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There's something fishy going on in Squamish

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Salmon may not be flying fish, but this month they are flying in Squamish.

More than 100 salmon painted on windsocks will be "flying" throughout Squamish as part of the Return of the Salmon Festival.

"At the start we didn’t know if we could even get 30 done," says festival director, Nicola Kozakiewicz, "Who knew that so many people in Squamish wanted to paint fish?"

With the participation of Don Ross Secondary students, Garibaldi Highland students and great workshop turnouts at Captured Ideas, Brennan Park and Totem Hall, over 100 people have come out to paint salmon.

Started three years ago by the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society to celebrate the return of the salmon, the festival has become a celebration of art as well.

Citizens of Squamish have been busy painting incredible designs on salmon windsocks that will adorn businesses and municipal banner standards through to Nov. 3.

Through games and displays, the festival also raises awareness of the importance of our water systems – from the largest rivers to the smallest backyard creeks – to the returning salmon. Our water systems are important to the creatures the salmon feed on, and in turn, the creatures that feed on the salmon, like bald eagles. Since the reason the eagles come is the salmon, the Return of the Salmon Festival is a natural "kick-off" to the EagleWatch program.

Displays about salmon, living by water and other fishy topics will be up in various locations around town.

Local artists are putting their talents to work and donating "salmon socks" that will be auctioned off at the Closing Ceremony at Totem Hall. Heather Royal, Carol Ann Berkley, Carl Halvorson, and silk artist Lori MacKay are currently hard at work painting. The money raised from the auction will pay for the cost of supplies and provide seed money for next year’s festival.

Fish Tales for Everyone!

Angler’s Night

Saturday, Oct. 26, 7-10 p.m.

Brackendale Art Gallery

Calling all fishers! Come share your angling tales around the fireplace at the BAG. Anything goes, as long as there is a fishy twist to the tale. The best story, as judged by listeners, will catch the teller a prize!

Landscaping for Fish

Sunday, Oct. 27, 1-3 p.m.

Streamkeepers Workday

41702 Finn Road, Brackendale

Come out and help or just watch and learn. Carolyn Melville from Streamkeepers will show how we can give salmon what they need for a successful spawning and rearing habitat.

Cheakamus Salmon Ecology

Monday, Oct. 28, 7:15 p.m.

Brackendale Art Gallery

Salmon researcher Caroline Melville will give a PowerPoint presentation on salmon ecology and enhancement on the Cheakamus. This is also the AGM of the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society.

Spawning Channel Tours

Saturday, Nov. 2

North Vancouver Outdoor School — meet in the parking lot.

Tour the habitat restoration works that have taken place over the last twenty years with hatchery manager, Jim Wisnia.

Wrap up Party at the Pub

Saturday, Nov. 2, 8 p.m.

Howe Sound Brew Pub

Come out and join the volunteers by raising a pint of SalmonFest IPA and celebrating a successful festival. Get a sneak peek at the artists’ ‘socks’ that will be auctioned at the closing ceremonies on Sunday at Totem Hall.

Closing Ceremony

Sunday, Nov. 3

Totem Hall

Come join Squamish Nation Dancers and bid on one of our guest artists’ windsocks. The Squamish Nation Education Department will put up displays and art about legends and stories of how the salmon came to Squamish.

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