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New organizers sought for Salmon Arm Canada Day Children’s Festival

If no one steps up, society’s assets will be distributed to the community
Étoile Brown, Séamus, Theiadh and Aurealia Beaumont and Tove Brown enjoy the antics of Uncle Chris the Clown at the 2019 Salmon Arm Canada Day Children’s Festival. (File photo)

Salmon Arm Children’s Festival organizers are looking to pass the baton, with the hope a new group might step up to take on the popular Canada Day community event.

The existing core group of volunteers behind the Salmon Arm Children’s Festival Society (SACFS) have announced they are unable to continue planning and hosting the festival.

In a media release shared with the Observer, SACFS president Karen Bubola and vice-president Kari Wilkinson explain attempts to recruit new members over the years have been unsuccessful, and having to cancel the event two years in a row due to the pandemic “was the last straw.”

“Getting the event back up on its feet has been a challenge as life has changed for the organizing committee as everyone has moved onto new things,” reads the release.

The Salmon Arm Children’s Festival Society has been operating since 2009, with the sole purpose of organizing the annual free Salmon Arm Canada Day Children’s Festival. The event was well attended every year, with over 4,000 participants annually, said the SACFS. Funding for the event came from grants and community donations.

Approximately 168 volunteer hours were put in by the core group on June 30 and July 1, with an additional 60 volunteers needed over the two days to help with the event.

Bubola and Wilkinson said it is too late to plan for a 2023 event, but if there is an interested group willing to take over the festival, “we are happy to share our knowledge and help mentor them through planning an event for July 2024.”

If nobody steps up, the society’s assets will be distributed to the community and the current organizers will vote to dissolve the society at its February 2024 annual general meeting.

“Donors have been contacted with the option to have their donation returned or leave in the Society’s account in hopes a new group may take on the festival,” reads the release. “If the society dissolves, the society’s money and assets will be donated as stated in their bylaws to the Shuswap Community Foundation supporting community children’s projects.”

Anyone wanting more information about the event may contact Bubola at 250-832-6192 or Wilkinson at 250-833-9261.
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