Selkirk College president Angus Graeme (left) helps Shambhala organizers Corrine Zawaduk

Shambhala digs deep for Selkirk

The Shambhala Music Festival has carved a permanent mark on the community much deeper than the sounds that echo through the Kootenay every August.

On Wednesday afternoon at Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus, Selkirk College unveiled its major sponsor for the performance and rehearsal space formerly known as Studio 80. With a contribution of $75,000, the Shambhala Music Festival will see its name permanently etched into the post secondary music scene.

“It’s pretty significant for us,” said Corrine Zawaduk, production manager for the annual festival. “We looked at our five-year plan and where we wanted to position ourselves for the future. We have a lot more creative ideas we want to do with the festival and we really think that innovation is important. What a great opportunity to link in with an educational institution.”

The Shambhala Music Festival has been held on the ranch owned by Rick and Sue Bundschuh east of Salmo for the last 14 years. Started by the Bundschuh’s son Jimmy, the family-operated festival hit the scene in 1998 with just over 500 people attending. Today the world renowned festival attracts more than 10,000 music lovers and has an economic impact estimated at $20 million.

In November, 2009 Selkirk College began its multi-million dollar renovation of the Tenth Street Campus. The work included mechanical and structural upgrades to the studio and replacement of the interior finishes, but did not cover costs associated with equipment, lighting, recording technology or seating.

In November, 2010 Selkirk committed to raising $150,000 for the studio through its “Count Me In” campaign. The goal was to replace the 80 well-worn seats with 108 new ones. The campaign also pledged to buy/install new lighting and sound equipment.

With the Shambhala donation the target has now been met and the new name of the studio will be the Shambhala Music and Performance Hall.

“We are of course thrilled,” Selkirk director of communications and development Barry Auliffe stated in a press release. “We can now complete the studio with the equipment and upgrades needed to stay on the cutting edge of music and performance training. This provides a colossal advantage for Selkirk’s Contemporary Music and Technology students. It’s exciting for the community as well — we will now have a professional, high tech venue in which to enjoy performances.”

Zawaduk — who is one of the two Bundschuh daughters who helps organize the festival — said the idea came about from her mother. Sue Bundschuh is friends with Pat Henman, the Selkirk College fundraiser behind the Count Me In campaign and brought it to her kid’s attention. Zawaduk said when the idea was raised about Shambhala being the major sponsor, the family felt it was a natural fit.

“We hope to inspire great young minds and we benefit from that because they bring the ideas for the future,” said Zawaduk.

The other major contributor to the project is the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust who came forward with a $50,000 grant. The Shambhala’s donation made it possible for Selkirk to tap the trust funding.

Also on hand at the Wednesday announcement were the grandparents of Jimmy, Corrine and Anna Bundschuh.

“This is wonderful… I’m so proud of them,” said grandmother Gay deMonreuil.

The Shambhala Music and Performance Hall is expected to be opened to students and the public early in 2012.

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