Community & Environment


Through the process of continuous improvement, the Salmon Arm Folk Music Society will strive to implement policies and practices that strengthen our cultural, financial and ecological sustainability.

Environmental Practices

The Festival has determined that continuing existing practises and the implementation of a number of new initiatives are fundamental to this approach.

Environmental Policy

We will design, organize and implement our productions and operations in a way that minimizes our negative environmental impacts.


Every Child Matters 300x300We, the Salmon Arm Folk Music Society’s board of directors and staff, were devastated by the discovery of the 215 children of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc.

Our support and kindness is with our Secwépemc neighbours and all Indigenous Nations impacted by this unspeakable tragedy that touches the heart of everyone.

We encourage everyone to learn the history of residential schools and educate ourselves and our families on the lasting impact these schools have on Indigenous peoples and all Canadians.

May we all see this crisis through understanding eyes and open hearts.

Show your support and honour the lives of the young ones taken too soon by wearing orange shirts, ribbons, and encouraging healing and reconciliation within our community and beyond.

Our hearts are with the 215 children of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and their families.

Salmon Arm Folk Music Society Fine Arts Development Scholarship recipient looks to inspire next generation of musicians

4 226x300He’s passionate, he’s accomplished, and this year’s Salmon Arm Folk Music Society Fine Arts Development Scholarship winner Christopher Ollinger is getting ready to turn his dream of teaching music into a reality.

“We congratulate Christopher for his passion and wish him success as he embarks upon a post-secondary education,” says Steve Atkins, scholarship committee chair.

Inspired by his own music teachers, Ollinger will study music education at the University of Victoria.

A graduating student from Salmon Arm Senior Secondary, Ollinger says he desires to “plant roots somewhere and make a program that really inspires them.”

Ollinger is a multi-talented musician and has played the guitar for nearly six years. He picked up the clarinet in Grade 7 and saxophone in Grade 8. In 2018, Ollinger won the Outstanding Performer Award at the Interior Jazz Festival. 

At home in Salmon Arm, Ollinger performs with SASS’s concert band, jazz band, choir, musical theatre, art club, jazz combo, and has undertaken major roles in school plays at both Jackson and Sullivan campuses. In middle school, he was involved with Sorrento’s community theatre group. 

Outside of school, Ollinger has worked with the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra, Shuswap Men’s Chorus, the Salmon Arm Community Band, and volunteers with the Salty Dog Street Fest and Salmon Arm ROOTSandBLUES Festival. 

His application for the scholarship also highlighted the Wednesday on the Wharf random acts of music, where Ollinger played the clarinet throughout downtown Salmon Arm. 

We care about our community and recognize that ROOTSandBLUES would not be possible without its support.  Paying it forward, we are honoured to give back to the community that sustains us.  Here are the ways in which we work to pay it forward:

  • We maintain a financial scholarship award program to recognize and support graduating School District #83 students.
  • Each year we donate Festival tickets and merchandise to an extensive list of  charities, community groups, schools, and other not-for-profits to be used for their fundraising activities.
  • We also offer support services by way of equipment loans to various not-for-profits and we community partner on varying events with other local groups such as R.J. Haney House, The Shuswap Trail Alliance, The Children’s Festival, Relay for Life, Shuswap Tourism, and the Salmon Arm Arts Centre, to name a few.
  • During the Festival we support other non-profit and fundraising groups by offering booths at the Festival at no charge. The application process for selection is open and democratic.
  • We mentor youth through our student documentary program and the volunteer office.
  • As part of our mandate to educate with regards to musical diversity, we offer free admission to all children 12 and under.

And then there’s the music… The main goal of the ROOTSandBLUES is to encourage and promote performers from all parts of the world (with a special emphasis on Canadian talent), and to educate audiences to the incredibly diverse genres of music, musical instruments, and the artists who play them. We present artistic and cultural events that enrich both the fabric of our community and by extension, the fabric of the world.

Green is the New Black. The Salmon Arm Folk Music Society is a nonprofit organization committed to lowering its environmental footprint.

  • Reduction in our carbon footprint through establishing grid-based power
  • Integration of “pedal power” utility vehicles to reduce our carbon emissions
  • Promote the use of and provide safe storage for bicycles while on site
  • Promote the use of public transportation
  • Source locally grown food for our volunteers and performers
  • Composting of all vendor, volunteer and performer utensils, containers, packaging and food waste
  • Provide compostable beverage containers for use by our patrons and volunteers in all our various beverage and hospitality areas
  • Recycling of all materials where possible
  • Return of all deposit-based containers
  • Reducing single use water bottles from circulation on our site by banning their sale
  • Greening of the fair grounds. In conjunction with the Fall Fair Board continue to plant low maintenance green spaces and trees
  • Establishment of underground watering systems, grey water discharge and potable water stations

It Takes a Village

As with all aspects of the festival, it truly takes a community to produce a world class event.

We would like to acknowledge the support of Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust and the City of Salmon Arm for their support with the Generator Reduction Program. This project is allowing the Festival to reduce the use of diesel generators and move to permanent electricity sources.

We would also like to thank Creative BC for their generous support of the BC Shared Equipment Network. 

This project is in the research phase and aims to support all music festivals across the province by creating affordable access to equipment. 

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