For visitors who would like to learn more about the Aboriginal culture of the region, the award winning Xwísten Experience Tours (Lillooet) is an excellent place to start. Visitors are invited to discover aspects of the St’át’imc Nation’s vibrant culture and history. The tour includes opportunities to view a replica s7istken (pit house), view the traditional fishing grounds of the St’át’imc people, watch a demonstration of the preservation of salmon through wind drying, and partake in a wonderful BBQ salmon feast. Visit the Native Village at Hat Creek Ranch to learn more about the Shuswap Nation and spend a night in a Kekuli lodge (pit house). Aboriginal Day celebrations take place every June in Monck Provincial Park and Lytton.
Museums in Ashcroft, Clinton, Lillooet, Lytton, Merritt, Savona and Walhachin provide visitors with the opportunity to look into the past, at ancient archaeological discoveries, fascinating historical artefacts and early photographs that help to preserve local heritage.
The communities of Gold Country have maintained many remarkable heritage buildings including churches, old theatres, firehouses and hotels. Highlights include Merritt’s historic Baillie House and Lillooet’s Miyazaki House. Historic roadhouses and town sites include 70 Mile House, Nicola Ranch, Hat Creek Ranch and Ashcroft Manor.
Immerse yourself in an art experience at Ken Glasgow’s outdoor gallery of “philosophy art”; steel sculptures that will make you think (Botanie Valley Road, Lytton. Phone: 250-455-2569). Try your hand at weaving, felting or knitting at the Trolheimen Weaving Studio (70 Mile House). Feel the energy of Jo Petty’s paintings at her studio in Ashcroft. Book a tour of Jo’s studio 48 hours in advance by calling 250-453-9000.
Pottery lovers will enjoy a visit to Meadow Creek Pottery (315 Chartrand Ave. Phone: 250-523-6946) in Logan Lake, or Vallance Pottery in Clinton. Creative Company (Merritt) is a co-op run by local artisans, selling everything from handmade chocolates to furniture and jewellery. The works of local artisans are displayed at fall fairs in Ashcroft, Logan Lake and Merritt (Nicola Valley Fall Fair). Many other local events showcase our talented crafters’ works, including the Apricot Tsaqwem Festival in Lillooet and the Lytton River Festival.
Gold Country’s local musicians are much loved, as are the international stars that frequent the region’s biggest music event. When in Merritt visit the Merritt Walk of the Stars and view the murals and bronze stars that pay tribute to the numerous Canadian and International stars that have performed in Merritt.
Many local establishments host excellent regular live music events. Concert series include Ashcroft’s Music in the Park series (Winding Rivers Arts & Performance Society). The Music at the Miyazaki Summer Concert Series (Lillooet) is a weekly event on Fridays in July and August, featuring the best in bluegrass, jazz, rock ‘n roll, blues and country music. Regular concerts are also hosted by Lillooet Music and the Packing House in Spences Bridge. Clinton hosts Music in the Park at the Regg Conn Park. Barney and Dustin Bentall are just a couple of the talented musicians that have performed under the stars in Clinton. See the Gold Country Events Calendar for more information on upcoming concerts.
Visitors to Gold Country are invited to discover the traditional dances of First Nations people at pow-wows. A ‘Gathering of Hearts’ Valentines Pow Wow is held in Lillooet each February; Hat Creek Ranch hosts the Bonaparte Pow Wow each August, and a Remembrance Pow Wow is held in Lytton every November.
Keep up to date with the Winding Rivers Arts and Performance Society for information on upcoming theatre and music events in Gold Country.
Gold Country’s awe-inspiring scenery isn’t just a haven for visitors. The grasslands, ranches, volcanic landscapes, forests and historic towns are a filmmaker’s paradise. The region has played host to everything from other worldly sci-fi dramas to the end of the world, laying the backdrop for a Tibetan village in the apocalyptic hit, 2012. From the A-Team in Ashcroft to the X Files in Walhachin, many of our historic towns and beautiful provincial parks have featured in Hollywood hits. Visit the TNRD Film Commission’s website for a more in-depth look at the world of film in Gold Country.
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