Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Ashcroft Opera House

Visit the Ashcroft Opera House

If you are going anywhere near the Ashcroft or Cache Creek area, plan your trip so you can take in a concert and a meal at the famous Ashcroft Opera House. This is probably the most unique venue in all of B.C. -- for a number of reasons. First, it is in the middle of nowhere. It brings in top acts, it serves the world’s best vegetarian food, and the owner is one of those fascinating people who you could spend hours talking to because his life is so amazing. And you need to go this fall, as its season ends in November.

The Ashcroft Opera House, as its name implies, was indeed an opera house. Built in 1889, it was THE place to be for miles around. Dances would start at 8 p.m., with a full course meal served at midnight, followed by more dancing which often continued until dawn. Those were the good old days.

For years the old opera house has sat neglected and empty. But a couple of years ago, entrepreneur and five-star chef Martin Comtois bought it and is returning it to its former glory.

Martin loves great music, so he brings in some of B.C.’s top bands and acts to perform on his stage. And every concert is preceded by a meal lovingly cooked by Martin. And this guy can cook. We’ve eaten many exquisite vegetarian meals -- and his are by far the best. The guy knows all those secret ingredients that makes every dish so good you actually dream about them later.

If it’s a hot sunny day, Martin may even take you swimming in the local swim hole in the Thompson River. Okay, this isn’t actually swimming. This is jumping into a semi-dangerous, fast-moving river and having it sweep you along at a brisk 30 kph. You have to keep your wits about you to swim into shore at the right moment to avoid being tossed and hammered through the rapids further down stream. It’s a real thrill to float on the water and watch the shore, 10 feet away, whipping by at 30 kph. Makes you feel like an Olympian -- if you survive.

But back to the Opera House. You can catch Winter Harp’s Joaquin Ayala, Lori Pappajohn and Janelle Nadeau performing there on Sunday, October 19.

Learn more about this great venue and what acts are scheduled by visiting

No comments: