Nelson's Vibrant Arts Scene Historic House Nelson BC SS Moyie Kalso BC
"Number One Small Town Arts Community in Canada"
Stephen King

Arts + Culture + Heritage

Experience Kootenay Arts, Culture, and Heritage

Today, Nelson has a diverse population of close to 10,000 people. The legacy of the past, evident in the more than 350 preserved heritage buildings, mixes with a dynamic arts and culture scene, attracting outdoor enthusiasts, creatives, entrepreneurs and urban refugees alike. This diversity creates a rich community that entices visitors all year round. Here are just a few local attractions worth seeing:

Museums and Galleries

Pop in to Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History to peruse its First Nations and early settler exhibits, and craftwork from local artisans. Follow up with a visit to the Oxygen Art Centre and Craft Connection, two artist-run studios featuring award-winning paintings, sculpture and pottery. Kaslo’s Langham Cultural Centre is another great gallery space. Get a taste for Kootenay Lake’s working past with a tour of the SS Moyie, one of North America’s finest preserved steam ships. Visit the Nelson Sports Museum at the historic Civic Centre Arena and the Nelson and District Community Complex and go back in time viewing the history of hockey, figure skating, lacrosse, baseball, curling and soccer.

Tours

Learn about Nelson's stunningly preserved Victorian homes and buildings with a self-guided heritage walking tour. For a lighter stroll, try the Roxanne Walking Tour, which features points of interest from the 1987 film starring Steve Martin. Or take our Historic Electric Tram, Streetcar #23, for a ride along the shores of Kootenay Lake. Details available at the Visitor Centre.

Explore artists' studios, museums, art galleries, and heritage sites on the annual Columbia Basin Culture Tour that happens the second weekend in August. It is a free, self-guided tour within the Columbia Basin and is an opportunity to meet local artists, shop for fine art and craft, view demonstrations, special exhibitions or chat with local historians during this two day cultural celebration. 

Performance

Nelson's Capitol Theatre offers both contemporary and traditional dance, theatre, and music, showcasing internationally renowned artists and companies. The Civic Theatre may be in an old historic building, but it has a new state-of-the-art screen and sound system that will literally blow your socks off.

Education

To see student artists in action, take a tour through Selkirk College’s Kootenay Studio Arts in Nelson.


Civic Theatre (view listing)

Nelson, British Columbia
Phone #: 250-352-5833
Website: http://www.civictheatre.ca
Nelson Civic Theatre Society reopening our local movie theatre. This summer we will be running movies each week plus special events. We are a non profit society with mostly volunteer labour. Read more...

Capitol Theatre
Capitol Theatre (view listing)

Nelson, British Columbia
Phone #: 250-354-6363
Website: http://www.capitoltheatre.bc.ca
The Capitol Theater enriches the community through the arts. The theatre presents an annual season series of performances encouraging a broad spectrum of theatre events. The Capitol Theatre serves as a performing arts resource and referral facility for the community making the theatre available to the community as a venue for the performing, film and visual arts. Read more...

International Selkirk Loop
International Selkirk Loop (view listing)

Nelson, British Columbia
Phone #: 1-208-267-0822
Website: http://www.selkirkloop.org
The Selkirk Loop is one of the Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies. Explore charming communities such as Sandpoint, Idaho (pop. 8,000) or Nelson, B.C. (pop. 9,500), and many other communities along the route that are filled with fascinating history and fun festivals. Traverse the relatively quiet highways via motorcycle, bike, or car, and check out unique birding locations and picturesque settings. Read more...

Kootenay Writers Society
Kootenay Writers Society (view listing)

Nelson, British Columbia
Phone #: 250-352-7844
Website: http://www.kootenaylitcomp.com
The Kootenay Writers Society is a non-profit organization committed to supporting and promoting Kootenay writers and the literary arts within the Kootenay region. Read more...

Kaslo Jazz Etc. Festival
Kaslo Jazz Etc. Festival (view listing)

Kaslo, British Columbia
Phone #: 250-353-7577
Website: http://www.kaslojazzfest.com
Big mountain, small village, floating stage. August 2,3,4 2013 in Kaslo BC. Read more...

