Salmon Arm Folk Music Society Fine Arts Development Scholarship recipient looks to inspire next generation of musicians

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He’s passionate, he’s accomplished, and this year’s Salmon Arm Folk Music Society Fine Arts Development Scholarship winner Christopher Ollinger is getting ready to turn his dream of teaching music into a reality.

“We congratulate Christopher for his passion and wish him success as he embarks upon a post-secondary education,” says Steve Atkins, scholarship committee chair.

Inspired by his own music teachers, Ollinger will study music education at the University of Victoria.

A graduating student from Salmon Arm Senior Secondary, Ollinger says he desires to “plant roots somewhere and make a program that really inspires them.”

Ollinger is a multi-talented musician and has played the guitar for nearly six years. He picked up the clarinet in Grade 7 and saxophone in Grade 8. In 2018, Ollinger won the Outstanding Performer Award at the Interior Jazz Festival. 

At home in Salmon Arm, Ollinger performs with SASS’s concert band, jazz band, choir, musical theatre, art club, jazz combo, and has undertaken major roles in school plays at both Jackson and Sullivan campuses. In middle school, he was involved with Sorrento’s community theatre group. 

Outside of school, Ollinger has worked with the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra, Shuswap Men’s Chorus, the Salmon Arm Community Band, and volunteers with the Salty Dog Street Fest and Salmon Arm ROOTSandBLUES Festival. 

His application for the scholarship also highlighted the Wednesday on the Wharf random acts of music, where Ollinger played the clarinet throughout downtown Salmon Arm. 


About ROOTSandBLUES Now in its 29th season, the Salmon Arm ROOTSandBLUES Festival is a destination for fans of music ranging from blues to bluegrass, Celtic to Cuban, and Americana to Afro-beat. The festival is presented by the Salmon Arm Folk Music Society—a non-profit charitable organization.