Just as the Columbia Valley’s outdoor pursuits are fervently enjoyed year round, its arts and culture scene can be celebrated with equal gusto. Fortunately, visitors never have to choose between spending their time exploring sports or the arts. It really is possible to experience both realms in a single day.
After a morning hike in the mountains, return to town in the afternoon to take in its museums, galleries and art studios. Observe how the natural world inspires local artists and how their art, in return, reflects the pristine environment of the Columbia Valley.
For artist Rolf Heer, also known as The Radium Woodcarver, the surrounding forest serves as both his muse and provider of his materials. Heer’s art shop, named the home of a thousand faces, showcases a fantastical collection of life-sized sculptures that have been created by chainsaw, abstract carvings and clocks. Check out Heer’s shop that was featured on the TV show “Weird Homes” and be sure to look up at the roof where his pet goats live.
Invermere Art Walk
You can also take a stroll along Invermere’s Art Walk for a delightful afternoon of gallery-hopping. Among its many art shops you will find exquisite blown glass vases and rainbow trout sculptures at Bavin Glassworks, as well as original paintings made by 65 different artists at the Artym Gallery. If you’re up for getting your hands dirty, consider taking an art class at the Black Star Studios.
In the summer months, the Invermere Art Walk features live music, meet the artist events, live art demos and restaurant tastings.
Pynelogs Cultural Centre and Art Gallery
The historic Pynelogs Cultural Centre and Art Gallery is situated in a lush park at the edge of Lake Windermere. The impressive grounds boast botanical gardens and fountains that shoot water high into the air. Over a century old, this historical building’s art gallery features a variety of art forms from over 150 local artists. The facility also hosts musical, dramatic and comedy concerts, an independent film series and open mic nights throughout the year. Visit the property’s inspiring grounds or signup for one of Pynelogs’ many special events or workshops.
Rich in culture and blessed by nature, the Columbia Valley is the gem of British Columbia. Come see our artists’ canvasses and feel the spirit of place through their eyes.
Columbia Valley. It’s time to unwind.