Event attendance a cultural mystery

The chairs are rarely full at Okanagan Regional Library author readings.

I continue to marvel at Salmon Arm’s abundance of cultural events. How many times have you heard, “There’s just so much going on that I don’t know how I’ll choose?”

Attendance fluctuates drastically from event to event, however, and I want to know why.

The chairs are rarely full at Okanagan Regional Library author readings. Recently, the talented mystery writer Glynis Whiting read from, A Nose for Death, a well-publicized event. Admission was free with homemade refreshments.

Only six of us attended on a fair weekday afternoon, but there must be thousands of Salmon Arm retirees who devour mystery and crime stories. Ms Whiting’s well-researched, unique plot angle – using the sense of smell to solve mysteries – has resulted in her publisher’s request for a series, a rare invitation for writers these days. The venue, the Mall at Piccadilly, is convenient and transportation effortless.

Yesterday (Sunday, Oct. 27), I enjoyed two well-attended events. The first was “A Celebration of Nature” at the Arts Centre, co-partnered by the Shuswap Naturalists Society and Shuswap Association of Writers. It featured three talented B.C. artists – two writers and a photographer. The majority of the standing-room-only audience were retirees. Homemade refreshments were served at this pay-by-donation event.

The second was Spooktacular at Haney Heritage Village. Attendance was impressive – babes in arms to seniors like me. During storytelling at the church, I read to three substantial, multi-aged audiences. Attendance required private transportation and paying for admission and refreshments.

Why overflowing crowds at yesterday’s events and such light turnouts at ORL author readings and some local choral concerts? With all the emphasis on keeping our brains thriving, we can’t afford to lose this valuable resource.


Judith Benson

Salmon Arm Observer