Nelson's Vibrant Arts Scene Historic House Nelson BC SS Moyie Kalso BC
"Visitors to Nelson are entranced by a modern-day hippie sanctuary: different cultures and creeds are welcome, and an appreciation of rolling hills and calming waterfalls is expected."
Macleans Magazine

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.


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. 


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.


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

The Langham Cultural Society

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