Salmon Arm’s, and possibly the world’s, biggest treble clef was officially unveiled to a crowd of approximately 500 cheering fans.
The project has been 18 months in the making and involved artists, designers, manufacturers and private business owners all contained within Salmon Arm. While the structure itself was erected over two days in late October, the official unveiling of the clef was held on Nov. 2. The unveiling ceremony started at 11 a.m. on Alexander Street in downtown Salmon Arm but many event attendees arrived an hour beforehand to enjoy the festivities.
The Downtown Salmon Arm Farmers Market, usually held at Ross Street Plaza, was moved to Alexander Street so people could peruse the local merchandize while awaiting the countdown.
Steve Fabro served as the MC for the event, giving backstory to the clef itself and laying out the important players involved in the project. Although a largely collaborative effort involving many, Bill Laird was named as the spearhead to the project.
“The goal is that when someone sees this clef, you will way-find yourself to your favourite place, a cherished piece of music, your best friend or a loved one,” Laird said to the crowd.
Next up to speak was Salmon Arm mayor Alan Harrison who commended the project and the crowd for coming to see the event.
“It takes a leader and Bill Laird has been a leader but he’s also been able to pull people along with him,” Harrison said. “There has been so much involvement with community groups, I think we can be proud that the treble clef was planned in Salmon Arm, designed in Salmon Arm, built in Salmon Arm, put in Salmon Arm and now all of Salmon Arm is all out to see it.”
Projects for Bill Laird are far from over, next year he said the awnings covering the downtown Askew’s grocery store and neighbouring businesses will be replaced to be thematically supportive of the treble clef.
The structure itself stands 44.5 feet (13.5 metres) high and 29.5 feet (nine metres) wide and is painted with the Salmon Arms Economic Development Society’s trademarked Salmon Arm orange and Mount Ida blue. Beneath the statue a public piano is stored in the summer months for passerby to play and enjoy. Following the unveiling ceremony the piano was taken into storage by the Salmon Arm Art Gallery where it will receive a paint job. The piano will return back under the treble clef in the spring of 2020.