Touring the Columbia Basins art, culture and history

The Columbia Basin Culture Tour will take place this weekend, starting at 10 a.m. and running until 5 p.m. on Aug. 13 to 14.

The Columbia Basin Culture Tour will take place this weekend, starting at 10 a.m. and running until 5 p.m. on Aug. 13 to 14. The self-guided tour features many artists and purveyors of culture throughout the Basin. The tour was created by a steering committee, which is made up of arts, culture and heritage people. The Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) funds the committee and the tour. The committee decided that the tour would be beneficial for the basin because it would celebrate the rich historical and cultural venues as well as the many artists that live in the Basin, according to Natasha Smith, administrative assistant to the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance (CKCA).

“There are a number of culture tours across the country and because this is a fairly large region this tour was developed so people can not only tour their own communities but also make a trip, since it is over two days,” said Smith. “Spend a night in a different place and really take in lots of wonderful venues. Many of the artists don’t always have their studios open, so you get to see where and how they work and speak with them in person. The cultural sites and heritage sites do special programming and offer certain parts of their locations for free.”

The majority of Elk Valley events for the tour will be taking place in Fernie, Smith told The Free Press.

“This year we do not have any from Elkford, but Fernie has a handful. We have Kathy Stead Fine Art Studio – she is a landscape painter. We have the Fernie Arts Co-op, who always put on an awesome culture tour; they bring in some of the local artists and they are there live painting for people, and the co-op always has great refreshments and such,” she said. “The Eye of The Needle studio and gallery that was created by Fernie Forge has lots going on. There will be felt-making demonstrations, and will feature glasswork by Katherine Russell from Elkford and will have a good range of other artists there as well. There are a bunch of really fun activities for people to take in that are in the Fernie area.”

Smith is also an artist, and has been a part of the tour for eight years. She believes that the event is a great chance for both artists and tourists to interact in a positive, but relatively uncommon way.

“As an artist quite often you work independently, often you don’t have much contact with the public, even when you are doing a show. This gives artists an opportunity to really engage with people and really explain their work and the inspiration behind it and share a little bit of their space,” she said. “For some artists it can be a little daunting, but others spend a huge amount of time and work getting their studios ready and displaying all their work for the tour. I think it is a great event for both tourist and artist. The last part of a creative process is sharing, putting the work out there. Some artists make this their featured sale of the year. We have artists that display work all around their studio and homes to get ready for the culture tour. They make quite a bit of income from sales from the tour.”

Smith believes without CBT’s funding, the tour would not be a possibility.

“People pay a small registration fee,” she said. “If they signed up in time for the earlybird pricing it was $40 and regularly it is $50. If it wasn’t for the CBT the tour wouldn’t be happening.”

People who are interested in doing the self-guided tour can find hardcopy maps at tourist information centres in participating areas. Maps can also be found online at Cbculturetour.com.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will use less greenhouse gases.

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

Rumble In The Rockies brings live boxing back to Fernie

Local boxer, Dylan Mitchell takes first career win at home

Smiles all around as province announces emergency ward funding

$2.1 million to go to much-needed upgrades

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Sunwing vacation passengers left at Abbotsford airport

YXX staffers receive praise for help to passengers; airline criticized

Most Read