The Salmon Arm Observer is looking to hear more from our community members and is interested in finding out what they love about Salmon Arm and the Shuswap.
We are profiling different residents for our community section, by asking them to answer a list of questions about Salmon Arm and the Shuswap and why they think it is so great.
This week we are profiling Cindy Derkaz, who has lived in Salmon Arm since she was a toddler.
“Some of the “old timers” will remember my parents, Walter and Betty-Jean Derkaz, who opened Derkaz Shoes in 1960 on Alexander Street and the Montebello Fire of 1967 that severely damaged our store,” she says.
“After graduating with a law degree from UBC, I returned to Salmon Arm and established my own law firm in 1981 in the then “new” SASCU building. I married the love of my life, Don Derby, on the Phoebe Ann just off St. Ives on Shuswap Lake almost 30 years ago.”
Derkaz is passionate about community. She has volunteered for many non-profits including Shuswap Community Foundation and Shuswap Trail Alliance and, in 2015, was the federal Liberal candidate for this riding.
She and her husband love participating in the many arts and outdoor activities in the Shuswap and are often spotted out and about with our big black dog, Kesler.
And what does she think of the Shuswap?
When someone says ‘the Shuswap’ what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
The beautiful natural setting of Mount Ida and Shuswap Lake that we are privileged to call home.
If you could change or improve one thing about your community what would it be?
One improvement I would like to see is construction of modern, energy efficient, affordable/low cost housing for families and seniors within the City of Salmon Arm.
What’s your favourite local company?
This is a difficult question. There are many great local companies but I think we should give a “shout out” to the many not-for-profit volunteer run organizations that make our community a better place. As a founder and a past president, I am going to choose the Shuswap Community Foundation as my favourite. I love the concept of a perpetual gift to the community to support other charitable organizations in their work.
What are the top three places you would recommend that tourists visit when they are in Salmon Arm?
• R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum.
• Marine Park (especially a WOW concert) after a stroll or bike ride on the Foreshore Raven Trail.
• Salmon Arm Arts Centre
What do you see for the community in 20 years?
I see a community that has learned the truth about its history and worked towards reconciliation with the Secwepemc peoples who have been here for millennia. I also see an inclusive, vibrant, friendly, liveable small city that has attracted young families, a thriving tech sector with international impact, a strong arts and cultural sector and many outdoor recreational opportunities including a Rail Trail from Sicamous to the US border.
We are looking to profile as many community members as possible. If you would like to be profiled or if you would like to nominate someone please click on this link and fill out the questionnaire.