Arts and Culture

Along the Creston Valley and Kootenay Lake Route, brooms never looked so beautiful. Hanging from leather straps against an historic log barn just off the twisty road in Crawford Bay, the North Woven Broom is just one of the many unique and diverse artisans along the Route. Explore local pottery, handmade crates, and custom stonework—take your sweet time. Walk through the doors of Creston's historic red grain elevator and into a gallery filled with paintings and sculptures, or grab a fresh-brewed coffee to savour while running your hands along the spines of books at a local's bookstore favourite. If peculiarity's your style, look no further than the extraordinary Glass House in Boswell; made of 500,000 empty embalming fluid bottles. Don't forget about the goats on the grass roof in Yahk, each with a name, each part of the Yahk Soap & Candle Co. Just ten minutes north of Creston, in the small community of Wynndel, Val's Mellowood Gallery offers original art to small souvenirs or gifts. One thing's for certain—arts and culture is never dull along the Route.

Arts and Culture in Creston Valley Kootenay Lake, BC - printable map (PDF)

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Artisan

Artisans

Homemade is so much better. Artists along the Route carry with them a unique set of skills, a passion for their trade, a desire to remain authentic, honest and meticulous. Crawford Bay in particular is filled with artisans and their trades; visitors can watch as weavers combine cotton, wool, alpaca and bamboo to produce incredible towels, headbands, and other colourful accessories. They can walk through Dog Patch Pottery for local ceramics, pick up home accessories at Kootenay Forge, or grab a hand-woven broom from the little log cabin just off the road.

Further south, stop by the Kootenay Crate Company for a rustic, hand-crafted wood crates. Public art in the Creston Valley has grown particularly popular; look for the nine sculptures on display around town this summer. Wherever you find yourself along the Route, you'll find incredible, unique art.

Culture

Culture

There are museums and galleries aplenty in the Creston Valley and Kootenay Lake Route. In Creston, the Kunze Gallery at the red grain elevator, the Creston Museum, and the Art Barn Studio give rise to artists and art-lovers. Fireworks Copper & Glass Jewelry in Crawford bay pump more culture into and along the Route. Find local art on the walls of coffee shops, like the Black Bear Books & Coffee House, or grab a fresh coffee with the locals at Kingfisher Used Books.

The Legend Logos & Yaqan Nukiy Heritage Centre is culture in and of itself—local First Nations showcase their beautiful garments and Native artwork, and historical photographs from the early 1900s are on display for a shared experience. Learn about the people who have called the Route home for thousands of years, find a special gift, leave connected.

History

History

The road along the Route meanders much the way a river does. Beneath trees swaying above waters of the Kootenay move in unison, its flow connecting north to south, east to west. Connecting Crawford Bay to Creston, Creston to Yahk. The Creston Valley and Kootenay Lake Route is more than just a gateway to another place—there's a connection here that's unparalleled.

The valley between the Purcells and Selkirks is a flood plain to the Kootenay River, flowing from all other areas of British Columbia, and even from parts of Alberta. Traditional territory of the Yaqan Nukiy people of the Ktunaxa First Nations lived off the land; fishing, trapping, hunting, through the marshes and into the woods still vastly deep, dark, mysterious. When the first settlers arrived in the late 1800s, the lush landscape was the only convincing they needed—the Creston Valley and Kootenay Lake Route was discovered.

Between railways and gold mining, homesteading and agriculture, the region saw changes over an incredibly short period of time. By 1935, dikes along the river were built and breached, farmers had experienced the repercussions of flooding, the successes of that deep summer heat, a niche for livelihood had developed. By 1965, the Salmo-Creston Pass highway was finished, and the region saw an increase in traffic, on the map for more than just a route.

Recognizing the unique beauty of the area, the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area was developed in 1968, and from there nature and recreation set a precedent—protect the wetlands, respect the land, take your sweet time.

Today, it's all anyone can hope for—time. You'll find it here, amongst the artisans and coffee shops, between the apple orchards and fruit stands, along the dusty walkway along the farmers' market. There's plenty of time.

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Arts and Culture

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Business Directory | Arts and Culture

Alfoldy Gallery

Alfoldy Gallery

Displaying the original artwork of Andy and Elaine Alfoldy who are present, painting and enjoying visitors. The Creston Valley and life in the Kootenays has influenced the themes of their work. Paintings in watercolour using a variety of papers including tissue, acrylics on canvas along with artist photo cards fill the gallery with colour.

