This Saturday and Sunday — August 12 & 13 — from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., people will be able to participate in the ninth annual Columbia Basin Culture Tour.
This year's culture tour will include many returning favourites as well as a number of exciting new locations to explore.
Self-directed and free of charge, the culture tour is a great opportunity to meet people behind the scenes at galleries and museums, visit studios and venues not normally open, shop for original art or fine crafts and experience special events planned only for this weekend.
Before you hit the road, check out the profiles to see the special events and exhibitions that are happening at each location!
Here are 10 hints for a great Culture Tour, passed on from a seasoned "Culture Tourist" who has been every year:
- Start with a full tank of gas - some great spots are off the beaten track!
- Take your 'Backroads of BC' or other detailed map. The CBCT Directory maps are good, but sometimes a bigger picture will be helpful.
- Be prepared to get a little lost - or at least think you are. One way streets and cul-de-sacs can be hard to find sometimes but don't give up, that out of the way location might be a treasure! I have a friend who calls this being an 'adventure kitty'.
- Bring a friend or family member or two as there will be lots of activities and events for all ages. Please leave your dog at home, as it may not be welcome at some of the venues and it is usually hot on this weekend.
- Take your restaurant and hotel coupon book if you have one - this is a great chance to visit some new places to eat, and who knows? You might want to make this an overnight trip!
- Take your cheque book - some of the studios are not set up to take credit or debit cards. 'Small' money for small purchases will be appreciated.
- If you see something you like, buy it! It may not be there if you wait for next time, and many of these locations are not open regularly. Don't be surprised if you save the sales taxes - many home based artisans do not have to collect GST and/or PST, so purchasing directly benefits both the customer and the vendor (they aren't paying commission to a commercial outlet either).
- Wear comfortable walking shoes - you might be doing some wandering through gardens and yards to get to studios.
- Sun screen and a hat aren't bad ideas, either. Even a bottle of water or two - staying hydrated keeps your energy up.
- Plan to spend one day, at least! Events start at 10 am and run to 5 pm, both Saturday and Sunday, which gives you a chance to explore further afield.
Photo Caption: The J.B. Fletcher Restoration Society at Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort is a beautiful historical building from 1896.— Pboto courtesy CBT.