Columbia Basin Culture Tour features Castlegar and Robson stops

Check out local artists and artisans Aug. 6-7

Sandra Donohue at her loom. Photo: Submitted

Sandra Donohue at her loom. Photo: Submitted

Artists in the Columbia Basin area are gearing up for the annul Columbia Basin Culture Tour on Saturday, Aug. 6 and Sunday, Aug. 7. This popular event, organized by the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, and funded by the Columbia Basin Trust, is a free self-guided tour into the studios and venues where participating artists work and display their creations. Venues are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days.

There are six Culture Tour stops in the Castlegar/Robson area.

Venues in Castlegar are Castlegar Sculpture Walk, The Kootenay Gallery of Art, and the Selkirk Weavers’ and Spinners’ Guild. Both the Selkirk Weavers and the Kootenay Gallery of Art are located on Heritage Way, across from the Castlegar Airport.

In Robson, you will find three venues: Sandra Donohue’s painting and weaving at 3343 Broadwater Road, Reclaimed Wood Goods and Pottery at 3385 Upper Levels Road, and Mirja Vahala Art Studio, at 3905 Broadwater Road.

To visit Sandra Donohue’s studio, park on Broadwater and walk a short way up Gleboff Rd, the gate will be open on the left. Please do not park on Gleboff Road as it is the private driveway of a neighbour who is a first responder. Signs will lead you through the garden to the studio. Sandra paints mainly in watercolour, but also uses acrylic, oil, and pastel. Her woven pieces are functional, and the loom will be set up to show how all those threads and parts work to produce fabric.

“Colour and light inspire me with choosing a subject to paint, and it also is a huge factor in my weaving,” says Donohue.

Just past Donohue’s venue is McDairmid Road,the access off Broadwater Road to Upper Levels Road where you’ll find Reclaimed Wood Goods and Pottery by artist Andrea Bryant. Bryant finds fascinating pieces of wood and cast-off items, transforming them into functional and decorative pieces. Her pottery complements the rustic furniture.

Continue along Broadwater Road, until you are almost across from the pulp mill and you will find Mirja Vahala’s Art Studio, a treasure trove of exciting and colorful paintings. Mirja works in acrylic and oils, and also teaches painting classes.

For more information about the Columbia Basin Culture Tour and the participating artists, visit

READ MORE: Two Castlegar residents recognized with volunteer of the year awards for invasive species work

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