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6 Ways To Experience Arts & Culture in the Osoyoos Area

Osoyoos is in an area known for its unique desert ecosystem, world-class wineries, warm lake temperature, elite golf courses and now, a growing arts and culture scene.

Culturally curious travellers and locals alike are finding ways to take in the spirit and creativity of Osoyoos, whether it be through Indigenous experiences, our museum, art galleries, public displays, events or at local boutiques.

If you are seeking ways you can enjoy the arts & culture scene in Osoyoos, we’ve rounded up six possibilities to help guide the way.

Learn About Indigenous Culture

Osoyoos is rooted deeply in Indigenous culture and history. The name “Osoyoos” originates from sẁiẁs (pronounced “soo-yoos”) meaning “narrowing of the waters” in the local Okanagan language (Syilx’tsn).

When you visit, immerse yourself in the unique Indigenous culture of Osoyoos – from seeing kłlilx’w (Spotted Lake) to indulging in Indigenous-inspired culinary fare. By experiencing many of these local activities, not only are you supporting Indigenous-led businesses, but you are sure to leave with a deeper understanding and connection to the land and people of Osoyoos.

Whether it is stopping by the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, tasting wines at the Nk’Mip Cellars Winery, eating local cuisine at The Bear, The Fish, The Root and The Berry, or taking a trip to kłlilx’w (Spotted Lake) there is no shortage of ways to learn about the local Indigenous Culture!

Learn more by clicking here.

Explore the Murals of Osoyoos

Mural of waterskiier and stylised "Osoyoos"

Osoyoos, BC has no shortage of beautiful attractions and iconic art pieces to enjoy while exploring the area, but over the last few years, a new art scene has emerged adding an even brighter splash of colour to the Town, while also capturing the lively character and history of Osoyoos.

Visitors and locals alike will want to poke their heads off of Main Street and onto some of the side streets or alleys in Town to find vibrant walls painted by local artists or businesses.

Enjoy sunflowers behind Home Hardware, Looney Toons characters on the side of Needs Gym, and Angel Wings off Spartan Drive!

Learn more about local murals here.

Stop by the Farmers’ Markets

Osoyoos is home to a plethora of skilled artisans, craftspeople, bakers, farmers, woodworkers, photographers and more and one of the best things is this talented collection of people often meet to display and sell their amazing products all in one market.

The Osoyoos Farmers’ Market runs from May through September, at Town Hall Square, on Main Street Osoyoos, Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Osoyoos Farmers’ and Artisan Market is a volunteer society, and all products sold by the vendors are homemade, home-baked, or homegrown. This includes a variety of artisan crafts, local fruits and vegetables and wine/cider/beer/spirits.  Live music can also be heard at the Market.

If you are visiting outside of the summer months, you can often find pop-up markets around town or markets set up for special occasions and holidays that are equally worthy of exploring!

More details can be found here.

Take In A Local Event

Events are a great way to dig your claws into the authentic local culture and vibe of Osoyoos and the surrounding region.

While it is a small town, the Osoyoos events calendar packs quite the punch, loaded with delightful happenings throughout the year.

On top of the major events in the region such as the annual Cherry Fiesta celebration on Canada Day and the Half-Corked Marathon, you’ll find gems such as grassroots musical performances, multiple series on wine education, drag shows, silk scarf design classes, barrel racing on horseback, old car shows, cooking classes and so much more.

Head to our Destination Osoyoos events calendar here to see what is happening!

Celebrate Canadian Art in the Galleries

Osoyoos is home to not one but two fantastic art galleries that are open to the public and prominently feature Canadian artists including painters, sculptors photographers and more.

The Art Gallery Osoyoos operates as a standing committee of the Osoyoos & District Arts Council (O.D.A.C.); and is supported by the BC Arts Council and the Town of Osoyoos. The Gallery seeks to promote and encourage a wide variety of art endeavours, and to provide an outlet for area artisans to display and sell their works. 

The Okanagan Art Gallery is a 2100 sq ft space full of natural light, showcasing the unique and beautiful art of the South Okanagan/Boundary/Similkameen region. Featuring painters, sculptors, and photographers, this gallery is an Artists Co-op run by the artists themselves – so you may run into an artist or two in the gallery when you visit, or find one busy creating.

Keep up-to-date with the upcoming events being hosted at our art galleries by clicking here.

Revisit the Town’s History

Osoyoos & District Museum and Archives

A great way to dive into the history of the region is by visiting the Osoyoos and District Museum and Archives. Learn about the history of the Town’s beginnings through photo galleries and exhibits.

Formally established in 1963, the Osoyoos Museum houses a collection of over 4,000 pieces to help immerse yourself in local history and deepen your connection with the community.

Guided historical walking tours are available during the summer months. 

More information can be found here.