On a recent trip with FestivalSeekers, I had the chance to get better acquainted with Williams Lake. Whether it is depicted through artwork on display at the Williams Lake Art Walk & Sale (August 10 to September 8, 2018), or experiencing it first hand while traipsing the boardwalks at Scout Island. There’s a lot to uncover in this Cariboo community that grew from ranches and lakeside homesteads, into the largest urban centre between Kamloops and Prince George.
Creative Arts in the Cariboo Heartland
Here are some ways you can spend some quality time getting to know Williams Lake when you make it your road trip destination this summer:
1. Visit the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin at the Tourism Discovery Centre (1660 Broadway Ave, Williams Lake)
The Tourism Discover Centre (“TDC”) is a great first stop in Williams Lake. It’s more than a visitor centre as it’s also the home of the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin, with the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame, a full replica of a ranch home, along with First Nations artifacts, history, and information. Follow the staircase that winds around a giant cedar trunk to a loft art gallery with Cariboo-inspired art.
2. Check out the Potato House Project (49 Borland St, Williams Lake)
Trust me, this is seriously cool! Executive Director Mary Forbes maintains compost bins along the Potato House back lane which is home to Canada’s only drive-through compost station. The Potato House is also a rockin’ concert venue during their Garden Gigs events.
3. Get up close with some local critters at the Scout Island Nature House
Getting super creative with kids programs and ecology studies, the Scout Island Nature Centre is a really cool place to learn about — and see — animals, insects, fish, the endangered painted turtle, and more. Be sure to check out the bat closet! Then, head out along the boardwalk to hike some of the accessible trails around the island and spot even more wildlife and migratory birds.
4. Experience larger than life artwork in Downtown Williams Lake
The Williams Lake Art Walk & Sale is a huge draw but you can visit the murals downtown at any time. Pick up a self-guided walking tour map from the Downtown Williams Lake BIA or go for a stroll on your own, you’re bound to found some incredible pieces that reflect the Cariboo, the history of local businesses, and more.
BONUS: Pop into the Station House Gallery (1 MacKenzie Ave N) is Williams Lake’s oldest building and has always served as a centre of activity for the community. Shop artwork, jewelry, photography, cards, books and more while you view current exhibits, or even pop into a workshop.
If you Go
- For more information about the Williams Lake Art Walk, visit their Facebook page.
- Read our festival overview of the Williams Lake Art Walk here.
- Check out this website that might just inspire you to explore more of the region.
- Learn about the Cariboo region and all the things to experience, search on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram #ExploreCariboo