Lake Country Art Tour, Oyama, BC
Lake Country Art Tour on a Pedego
Time: 3 hours – including stops
Tour: Self Guided
Lake Country is a gem. Located in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, the area boasts serene lakes, bountiful orchards and vineyards, and sunny weather. Made up of four distinct wards, Carr’s Landing, Okanagan Centre, Oyama, and Winfield, the District of Lake Country is home to only 14,000 people so there is plenty of room to roam and enjoy the peace and quiet. This is life, the Okanagan way.
The vibrant, tight-knit communities of Lake Country are also rich in culture, arts, and entertainment. They’re a perfect balance of rural and urban experiences. To fully enjoy all the artistry of the area, we recommend the following three-hour tour, which you can do on your electric bike or on one that you rent from us. Total distance is 21 kilometres and many of those are on the flat and relaxing bike trails, which offer stunning lake views.
From Pedego Oyama, ride east onto the isthmus and follow the Rail Trail 7 kms along the east shoreline of Wood Lake. Cross Woodsdale Rd. and continue on the trail for another 4 kms to McCarthy Rd. where you’ll find a historical marker. Turn right onto McCarthy and then right again on Bottom Wood Lake Rd. Follow this through the roundabout to the west and enter the parking lot of Swalwell park.
This community park has a picnic area, skatepark, pavilion, softball field, and waterpark. It also harbours some beautiful artwork including:
Town Walls – Paintings by community citizens in 2005
Circle of Life – Carved marble by Toru Fujibayashi
Funky Pear – A fun sculpture by Ede Axelson
Entrance to the Valley – A large sculpture by Shangxi Zhu
Berry Road Bike Lockers
From Swalwell Park turn left out of the parking lot and ride through the roundabout to the bike storage locker at the transit stop on Berry Rd. Here you’ll not only see the unique work of Sheila Tansey on the bike locker, you’ll also have a good view of the mural on the end wall of the hall.
In 2016 Tansey was commissioned to decorate two bike lockers in the area as part of a public art series promoting active transportation. She was the perfect person to appreciate them as she’s been using bike lockers since the first one was installed in Surrey in 1993. Residents rent space in the locker so they can store their bikes safely and out of the rain.
Berry Road Birdhouse Sculptures
Continue biking west on Berry Rd. and cross Hwy 97 when safe to do so. Along the way you’ll spot multiple birdhouse sculptures done by a variety of artists including Denise Wandt, Jeff Bouladakis, and Larry Hunter. The birdhouses were a project of the Lake Country Public Art Commission in 2017 and you’ll see everything from colourful wooden bird condos to spiraling glass structures.
At this point we recommend stopping at the Dairy Queen parking lot, which is a great place to refresh.
Once you’ve rested, return east along Berry Rd., crossing Hwy 97 safely, until you spot the Robotic Tree at the corner with Main Street. This large, outdoor sculpture is made of metal and plexiglas and was designed by Ottawa artist Karl Ciesluk who said he wanted to capture the whimsical representation of the future of orchards with a tree that harvests itself.
Lake Country Art Gallery
Continue along Berry Rd. until the roundabout and turn north on Bottom Wood Lake Rd. Follow this for 1 km and turn left into the Lake Country Art Gallery and Coffee House. There you’ll find revolving collections of local and foreign artists.
Pelmewash Parkway Cycling Path
After you’ve enjoyed a coffee, snack, and seen the latest exhibitions, turn left out of the Lake Country Art Gallery parking lot onto Bottom Wood Lake Rd. and continue north. You’ll pass the entrance to the Winfield Community Garden, which is marked by a sculpture called The Working Carat. The giant oxidized carrot was designed by Ed Goodon from Metal Dream Designs in Vernon, and if you look closely you’ll see gardening tools inside its structure.
Continue north to Woodsdale Road, turn left, cross Hwy 97 at the lights and then turn right on Pretty Road. Continue to the cycling path that ducks under the highway and onto the scenic, flat, and calm Pelmewash Parkway, which follows the west shore of Wood Lake for 6 kms. You’ll spot three Indigenous sculptures during this section of the tour including the Four Foods Chief, Canoe, and Feather.
Four Foods Chief – Clint George and Les Louis
Canoe – Clint George and Les Louis
Feather – Clint George and Les Louis
These pieces were designed by Clint George of the Penticton Indian Band and Les Louis of the Similkameen Indian band. “The Four Food Chiefs sculpture carries infinite meaning and reminds us to seek information about why preservation of our valleys, mountains, waters, and sky are so important,” the artists said. The Canoe sculpture shows the traditional transportation of the Sylix people and is a reminder of the importance of working together. And the Feather sculpture, which includes a medicine wheel, sun-star blanket, and depictions of Okanagan pictographs, is symbolic of harmony between the First Nations and the settlers.
Your ride along the Pelmewash Parkway will take you right back to Pedego Oyama where it all began. This tour is a great snapshot of the amazing artwork that can be discovered in the Lake Country but there are many other pieces that can be seen throughout the area. For more information, visit the story maps on lakecountry.bc.ca.