Only in Nelson was never intended to be just a film. It’s describes what we all feel when we walk around this town and have that one of a kind experience that doesn’t happen elsewhere. It may be seeing someone in a unicorn suit talking to the bank manager on the corner of Baker and Ward at 6:48AM. It may be a parade of naked folks biking down the street to protest climate change. The following shop here, whether featuring artists or business ventures, captures the essence of Nelson. My hope is that you will connect in some meaningful way to one or more of the following ‘Only in Nelson’ entities here and find a way to support each of these special ventures.

Valhalla Pure Outfitters

Sam Baio’s Valhalla Pure Nelson supports numerous community based ventures while outfitting people for adventure. When the idea for the Only in Nelson T-shirt came to life, VPO felt like the perfect retail home and Sam reached out to lend his expertise as he has time and time again for folks around town. Head to the downtown Nelson store or their website for your one and Only in Nelson T-shirt, as seen here. In heather red and charcoal grey.

Get a T-shirt


I had just moved to Nelson and was looking for a 40th birthday present for my wife. I had bought these cards at a local shop with a herd of watercoloured caribou on the front that I really loved. I flipped it over and called the phone number on the back on a whim to see if maybe I could get larger painting as a gift. Carol answered the phone and asked if I was the “Amy” that just moved to town. She informed me that she was literally next door…welcome to Nelson…and we continued the conversation and started a sweet long-term friendship over the fence that afternoon. Her art has entered further into abstraction lately and I am a big fan. With shows all over the Kootenays these past few years, I believe she’s busting out into the larger art world as I write this.

See Carol's Work


No one in this mountain valley was surprised when Shelley Adams parlayed her love of homemade food and zest for the good life into a series of award winning best selling cookbooks and sauces. When she and her husband Mike (who is a pilates god) owned the Whitewater Ski Resort, Shelley ran the Fresh Tracks Café, where she threw down the gauntlet for ski hill food and created an unquenchable demand for her recipes. Must mention that Jane Byers, my wife and accomplished writer, spent her parental leave cooking and blogging her way through Shelley’s ‘’Cooks at Home’ cookbook. Let’s just say, Shelley makes you look like a culinary rock star – that is why people go crazy for these books. And, rumour has it a new book is in the works!

be like a culinary rock star


Who in Nelson has NOT seen one of Allison’s choirs? Who in Nelson does not LOVE Allison Girvan and Corazón? For 20 years now she has inspired beautiful music and, perhaps even more importantly, inspired the youth she has engaged to open up and find their greatest potential as human beings. Watching her choir is pure magic. And, it speaks to the quality of artistic opportunities that youth have here in Nelson through the network of mentors and mediums. Julia Halbert, featured in the film, represents this aspect of Nelson. It must be noted that Bill Metcalfe has been working tirelessly as the choir’s Manager since 2001, as both of his daughters were instrumental members of the choir for a combination of 10 years.

her choir is pure magic


If you happen to be the rare soul who doesn’t know an ounce about Nelson or have lived on another planet for many moons, I would point you to Oso Negro immediately upon arrival. You don’t need directions; it is the nerve centre of this city. Just tune into the magnetic pull and, before you know it, there you are – soaking up the scene of Nelson, whether a quiet rainy afternoon or a buzzy line out the door before hitting the trails or hill. I am so lucky that Leslie and her team over at roast headquarters have supported this project with an Only in Nelson blend and a sponsorship of the premiere. You can never get enough Oso.

Only in Nelson blend


It’s sounds cliché to say that Rhoneil’s music defies classification. But, in this case, it’s true. I admire the way that her musical articulations feel like someone sharing the core of her soul. Her ability to both comfort and unsettle us with her tones and melodies feels like a true Kootenay expression. And, if you check out her videos, you’ll see her playing the Autoharp in the middle of a field near a forest. It just feels Kootenay to the core.

a true Kootenay expression


This blazing red head with a huge heart has been creating fantastic drawings since she could hold a pen. I was lucky enough to get to know Meg during the filming. I think she’s got a bright future and love the imagination in her work. Check our her work on Instagram and get an original drawing or ask her about getting a tattoo with one her designs.