Arts, Heritage & Culture
The Colourful History and Culture of Boundary Country
Our region takes pride in its Arts, Heritage & Culture. Boundary Country owns a history littered with a diverse group of different peoples who cultivated the area to what it is today. From the original caretakers of the land, the Sinixt People, and those who followed in the form of the Doukhobors, cattle ranchers, and artists. You’ll find this rich history proudly reflected in the current-day offerings of the region. Taste the Doukhobor heritage in the food and learn of the indigenous heritage through pictographs and totem poles. There are plenty of ranches around. Take a horseback tour in the morning, and spend the afternoon browsing artist studios and galleries.
One of the fun ways to learn about our history and culture is at the Christina Lake Welcome Centre, where you’ll find the Story Pole that chronicles Christina Lake’s story from ancient beginnings to the present. A 3D mural depicts a part of our history and makes for a unique and playful photo op.
There are plenty of places to stay in Boundary country as you explore our past. Visit and stay for a while, or plan your visit as part of a more extensive road trip. Either way, you’re sure to enjoy your time here.
Find inspiration in Our Arts Scene
Step into Boundary Country and our inviting landscapes. The Kettle River lazily swirls from one end to the other. The Monashee and Columbia mountain ranges creep upward toward bright, blue skies. Thickly forested valleys of Ponderosa pine merge into wide-open fields. Then they slowly morph into lush farmland. Bighorn sheep, elk, eagles, and hawks animate postcard-worthy vistas. These are the visuals that lured artists and artisans here over the decades. They’ve inspired works of art in almost every media imaginable. Now it’s your turn. Find inspiration at a range of events, galleries, and studios throughout the region.
Marvel at our History
There’s an old-timey feel in Boundary Country. That feeling is attributed to the respect the people pay to their past here. Boundary Country acknowledges its history, embraces it and celebrates it. After all, where else do you get this much character from? If you are interested in receiving traditional teaching about our history, you should try out a museum. Check out somewhere like the Kettle River Museum, Boundary Museum & Interpretive Centre, or the Greenwood Museum. Each of these museums has its own flavour.
Visit Our Museums
The Kettle River Museum is located at ‘Mile 0’ of the Kettle Valley Railway and pays homage to the region’s locomotive roots with a restored Canada Pacific Rail (CPR) caboose and an original CPR Railway Station House. The Station House is authentic, and the detail is extensive, a must-see!
The Boundary Museum & Interpretive Centre is located on the Fuctova Heritage Site, a former school built by the Doukhobors. Doukhobor roots run deep in Grand Forks, and this museum blends exhibits of both Doukhobor’s life and Boundary’s pioneer life seamlessly. The Greenwood Museum features an extensive telling of the mining history of Canada’s Smallest Town. This museum also features a tribute to the town’s Japanese ancestry. Greenwood was the first internment site for Japanese Canadians following the Canadian Government’s order of August 4, 1994. Japanese Canadians had to either apply for deportation to Japan or move east of the Rockies.
If traditional museums aren’t quite your speed, there’s plenty of opportunities to experience Boundary Country’s heritage in a little more ‘hands-on’ fashion. The Columbia and Western Railway (C&W) and the Kettle Valley Railway once connected Boundary’s communities to the rest of the country. Almost every portion of these railways has been converted into bike-able rail trails. This trail network features some hand-blasted (with dynamite!) tunnels and wooden trestles that were incredible feats of engineering considering the era that the railways were constructed in. With each of the communities being connected by these trails, overnight trips are a common occurrence, allowing you to truly place yourself in the shoes of the region’s pioneers and experience journeys that took place up to a century ago.
Boundary’s heritage is long linked to western culture, with the wide-open spaces and moderate climate being ideal for farming and ranching. Visitors can discover whispers of this region’s wild west history as there are some holdovers from a simpler time. Ranch vacations are one way to experience this part of Boundary’s history. Forget the hustle and bustle of big city life and get in touch with your wild side, wake up, step outside and enjoy a breath of (very) fresh air and drink in stunning vistas surrounding you 360 degrees. Help out with chores, or set up a guided horseback ride, it doesn’t really matter. Life is what you want to make of it while you are on your ranch stay.
If you are looking to be a little more fluid with your exploration of Boundary’s culture, a few of the ranches in our region offer tours that are attached with history lessons. The knowledge that the region’s pioneers hold often cannot be found in any museum. Getting to meet these individual character’s personalities is a treasure unto itself.
The people of Boundary are proud of their Arts, Heritage & Culture. So whether you want to learn about the Arts, the Culture & Heritage, or both, you are certainly in for a treat. Trust us, the in-person experience is a lot more fulfilling (and exciting) than reading about it online. Start planning your exploration of Boundary Country today.