswap: A Geographic Handbook Volume 1, is a tell-all tale of the region.

Long in the making, the launch will take place at the Nexus at First United Church at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 17.

“This will be a gala affair with live music, speakers, slides and a reading, followed by complimentary wine and cheese and other refreshments,” says Cooperman.

The event will feature local three singer-songwriters – Aimie Law, Megan Abel and Ruby Bruce plus jazz with Jake McIntyre-Paul and friends and Sylvain Vallee on piano.

Not just an engrossing read, Everythng Shuswap’s author is gifting the valuable journal to School District #83 as a resource for teachers and students. As well, all proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the school district’s outdoor learning program.

Travel back in time to see how geological forces created the Shuswap and its many watercourses; learn about the ecology and limnology of the Shuswap, life for our First Nations neighbours, settlement and resources.

Everything Shuswap is the result of a unique collaboration between Cooperman, School District #83 and Shuswap Press, and supported by local governments, businesses, organizations and individuals.

“It’s been great working with Jim… I appreciate the time and effort he has put into this,” says School District #83 superintendent Glenn Borthistle, who also acknowledges the work of Louise Wallace Richmond of Playfort Publishing. “The exciting things for this is that our teachers will have the resource and also the proceeds will go to outdoor education.”

Borthistle says teachers are on-side and many of the schools in the district now have outdoor classrooms. Funds from Everything Shuswap will further enable students to explore by going on field trips, including to North Fork Wild Conservation Park – the result of another exciting collaboration.

”It’s a beautiful volume that really does a great job of describing a number of components of our region and a tremendous resource for us as we implement the new curriculum,” he adds.

Equally enthusiastic about the book is Shuswap Trail Alliance executive director Phil McIntyre Paul, who extols the many educational aspects of Everything Shuswap and calls it the perfect complement to the Shuswap Trail Guide.

His advice? Read the book to learn about the trails, then take the trail guide out on an adventure to experience the many beautiful trails in person.

Before it hist the market, the book’s May 17 release gala will feature several speakers, including Alan Haig Brown, Mark Hume, Mayor Nancy Cooper, Phil McIntyre-Paul and other community leaders.

An award-winning author, whose name is reflected in the North Shuswap park that is home to the annual Adams River sockeye salmon run, has written the introduction to Everything Shuswap.

“To know a land is to appreciate all of its geological and human history. Such knowing, even with the help of elders’ stories and documented sources, can take decades, but to also know it by walking it and living in it is the work of a lifetime.,” says Haig-Brown. “Reading this book has given me a new impetus to follow the trails and view the places that the author has brought to such vibrant life.”

Following the May 17 launch, the book will be available at Askews Foods, Enderby IGA, the Salmon Arm Observer office, PharmaChoice Scotch Creek and the Blind Bay Country Market.

Eagle Valley News