The Rivers are Red

The Rivers are Red

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Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is proud to once again sponsor and host the Columbia Valley Salmon Festival, a community arts and cultural festival celebrating the life journey of the wild Kokanee salmon and the Columbia River. Held in the beautiful BC Rockies resort town of Fairmont Hot Springs and the surrounding area, the Festival takes place this coming weekend of September 28-30

Taking place over three days, the Festival kicks-off Friday September 28 at noon,  featuring speakers from the Akisq’nuk First Nations and Shuswap Nation Council, children’s educational activities and cultural performances. The opening ceremonies take place at Lakeshore Resort Campground in Windermere, BC.

The event continues at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort with ‘Green Drinks’, an informal gathering providing an opportunity for Festival goers to discuss the efforts to restore wild salmon in the Columbia River with representatives of the Canadian Columbia Rivers Intertribal Fisheries Commission (CCRIFC). Friday evening closes with a Salmon Buffet Dinner, featuring renowned naturalist writer Ben Gadd (author of the popular ‘Handbook of the Canadian Rockies’) presenting a talk entitled ‘Is the Crown Slipping? Might it Fall?’ and Howie Wright, of the Okanagan Nation Alliance Fisheries Dept (ONAFD). Tickets for Friday’s Salmon Buffet Dinner are $30 p/p and on sale now.

Saturday starts with two unique opportunities to watch the Kokanee salmon spawning in the Columbia River. Early risers can enjoy Kokanee Salmon by Golf Cart at 8:00am ($20p/p), while those interested in getting up close and personal to the salmon can experience Kayak with the Kokanee at 10:00am ($55 p/p). Both tours are guided by BC Rockies Adventures’ naturalists who are based year-round at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. These activities need to be pre-booked through the resort as space is limited.

The afternoon rounds out with a BBQ, an arts and culture gathering taking place at Mountainside Golf Course from noon to 4:30pm. A fun family event, it will be a chance to explore educational displays and booths, meet local artisans,  and enjoy First Nations performances.

Saturday closes with the Annual Gala Columbia Salmon Festival Dinner that evening. Held at Mountainside Golf Course, the dinner and charity silent auction features wild game and salmon, along with a guest speaker John Schurts (General Counsel for the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, Portland, Oregon) and live music by Cranbrook’s rootsy folk-rock 4-piece Redgirl, who will be performing their popular song, ‘Salmon Hymn’.

More activities take place Sunday September 30, at James Chabot Provincial Park, staring at 9:00am with an ethnobotanical tour guided by Mike Keefer, and demonstrations of historical fishing techniques. The Akisq’nuk Closing ceremonies, which begin at 12:00pm, will bring the second Festival celebrating Kokanee salmon to an official close.

Proceeds raised by the Festival organizers over the weekend will go towards ecological and restoration projects along the Columbia River and surrounding area.

Special room rates at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort are available for the Festival Weekend, starting at $114 per night for standard rooms.

Tickets for the Friday Salmon Buffet Dinner & Presentation and Saturday’s Kokanee Salmon by Golf Cart, Kayak with the Kokanee and the Saturday night Gala Salmon Festival Dinner & Silent Auction are on sale now at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.

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