Dear Warden Reunion Campers and Folks Who Have Booked Hotels:
Thank you all for signing up to attend and participate in our second annual Warden Alumni Reunion. We’ve all been looking forward to it.
Regretfully, after much careful consideration and some helpful consultations during the past few days, its been decided that we must postpone the upcoming reunion at the Salmon Arm Elks Campground scheduled for Sept. 5 – 7 2023, until spring of 2024. Several factors compounded leading to the cancellation:
- The current wildfire situation and resultant evacuation of thousands of families within a 75km radius of Salmon Arm are placing very heavy demands on local hotels, campgrounds, and even parking lots to provide alternate accommodation for displaced residents from many communities.
- It is unknown how long this demand may continue but it is very unlikely to decline before our scheduled reunion dates. Besides, it would be improper to prioritize our reunion over providing basic essentials and shelter for fire evacuees, even though we out located beyond the boundary where the BC Provincial government has prohibited non-essential travel.
- There is no guarantee that air quality here will return to near-normal in the next couple of weeks given the amount of land that will continue to burn or smolder; the area is truly immense, and breathing has been a problem for many.
- Nor is it a certainty that we will not be placed on evacuation alert in Salmon Arm sometime soon.
As a wise Warden from somewhere near Valemount recently said: “it is better to be safe, than sorry.”
I apologize to all those that have made plans to attend,and expect that folks who have booked at the Fairfield hotel will be able to obtain a full refund if they act quickly. It would be worthwhile to mention you are cancelling for the benefit of evacuees who a room more, due to the fire evacuations.
On the bright side, I hope you will all be able to make travel alterations in order to attend a deferred reunion on May 7, 8, and 9 (Tuesday to Thursday) here in Salmon Arm, at the same campground. The campground is available on those dates, prior to the summer rush, and I tentatively reserved it in our name. Springtime in the Shuswap is spectacular, and travel from Alberta should be snow-free.
For those who already signed up (~50 people), please provide me with feedback on your availability. Our expected turn-out was fantastic and still growing. I am hopeful we can maybe top that in May. Please spread encouragement to others.
All the best, and lets hope this fire bust draws to a close soon.
Sincerely, Your “Organizing Committee”
Alan Westhaver &