Explore Nelson’s Vibrant Art & Culture Scene
There are many reasons why Nelson has been named best small arts town in Canada. With its four distinctive picturesque seasons, over 350 heritage buildings and an abundance of talent, Nelson is an inspiration. Stores and restaurants proudly host works, artists display their creations on the street or on screen, and the bars move to the rhythm of a home-grown band. There are independent as well as institutional studios for art, dance, and music. Something creative is always happening here and artistic voice, movement and expression finds plenty of support from an enthusiastic community.
Arts & Culture highlights in the area include:
This fully restored stage venue started life as a movie theatre in the late 1920’s and now plays host to world class touring performers as well as productions by local actors, directors, set designers and film makers. The Capitol Theatre is also the stage on which generations of youngsters have strutted their stuff in community productions before taking a bow in front of the most encouraging of audiences.
The downtown is transformed on the last Friday evening of the summer months. Three city blocks become a vehicle-free zone for an eclectic mix of 100 vendors, live music, dance performances and kids’ entertainment. At MarketFest local artisans sell beautiful hand-made goods including jewelry, clothing, and pottery. Other locally produced goods include fresh food items.
Nelson Civic Theatre
Like the Capitol Theatre, the Nelson Civic Theatre has benefited from the generosity of a community which has raised large sums of money to restore a top-class performance space. Originally built as an auditorium in the 1930’s the venue became a cinema before falling into neglect. Now fitted with a modern screen, audio/visual technology, and plush seats, it offers a variety of cinematic and media experiences, from blockbusters, to independent films and opportunities for local cinematographers. The Nelson Civic Theatre can also be used for other local events.
This annual exhibition of visual art has become a summer staple in the Heritage City. For almost thirty years Nelson ArtWalk has seen local businesses offer their space to help create a wonderful platform for some extraordinary creativity. From June through September stores, galleries and other venues stay open into the evening to display some of the finest work Nelson and area has to offer.
Selkirk College Music and Art Programs
It’s no surprise that Nelson offers world class educational opportunities in the arts. At its 10th Street and Victoria Street campuses Selkirk College produces graduates in music, digital arts and various mediums including sculpture, ceramics, metal work, jewelry, and textiles.
Touchstones Museum of Art and History
Located in one of Nelson’s iconic Victorian buildings the state-of-the-art Touchstones Museum of Art and History is spread over three floors of the former Post Office and City Hall. There are temporary exhibitions featuring local and regional art, craft, design, and exhibitions of historical interest. Another floor tells the story of local geography, first people, explorers, settlers (famous and infamous) and industry. The lower level features an archive offering research opportunities for visitors and locals.
nelson visitor centre
For more information, tips, or trip ideas come talk to our friendly staff at the Visitor Information Centre and Station Gallery.
91 Baker Street
Phone: (250) 352-3433
Toll Free: 1-877-663-5706
For even more info on things to do in the area visit the Nelson Kootenay Lake Toursim website.