Lorna Thomas has a turn in an open reading of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 94 Calls to Action at the Salmon Arm Arts Centre on Tuesday, Nov. 7. The reading occurred during the Salmon Arm Art Gallery’s presentation Kanata/Qelmúculucw, new works by aboriginal artists, which ended Nov. 10.

City council in brief: Climate change sparks art theme for gallery

Climate change will be the focus for the Salmon Arm Arts Centre for the next three years.

Climate change will be the focus for the Salmon Arm Arts Centre for the next three years.

Tracey Kutschker, director-curator of the centre, reported to council Jan. 29 on the centre’s activities and its plans for the future.

Over the past three years, the focus has been engaging First Nations, which she says was successful in making many long-term relationships with the Neskonlith and Splatsin communities, relationships which will bode well for future projects.

Related link: Art provides aboriginal perspective

In keeping with the climate change focus, Kutschker is researching a solar power project to meet the needs of the arts centre building. Her hope is to have a 48-panel solar array to sit atop the roof of the newest portion of the building.

One surprise for the arts centre and for council came from the branding project the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society has spearheaded for the city. It includes a community survey which showed that people’s perception of how much cultural programming takes place in the city is mid to low.

Kutschker says she’s not sure of the reason, but the centre will look at ways to better market its many activities.

Coun. Alan Harrison remarked: “I don’t know why, there’s so much you’re doing… If you’re super busy organizing things, you don’t always think of going out to advertise.”

Coun. Ken Jamieson says what pleases him the most about the arts centre is, “it’s not just a gallery. You take it out into the community in so many ways.”

Free cat spays, neuters

Branch manager of the Shuswap branch of the SPCA, Victoria Olynik, came to council to report on cat overpopulation and the branch’s grant from PetSmart Charities allowing it to spay and neuter 350 cats, free of charge, this year.

She noted that in 2016, 700 animals were cared for by the branch. In 2017, that number had risen to 1,000.

“In 2018, we’re already on par to exceed that,” she said.

Related links: SPCA offers free spays, neuters

She pointed to an SPCA branch in Port Alberni that focused on cat spaying and neutering from 2013 to 2015. The next year, they saw just one pregnant cat all year.

Olynik asked if the city would consider including a postcard-size notice about the free spay and neuter project with its utility bills.

Those have already been sent out, but Coun. Kevin Flynn said including them with the tax bill might be an option.

Editor’s note: In the print edition of the Observer, the grant donor was misidentified. The grant was provided by PetSmart Charities and we apologize for any confusion.

Benches wanted

The Shuswap Youth Soccer Association would like to put up four covered benches, much like those at one of the soccer fields at McArthur Island Park in Kamloops, on either side of the two fields at Blackburn Park.

Board chair Brent Moffat said half of the cost has been raised already by the association.

City staff said they aren’t opposed to the idea as seats are needed, but factors such as cost and possible relocating of irrigation and where on the fields must be considered. Staff said they could bring back a report to council on the proposal, which council supported.

Reading aloud

In keeping with Unplug and Play week, and Reading Week, councillors, at the suggestion of Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond, used their ‘council statement’ time on the agenda to read excerpts from the Salmon Arm Observer archives dating back to 1908. One read by Coun. Chad Eliason described the theft of 90 pounds of butter from the local creamery by a young man. He was detained the same day and admitted the stolen butter had been hidden behind the wood pile in the creamery.

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