Winter Tourism in the Okanagan Valley

Right now, Okanagan Valley tourism centres around wine, beaches, boats, skis, golf, a bit of biking and adventure, a tiny bit of camping, and restaurants, usually with wine or golf or skis. There is, however, so much more. We should start celebrating. We have some pretty fine ice, always a gem for photography.

Come on, Photographers, I know you can beat my efforts.

A day on the water in the winter is always beautiful, and mysterious.

Attracting artists, writers and photographers would enrich us all.

In Iceland, weather like this is used by artists to make art prints. Instead of stone lithography, ice lithography. Why not here?

The climactic conditions, with winter drought in snow conditions and ice changing its characteristics and levels by the hour, with multiple springs in a season, make for ever-changing opportunities.

Ice like this even sings like birds in waves and light wind. A good reason for musicians and composers to make the trip. And sculptors. They already capture light and shadow as they shift around space. Setting sculptures in the shore water and working closely with the lake as co-creators is a winter travel experience we can offer sculptors.

That one was random, but imagine. Spiritual seekers will find a lot to delight them, too:

The intersection of grassland and mountains in a sky eager to take all water away makes it so. Do you see what I’m getting at? A tourism of people attracted to beauty, of course, but also a culture of attention and celebration. The valley is famous for natural beauty, much of it created in advertising studios, with a heavy reliance on images of California and Provence, and some good finger work on the photoshop filter sliders. We can deepen that experience, for visitors and, through them, for ourselves.

If mussel breath doesn’t capture a photographer’s heart, what about marmot breath?

Really. How cool is that? Or, OK, you’re not one for the big guys, but what about vole breath?

Too low key? Don’t worry, we can ramp it up.

Tracking the big game of the grasslands not your thing? No problem. You can track the sun. A few pics before breakfast, even.

Of course, a stream might be closer.

And why not? They’re even more variable.

I’m not saying my photos are anything special. Just look at the water, though.

I know very well that the art world is about curating, not image-making, and about creating transformative experiences in the frame of a gallery setting, but, you see, the water is curating us, too.

When I’ve been down at the lake with the ice, I’ve rarely been alone. There’s a secret community of ice lovers out there, who get up early to celebrate, and other people, no cameras in hand, who just stand on the edge of it in joy and wonder.

One teenager from Brazil just walked out, laid down on it, with his cheek to the ice, and stayed like that for fifteen minutes.

Summer is an illusion here, but winter, ah, that’s when the planet talks with the stars.

I think we should start inviting people to see what is really here.

And then give them a good meal and some good talk in celebration.

9 replies »

  1. These are very impressive pictures, reminding me at one winter at the Baltic See couple years ago. You could see really thick layers of ice being moved by the current below the sea’s surface – it was amazing and leading to some kind of dizziness the longer you looked at it.


  2. Yes, I did enjoy these winter “turista” photos much. Beautiful. As you may remember, in spite of my engagement with Nature’s large canvas – forest defense, wildlife tracking, etc. – I have gained a reputation among colleagues for having an eye for Nature’s minutiae and their artistic, creative, structural, and biological appointments and processes. Fascinating stuff and often overlooked. Thanks for being attentive and sharing.


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