Art galleries have thrived in the region for decades, with local arts centres and a high quality of life drawing artists and artisans worldwide.
In 1991, Nelson was named the "Number One Small Arts Town in Canada". A major museum, Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History, is housed in a 1902 stone heritage building downtown, while the Craft Connection supports dozens of local and provincial artists. Oxygen Art Centre is an artist-run centre that features exhibitions, events and education opportunities. Just across the Big Orange Bridge is ViewPoint Art Gallery with a curated selection of paintings, jewelry and sculptures from over 60 Kootenay artisans.
And for those who love crafts, the region has many local art and craft stores and offerings. The Balfour area, located between Nelson and Kaslo, features multiple workshops and studios. On the East Shores you'll find the artisan village of Crawford Bay, with a variety of unique shops and crafters on the main road. Look for the distinct "A" marking when driving through the region to indicate a local artist.