For this week’s Creative Communities feature, we’ve compiled a list of some our favourite places to visit in Canada’s four-season destination, Vernon! Vernon has a rich heritage that is abundant in arts and culture. Woven into the people and the city, this heritage lives through the live music, art galleries, live theatre, and the outdoor murals.
With youth employment and revitalization in mind, the Vernon Heritage Mural project was conceived. This multi-year collaborative effort has been a catalyst for the revitalization of the heritage character present in Vernon’s downtown business center. Featuring over 28 different murals, these large art pieces include depictions of the Okanagan Indian Band, honour the rich aboriginal culture present in Vernon. Works also celebrate the likes of the Sovereign lake Nordic club, the largest cross-country ski club in Canada. For those interested in guided on/off-season tours, please call ahead @ (250)-542-5851 to schedule your guide.
Artist, Muralist, Art Educator, and Community Art Consultant Michelle Loughery has award winning mural projects all around the world. Loughery has works in places like Cuba, Missouri, and Merritt. Her work on photographic display can be found in the historic Smithsonian Museum in New York. Located all over downtown Vernon, as lead artist of the Heritage Murals project, her murals act as a permanent display of the rich and diverse history of the region. Check out all of her amazing murals, and the other artistic endeavours that Loughery is currently undertaking right here.
At the Vernon Farmers Market, in-season produce, fresh and delicious fruits, vegetables, breads, pastries, meat products, and prepared meals are in abundance. Here you will find local artisans, selling fresh cut flowers, handmade pottery, jewelry and more! Although they’ve moved inside for the winter, nothing stops the rich local farming community from coming together to provide the locale access to homegrown food sources. Check their Facebook page for more details on locations, times, and dates for the market.
Nadine’s Fine Art & Frames is a wonderful little gallery in the heart of Downtown Vernon. With an expansive 30+ year history in the art community, Nadine provides weekly classes to adults and children of all abilities, introducing them to the beauty of water colour, oil and acrylic painting. Along with classes and workshops, Nadine’s Fine Art & Frames provides custom framing and fine art supplies, and it is home to an intimate gallery space with an expansive original collection of realistic, impressionistic and abstract art.
Along with the heritage buildings, displays, farm animals, full-service restaurant, unique gift shop, and other added special touches; the Historic O’Keefe Ranch holds a host of events for its patrons. Tour the O’Keefe Mansion. Greenhow Museum, St.Anne’s Church, Balmoral School, Animal Exhibits, a Model Railway Display, A General Store, pottery shed, blacksmith Shop, and feel transported back to early 20th century Vernon.
Experience the expertly crafted 1910 Historic Mackie Lake House, situated on the shores of Kalamalka Lake. Learn about the architecture, vast history, and one-of –a-kind characteristics of this unique home, and the families who have lived here. For a lovely afternoon tea, concerts, and a host of other musical and fine art experiences, visit the Mackie Lake House website to begin to create your own memorable Okanagan experience.