In one of my past posts, I shared some of the amazing options for eating locally in Prince George, and mentioned how some people are surprised by the vast variety of local options in our northern city. It got me thinking about all of the other wonderful aspects of PG that people may be surprised to hear about. When non-residents think about Prince George, they may think we’re “too northern for that,” or “too small for this,” or my least favourite, “too uncultured for that.” Well let’s dispel some of these negative myths and reveal some of the more surprising and quite awesome attributes of our city!
Arts & culture
Very often, our community is defined by our love of the outdoors – and this is very true – but we’re so much more than that! From theatre to performance arts and live music to visual art, Prince George’s cultural community is pretty impressive. Theatre Northwest brings together high caliber Canadian actors and theatre professionals to produce four exceptional plays per season, and also hosts other events, such as wine tastings. We are also lucky to have Judy Russell’s Dance Centre, which produces amazing local performers who present plays and other performances throughout the year, such as the recent Evil Dead: The Musical. Most of these shows are put on at the Prince George Playhouse, a large theatre that features both plays and live music. Between these two groups, we usually get at least one Christmas themed play during the holidays, which are always my personal favourites!
Prince George loves its music too. Our amazing and impressive Prince George Symphony Orchestra performs several times per year to large audiences at Vanier Hall. Live bands can also often be found at local restaurants like Nancy O’s and Twisted Cork, and every year, PG hosts the Coldsnap Music Festival, featuring several days of amazing bands from near and far. I also can’t forget to mention some of our local shops whose events feed into the arts and culture scene, like Books & Company‘s poetry nights and Groop Gallery’s art battles. And finally, our Two Rivers Art Gallery is the place to go for artists’ exhibitions, local handmade crafted gifts and children’s arts programs.
Since I’ve recently told you lots about (local) food in PG, I have to include something about the local drink! Prince George now has its own winery – Northern Lights Estate Winery. It’s the most northern winery in BC and offers a delicious selection of fruit wines in a beautiful setting on the Nechako River. The winery property includes a lovely patio overlooking the river and an amphitheater for special events, and they offer seasonal tours of the cellar, the wine shop, the orchard and the tank room.
Pacific Western Brewing has been here for many years (over 50 in fact!), but with a recently updated tasting room, they are poised for more events. I recently went for a tour and tasting for Oktoberfest and had a great time – the staff members were friendly, the atmosphere fun and the beer tasty! With over a dozen beers, quite an interesting history, and lots of community involvement, PWB is a very cool part of PG.
As you can see, when I sat down to put together this list, it really started to grow! There is so much to do in Prince George – what a wonderful “problem” to have! Stay tuned for part two, where I’ll share the other unexpected sides of Prince George! What other great, but surprising facts about Prince George do people need to know? Keep the conversation going and find me on Twitter at @jessicaleequinn.