The Tallheo Cannery Inn, the original location for our workshop, is a private, rustic retreat located across the bay from the Bella Coola harbour. A water taxi is used to travel the short distance from the harbor to Tallheo. The Cannery offers visitors a chance to taste and feel British Columbia’s history by exploring an authentic coastal fish cannery.
Canneries once dotted BC’s coast until the introduction of modern refrigeration in the 1950s caused them to fade from use, leaving Tallheo as one of very few canneries still standing.
The cannery itself has the look of an operation that closed only recently, with nets still hanging in the lofts, tools in the shop, employment records in the office and merchandise in the company store. All of this is available for visitors to view, touch and photograph in a setting filled with texture, colour and shape.
We continue to hold our workshops at the cannery for several reasons:
- Rain or shine, the weather doesn’t matter! We can work with our cameras under cover when it rains or outdoors when it doesn’t. In any given week in the rainforest, it’s fair to expect showers, clouds and sun.
- All of the photography situations are directly outside our doors. Get up in the morning and photograph before breakfast. We don’t need to waste time and expense with buses or car pools. And the subject matter here is infinite.
- No distractions! We’ll be isolated from the world enough that you can focus on the photography you came to do. Although your cell phones will work, you won’t be going to town for Starbucks.
- Our hosts are a welcoming and gracious family with food that is outstanding. You definitely will not be hungry.
We get to stay in the former women’s residence, built in the 1920s, and experience the unique characteristics of that period. The building we sleep and work in is a two-story structure with ten bedrooms and two bathrooms, which include a shower in one bathroom and a clawfoot bathtub with shower in the other. The electricity for the entire site is provided by a generator that runs from 7 am until about noon and again from about 5 pm until 11:00 pm. Batteries and computers are charged during that time.
“The accommodations, while rustic, are more than adequate. The food was amazing!” Judy, 2017
Getting to Bella Coola
Make Getting There part of the adventure.
Bella Coola is one of BC’s hidden treasures tucked in to a spectacular inlet on the fabled mid-coast fjordlands. Part of the charm of the workshop can be the opportunity to travel through Beautiful British Columbia. Add to the adventure!
Arrive by air, sea or land! The Bella Coola Valley Tourism Association has the current information about your travel options.
- The quickest route (by air):
Fly from Vancouver south terminal to Bella Coola with Pacific Coastal Airlines. We’ll pick you up at the airport. If you choose this option, book well in advance and pay careful attention to their weight restrictions.
- The scenic route (by sea):
Newly restored in Spring 2019, travel to Bella Coola with BC Ferries is once again a viable option. If you’re from the Lower Mainland, drive to Port Hardy, take the ferry to Bella Coola, and drive home via Williams Lake, making your trip a wonderful circle route. Check with BC Ferries for current schedules.
- The other scenic route (by land):
It’s an unforgettable drive from the Lower Mainland to Bella Coola. We recommend doing it in two days, with a layover in or near Williams Lake. There is useful information in the link above.