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 The Nelson Museum, Archives & Gallery. 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.
Experience your own personal tour of Nelson's incredible murals! In partnership with the Nelson International Mural Festival we have created a self-guided mural tour with over 50 captivating murals tucked into alleys and side streets around Nelson. The Mural Tours are available in both French and English. To choose which language, to go Settings at the bottom of the App and choose your language of choice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Theatres & Cultural Centres
For a small city, Nelson and Kootenay Lake's reputation as a cultural destination sure gets a lot of attention.
Take in our Arts & Culture
The region has a well deserved reputation as a cultural hub and a haven for free-spirits.
Summertime Arts & Culture
Read our visitors guide online or order a copy of the official visitor's guide and map for our region.