Dive into a month of salmon

May in the Bulkley Valley is going to be a month-long community celebration, with over a hundred musicians, composers, artists, writers, researchers, and organizers taking part in a host of exciting art and cultural festivities themed in honour of the salmon cycle.

The Smithers Community String Orchestra commissioned Vancouver composer and talented violinist, Cameron Wilson, to write them a symphony. He has named his creation “Fragile Magic: a Celebration of the Pacific Salmon”. The orchestra will be hosting a workshop and rehearsing throughout the weekend of May 6-8 with the help of the versatile and entertaining group Joe Trio.

The public is invited to the premiere performance of the piece at the 3 p.m. matinee on May 8 at the Della Herman Theatre. Smithers and Terrace string players, percussionists, singers, and All Nations Drummers will be featured, along with local songwriters and composers.

To add to the excitement of the weekend, Joe Trio (Cameron Wilson, Charles Inkman, and Allen Stiles) have agreed to put on a concert of their own on May 7 at 7:30 p.m., hosted by the BV Concert Association

The public is encouraged to contribute their own artistic skills to a beautiful salmon-cycle themed community mosaic, designed by Linda Stringfellow. It will be in the lobby of the Della Herman Theatre between May 6, and May 8 before relocating to the Smithers Art Gallery for the rest of May. The mosaic will eventually be permanently displayed in the community.

The festivities move to Smithers Art Gallery for the rest of May. The Salmon Symphony art exhibition will be shown from May 3 to May 28, with the opening reception on May 5 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Three Smithers artists, printmaker Meg Hobson, raku potter Michaela Kafer, and watercolour and acrylic painter Niki Cherewyk, have connected to depict the magic of the salmon cycle and our rivers.

The gallery will also be presenting a two-day raku pottery workshop, led by Michaela Kafer. On May 14 you will hand build your raku pottery, and firing will be done on May 28. No experience will be required, and all participants will come away with a finished raku pottery piece of their own creation.

Inspired by the visuals in the gallery, a newly-formed group of Bulkley Valley writers will share their river stories on May 4 at 7 p.m. in the gallery and place them on an interactive online map. Everyone is invited to come along and learn how to upload their own stories to the map and read their own river stories at the Gallery on May 26.

BV Folk Music Society rounds off the May events with a Salmon Symphony coffeehouse in the Gallery on May 20 at 7 p.m, featuring talented singer-songwriters and musicians of the valley and their connection with the river theme.