Meet Our Convenors

From months of planning to organizing and displaying hundreds of awe inspiring exhibits, our convenors work year round to make the fair a fun filled experience for all our visitors!   

Tracey Kutschker, Arts & Crafts Division

Tracey took on the convenor role of A1 Arts and Crafts Division in 2012 on behalf of The Shuswap Arts Council.  Since that time, she has been working to improve presentation methods and incorporate new media into the division. 

"Fair visitors love the incredible diversity of artistic talent in our community showcased by the arts and crafts division", says Tracey.

Tracey has lived in Salmon Arm since 2002 and strongly believes in artists supporting the local fairs and markets.  As a landscape painter, Tracey remains inspired by the colourful abundance in the Shuswap and believes there is no better opportunity to witness that abundance than at community gathering events.  

"My favorite memory of the fair is the year that my kids were old enough to go to the midway alone. I spent two glorious hours examining fruits, vegetables, wine, art, quilts and photographs until our meet-up time.

I look forward to seeing the prizes won by people I know, and the mini-donuts!"

Henry Schnell, Photography Division

After wandering the planet for many years and wrapping up his career in France as a hydro-metallurgist, Henry retired to the Shuswap in 2011.  Although Henry worked in 30 countries and his extensive travels took him to 85, he still believes that the Shuswap is the best place on earth to live.

Henry currently serves on the Eagle Bay Fire Department and is actively involved with the Eagle Bay Community Association.  His primary hobby is photography.  Henry is a member of the Shuswap Photo Arts Club and sits as Secretary on the executive team of the Canadian Association of Photographic Arts – an organization rounding out at 280 club members and several thousand member photographers.

"I enjoy the Salmon Arm Fair for its emphasis on people and their interests.  It is small enough to enjoy each small nugget and large enough to show off the very talented folks we have in the area", says Henry.

"Every year I look forward to discovering yet some talent I had not noticed before.  The mini chuckwagons last year, the pioneer club thrashing grain all spark interest for me."

"The photography competition gets very good foot traffic with 1500 to 2000 persons viewing the great photos.  The photo quality is getting better and better, especially in the 14 and under categories.  It is great to see visitors pausing at the photos appreciating the various points of view and the special eye of the photographer."

Ann Nikmo, Sheep to Shawl Division

Ann joined the Salmon Arm Fair as a 4-H beef club member in 1960.  She entered her steer in the beef class and showmanship class.  Ann later exhibited as a sewing club member and at her mother’s purposeful hand, she was encouraged to enter the school lunch competition.

Ann’s most recent involvement commenced in the 90’s as an exhibitor and volunteer for the Spinners and Weavers display competitions.  Her interest in handcrafts continues today as a weaver, spinner, knitter and someone that loves to crochet and create felt items.  Ann is moved by the enjoyment that fair visitors find during their visit to her booth. 

"Visitors are encouraged to try their hand at weaving, carding wool and even helping us to “waulk the web” during the full and finish process of handwoven blankets", says Ann.

"My favorite part of the fair is interacting with our visitors and providing education on the processes involved in creating the items on display and helping them see what it means to take fabric from raw fibre to a finished shawl." 

"I admire, appreciate and celebrate the talented people of the Shuswap and enjoy the many exhibits – from flowers to fruits and vegetables to hand work."

Kathy Crosbie, Flowering Wheelbarrows and Field Crops Division

Kathy moved from Smithers, BC to Salmon Arm in 2000. She served as a 4H leader and the Livestock Director of the Bulkley Valley Exhibition

"I helped with the soup and sandwiches on set up and judging day for the convenors for six years.  I took over from Bert Revel for the Field Crop Division a number of years ago.  Sure Crop was our sponsor for that section and helped to increase our number of entries.  I organized many projects that BC Fairs funded each year such as purchasing the Information Booth", says Kathy.    

"My favorite year was winning the silver tea tray sponsored by Westcoast for the most points in the fair. "

Kathy’s interests extend beyond the fair to curling, golfing and travel.  She loves to volunteer wherever she can.

"Visitors love the flowering wheelbarrows.  They have always been at the front of the arena and are admired by everyone who attends.  People love the giant pumpkins too!"

Hanne MacKay, Vegetable Division

Hanne has lived in Salmon Arm for 43 years and believes it to be a wonderful community.

"I’ve always loved coming to the fair", says Hanne.  "My involvement started with a casual conversation about growing vegetables with Bert Revel, our previous vegetable convenor for many decades.  Bert was so enthusiastic and encouraging that I started to grow vegetables and enter them in the fair.  Six years ago, I began shadowing Bert as a co-convenor.  He still helps around fair time with weighing and measuring.  His shoes are hard to fill!"

As a retired teacher, Hanne enjoys meeting our food producers, gardeners in our community and talking about what works well when growing vegetables in our region. 

"The year we opened entries for our giant pumpkin class and one was delivered in a backhoe is my favorite memory of the fair.  After the fair, we couldn’t move it so we cut it up and many of the convenors took some home.  Second Harvest helped by sharing it with the community!"

"Every year, I look forward to welcoming our judge, Dave, who comes up from Vernon and does an excellent job.  Then I see all my friends at the fair from over the years.  It seems everyone enjoys seeing their neighbours after the parade.  It is a precious tradition!  The Extreme Vegetables remains a popular category.  It is so much fun to see the heaviest or longest vegetable."