In Love with the Shuswap

Life doesn’t get much better than being able to choose your dream location and there make a life and career. This is exactly what Lynda Nicholson and Allen Ferguson did when they decided to move to Salmon Arm. Both Lynda and Allen lived and worked in Revelstoke: Lynda as a teacher and Allen as a massage therapist. Allen had also established a practice in Salmon Arm and when that practice grew and Lynda secured a teaching position in fall of 1990, they moved.

Lynda was born and raised in Kamloops while Allen hails from the Ottawa area. East met west in Revelstoke through their shared interest in fitness, health, sport and travel. Allen’s criteria for living in Salmon Arm were: no commuting, no bag lunches and a view of the lake. So in 1991 and 1992 they purchased the building on Lakeshore that now houses Shoes’n Such, the massage clinic and their home. They admit that downtown living has health and environmental benefits when they can walk to shopping and cultural events. From their perfect vantage point they take pleasure in keeping an eye on nesting osprey and other water birds.

Lynda’s teaching career included elementary then junior high and active involvement supporting teachers through their union. Over the years Allen’s massage practice grew to include other massage therapists. Lynda retired in 2008 and serves on the board of the Golf Club. Allen retired in 2010 and both have overseen several major renovations to their building.

Lynda and Allen are sports enthusiasts, both as participants and spectators. They love to run, hike, walk, bike, kayak and play golf and have made a commitment to fitness. They enjoy travel and often organize trips around special sports events such as the tennis grand slams. With their kayaks and bicycles on their small motor home they look for interesting bodies of water and cycling trails. They call themselves ‘freestyle vacationers’ and let the adventure unfold depending on the weather. They also enjoy cities where they walk and use public transportation with the goal of leaving the smallest footprint possible. Allen and Lynda feel so very fortunate in their careers and their life in Salmon Arm and felt it was time to support the community through a legacy. They know that all the amenities they enjoy do not happen by magic, but rather through the efforts of dedicated volunteers and community members. In January 2015 they established the Lynda Nicholson, Allen Ferguson Fund with the Shuswap Community Foundation. At first they designated interests, but when they learned about the Foundation’s Matching Funds Program they changed their fund to discretionary to allow Foundation directors to assign the proceeds from their fund to the areas of greatest need.

Both Lynda and Allen describe this area as “a rich and wonderful smorgasbord of natural beauty with cultural and sport opportunities.” As for the future, “this is it” they say— “it is perfect.”