Video chronicles rise of Salmon Arm’s giant treble clef

Bill Laird hopes documentary will be used to promote downtown and community

The tale of the treble clef did not end with the community street party celebrating its installation downtown.

A local video producer has created an energetic video that follows the 1,265-kilogram artistic sculpture from its conception to its completion.

Bill Laird, who owns Shuswap Park Mall and is responsible for the creation of the musical icon, came to the city’s planning meeting Feb. 3 to show council the video and to outline some of the challenges faced in creating the 45-foot-high sculpture.

Entitled Constructing the World’s Largest Treble Clef, the video was made by Stephen Ingle of Single Shot Productions and is posted on YouTube, and can be found on Salmon Arm Economic Development’s website.

“He spent many hours, far more than he charged me for, to gather all the data that we had, and he came on board after the foundation challenges were dealt with – there were quite a few there – and he followed the metal through all the various shops in the industrial park – bending, welding and powder coating…” said Laird of Ingle’s creation.

Ingle, who describes himself as an aspiring film director, said he was excited to be involved in documenting the project.

Read more: Big red treble clef proposed for downtown plaza in Salmon Arm

Read more: Music in the air soon with treble clef unveiling in downtown Salmon Arm

Laird told council members about the challenges involved so they could be aware of them when they watched the video. Turns out that bending half-inch aluminum is very difficult, he said.

“The more you bend it the stronger and more stubborn it becomes. That’s something I didn’t know.”

And powder coating the metal requires that you are able to fit the project into the oven. Laird said the sculpture was in three pieces and the biggest piece was too big.

“But on Wednesday night it wasn’t painted and on Saturday everything was set up to erect it. Men, lifts, trucks, the whole shebang,” he said, explaining that’s when it was discovered it wouldn’t fit in the kiln.

“So they phoned Gerald Clancy (Valid Manufacturing) and Gerald’s crew said absolutely you can use it but the only time it’s available is between midnight and 5 a.m. So they worked all night… and still put it up on Saturday through the Monday.”

Laird points to the range of skills available and the cooperation from local trades that was demonstrated throughout the project.

“There was nothing in it for Gerald and I never did get a bill from him,” he says.

Read more: Crews install enormous treble clef in downtown Salmon Arm

Read more: In photos, video: The world’s largest treble clef unveiled to a crowd of 500 in Salmon Arm

Laird explained that the project began when he asked Warren Welter for ideas for replacing the old Shuswap Park Mall sign. Welter suggested the treble clef and piano.

Laird would like the community to use the video to promote Salmon Arm.

Council complimented Laird on the project and the popular unveiling event. Deputy mayor Debbie Cannon pointed out that residents ask council who paid for the treble clef, and they’re told it was a project that Bill Laird took on, not the city.

Laird emphasized the treble clef was never meant to just be about musicians and music, but for everybody.

“It’s to attract people; it’s a happy symbol at the end of a street that we close periodically for events… The goal is to have visitors come to Salmon Arm and enjoy our downtown and our community.”



marthawickett@saobserver.net

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