Arturo Palomera, who lives in Seattle, has been coming to the festival for seven years with his wife Leticia and their friend Petrine Paquette from Vernon. They love the festival but some spots are difficult for Arturo, who uses a wheelchair. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Roots and Blues gets great reviews plus accessibility suggestions

Festivalgoers love music, atmosphere, volunteers but some areas tough for wheelchairs

A good time was had by all who the Observer spoke to at the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival over the weekend.

However, suggestions were made on improving accessibility.

Arturo Palomera, who lives in Seattle, has been coming to the festival for seven years with his wife Leticia and their friend Petrine Paquette.

Paquette lives in Vernon and she told them about it. They’ve all been attending together since.

“I like the energy of the people, the music is great, and the food,” Arturo says.

The three name a few of their favourite performers from Friday and Saturday at this year’s festival. They include Anne Lindsay, Jim Cuddy and Ruthie Foster.

At the time of the interview, Arturo is sitting in a wheelchair off to the side of the entrance to the Barn Stage. Asked about accessibility, he said it’s good. However, as he talks more about it, he mentions room for improvement.

Really soft gravel at the entrance to the grounds is tough to wheel through, he says.

The same with the ground-level Engage Stage area where the couches are, he adds. He couldn’t get to a couch as wheelchairs get stuck in the sand surrounding it.

Read more: Experience in wheelchair opens eyes to access concerns

Read more: Okanagan man makes rail trail accessible

Read more: 2015 – Access an issue at grandstand

Regarding the music performances, Arturo suggested assigning a small spot for wheelchairs.

“I feel they always have to go way in the back.”

And, he adds, “There’s no free food!” and then bursts out laughing at his tongue-in-cheek complaint.

“Otherwise it’s really good, they’re nice people,” he says, back to being serious.

Sharon Andrews from Rocky Mountain House, Alta. has been coming to the festival for four years.

“The first time, we went on a road trip and decided to come to Salmon Arm. We got lucky and were able to get a hotel room and we discovered Roots and Blues.”

She said it’s been pretty good. It’s different every year, so doesn’t get boring.

This year, a couple of her favourites were Sue Foley and Jim Cuddy.

Will she be back next year?

Probably, she said, as she has a campground to stay at in the area now.

Rylan Ward, who was watching his young son play in a sand pile at the festival, says his family comes up from Surrey. His wife’s mom is Sue Ackerman, a long-time Salmon Arm resident.

He surmises they’ve been coming to the festival for six or seven years now.

“You guys live in a wonderful part of the province; it’s a beautiful place,” he says, and the festival is great.

One of his favourite performances?

Dervish. At the Barn Stage, the perfect location.

“There’s sandcastles, a beer garden and you can listen to good music. And they have hammocks. That’s our favourite part.”

Read more: In photos – the 27th Annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival

Teresa Maier from Kamloops, who was waiting in a hot chocolate line-up at the festival with almost-five-year-old Olivia Hughes, says her family has been coming to the festival every year for the past 14 years.

“All my aunts come every year and they live all over the place,” she said, explaining that includes Vancouver and Penticton, with one who lives in Salmon Arm. “And they’re over 70 now.”

She says she started coming with Olivia three years ago, once the little girl was old enough to enjoy it.

Clutching the group’s CD, Olivia says the Hamiltones are her favourite.

Maier agrees. “It was awesome,” she says of their performance.

She and Olivia will definitely be coming back next year.

Martha


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sniffing out options for expansion of Salmon Arm’s sewage treatment plant

Public presented with nine site possibilities at open house, feedback to help narrow options

Video: Shuswap man narrowly avoids accident on Highway 1

Dash camera video clearly records sounds of burning rubber during abrupt stop

Railway carried mail, circus animals and royalty to Salmon Arm

By Deborah Chapman Contributor Imagine how excited the community was when Charles… Continue reading

Ongoing support of Shuswap hospital earns platinum honour

Shuswap Lake Health-Care Auxiliary recognized for more than $45,000 in donations

Word on the street: What establishment would you like to see built on the prior 7-Eleven lot?

Sparked by recent discussion on social media, the Observer took to the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read