The entertainment capitol of the Kootenays
Cranbrook is a hot spot for homegrown and visiting professional entertainment.
The local talent, many trained along by incredible theatre and music programs at Mount Baker Secondary School, is world-class.
And the city’s excellent entertainment venues do an amazing job featuring an incredible range of international talents each year.
Western Financial Place, the largest arena venue between Lethbridge and Kelowna, continues to become a more sought-after performance location for bigger name acts.
In recent years, such major league talents as Bob Dylan, ZZ Top, Alice Cooper, Charlie Pride, Kenny Rogers, George Jones, George Canyon, Larry the Cable Guy and more have taken to the stage at WFP – a major draw to the city from all over the Kootenays, as well as Montana and Idaho.
The future is exciting as word gets out to production and entertainment companies about the eager audiences waiting to catch world-class entertainment in the Cranbrook-based regional entertainment centre Western Financial Place, home to the Western Hockey League’s Kootenay ICE.
Hockey fans are currently being treated to a generational treat in the form of Buffalo Sabres’ second overall 2014 NHL draft selection Sam Reinhart, who also recently led Canada’s World Junior Hockey Championship team to a gold medal.
The ICE are the WHL’s iron men when it comes to making the playoffs – something that is not easy to do when team rosters change so much on a season-to-season basis. The ICE has made the playoffs every year since relocating to Cranbrook from Edmonton (16 seasons). And the former Memorial Cup winners are poised to add to that figure this season.
The next musical act booked for Western Financial Place is Canadian ‘80s rock monsters Loverboy and special guest, another Canadian music legend, Nick Gilder and Sweeney Todd. They are playing on Feb. 28. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.
Another hot venue for live music is the multi-faceted Key City Theatre, which draws a fabulous variety of musical entertainment on a regular basis. Upcoming at Key City Theatre is a brief but captivating run of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot from Jan. 21-24.
Legendary British Invasion leaders Eric Burdon & The Animals come to town April 16, while the months leading up to that show include La Vent du Nord (Feb. 10). March is alive with major shows, including The Irish Rovers (March 1), Big Sugar (March 2), The Arrogant Worms (March 17), Octagon with Rivka Golani (March 25) Celtic Tenors (March 29), Shane Koyczan (March 30) and the Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra (May 14).
Key City Theatre and Studio/Stage Door offer professional live theatre throughout the year, courtesy of Cranbrook and area’s enormous volume of talented actors, directors, musicians and stage and performance professionals.
During the summer time Wildhorse Theatre at Fort Steele Heritage Town comes alive with crackling musical theatre.
Continuing with the outdoor theme, Cranbrook’s Rotary Park, located in the heart of downtown, is home to the annual Cranbrook Farmers’ Market, with live music and entertainment a constant companion at the Saturday and Wednesday evening markets.
If live performances aren’t to your liking, there is always a good old big screen movie date night, with four screens showcasing current Hollywood hits at Columbia Theatre, located at the rear entrance to Tamarack Mall.
Cranbrook features several top-notch dance instruction studios, art galleries and is home to the brilliant Symphony of the Kootenays and several city watering holes, such as the St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino, The Heidout Restaurant & Brewhouse, Legendary Byng Roadhouse and Dewey’s Pub & Grill offer local and out-of-town musical talent. Other city venues also provide periodic musical entertainment, including the spacious Cranbrook Curling Club, Royal Canadian Legion, Eagles Hall and Columbo Lodge.
If you are looking for a venue to stage an event that requires a grand and lavish feel, check out the Royal Alexandra Hall at the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel. Available to rent, the hall is a piece-by-piece relocation of the former Winnipeg landmark.
St. Eugene’s Pavilion is another spectacular venue, perfect for live music and other gatherings. Adjacent to the venue is the beautiful Victorian-style resort hotel and casino, with 239 slot machines and live gambling available.
Throughout the course of the year, Cranbrook organizations such as the Cranbrook & District Chamber of Commerce, JCI Kootenay and Rotary Clubs merge talents to stage hugely successful community events such as Sam Steele Days, the Santa Claus Parade and the Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo. There is something going on every month in Cranbrook, the largest city in the Kootenays.
Festivals, events and what to do in Cranbrook… courtesy Tourism Cranbrook.
Cranbrook is serviced by the Canadian Rockies International Airport, offering easy access to the best ski resorts, golf resorts and hot spring resorts in the Canadian Rockies.