Arts & Culture Shine Bright this Summer

Arts & Culture Shine Bright this Summer

Live music, galleries, museums, boutique shops, heritage buildings, sculptures, outdoor markets, and a new mural festival are just some of the reasons the region is an arts and culture mecca in summer.

First, summer means live music and outdoor festivals. Although the iconic Shambhala music festival is always sold out extremely quickly, you can still get a taste of the big beats at Bloom Nightclub in the Savoy Hotel. Further up the lake, the popular Kaslo Jazz Etc. music festival runs in August, with a floating stage overlooking the Purcell mountains.

Outdoor markets are another great way to experience the local flavour in the Kootenays. Nelson’s downtown market takes over Hall Street every Wednesday and brings Cottonwood Falls Park to life on Saturdays. Kaslo features a lovely market on Saturday mornings beside the Kaslo Hotel, while the Lardeau Creek Sunday Market a little further north is a laid back affair with some tasty locally grown delights. All of the markets feature local artisans and an abundance of fresh produce.

Long sunny days are ideal for wandering the historic downtowns in Nelson and Kaslo. Dozens of heritage buildings complement a cornucopia of brightly coloured trees and gardens. This blend of natural and cultural heritage is a defining trait of the region, and embodied in local hangouts like Oso Negro, Bluebelle Bistro, and the Dominion Cafe.

Nelson’s artistic side is also on full display with a series of outdoor sculptures. A blend of permanent and temporary pieces can be found throughout downtown. There is also the annual Nelson International Mural Festival where back alleys and side streets are bursting with colour and creativity. Check out their successes on their Instagram feed.

Add in cozy and comfortable accommodation, charming restaurants and cafes, unique independent shops, and bustling heritage downtowns, it all makes the Nelson and Kootenay Lake area a must visit cultural destination all summer long.

by John Bowden

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