Wednesday, Friday-Sunday 10:30AM-5:30PM 
Closed Tuesday, Thursday, Monday

3917 Highway 3
Erickson BC V0B 1K0
Canada

Art Barn Studio

Art Barn

A creative paradise located on an acreage in Creston, BC. Owned by artist and creator, Beth Swalwell, Art Barn is an open space where everyone is welcome to create. Painting, drawing, sculpting, scrapbooking, bookmaking, jewellery making, vision boarding, quilting, sewing…you name the style and medium, you can do it. Art Barn also offers a variety of classes, workshops, and private bookings for events like birthday parties and ladies’ nights.

Monday-Friday 10AM-7PM

805 25th Avenue South
Creston BC V0B 1G1
Canada

Barefoot Handweaving

Barefoot Handweaving

Watch while colourful fabric is made into unusual twisted shawls, towels, cushions, snakes, hats, headbands and an expanding variety of bags for sale. Cotton, wool, alpaca, silk, rayon chenille, bamboo and organic cotton are breathable natural fibres. Ask to see the flying shuttle that triggered the Industrial Revolution. Housed in a cosy building made from bales of straw, it is also a gallery for Ted Wallace Art.

May-October Every Day 9AM-5:30PM
April, November, December 10AM-4PM
January varies February closed

16101 Highway 3A
Crawford Bay BC V0B 1E0
Canada

Black Bear Books & Coffee House

Black Bear Books & Coffee House - Where The Locals Go

More than just a bookstore, Black Bear has a cosy, inviting atmosphere, featuring Nelson's famous Oso Negro coffee and a great morning/lunch menu. Their cinnamon buns and bread are baked in house every morning, and soups and goodies made from scratch. They carry musical instruments and music supplies, souvenirs and T-shirts, bath and body products, local art, and of course, books.

Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM
Saturday 9AM-5PM

1229B Canyon Street
Creston BC V0B 1G0
Canada

Creston Museum

Creston Museum

The Creston Museum is the place to discover the stories of the Creston Valley. The industries, the people, the activities that built our communities – if you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. We can explain Creston’s wacky time zone, the steamship that became a tractor (sort of), the first airplane to land in Creston, and the teacher who refused to be fired. There’s “The Great Railway Race” and the “Great Creston Bank Robbery.” Have you heard the one about the imaginary student in Grade Thirteen? Really, we’re not making this up. Why would we? Truth is so much better than fiction!

Mid-may to mid-September 1PM - 4PM, 7 days a week
Fall-Winter Wednesday-Saturday

219 Devon Street
Creston BC V0B 1G3
Canada

Creston Valley Farmers’ Market

Creston Valley Farmers’ Market

Offering a unique community of growers, artisans, craftspeople, and entertainment. The Creston Valley Farmers’ Market (CVFM) is a project under the Creston Valley Food Action Coalition (CVFAC), a registered non-profit society in the Kootenay Region. The CVFM operatesweekly and monthly markets. Bring the family and enjoy the benefits of eating fresh, eating real, and shopping local in the heart of the Kootenays year round.

Weekly Saturday market mid-April through December
Monthly market January through March

9AM-1PM

111 Northwest Boulevard
Creston BC V0B 1G0
Canada

Creston Valley Public Art Connection (CVPAC)

Creston Valley Public Art Connection (CVPAC) - Where The Locals Go

A not-for-profit society established in 2015 to promote and display public art from local and regional artists within the community. CVPAC currently has nine sculptures on public display in Creston for 2018. Keep your eyes open for popular sculptures such as the “Bear Circle” at the Rec Complex, “The Old Dog” at the Veterinary Hospital, and “Departures and Arrivals” at Baillie Grohman Estate Winery!

Box 33
Creston BC V0B 1G0
Canada

Creston Valley Visitors Centre

Creston Valley Visitors Centre

There are many things to see and do in and around the Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake area. Stop by the Visitors Centre to pick up the CVKL Route guide, get detailed information on are attractions, or just ask a question. Located in downtown Creston across from the historic grain elevators and next to the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market on Saturdays in the summer.

Mid-May to Beginnining of September 9AM-5PM, 7 days a week
September-April 9AM-5PM, Monday-Friday

121 Northwest Blvd
Creston BC V0B1G0
Canada

Dog Patch Pottery

Dog Patch Pottery

A demonstrating pottery studio/gallery in Crawford Bay. Dog Patch carries an impressively wide variety of pottery made in house before your eyes, as well as work by other Kootenay potters. They also carry other locally made items such as bath and body products, candles, herbal remedies and art and are proud members of the Artisans of Crawford Bay. Visit their funky purple garage. You'll be glad you did!

