Cultural Explorer

The rumours are true

The Nelson and Kootenay Lake region is a magnet for arts and culture lovers. A combination of arts and heritage and an appreciation for cultural expression radiates throughout the region.

Art & Heritage 

A walk through Crawford Bay, Nelson or Kaslo offer a unique mix of old and new where character heritage buildings rub shoulders with colourful murals and public art pieces and an old sternwheeler from days gone by. Impressive museums, artistic studios, craft cooperatives, and independent bookstores contribute to the region’s passion for culture. The arts venues host a wide range of performances, while many cafes and restaurants support local artists with changing walls of art.

Nelson's Sports Museum is located at Touchstones Nelson. Prior to 2021 it was in the oldest arena in BC, at the Nelson & District Community Complex. This exhibit houses memorabilia from our beloved local past times - hockey, figure skating, lacrosse, baseball, curling and soccer. It's definitely worth a visit.

Music

Acclaimed live music venues and outdoor concerts feature award-winning performers and up-and-coming acts. Choose from lively and intimate indoor shows, the family-friendly Starbelly Jam in Crawford Bay, the world-renowned Shambhala Music Festival, the one-of-a-kind floating stage at the Kaslo Jazz Festival, and more.

Artisans

All kinds of artisans dot the scenic drive along the shores of Kootenay Lake. Artisan communities in Balfour and Crawford Bay bookend the Kootenay Lake ferry, inviting visitors to discover a variety of handcrafted creations. 

Indigenous Culture

Our region acknowledges that the land on which we gather is the traditional territories of the Sinixt, the Syilx, and the Ktunaxa peoples, and is home to many diverse indigenous persons including the Metis. To discover more read our Indigenous Culture page.

AFKO

The Association des francophones des Kootenays Ouest (or AFKO, translated as the Francophone Association of West Kootenays) promotes French language and its cultures throughout the region. 

The Region

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