COLUMN: Become a tourist in your own town

I have always appreciated that our weather in Nelson tends to be a bit like that of Camelot — four rather perfectly even seasons.

I have always appreciated that our weather in Nelson tends to be a bit like that of Camelot four rather perfectly even seasons. And while I know that this grey one is only really around for a little while, I still find it a bit tough around January and February, fantastic skiing notwithstanding.

So, like many people I know, I recently took a holiday to a warm place. I spent a few weeks on the beaches in Anguilla, enjoying the tropics while I knew it was cold back here. It takes a really long time to get there, but people make that trip from the far corners of the earth to enjoy their white sand and clear Caribbean water.

The whole time I was there, I was so keenly aware of the tourism messaging around me, as well as the fact that everyone who lives there sees it every day too. Understandably, they become a little numb to the messages about how amazing their island is. Most Anguillians don’t spend their days on the beach, and I’m sure they don’t always see their everyday living as a tranquil escape.

Days after returning home, I attended the Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism AGM, where we were treated to a screening of their “Why Paddle Kootenay Lake?” video (it’s on the Nelson Kootenay Lake website, if you haven’t seen it), and it really hit home how numb we can also be to just how amazing our little piece of the planet is. In our everyday living, we can also lose sight of the fact that people come from all over the world to visit us here too.

This is the perfect season to become a tourist in your own town. Definitely because of the skiing, but also because of the dance, theatre, live music, local food and restaurants, unique downtown shops, our history and walking tours, and our lake and alpine surroundings, as nature is getting ready to spring back to life. It’s a perfect time to shake up your usual schedule and try something local that you’ve not tried before.

Try some opera, for one: The Civic is screening Royal Opera House’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci today. This particular production of this double-bill of short operas is set in the late 20th century small-town Italy and has been praised as “uplifting” with “ravaging sounds and detailed naturalism.”

Immediately following, we look forward to screening Oscar contender Room on Thursday, before heading into a week of all-age audiences for Kung Fu Panda 3, starting Friday.

And after that, it’s Oscar Season. We are looking forward to The Big Short, Carol, The Danish Girl, Anamolisa, and The Lady in the Van, Best Foreign language nominees Son of Saul, Mustang, and Theeb, plus Joy, starring Jennifer Lawrence. All this leading up to our live Oscar stream on Feb. 28 and our Hail, Caesar! Oscar party on March 5.

Nelson is indeed a great place for a local staycation. Join us at The Civic for one of our most wonderful times of year.

Eleanor Stacey is the executive director of the Nelson Civic Theatre Society.

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