Edgewater BC is a tiny, unincorporated hamlet in the Columbia Valley, a community with a huge heart and a fierce pioneering spirit. It can be found about 11 km north of Radium Hot Springs on Highway 95, along the perimeter of Kootenay National Park. The name, ‘Edgewater’ comes from its being on the edge of the waters of the Columbia River.
Agriculture, forestry and tourism contribute to the economy of the area and several Christmas tree farms around the community supply most of the trees that bring holiday cheer to area homes each yuletide season.
Edgewater’s beginnings can be traced back to the early 1900’s. A young Scot named Jim McKay arrived in the area and began to pack in supplies for the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway. He and many others who would follow, developed the area as mainly a mining, forestry and farming settlement. Edgewater BC, like other pioneer communities, struggled over the years to survive a host of challenges. Fires, the First World War, the crash of the stock market in 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression, came and went, but residents stuck together to help each other through tough times. Even today, Edgewater is known for its strong, enthusiastic, community spirit. Some of the original buildings are still to be found in and around the community as a reminder of the old days.
One of the many attractions for the visitor to Edgewater, is the only still-operational Flume, an irrigation device that carries water from Luxor Creek. Were it not for this ingenious structure, farming would have been impossible on the semi-arid land.
Arts and Culture
At the heart of Edgewater is the Community Hall. With its state-of-the-art acoustics, fantastic lighting and 7-foot grand piano, the hall is known to be the finest of its kind in the Kootenay region and is the venue for many musical and variety productions throughout the year.
Every year, in early spring, the community holds its ‘Gathering of the Greens’, an event that brings people from far and wide to enjoy the good fun, live, local music, and fantastic food. Always tops on the menu and eagerly gobbled up by hungry fans, are delicious Edgewater scones. The famed Edgewater bread, which can be purchased at Quality Bakery in Invermere, is made with wheat that is organically grown and harvested in the Edgewater area, using horses. Take home a loaf or two as a souvenir of your visit!
Edgewater is home to the annual Steamboat Mountain Festival in July, an all-genre affair that is held outdoors against the backdrop of Steamboat Mountain. The festival draws fantastic musicians and large crowds of music lovers from all over. Learn more at http://steamboatmountainfest.ca.
For the last forty years, summertime weekends have meant Market Day. Visitors from far and wide head to Edgewater BC to purchase locally-grown, farm-fresh produce and visit the stalls of local artists and artisans at the farmers market. Just follow the signs from the highway for a real country treat.