British Columbia Cultural Tours

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Written by Patrick J. Smith posted on Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

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Take a cultural tour of British Columbia

Drummer, Pike Island, JF Bergeron photo

British Columbia history includes Aboriginal, Asian and European cultures that all made their mark on this beautiful land.

British Columbia has the highest diversity of First Nations tribes in Canada, with more than 50 in over 200 communities. British Columbia tours, museums and interpretive cultural centers offer interesting information on the lives and history of its aboriginal people.

British Columbia Artists and Galleries

British Columbia is well known for its aboriginal artwork, including carvings and totem poles. These are on display at galleries and museums across British Columbia, and a special few can be seen still in their original, historic places.

British Columbia Asian Culture

In the last 200 years, British Columbia experienced an influx of European and Asian immigrants who became part of the cultural landscape. The city of Vancouver, British Columbia is now home to the second-largest Chinese community in North America.

Learn more about Aboriginal and cultural experiences in BC’s regions and cities:

  • Vancouver, Coast and Mountains
  • Victoria
  • Thompson Okanagan
  • Kootenay Rockies
  • Cariboo Chilcotin Coast
  • Northern British Columbia
  • Vancouver Area
  • Whistler
  • Vancouver Island

British Columbia Museum of Anthropology

West of Vancouver, the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology boasts an famous collection of aboriginal artwork. See traditional jewellery, carvings, canoes, masks, longhouse replicas and totem poles.

Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler

Built as in partnership between British Columbia’s Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations, this is a great place to learn about the culture, history, arts of these Nations through displays, multimedia exhibits, interactive performances, forest walks, and more.

Haida Heritage Centre

British Columbia’s cultural centre on Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) highlights the history of the Haida First Nation, dating back more than 12,000 years.

The waterside centre features cedar longhouses representing a traditional Haida village. Totems, masks and art of the Haida people can be seen here, including the famous Bill Reid war canoe “Loo Taas.” The centre also features a carving shed, artist teaching centre, gift shop, a small cafe and aboriginal performances.

Asian Culture in Vancouver and Victoria

Vancouver’s Chinatown is the second-largest in North America by area and third largest by population. It is home to the biggest Chinese garden outside of China, as well as great shopping and restaurants.

Near Vancouver, Richmond’s Golden Village district is home to over 300 Asian shops, services and restaurants. Those looking for a unique cultural experience can visit the city’s International Buddhist Temple.

Victoria’s Chinatown boasts interesting architecture and attractions such as the ornate and colourful Gate of Harmonious Interest, the symbolic entrance to the neighbourhood.


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