Come and explore the local culture

The Columbia Basin Culture Tour allows you to explore artists' studios, museums, art galleries and heritage sites for free!

Woven Cedar by Melanie MacVoy

Woven Cedar by Melanie MacVoy

The Columbia Basin Culture Tour allows you to explore artists’ studios, museums, art galleries and heritage sites for free!

Travel to studios and archives that aren’t normally open, see demonstrations, new exhibitions and collections or meet people behind the scenes. To participate in the tour, simply grab a map, your Culture Tour Directory and go!

In West Fernie you will find the Melanie Macvoy’s studio situated on her picturesque property with a seasonal creek, flower, vegetable and water gardens. Melanie is a contemporary acrylic painter whose subject matter ranges from old growth cedar trees to mountain landscapes. Her paintings are known for her vibrant colours and unique perspectives.

The Fernie Arts Co-op is Located in a beautiful heritage building and is a volunteer organization that provides a venue for local East Kootenay Artists to display and sell their work. The store features a wide variety of media, including original paintings, handmade jewelry, photography, pottery and fine art prints that portray the region and the lifestyle of the East Kootenays. Stop by to visit Fernie painter Kathy Stead, her paintings are inspired by the natural beauty of the Fernie area and reflect the beauty of the local scenery.

Naked Earth Pottery will be showing the work of potters Sher Pichler, Kerri Holmes and Sarah Pike all living and working in Fernie. They have demos scheduled throughout the weekend and refreshments will be available for all Culture Tour visitors. In historic Hosmer (10 minutes East of Fernie) visit Fernie Forge, a purpose built working studio of qualified British blacksmiths Sandra and David Barrett, who address the custom blacksmithing needs of the Elk Valley. Fernie Forge makes all manner of things from forged and fabricated metal; especially artwork using steel, bronze and copper.

Located just south of Kimberley you will find the Marysville Artisans – a group of 12 local artists who own and operate this unique shop. They have a wide range of offerings; from pottery, jewellery, stained glass, iron work and fibre art.

While in Kimberley make sure you take in Kimberley’s ninth annual festival of the arts, Arts on the Edge at Kimberley Art Council – Centre 64 on Deer Park Ave. The event will kick off with an opening gala on the evening of the 9th and will be followed by many events including a major art exhibition in the Gallery from 10 – 5 on Saturday. The exhibition showcases 90 – 100 entries from across the Basin and will feature painting, drawing, photography, digital media, pottery, sculpture and more. The festivities will end on Sunday with a flurry of events so make sure and get full details at On the banks of mystical Mark Creek make sure and visit Artists/Artisans Twila and Tony Austin of Dragon’s Rest Working Studios, Gallery & Dragon Iron Forge, weave their magic in the heart of the East Kootenay. They work in metal, wood, clay & sumi-e, from one-of-a-kind commissions and traditional Japanese Noh masks to public sculpture. Twila works in precious metals, wood and ceramics.

Cranbrook is the home of The Cranbrook & District Arts Council and their mission is to support the development of the visual, literary and performing arts in the Cranbrook and Distric area. Visitors can take in the current Open Art Exhibition and help themselves to complimentary refreshments.

Visit Creston to experience 2 great pottery studios: At the Bluemoon Pottery Studio you will see the work of Andrea Revoy who creates one-of-a-kind sculptural and functional ceramics. Her work is whimsical and colourful, with a touch of humour. From circus chickens, porcelain and enameled jewellery to carved mugs, there is something for everyone. At the  Pridham Studio Micah and Jeremiah Wassink invite you to visit their gallery and working studio where all the pottery is handmade and hand painted on the premises. They welcome you to visit the studio and watch the pottery-making process from raw clay to kiln opening. You will find hundreds of pieces in the gallery to choose from.

Also working with clay, but in a much different form you will find Pat Yarema a conceptual artist who enjoys creating tile mosaics, but also works with a variety of other medium such as oil paint, wire, and clay to create her large paintings.

Celtic Fire Design in Creston is where you go to find hot glass artist Cherie Rensing hard at work to create her handmade lampwork glass beads that get incorporated into her jewellery design. During the tour, she will be hosting a short presentation on the ancient history of lampwork and demonstrate how a glass bead is made. These presentations will be held at 11:30, 2:00 and 3:30 each day.

These are just a few of the fabulous venues on the 2013 Columbia Basin Culture Tour. Tour brochures are available at tourist information centres and participating venues. Visit the website at to view full artist/venue profiles for further details on each location’s activities or register to receive a tour brochure in the mail. For further information, call the CKCA at 1-250-505-5505 or toll free at 1-877-505-7355. The Columbia Basin Culture Tour is generously supported by Columbia Basin Trust funding.