Muir Creek is the focus of the S.O.S. benefit festival taking place on April 29.

The call of the wild – in Shirley

"Save our Salmon" Festival

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uir Creek is an ancient place where coastal people of the T’Sou-ke First Nation gathered for ceremonial and celebratory events. It is a place where the forest meets the sea, where three species of salmon spawn, large Yew trees reach for the sky and where many animals and birds find a home.

It is a place that is looking for protection. With that in mind Amanda Swinimer is organizing the fifth annual Save our Salmon Festival (S.O.S.) on Saturday, April 23 at the Shirley Community Hall.

The event is ongoing for 12 hours from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. and a profusion of talent is scheduled.

Last year’s festival was “awesome, really good,” said Swinimer. “Last year was a full house, there were times when that was reached.”

Swinimer is really excited about the arrival of professional bellydancer Taiya, to inspire the passionate fire within.

The festival is a family affair and the daytime activities are geared for the whole family while the night time events are for adults 19-years-of-age and over. The kids will be treated to Ruby from the Kootenays playing original, earthy kids’ tunes in a song circle from 5:15 to 6 p.m.

Workshops are a big part of the event and participants can connect with the earth with yoga; learn about the magic of mushrooms and the healing properties they have; and growing and preserving your own food with Marika Nagasaka from ALM Organic Farm. These events take place throughout the day, with the opening ceremony at 4:30 on Saturday.

After the opening, the bands get rocking with eclectic original, reggae, dub & groove music. They include Waves on Monday, Soulgoalies, Arise and Vancouver’s Session Funk.

The headliner is Session Funk, a seven-piece band playing funky dance grooves.

“They are all jazz school trained,” said Swinimer. “They are really excellent musicians.”

With every festival there is homemade food and information booths. Volunteers are still needed and anyone who can help in some way can call Amanda Swinimer at 250-818-2433 or email to www.dakinitidalwilds.com.  

Advance tickets,which are on a sliding scale, can be purchased at the Stick in the Mud or by calling Swinimer. All proceeds go to protect Muir Creek. The area is privately owned by TimberWest.

“We hope to resume talks with the CRD, local MP and  TimberWest about how we can actualize this protection,” said Swinimer.”

The Shirley Community Hall is located along West Coast Road about 15 kilometres from Sooke.

More information at: www.sos-fest.blogspot.com