Cultural Explorer

The rumours are true

The Nelson and Kootenay Lake region is a magnet for arts and culture lovers. A combination of arts and heritage and an appreciation for cultural expression radiates throughout the region.

Art & Heritage 

A walk through Crawford Bay, Nelson or Kaslo offer a unique mix of old and new where character heritage buildings rub shoulders with colourful murals and public art pieces and an old sternwheeler from days gone by. Impressive museums, artistic studios, craft cooperatives, and independent bookstores contribute to the region’s passion for culture. The arts venues host a wide range of performances, while many cafes and restaurants support local artists with changing walls of art.


Acclaimed live music venues and outdoor concerts feature award-winning performers and up-and-coming acts. Choose from lively and intimate indoor shows, the family-friendly Starbelly Jam in Crawford Bay, the world-renowned Shambhala Music Festival, the one-of-a-kind floating stage at the Kaslo Jazz Festival, and more.


All kinds of artisans dot the scenic drive along the shores of Kootenay Lake. Artisan communities in Balfour and Crawford Bay bookend the Kootenay Lake ferry, inviting visitors to discover a variety of handcrafted creations. 


The Association des francophones des Kootenays Ouest (or AFKO, translated as the Francophone Association of West Kootenays) promotes French language and its cultures throughout the region. 

The Region

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Travel Book


Read our visitors guide online or order a copy of the official visitor's guide and map for our region.