When you’re done enjoying the view of our idyllic river valley, explore the town of Cochrane’s rich arts and culture scene that showcases the diversity and history of the area. The face of Cochrane is changing, but galleries, theatres, and architecture tell the story of our Western heritage and how it has shaped the lifestyles of those who call this town home.
Look no further than the iconic works of talented local artists for inspiring things to do in the Alberta arts scene. Here are four great ways to immerse yourself in Cochrane’s eclectic arts and culture scene.
1. Route 22 Artist Collective Gallery & Gift Shop
A collaborative effort of local artists, Alberta art gallery Route 22 is home to a visual arts gallery and gift boutique. Route 22 aims to create a foundation of connection through arts programs for all ages, nourishing the community through a combination of arts and mental health support.
With a mission to foster the creativity within each individual, the gallery’s offerings include glasswork, painting, photography, sculpture, woodwork, and more. Get to know this inspiring group of creatives for interactive ways to connect with the Alberta arts scene. Which program will you take first?
2. Stockmen’s Memorial Foundation
Turn back time 150 years and discover an intricately woven tapestry of Canadian livestock history. Organized in 1980, Stockmen’s Memorial Foundation was created to commemorate the many ranchers, farmers, and individuals who built and contributed to the Canadian livestock industry.
Today, the collection features a cowboys’ treasure trove of vintage hats, leather saddles, shining spurs, and horseshoes. The walls are lined with more than 19,000 books and magazines that document Alberta’s deep relationship with farming, also depicted through a multitude of Western-themed murals and paintings. Look for the bronze castings, which include the bust of legendary cattleman Bert Sheppard, for whom the town of Cochrane’s Bert Sheppard Stockmen Foundation Library and Archives is named.
3. Studio West Bronze Foundry & Gallery
Established in 1970, Alberta art gallery Studio West Bronze Foundry & Gallery is owned by international award-winning bronze sculptor Don Begg and his wife Shirley Stephens-Begg, daughter of iconic Canadian artist Doug Stephens. A renowned sculptor in her own right, Shirley has created some of Canada’s most recognizable monuments. “When tourists visit Studio West, they’re surprised to learn that statues and monuments in their home cities all across North America were created and cast in bronze here in Cochrane,” she said.
Immerse yourself in the western inspired art of Doug Stephens and many other professional artists at Studio West. The gallery features paintings, prints, artifacts, and of course, bronze statues and monuments. Take a complimentary tour and learn the fascinating process of creating a sculpture, from the first steps in artistic rendering through to the construction of a bronze masterpiece. In the town of Cochrane, not all that glitters is gold — sometimes it’s bronze.
4. Cochrane Public Library
For free things to do in Cochrane, check out the extensive list of programs at the Cochrane Public Library. Free with a library card, learn and hone new skills with offerings such as cross-stitch and knitting circles, writing workshops, book club, children’s storytime, and other special events including tarot card reading and genealogy.
You can also borrow gardening and power tools, puzzles, telescopes, outdoor equipment, and more to complete your personal projects and discover new hobbies.
Where art and history intersect
An embrace between the traditional and modern, there is plenty in the Alberta arts scene to unleash your imagination and dive into the many stories rooted in our history.
We can’t wait for you to discover the town of Cochrane and all it has to offer! Plan your trip at Cochrane Tourism.