Four-day music festival set for Aug. 18-21 in Salmon Arm

As the Salmon Arm Folk Music Society prepares to celebrate the 30th annual Roots and Blues this weekend, the non-profit society has a new leader at the helm.

With more than 20 years of industry experience under his belt, Kevin Tobin took on the role of artistic director as incumbent Peter North stepped down last fall.

“Roots and Blues has a rich history of presenting world-class artists from home and abroad,” says Tobin. “I’m honoured the Society has entrusted me to continue its long and storied tradition of showcasing regional musicians as well as bringing renowned artists to Salmon Arm.”

Tobin comes to the Society from the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival—an annual festival in Saskatoon that welcomes more than 75,000 fans over 10 days—where he was artistic director for 18 years.

A Durham College entertainment administration graduate, Tobin received the 2009 Fred Heal Tourism Ambassador Award and was a 2013 Lieutenant Governor Leadership in the Arts nominee.

Tobin follows North, who joined the Society as artistic director in 2014.

Executive director David Gonella reflects on the workshopping traditions built by North.

“I have had the pleasure to work with two previous artistic directors, and Peter’s expertise, musical tastes, and his unique approach to workshop programming helped to sustain the legacy of the festival.”

North’s workshops also received praise from fans and musicians, says Kimm Magill-Hofmann, Society board chair.

“Peter has a knack for putting musicians together and giving them the right nudge to create something you’ll never see anywhere else. These have been some of the most memorable performances of the festivals.”

North helped guide Roots and Blues forward, leading to a string of highly successful years before the ongoing pandemic pushed both the 2020 and 2021 festivals online.

Tickets are still available for the 2022 weekend, featuring headliners Tom Cochrane, Jann Arden and Antibalas. Visit or download the schedule at a glance.