The Art Scene in Cariboo and British Columbia
For as long as there have been people settled along the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast there have been artists in the region, stretching as far back to the ancient aborigines who crafted rudimentary – but still stunning – pieces of art, many of which still exist in galleries in Cariboo today.
This tradition and respect (some would even say reference) for the arts and culture along the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast continues still today, with millions and millions of people flocking to British Columbia and the western coast of Canada to take in some of the country’s most impressive art installations, galleries, and cultural events.
Many of these visitors are so taken in by the artist atmosphere that so deeply permeates everything in Cariboo that they make firm commitments to return to the area on a permanent resident basis, bringing with them their own ideas, talents, and conception about art and culture.
This has transformed British Columbia into a bit of a melting pot of sorts on the cultural front, and has helped to create some of the most impressive travel and cultural destinations in all of Canada.
If you’d like to learn a bit more about the art scene in Cariboo (and the rest of British Columbia, for that matter), read on!
Cariboo has always been a hotspot for artists of all flavors
Though the culture and arts have absolutely exploded in popularity throughout British Columbia in the last two decades or so, there has always been a rich history and tradition of artists and artistic installations that stretch back to the times of the ancient aborigines that roamed this land.
Aboriginal art can be found all throughout British Columbia (but especially along the coast), and many of these pieces have been collected, curated, and protected in galleries as well as their own “natural habitats” for years and years now.
Combine that with vast stretches of stunning landscapes (many of which have become the subject of art installations and pieces from some of Canada’s best artists and photographers), and you are talking about a region that is filled to the brim with everything Canadian art has come to embody.
While culture will always continue to change, evolve, and go through transformation after transformation, it’s almost impossible to conceive of Cariboo and British Columbia not having some kind of influence on Canadian art and culture from here on out.
Some of the major Cariboo art attractions include…
There are a number of major attractions that visitors are going to want to include on their itinerary all along the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast.
But if you’re only going to be able to visit a handful of these destinations on your next trip, make sure that these make the list!
The quaint little picturesque town of Wells is bursting at the brim with art and culture. Even though their winter population is just 240 souls, there are six major art galleries located throughout the town – with a number of smaller galleries, art installations, and “artist communities” dotted throughout the landscape.
Another absolute must visit destination along the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast would have to be the Chris Harris Studio Gallery at the 108 Mile Ranch. Home to one of the largest collections of this legendary Canadian photographer’s work, a straw bale gallery shows off some of the most stunning stills and panoramas of British Columbia, her nature and wildlife, and a handful of more personal subjects found anywhere on the planet.
As mentioned above, aboriginal art is very well represented throughout British Columbia, but you’ll be able to find some of the oldest pieces (as well as some of the most remarkable and culturally significant) by visiting the Petroglyph Gallery in Bella Coola.
Must-See installations, galleries, and cultural events in Cariboo and British Columbia
If you have a little bit more time on your hands to visit other hotspots throughout Caribou and British Columbia, you’ll want to consider adding these destinations to your itinerary!
• The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria which is filled to the brim with Japanese and Chinese pieces of art and the largest collection of Emily Carr (British Columbia’s own legendary artist) pieces
• The Vancouver Art Gallery is known for its rotating contemporary art installations from some of Canada’s best artists
• The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia which showcases aboriginal art and ancient artifacts
• Granville Island (just south of downtown Vancouver), an artisan’s community and gallery/shopping center
• The Kelowna Gallery and Art School, a facility with four exhibition spaces and performance art schools in theaters
• The Kootenay School of the Arts located in Nelson, a bursting artist’s community with picturesque landscapes surrounding
• In regards to nightlife, the options are fairly limited. However, more pubs and restaurants continue to appear throughout the district, including the Shark Club, located in Quesnel. One must be careful as well, since ride sharing services like Uber & Lyft are less likely to be found in remote regions like the Cariboo. A DUI in Canada can be treated as a felony offense as well, according to San Rafael DUI Defense Lawyer Michael Rehm, as opposed to the normal misdemeanor charge one sees in the States. So if you go out, make sure to designate a driver.
Of course, you’re also going to want to make sure that you visit the archipelago in British Columbia that is home to artists, artisans, craftspeople, and some of the most talented creators in all of Canada.
The Gulf Islands archipelago (located between Vancouver and Victoria) has always been a hotbed for those looking to escape more traditional urban environments as well as those that have been able to fully develop their creative abilities.
Making the most of your trip to British Columbia
Though many of these premier art destinations in British Columbia and along the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast are open year round, it’s probably a better idea for visitors (especially those that are coming from international destinations) to plan their trip to this part of Canada during the warmer months.
Winters in British Columbia can be quite harsh and unforgiving, and though there is a spectacular natural beauty to the area when it’s been covered in a blanket of snow, most find the warmer months to be more ideal for outdoor exploration and a real appreciation of the arts.
There are a variety of different accommodations available for all travelers that are hoping to visit British Columbia and the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, and those that intend to return to their international homes with a bit of Canadian art in tow are going to want to make sure that they clear everything through customs ahead of time and take advantage of international shipping services located throughout the area.