The Kootenay Arts communities are filled with interesting and unique museums that are overflowing with arts, culture and history.
Nelson & Kootenay Lake
The Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History has a permanent museum showcasing the culture of the Sinixt and Ktunaxa, and the evolution of the City of Nelson and area through European discovery. The museum aims to be a cultural hub for integrative art whilst providing programs to foster new viewpoints and to encourage collaboration within the community. They also offer a guided tour to their unique experience in the cold war bunker on Saturdays.
As you travel north along Kootenay Lake from Nelson, stop in at the JB Fletcher Store Museum. Located in Ainsworth, it is one of only a handful of commercial buildings in BC, from this era, with original interior elements from 1896.
Once you reach the quaint town of Kaslo, immerse yourself in their rich history of mining and forestry by visiting the Kootenay Star Mining Museum. You’ll find the danger and hardships endured by the pioneer families represented through the array of artifacts on display.
Continue up north to the Lardeau Valley Museum to discover more local historic artifacts that will take you back in time.
Rossland / South Kootenay
Do you want to learn about how the City of Rossland was founded? Then the Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre is a must-see destination. You can learn all about Rossland’s mining, geology, skiing, and social history.
Next up, Trail Museum & Archives brings to life the local history and heritage of Trail and is free to visit. This museum boasts three galleries along with an extensive archival holding. If you’re looking to take home a souvenir, this museum even has a well-stocked gift shop.
The Doukhobor Discovery Centre hosts ten historical buildings that are dispersed across ten acres of land. Here visitors can feast their eyes on indoor and outdoor displays and become absorbed in educational exhibits. Also in Castlegar, the CPR Station Museum is located inside a 100+ year old station, making it one of the best preserved in the province. You will easily be transported to the early 1900’s where you can’t help but visualize the commotion of the passengers boarding the trains.
The Sandon Historical Society Museum aims to preserve and share the history of Sandon. Here you can learn about the fascinating history of this ghost town that was once booming until the silver ran out and a flash flood destroyed many of its buildings.
After Sandon, continue north until you reach the Nakusp and District Museum. This museum houses many artifacts, photos, and stories that bring to life the rich history of Nakusp and its surrounding areas.
The Revelstoke Railway Museum showcases the history of the Canadian Pacific Railway. This museum highlights how the CPR played an important role in the development of Canada as a nation due to its involvement in creating geographical changes and encouraging the movement of people.
Whilst you’re in Revelstoke you should also visit the BC Interior Forestry Museum & Forest Discovery Centre, a non-profit society that has been operating since 1999. They highlight the past, present, and future of forestry. They record, preserve, restore and display artifacts and collections and much more. The BC forestry industry is presented in an interesting and engaging manner for all to enjoy.
Don’t forget to visit the Fernie Museum & Historical Society when you make a stop in this community. What was once a vacant rectory located behind a local church, was transformed into the museum site in 1979. You will find incredible preserved photographs, artifacts and documents that portray the evolution of Fernie.
The last stop will take you to the Creston Museum, where you can learn about how Creston has grown into the place it is today. You can delve into everything from the establishment of the pioneer years to the folks who are involved in the development of Creston today. Did you know that Creston has its own kooky time zone? Learn all about it and more during your visit to the museum.
Are you looking for more to do during your trip to any of these communities? Visit the Kootenay Arts Events Calendar to see what’s happening.