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6-2666-Ksan-Historical-Village

'Ksan Historical Village & Museum

(Grant Harder photo)

Trip Ideas

Arts, Culture and History in Northern BC's Bulkley Valley

Northern B.C.'s Bulkley Valley abounds with history, culture and artistic inspiration. Spectacular landscapes are captured by the many artists living in Smithers, a picturesque town alive with galleries, historical buildings and performing arts. Smithers and the Kispiox Valley are also home to family-friendly music festivals each summer. With roots dating back centuries, the rich cultures of the Gitxsan and Wet'suwet'en people can be explored at 'Ksan Heritage Village.

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Smithers

Smithers attracts and inspires visual and performing artists who've helped create a lively cultural and shopping hub for the region. Wander the charming town's alpine-themed streets to discover art galleries, unique shops and the Bulkley Valley Museum, or take in one of the many concerts or theatre performances.

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Smithers Art Gallery

Check out works by talented local and regional artists at Smithers Art Gallery located in the Central Park Building on the corner of Highway 16 and Main Street. Exhibitions change monthly. The gallery also offers artists' talks and demonstrations, art classes and workshops, community art events, summer art camps, and free drop-in art activities for kids. Admission is by donation.

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Destination BC/Dannielle Hayes photo.

Midsummer Music Festival

To enjoy an eclectic variety of musical talent, check out the three-day Midsummer Music Festival held in Smithers every summer. Visiting headliners and regional emerging artists offer a smorgasbord of musical genres from rock and folk to jazz and blues during this relaxed and fun event.

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(Aboriginal BC.com photo)

The Hazletons

Take hold of the Talking Stick and immerse yourself in the rich Gitxsan culture and traditions at 'Ksan Historic Village, or stroll around Old Hazelton and make believe you're inside a western movie set.
Discover the must-see spots such as the ancient totem poles presiding over the communities of Kispiox, Gitwangak and Gitanyowat. Aboriginal and cultural sites top the list of interesting places to explore in the area known as The Hazeltons, comprised of several communities and nearby First Nations.

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Bulkley Valley Museum

Explore the natural and human history of Smithers and the surrounding Bulkley Valley at the Bulkley Valley Museum. Located in the historic Central Park Building, the Museum features engaging and informative displays on local history and culture, i...
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(Aboriginal BC.com photo)

'Ksan Historical Village and Museum

Near the town of Old Hazelton is 'Ksan, a village of seven houses built to replicate a Gitxsan community that stood on the same riverbank site for centuries. Each of the houses, set in a row facing the river, reveals a different aspect of Gitxsan culture. Learn about feast traditions at the Wolf House, hear tales and legends of the distant past at the Frog House, and see dance regalia in the Fireweed House. Gitxsan guides also help interpret the village’s many totem poles. More poles, both ancient and modern, stand in the nearby villages of Kispiox, Kitwanga and Kitwancool.

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Frontier Spirit in Old Hazleton

If you listen closely, you can almost hear the whistle of an approaching paddlewheeler. A visit to Old Hazelton is a trip back in time when the Skeena River was the lifeblood of the area. Today, the reconstructed pioneer town boasts an authentic ambience of days gone by, including a trading post, barber shop, safe and city hall. And, of course, a sternwheeler berthed beside the riverfront walkway.

Take an engaging self-guided tour of the area’s historical buildings, artificacts and cultural sites. Watch for “Hands of History” signposts along the way.

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Ancient Totems of the Kispiox Valley

With more than 50 standing totem poles, the Hazeltons and the Kispiox Valley have one of the most concentrated collections of hereditary poles in the world, each telling a story of family history and presence. For a list and explanation of all of the totem poles in the area, ask for the comprehensive 'Tour of the Totems' from the New Hazelton Visitor Centre. Visitors can spend a whole day driving from community to community appreciating these works of art in Kispiox, Gitwangak and Gitanyow.

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