April-November 9AM-5PM, 7 day a week

16072 C Highway 3A
Crawford Bay BC V0B 1E0
Canada

Fireworks Copper and Glass Jewellery

Fireworks Copper and Glass Jewellery

Jewellery designs and home decor made by firing glass powders onto pure copper, colours are swirled with a red-hot iron through the molten glass, making patterns that suggest ribbons, waves, feathers, or fire. Designs are also created by “painting” freehand with the dry glass powders between firings. Fireworks Copper and Glass Jewellery is inspired by the depth, warmth, and brilliance of colour that can be achieved with glass on copper.

May to mid-Oct (Thanksgiving) 10AM-5PM
July & August 10AM-5:30PM

16095 Highway 3A
Crawford Bay BC V0B1E0
Canada

Fly in the Fibre

Fly in the Fibre

Fly in the Fibre is a local hub that showcases and sells yarn, fibre, local art, coffee, and gifts. A place to inspire happiness, Fly in the Fibre invites you to spend timewith your family or friends and see some fabulous local fibre art and creativity.

Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM
Saturday 9AM-5PM
Sunday 9AM-5PM, June - August

139 10th Avenue North
Creston BC V0B 1G0
Canada

Glass House

Glass House

Take a tour and enjoy the scenery, flowers, and history of the Glass House. Located 25 miles north of Creston, it was started in 1952 by David H. Brown who worked in the funeral business. After retiring he decided there should be a use for the empty embalming fluid bottles which were discarded and acquired 500,000 weighing 250 tons in all to build the Glass House, two floors with 200 feet of space.

May, June, Sept, and October until Thanksgiving 9AM-4PM, 7 days a week
July & August 8AM-7PM, 7 days a week

11350 Highway 3A
Sanca BC V0B 1A2
Canada

Kingfisher Used Books

Kingfisher Used Books - Where The Locals Go

A cosy little shop nestled in the mountainous region of southern British Columbia. To the locals, it's a spot to catch up with friends, hunt down their favourite books and enjoy a well-made coffee. With more than 25,000 book titles, many customers say it’s one of the most inviting and well organized used book stores they've visited.

May-October 10AM-5PM, 7 days a week

131 12th Avenue North
Creston BC V0B 1G4
Canada

Kootenay Crate Company

Kootenay Crate Company

Stop by the Kootenay Crate Company on Canyon Street in Creston to explore its colourfully stained, rustic-built crates and furniture, hand made with locally sourced lumber. Or hunt through their curated collection of vintage modern antiques and find that one of a kind showpiece for your home or business.

Tuesday-Saturday 10AM-4PM (Year Round)

1021 Canyon Street
Creston BC V0B 1G0
Canada

Kootenay Forge

Kootenay Forge

Kootenay Forge has been in Crawford Bay producing a comprehensive line of forged iron home accessories since 1982. They specialize in practical items that you might use in your home every day, which function well and add grace and beauty to your living environment at the same time. The retail shop is open every day from May 1 to mid-October, with varied hours during the off-season.

May-October 10AM-5PM, 7 days a week

16095 Highway 3A
Crawford Bay BC V0B 1E0
Canada

Kunze Gallery

Kunze Gallery

Converting the iconic landmark of Creston's Red grain elevator into an artisan studio and adjacent art gallery injected a vibrant new energy to thesite, ensuring the 1936 structure thrives. TheKunze Gallery is dedicated to exhibiting painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics, and printmaking from both emerging and established artists. Each visitis a new experience, with artists on site creating new exhibitions and works of art.

May-September 10AM-4PM, 7 days a week

215 Northwest Boulevard
Creston BC V0B 1G0
Canada

La Gala Jewellery

La Gala Jewellery

At La Gala Jewellery you will find an assortment of quality local, hand-craftedjewellery, clothing, art, and more. It is a petite little boutique full of wonderfully creative items that are sure to make you smile.

Mid May to September 10AM-5PM
Winter 10AM-5PM Wednesday-Sunday

La Gala Jewelry
16072 Highway 3A
Crawford Bay BC V0B 1E0
Canada

Legend Logos and Yaqan Nukiy Heritage Centre

Legend Logos and Yaqan Nukiy Heritage Centre

An Aboriginal Experience with Canadian souvenirs, beadwork, jewellery, blankets, clothing, moccasins and plant medicines. Unique gift items include garments with Native artwork. Yaqan Nukiy Heritage Centre was developed by the local First Nations to showcase their culture and traditions. Explore, experience, and enjoy as you learn about the people who have been here for more than 10,000 years. Legend Tours available and must be booked in advance.

