The staff in the archives and volunteer Linda Painchaud were very busy last fall. There was a special project in the works. R.J. Haney Heritage Village partnered with the Community Heritage Commission, Salmon Arm Economic Development Society, and Downtown Salmon Arm to work with software developer Andrew Ferris at On This Spot. The partnership has given us a walking tour of the downtown of Salmon Arm.

The OTS project was featured in a YouTube video on October 29 with Mayor Alan Harrison starting the tour at Salmon Arm’s most popular tourist attraction – the wharf. The City will continue to promote the walking tour with weekly YouTube interview “spots.” Morgen Matheson at Salmon Arm Economic Development is working on a marketing campaign as well, getting the word out to our community and visitors. She points out that our snow birds will be home this year.

Why did the museum participate in a walking tour of downtown? It was time to give back to our community. Our downtown stores and services were hit hard by COVID-19 and we wanted to help local businesses. Our message was historical of course, but the App skillfully blends then and now photographs with the opportunity for selfie shots! It augments the things to see and do in our community with an interpretation of our historical downtown.

The museum provided the background information, photographs, and advice. On This Spot provided professional writer Alexa Dagan. On the initial visit Andrew and Alexa drove through the town this July, mapping potential stops, and came up with a game plan. Andrew was prepared and had his camera for the “now” shots.

When the first draft was submitted, we realized not everyone understood Salmon Arm history! The archivist couldn’t resist getting more involved when the history of two organizations (Salmon Arm Farmers’ Exchange and S.A.F.E. Ltd.) were confused. Not to worry, even people born in Salmon Arm get those two businesses confused. Denis Marshall, writer and former publisher of the Salmon Arm Observer, had drilled everyone in the archival department. His passion for history was paying off. Denis would have been proud!

Fast forward to October 19th. Hundreds of photographs had been considered. There was a painstaking review of the text and photos by three history geeks on the CHC committee. There was a launch. I am sure all agree that the project is something all participants, and partners can be proud of. It is also an application that can be built on.

Download the app on Google play or on the App Store and take your staycation walk today.

Find the link at: Find Salmon Arm’s walking tour at: