Let Beaverlodge's arts scene inspire your creative side
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Beaverlodge AB - The giant wall of stained glass at the heart of the Beaverlodge Art & Cultural Centre presents a statement for all who visit: there are not a lot of small rural towns that put such effort into their creative approach to life.
But with a population of only 2500 or so residents, this is where the Beaverlodge Art & Cultural Centre shines, through the efforts of the society that carries the same name.
“Community, people, and art are why I am part of this society,” explains Maurissa Hietland, director for the Beaverlodge Art & Cultural Society.
Northwest Alberta is full of surprises for any traveller, and those looking to get creative and uncover the creative side of life should put the wheels in gear and head 30 mins west of Grande Prairie to make a Beaverlodge visit.
“Our centre here in Beaverlodge offers many points of interest, starting with the building itself which includes an incredible stained-glass wall showcasing the work of both our founding artist Euphemia McNaught, but also stained-glass artisan Eric Bask.”
The centre is also home to the regional visitor information centre, two art galleries showcasing local artists and the Euphemia McNaught room (tea and baking anyone?!).
Uz-i-pa was the town’s original placename by members of the Beaver First Nation, named after the Beaverlodge River.
This inspired the town’s settler name, but also its most famous roadside attraction: the Beaverlodge Beaver. The giant paean to the industrious animal was erected In 2004 to commemorate the community’s 75th anniversary, and remains one of Canada’s most “Canadian” roadside attractions.
RIght next to it, you’ll find the Beaverlodge Art & Cultural Centre.
“The Cultural Centre (located right next to the Beaverlodge Beaver) provides a respite for travellers, an art oasis for locals, and we offer a glimpse into history with our unique building and its story,” invites Hietland.
It’s a story and a culture that thrives as a result of all the hard-working volunteers, artists and community donors who contribute to the cultural centre, stresses Hietland. Together, the society and its supporters foster a vibrant creative community that keeps this northwestern Alberta attraction thriving.
“We proudly welcome locals from here in our community and visitors from all over the world!” says Hieland.
At just 30 minutes’ drive from Grande Prairie, you’ll want to make a stop here for the obligatory Beaver selfie, but also for art viewing and shopping at the only place in town you can score Beaverlodge “swag” featuring Canada’s biggest beaver!
When You Go
Check out the Cultural Centre’s Facebook page for a series of events you might want to click into which includes regular adult art classes and a monthly changeover of the gallery’s art exhibits.
FInd farm fresh snacks and food for the road at either of the communities two farmers’ markets
Unique in a town of around 2,500 people to have two markets.
**An #exploreNWAB tip, get into the Beaverlodge Farmers’ Market the last Saturday of every month if you want in on the amazing draw they do for a basket of local goodies.
For those visiting Beaverlodge this summer or anytime, the town’s website offers resources to get you sorted.
Last but not least, the friends at the Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Association behind this #exploreNWAB campaign, also provide helpful tips for your North West Alberta road trip so you can get creative with your travels!