WHITE ROCK — A multimedia event this Saturday night (Oct. 5) will weave together songs, stories, visual art and science in an effort to help B.C.’s wild salmon.
The musical stage show, dubbed “40 Million Salmon Can’t Be Wrong,” keys on a song of the same title performed by The Wilds, a band led by Holly Arntzen and Kevin Wright.
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The pair recently moved to the South Surrey area with their Artist Response Team (ART) organization, producers of the event at Blue Frog Studios in White Rock.
“This is the first time we have produced this show,” Arntzen told the Now.
“The song we wrote has been a real spark for people who don’t know about the volcano and this massive salmon run we had here a few years ago.”
ART’s show was inspired by the phenomenon of the 2010 run of 40 million sockeye salmon on the Fraser River. Scientists say the return was a result of the Kasatochi volcano eruption in the Aleutian Islands in 2008. The plankton bloomed, and ocean life exploded, Arntzen said.
“Our show is intended to bring this incredible event into current conversation. Those salmon are the best scientists, and they have a story to tell.… Those salmon brought a message: restore ocean pastures and the fish will come back.”
In addition to The Wilds band, the event will feature “science communicator” Russ George; however, artist/storyteller Roy Henry Vickers will not participant, as originally planned. On Monday, Sept. 30, Vickers issued a statement to explaining his decision to pull out, pointing to pressure from his relatives of the Haida Nation.
"They have asked that I wait until there is some scientific evidence that supports seeding the ocean with iron dust before I take such a public stance that offends many of my chiefs and elders," Vickers stated in a letter to Arntzen, Wright and George. "This affects me on a personal, cultural and family level.
"I will be held accountable for the decisions that I make," Vickers continued. "I've created an image and helped write a song that will support this project, and that agreement I will abide by. You may use any part of this communication to explain my absence on October 5."
Saturday’s event in White Rock will be recorded for wider distribution by ART, which also plans to bring the show on tour.
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