40 Million Salmon Can't Be Wrong

40 Million Salmon Can’t Be Wrong

40 Million Salmon Stage Show – Watch It Now

40 Million Salmon Can’t Be Wrong is a musical stage show about bringing back and preserving the wild salmon on the BC coast. The show was inspired by the work of Russ George and his writing of the title song, 40 Million Salmon Can’t Be Wrong, and features Holly Arntzen, Kevin Wright and their band, The Wilds.

The performance weaves in ocean stories from ocean ecologist and friend to Ocean Pastures Russ George. Featured in the band are: Andreas Schuld (guitar), Bill Sample (piano), Brian Newcombe (bass), Shawn Soucy (drums and percussion), Joani Bye and Kirsten Wood as the Candlefish Singers. “40 Million” was inspired by the phenomenon of the 40 million sockeye salmon that returned to the Fraser River in 2010. Scientists were predicting only one million would return, and all of a sudden there was a 4000% increase!

Why did this happen? The Kasatochi volcano in the Aleutian Islands erupted in late summer of 2008, dispersing mineral-rich volcanic ash over part of the North Pacific ocean. The plankton of the ocean pastures bloomed, and ocean life exploded. That summer the baby sockeye that swam out to sea from the Fraser River, instead of mostly starving, were treated to a feast of plankton that was nourished by the volcanic dust. They grew and grew, and before too long, they came back to our rivers, 40 million strong!

Being the volcano

In 2012 Russ says, “I needed to be the volcano, so I gathered a small crew of shipmates, a dozen in all, and we went to sea to give back to the ocean the vital mineral dust we have denied it.” While Russ could not be as big as a volcano he could put his rock dust, rich in iron, in the right place, in the right prescription form, and at the right time to restore and revive the ocean salmon nursery pasture where baby salmon from the Pacific coast first enter the vast North Pacific Gyre.

He’s now proven to have been right. The largest abundance of salmon in all of history is today found from Alaska to the Columbia River. More than half a billion additional salmon have come home from their revived ocean pasture.

Enjoy the show

40 Million Salmon Can’t Be Wrong

The Wilds – 40 MILLION SALMON CAN’T BE WRONG from Artist Response Team on Vimeo.

Coho salmon used to be incredibly abundant on the Pacific Coast. They supported a tradition of fishermen and their families. Holly, our star, comes from just such a family and this song was written by her father about his father, a coho fisherman.

Where the Coho Flash Silver

The Wilds – WHERE THE COHO FLASH SILVER from Artist Response Team on Vimeo.

The good news for the planet is that while fish in the oceans have been disappearing we can bring them back.

Russ tells the story of Bringing Back The Fish

Russ George part 1 from Artist Response Team on Vimeo.

In our musical teams preparation for the making of the stage show one day a native artist and story-teller came to be with us.

During the ride from the airport to the house Roy and Russ talked about salmon especially about the sockeye. As the talking and collaboration of the show team continued out of this sharing of stories and dreams the story of how both held the sockeye in reverence emerged. One chapter of the story transformed into the song Ayo.


The Wilds – AYO! from Artist Response Team on Vimeo.

Fish and trees have a special bond, the trees shelter and shade salmon streams and in return the salmon nuture the trees.

Fish and Trees

The Wilds – FISH & TREES from Artist Response Team on Vimeo.

Dust for the ocean will restore the ocean pastures. This story tells about the Yin and Yang of dust and rain that nourish pasture in the ocean an on land.

Here’s more of Russ’ tell the story of how –  More Grass Growing Means Less Dust Blowing

Russ George part 2 from Artist Response Team on Vimeo.

The Salish Sea is the name given to the enclosed ocean of Puget Sound (near Seattle) and the Strait of Georgia (near Vancouver). It’s a sheltered ocean region where hundreds of salmon streams empty into.

Salish Sea

The Wilds – SALISH SEA from Artist Response Team on Vimeo.

 One of our favourite songs. Perhaps we can…

Sing All Our Cares Away

The Wilds – SING ALL OUR CARES AWAY from Artist Response Team on Vimeo.

Salmon Circle

The Wilds – SALMON CIRCLE from Artist Response Team on Vimeo.

Ocean pastures support all of ocean life from the tiniest plankton to the largest whales.

Russ’ story about what it was like and what he saw as he restored that vital ocean salmon pasture.

Russ George part 3 from Artist Response Team on Vimeo.

Orca whales (Killer Whales) are icons of the world of salmon, they need the salmon to survive.

Waiting For Orca.

The Wilds – WAITING FOR ORCA from Artist Response Team on Vimeo.

The Spirit Bear is a blonde black bear that lives in the most remote and secret places within the world of salmon.

Spirit Bear

The Wilds – MARCH OF THE SPIRIT BEAR from Artist Response Team on Vimeo.

Russ winds up the show with his story of hope. The Gospel of the 40 Million.

Russ’ described the future of a world with restored ocean pastures.

Russ George part 4 from Artist Response Team on Vimeo.   The show was recorded at Blue Frog Studios in White Rock, BC on Oct. 5, 2013. This project was also recorded for a live CD project under the same name to be released at another Blue Frog show on Feb. 28, 2014. Video was shot by Silverstone Media and edited by our most awesome drummer Shawn Soucy. Audio engineering and mix by Pat Glover at Blue Frog Studios. Live sound by Peter Young. Lighting by Jon Rowthorn.