Kootenay Lake Historical Society (view listing)

Kaslo, British Columbia
Phone #: 250-353-2525
Website: http://klhs.bc.ca/
Worlds Oldest Intact Passenger Sternwheeler. Now a designated Historic Site and BC Landmark. Launced in Nelson in 1898 she steamed proudly on Kootenay Lake for 60 years, making her the longest running sternwheeler in Canada. Read more...

Nelson Overture Concert Society
Nelson Overture Concert Society (view listing)

Nelson, British Columbia
Phone #: 250-352-6744
Website: none
Nelson Overture Concert Society brings classical music performers to the Kootenays. Read more...

Nelson Brewing Company (view listing)

Nelson, British Columbia
Phone #: 250-352-3582
Website: none
The Nelson Brewing Company is a craft brewery located in Nelson, British Columbia, the cultural and recreational heart of the West Kootenay region. The Nelson Brewing Company strives to bring you Certified Organic, hand-crafted, traditionally styled beers. Read more...

NELSON ELECTRIC TRAMWAY SOCIETY
NELSON ELECTRIC TRAMWAY SOCIETY (view listing)

Nelson, British Columbia
Phone #: 250-352-7672 OR 250-352-7949
Website: http://www.nelsonstreetcar.org
The Nelson Electric Tramway operates scenic tram rides along Nelson’s waterfront in its historic street car. The volunteer-based service operates seven days a week, transporting passengers from the Prestige Inn to Lakeside Park from 11:10 am to 4:40 pm. The twenty minute journey costs $3 for adults and $2 for seniors & children aged 6-12. Children under 6 years ride for free. Charters and group tours for up to 30 people can also be arranged. Read more...

Oxygen Art Centre
Oxygen Art Centre (view listing)

Nelson, British Columbia
Phone #: 250 352 6322
Website: http://www.oxygenartcentre.org
Oxygen Art Centre is an artist-run multidisciplinary centre that provides space and programming for artists and the public to engage in the creation, study, exhibition and performance of contemporary art in all disciplines. Read more...

Oxygen Art Centre
Oxygen Art Centre (view listing)

Nelson, British Columbia
Phone #: 250 352 6322
Website: http://www.oxygenartcentre.org
Oxygen Art Centre is an artist-run multidisciplinary centre that provides space and programming for artists and the public to engage in the creation, study, exhibition and performance of contemporary art in all disciplines. Read more...

Shambhala Music Festival
Shambhala Music Festival (view listing)

Nelson, British Columbia
Phone #: 2503527623
Website: http://www.shambhalamusicfestival.com
Nelson-based award winning electronic music festival held at the Salmo River Ranch annually in August since 1998. Read more...

Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History
Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History (view listing)

Nelson, British Columbia
Phone #: 250-352-9813
Website: http://touchstonesnelson.ca/
Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History is Nelson's only public museum, art gallery and archives. Featuring history and art from Nelson, the region and beyond, Touchstones Nelson is a cultural highlight for visitors and residents alike. Read more...

West Kootenay Regional Arts Council (view listing)

Nelson, British Columbia
Phone #: 250-352-2421
Website: none
The West Kootenay Regional Arts Council’s (WKRAC) mandate is to provide arts training, consultation, communication, and coordination of arts events and projects as well as bringing to bear regional and provincial issues and perspectives, and sharing assistance and expertise to artists and smaller arts organizations. Read more...

Yasodhara Ashram
Yasodhara Ashram (view listing)

Balfour, British Columbia
Phone #: 250-227-9224
Website: http://www.yasodhara.org
Founded in 1963 by Swami Sivananda Radha, Yasodhara Ashram is one of the longest running spiritual centres in North America. The Ashram is a vibrant community of Light that offers the teachings of yoga and supports the potential of transformation in each person. Now entering our 51st year, Yasodhara Ashram continues to evolve and look to the future. We are committed to bringing out the best in ourselves and in each other, offering opportunities to young people to assist them on their journey of self-discovery, programs for families to provide support and community, places for elders to share their wisdom. We are committed to caring for the Earth, and so we invest in environmental initiatives to keep this sacred space viable into the distant future. Read more...

The Langham Cultural Society

Kaslo, British Columbia
Phone #: 250-353-2661

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