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City of Salmon Arm
Coordinates: 50°42′8″N 119°16′20″W / 50.70222°N 119.27222°W / 50.70222; -119.27222
Country Canada Canada
Province British Columbia Flag of British Columbia.svg
Region Shuswap Country
Regional District Columbia-Shuswap
Established 1905
 - Mayor Marty Bootsma
 - Governing Body Salmon Arm City Council
 - MP Colin Mayes
 - MLA George Abbott
 - Total 155.38 km2 (60.0 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 - Total 16,205
 Density 102.2/km2 (264.7/sq mi)
Time zone Pacific Standard (PST) (UTC-8)
Area code(s) 250
Website City of Salmon Arm

Coordinates: 50°42′8″N 119°16′20″W / 50.70222°N 119.27222°W / 50.70222; -119.27222

Salmon Arm is a city in the Southern Interior of the Canadian province of British Columbia that has a population of 16,205 (2006). It is on the shores of Shuswap Lake, where the Salmon River empties into the Salmon Arm reach of the Lake. It is a tourist town in the summer, with many beaches, as well as camping facilities and house boat rentals. Salmon Arm is home to the longest wooden wharf in North America.[citation needed] It is the location of the head offices of the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District. Salmon Arm became a city on May 15, 2005, its 100th birthday of incorporation. Directly north of the city, across Shuswap lake, lies Mt. Bastion. A photograph of Mt. Bastion serves as the background for the driver's license of BC.

The largest employer in the Salmon Arm area is the forest industry and related businesses. The city benefits from close access to the Canadian Pacific railway.

Tourism is also important to Salmon Arm, bringing many tourists from Vancouver and Calgary. Most tourists arrive during the summer season, either stopping en route to other holiday destinations, or to visit the Shuswap Lake. Salmon Arm has several hotels, campsites and houseboat rental outlets.

Relative to its size, Salmon Arm has a wide variety of restaurants and cultural attractions. Public beaches at Sunnybrae and Canoe are often crowded during the summer.



Public schools in Salmon Arm are part of School District 83 North Okanagan-Shuswap; within the city limits, there are currently five (5) elementary schools (kindergarten to Grade 5), one (1) middle school (Grades 6 to 8), and a secondary school with two (2) campuses. The current division of education grades between the different categories of schools began in 2007; prior to 2007, elementary schools within the city limits offered kindergarten to Grade 7, followed by two junior secondary schools with Grades 8 to 10, and a single senior secondary school with Grades 11 and 12. School District 83 also has its administrative offices (located in the town centre) and maintenance complex (located in the community's main industrial park) in Salmon Arm.

King's Christian School is a private school in Salmon Arm offering elementary and secondary programs.

Salmon Arm has a campus of Okanagan College that offers many programs in a wide range of fields.

Notable academics with ties to Salmon Arm include David Lethbridge and Mike Worobey[1][2], winner of the Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy for 2009 from Simon Fraser University[3]


During the month of August, the annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues festival draws large crowds of tourists with acts such as Xavier Rudd, The Pointer Sisters, and Feist. Held in August, attracted over 20,000 visitors in 2007.[4] There is also the annual Shuswap International Writers' Festival.

Salmon Arm is home to a multiplex movie theatre (Salmar Grand) and a single screen theatre for movies and live stage performances (Salmar Classic); both are owned and operated by a non-profit community organization, the Salmar Community Association.[5][6] Additionally, a community theatre society hosts plays and other live stage performances (Shuswap Theatre)[7] in a building across the street from the Salmar Grand multiplex.

The RJ Haney Heritage Park & Museum[8] is Salmon Arm's main museum, and celebrates the history of the region. The museum often offers a dinner theatre program during the summer months, with the theatre component offering plays based on local history.

Salmon Arm is home to a branch of Okanagan Regional Library (ORL),[9] which is currently located in Piccadilly Mall.

Salmon Arm's public art gallery is the Shuswap Art Gallery,[10] housed in a historic building owned by the city. The building was originally a post office, and later housed the Salmon Arm branch of Okanagan Regional Library for many years.

Relative to its population, Salmon Arm has a lot of internationally well known artists including (but not limited to) Craig Pulsifer (Photographer), Fred Bird (Photographer), John H. Burrows (Visual Artist), Terry Greenhough (Visual Artist), Tracey Kutschker (Visual Artist), Linda Franklin (Visual Artist), Eric Kutschker (Visual Artist), Joyce Dorey (Visual Artist), Frieda Martin (Visual Artist), Justin Maas (Visual Artist), Wendy Browne (Fiber Artist), Otto Pfannschmidt (Visual Artist), James D. Thwaites (short story author), Greg Sczebel (singer/songwriter), and Gail Anderson-Dargatz (author) - among many others.