Monday-Saturday 9AM–5PM

3560 Highway 21 South
Creston BC V0G 1G2
Canada

Mahood Sculptures

Mahood Sculptures

Gitksan artist and Smithsonian Sculptor, Teddy Mahood and his wife create original wood sculpture in red cedar. Teddy married his friend of 20 years, Laurie Roth, a professional portrait photographer, graphic and retouch artist. Together they create wall covering murals, sculpture and art pieces, highlighting the natural wood grain. The shaping of the wood grain, the burning and wire brushing, and the colour treatments make their art unique.

May-October 10AM-4PM, Monday-Saturday

6980 Hollis Road
Kingsgate BC V0B 1V1
Canada

Mellowood Gallery

Mellowood Gallery - Where The Locals Go

Val van der Poel is a multi-media artist in the small community of Wynndel, ten minutes north of Creston on Hwy 3A. Although primarily a water colour artist, Val also works in acrylics, oils, mixed media and pen and ink. She is continually exploring new techniques and styles and has recently starting working with paper quilling. From original art to small souvenirs or gifts you will find a wide variety at Val's Mellowood Gallery.

9AM-5PM, 7 days a week

5570 Cory Road
Wynndel BC V0B 2N1
Canada

Mountain View Stoneworks and Stone Cold Ice Cream

Mountain View Stoneworks and Stone Cold Ice Cream - Where The Locals Go

Located 4km north of Wynndel on the east side of the scenic road to Kootenay Lake, Mountain View Stoneworks specializes in stone etching, polishing and engraving of natural stone producing custom stone work for gardens, driveways, home décor and community spaces. Stone Cold Ice Cream on site carries 32 flavours of delicious, high quality ice cream, and a variety of premade custom stonework available for purchase.

May & June 12-6PM, 7 days a week
July & August 11AM-7PM, 7 days a week

6255 Highway 3A
Wynndel BC V0B 2N1
Canada

Northern Woven Broom

North Woven Broom

Producing high quality, handcrafted corn brooms using antique equipment and age-old techniques, North Woven Broom welcomes visitors to watch as Luke Lewis and Willow Johnston create long lasting brooms or peruse the thousands of brooms for different uses. The craftsmanship of these brooms will make you rethink this common and everyday object as it is transformed into a functional piece of art.

Early April to November 9AM-5PM, 7 days a week

16122 Highway 3A
Crawford Bay BC V0B 1E0
Canada

Orde Creek Pottery

Orde Creek Pottery

Gunda Stewart of Orde Creek Pottery makes wood fired stoneware pottery that is both useful and beautiful. Her work ranges from every day mugs and bowls to more elaborate items such as tea ware, vases and funerary urns. Influences include English and Japanese folk pottery and the pared down aesthetic of Scandinavian design. All work is dishwasher and microwave safe and can be used in the oven with care.

11-5 Wednesday to Sunday, July-August, by appointment or by chance, September-June

4999 32nd Street
Canyon BC V0B 1C1
Canada

Pridham Studio

Pridham Studio

Jeremiah and Micah Wassink produce a distinctive line of pottery at Pridham Studio. They have established themselves as a creative production team with Jeremiah as the potter and Micah as the painter. 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. Made for everyday use, the pottery is glazed with food-safe non-toxic glazes.

Tuesday-Saturday 10AM-5PM

138 12th Avenue North
Creston BC V0B 1G0
Canada

Yahk Kingsgate Community Hall and Park

Yahk Kingsgate Community Hall and Park

The hall and park are located on Railway Avenue in the community of Yahk and operated by the Yahk-Kingsgate recreation Society. Facilities include the hall, indoor gym, kitchen, outdoor music pavilion, multi-use sport court, bocce and horseshoe pits, and baseball diamond.

8790 Railway Ave
Yahk BC V0B 2P0
Canada

Yahk Soap Company

Yahk Soap Company

A cute little soap shop famous for handmade soap, candles, bath products, skin care and their pet goats Walter, Toot and Buttin! Their gift shop is also stocked with handmade products from Kootenay Artisans.

Summer 9AM-5PM 7 days a week
Winter 10AM-5PM (Wednesday-Sunday)
Open some holiday Mondays

8707 Johnson Road
Yahk BC V0B 2P0
Canada