The primary cultural venue in Invermere and Lake Windermere area of the columbia valley is the Pynelogs Cultural Centre & Art Gallery. This historical edifice also serves as the ‘home’ for the Columbia Valley Arts Council (CV Arts). This log facility is used as an art gallery throughout the year and the building also serves as the primary venue for a variety of arts related events. A gift shop featuring the works of local artists and artisans operates throughout the summer season. CV Arts also sponsors and hosts a number of musical, dramatic and comedy concerts, an independent film series and Open Mic Nights throughout the year at Pynelogs as well as at other local venues. A very popular Cafe operates Tuesday to Saturday from May to September overlooking the shores of Lake Windermere. The Art Gallery features a variety of art forms from over 150 local artists. Art shows are changed every two-weeks, making Pynelogs a stop-over location for all art buyers, followers and dreamers. A great place to satisfy all your senses…
History of Pynelogs Cultural Centre & Art Gallery
The building was built in 1914 by Robert Randolph Bruce, a Scottish land developer. Randolph Bruce was the first major agricultural developer in the Windermere valley at the beginning of the 20th century and his enterprise, the Columbia Valley Fruit Lands Company, brought over many of the early valley settlers from the United Kingdom. He later became the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and built Pynelogs for his English bride, Lady Elizabeth Bruce. Lady Bruce died shortly after her arrival in the Columbia Valley and is buried on the property. Her grave is impressively designated by a plaque and a monument located under a small gazebo. Randolph Bruce bequeathed Pynelogs to the District of Invermere in the 1930’s.
Pynelogs is located in a truly unique setting. This impressive historical log building is situated in a lush park on the edge of Lake Windermere in Invermere. The main entrance, at the rear of the building is adjacent to a large pond, Dorothy Lake, which features a fountain shooting water 60-70 feet into the air. The grounds contain a Botanical Heritage garden featuring “old fashioned” vegetables and flowers from the era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In addition, the District plants beautiful annual gardens and looks after the landscaping of the grounds. The community Greenway’s Trail commences at Pynelogs.
The Pynelogs building was 100 years old in 2014 and has undergone a number of internal modifications through its history as a private residence, hospital, group home, and its current function as the regional centre for arts and culture. Pynelogs is a truly unique facility and a heritage site for the residents of the DOI and the Upper Columbia Valley. Its historic significance in the development of this area and its place in the history of British Columbia warrant maintaining this legacy in an appropriate manner. Accordingly CV Arts and the District of Invermere spent over $530,000 on a major restoration and renovation in 2004-05 to ensure the longevity of this community treasure. Pynelogs is now essentially a 21st building inside a Victorian shell.