Other notable artists or performers with Salmon Arm connections include Richard Underhill (musician) and local blues group the Salmon Armenians.[11]


Climate data for Salmon Arm
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14.5
Average high °C (°F) -1
Average low °C (°F) -6.9
Record low °C (°F) -31.5
Precipitation mm (inches) 65.6
Source: Environment Canada[12] 2009-07-11

Sports and recreation

Large crowds of tourists and locals are drawn to the beaches at Sunnybrae, Canoe, and elsewhere on Shuswap Lake during the summer. The city has many large hotels, as well as berths for a number of houseboats.

The community offers a number of recreational facilities and sports leagues. There are fields for soccer/rugby/football, fields for baseball/softball, as well as five-pin bowling lanes (J Lanes), several golf courses and many seasonal recreational businesses. The proximity of the Shuswap Lake has also resulted in a growing interest in rowing and paddling sports,[13] particularly dragon boat racing.

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks hockey team, in the BCHL, plays at Sunwave Centre. The publicly owned twin ice rink facility is named in relation to the facility's community sponsor, SunCountry Cablevision (which brands its highspeed cable Internet service as[14]. Co-located in the same area with the Sunwave Centre are the city's recreation centre (with pool, racquet courts, weight facility and auditorium/gymnasium), curling rink, lawn bowling facility, horseshoe pitch, and the Salmon Arm campus of Okanagan College. The city's previous indoor ice arena, Memorial Arena, has been re-purposed as an indoor field sports facility, and is heavily used by such sports as soccer, rugby, and archery. Memorial Arena, with sponsorship from the Salmon Arm Savings & Credit Union has been re-branded as the SASCU Memorial Recreation Centre, while the main recreation centre is similarly sponsored and branded the SASCU Recreation Centre.

Former NHL player Dave Scatchard was raised in Salmon Arm, playing his minor hockey there. Other notable athletes raised in or with ties to Salmon Arm are swimmer Rick Say and curler Sandra Jenkins.


Salmon Arm lies on the Trans-Canada Highway approximately halfway between Vancouver and Calgary. It is also at the top of Highway 97, which leads to Vernon and Kelowna. The economy benefits from through traffic; many brand-name hotels and restaurants have opened in the past few decades.

The Canadian Pacific Railway also runs though Salmon Arm. No passenger service is available, though the Rocky Mountaineer trains pass through on occasion.

Salmon Arm Airport mainly serves general aviation aircraft, though scheduled service to Vancouver and Vernon was available by Northern Hawk Air until it ceased operations.

Salmon Arm is well served by Greyhound Bus Lines for travel to other cities in the region, province and across Canada.

Salmon Arm has a minor, infrequent bus service to nearby suburbs, using small commuter minibuses, as well as handyDart service for the disabled.[15]

Wildfire Damage 1998

In 1998, an area of 13,500 acres (34 km² or just over 5000 hectares) immediately southwest of Salmon Arm was burnt to the extent of deforestation by a wildfire started by lightning. The fire came down from the Fly Hills in the west and embers carried by the wind jumped the valley and ignited Mt. Ida. Flames raced down both sides of the valley, threatening many homes. An emergency evacuation was executed as the fire hotfooted it closer. Remarkably, just as the fire reached the valley floor, a sudden change of wind direction forced the fire back on itself, extinguishing it. The fire came so close that trees in many backyards were singed and barn paint was peeled.

The media reported "20 homes and 15 barns"[16] were destroyed during the firestorm in the Silver Creek area to the south of Salmon Arm, which also produced Canada's largest civil evacuation up to that date when the "5,000-hectare forest fire that forced the removal of 7,000 residents of Salmon Arm was being blown toward the town."[17]

Sister city

Salmon Arm's sister city is Inashiki, Ibaraki, Japan (Formerly Azuma, Ibaraki, Japan, until its recent amalgamation into Inashiki). There is a pavilion near McGuire Lake in honour of the friendship between Japan and Salmon Arm.


The Punch-Out!! character Bear Hugger hails from Salmon Arm and he even has an attack of the same name.

On August 8, 1982, Trudeau gave three protesters the now infamous "Salmon Arm Salute".

Billionare Calvin Ayre graduated from high school in Salmon Arm[18].

External links




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