Downtown Salmon Arm has received approval from Salmon Arm council to put up a seasonal light installation at the Ross Street Plaza beginning Nov. 20, 2021 to the end of February. It will be constructed of powder-coated, aluminum snowflakes affixed to an aluminum, square tubing frame base. (Idea64 Projects image)

Downtown Salmon Arm has received approval from Salmon Arm council to put up a seasonal light installation at the Ross Street Plaza beginning Nov. 20, 2021 to the end of February. It will be constructed of powder-coated, aluminum snowflakes affixed to an aluminum, square tubing frame base. (Idea64 Projects image)

New light installation in downtown Salmon Arm might deter campers

Downtown Salmon Arm, city council hopeful lighting will discourage campers at Ross Street Plaza

A multi-purpose seasonal light installation is coming to the roof of the Ross Street Plaza.

Jennifer Broadwell, manager of Downtown Salmon Arm (DSA), wrote to city council to get approval to add the light installation above the plaza beginning Nov. 20 to the end of February.

Designed by Salmon Arm’s Idea64 Projects, she said the installation will be constructed of powder-coated, one-quarter inch aluminum snowflakes affixed to an aluminum, square tubing frame base. Six LED floodlights will shine onto the snowflakes to create a theatrical, 3D look.

“This lighting addition would activate a typically underused public asset during the darkest months of the year. Although it would add to the holiday decorations in downtown Salmon Arm, it does not have any holiday-specific emblems…,” Broadwell wrote. “We are also requesting the lighted snowflakes that are installed on downtown light poles remain up through the end of February.”

She also said the installation could have another benefit.

“If this space is activated, it is conceivable the stage will be less likely used as a shelter and the need for fencing around the Ross Street Stage will be removed.”

Last year, on the night of Nov. 23, city council decided to temporarily close with metal fencing the cement portion of the plaza the next day and post no-camping notices. The signs stated that ‘overnight camping is strictly prohibited for safety and security reasons’ and listed phone numbers for the health line, general emergencies, the non-emergency RCMP line and the Lighthouse Shelter.

Read more: City of Salmon Arm erects fence around plaza so people can’t camp there

Read more: Adding warmth and light to the foyer of Salmon Arm’s Larch Place

Cardboard boxes and tarps had been set up as makeshift shelters. Mayor Alan Harrison said then that the city had followed a process of trying to help the people who had been camping there and had been trying to do it in a kind manner.

Coun. Kevin Flynn, the city’s rep on the DSA board, said at council’s Oct. 25 meeting that he thinks the option brought forward by Broadwell is a brilliant idea and noted she had already spoken to the arts council and Tracey Kutschker who had spearheaded the mural on the plaza.

“I think anything we can do to light this space when it’s not being used and activate it and make it more energized might help us with some of our issues there,” Flynn said.

Broadwell said construction costs and set-up of the light installation would be covered by the DSA. Also, the design allows for easy and safe storage when it’s not in use, she noted.

Harrison also expressed his appreciation for the DSA.

“Last year we put a fence up in front of Ross Street Plaza and no one really wanted to do that but it was to solve a problem we couldn’t figure out how to solve any other way. I think the idea Downtown Salmon Arm has, I’m certainly willing to move forward with it and certainly appreciate them bringing it to us,” he said.

The motion to support the DSA’s request passed unanimously. Coun. Chad Eliason was absent.

Read more: City of Salmon Arm erects fence around plaza so people can’t camp there

Read more: Adding warmth and light to the foyer of Salmon Arm’s Larch Place


martha.wickett@saobserver.net
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The City of Salmon Arm erected a fence around the Ross Street Plaza on Nov. 24/2020, citing reasons centering on safety and security due to camping by people who don’t have homes. (File photo)

The City of Salmon Arm erected a fence around the Ross Street Plaza on Nov. 24/2020, citing reasons centering on safety and security due to camping by people who don’t have homes. (File photo)

A sign explains why a fence was erected around the Ross Street Plaza on Nov. 24/2020, citing reasons centering on safety and security due to overnight camping. (File photo)

A sign explains why a fence was erected around the Ross Street Plaza on Nov. 24/2020, citing reasons centering on safety and security due to overnight camping. (File photo)