There are more than 100 museums, more than 300 arts and crafts centres, 2 exhibition halls and a philharmonic hall in Tomsk Region.
A.S. Pushkin Regional Library, the oldest public library beyond the Urals, celebrated its 180th anniversary in 2010.
TSU Scientific Library is world-famous.
More than 90 amateur troupes in the region have the honorary status of folk and exemplary ones. Tomsk Region is proud of the chapel of Tomsk State University (its leader is Vitaly Sotnikov, an honoured art worker of RF), the children’s exemplary folk ensemble “Shchedry Vecher” (its leader is Valentina Generalova), a folk music group, the vocal ensemble “Sotto Voce” (the leader is Farit Tugushev, an honoured art worker of RF), the Russian folk instruments ensemble “Expromt” (the leader is Yuri Morozov) and others.
Art education is provided at 28 music schools and art schools for children, two secondary vocational educational establishments and the Culture and Arts Institute at TSU. Tomsk music school is named after its renowned graduate, world-famous composer Edison Denisov.
In the territory of Tomsk Region 996 monuments of architecture, history and culture are protected by the state, 56 of which are of federal significance. There are 613 monuments of archeology, 162 of history, 215 of architecture and 6 of art.
A special feature of Tomsk is its wooden architecture monuments: architect A.D. Kryachkov’s mansion, V.Ya. Shishkov’s house, Merchant Zhelyabo’s manor, Merchant Golovanov’s house and others.
Five Tomsk branches of creative associations of Russia unite about 300 arts workers, among whom there are People’s Artist of RF Alexander Shumilkin, songwriter Mikhail Andreev, writer Vadim Maksheev, People’s Artists of RF Dmitry Kirzhemanov, Boris Kiselev, Nikolay Mokhov, sculptor Leonty Usov and many others.
Tomsk Region is the territory of national concord, where more than 30 national and cultural associations and more than 130 religious organizations representing 18 confessions have been established and operate now. Since 2006 the House of Friendship of Tomsk Region’s Peoples has been operating here.
Some directions of decorative and applied arts are in especially successful development in Tomsk. They are wood and birch bark artwork, making goods of ceramics and fur, willow weaving, embroidery, patchwork, macramé, bead weaving, lace making and others.
In order to provide access of the population to the cultural heritage in the territory, a range of large-scale events is arranged in the territory, including:
- the regional folk arts festival “Tomsk Mosaic”;
- E. Denisov international competition of modern music;
- All-Russian competition “Singing Russia”;
- the regional festival and competition of children’s creative work in literature “The World Speaks out of the Mouths of Children”;
- the Great Celebration of Books;
- the Museum Forum of Tomsk Region;
- the Festival “Tomsk Book” and others.
There is the unique lake of Kirek, with its 7-meter layer of therapeutic muds, in Tomsk sanctuary. The lake has existed since the preglacier period.
The tourist sight of Tomsk Region is “Everest” of Tom-Ob interfluve. It is a 35-meter viewing tower, with its splendid views on the swamps and taiga landscape.
Parabel District is the native land of famous garmon players, Brothers Zavolokiny. J.V. Dzhugashvili (Stalin) lived in exile in the village of Narym. Now there is a political exile museum there.
The famous Sarov Site is situated in 40 km of Kolpashevo. In V-VI BC it was inhabited by Kulay people, carriers of a unique culture. In XVII–XVIII many routes of Russian embassies to China and Vitus Bering’s routes to Kamchatka crossed Kolpashevo. The health resort “Chazhemto”, located in the village of the same name, is known far beyond the region.
The coat of arms of Verkhneketsky District has a wood grouse, which symbolizes rich fauna of local woods. Apart from common subjects, Verkhneketye school children study basics of hunting, fishing and other useful sciences. The territory is the starting place of Ob and Enisey Canal, which unites two great rivers. The Canal was built in 1891 and was completely abandoned in 1942.
Chainsky District is the native land of poets Mikhail Andreev and Vasily Kazantsev as well as of inventor of the legendary roly-poly toy I.P. Efimnin.
There is the center of Vasugan Swamp, which is the largest in the world, in Bakcharsky District. The area of the Swamp is 53 thousand km². Upstream of the Andarma and Parbig Rivers there are three areas chosen for the fall of the second stages of rockets which blast off in Baikonur. The village of Bakchar is the place where V.I. Gvozdev, the founder of northern horticulture, lived and worked. He developed cold-resistant early-season kinds of tomatoes, water-melons, melons and introduced new kinds of potatoes.
Mogochino District has a palaeolithic encampment of hunters for mammoths, one of the most northern ones in Western Siberia. Its age is 16 thousand years. The Monastery of St. Nicholas in Mogochino is the pilgrimage destination of believers from all over Siberia. A.S. Pushkin Museum at Molchanovo Secondary School, which grew out of a local circle of the great poet’s devotees, has been open since 1972.
Not far from Melnikovo there is a large man-made lake of Rodnikovoye, with sand beaches and white water-lilies. The village of Tatyanovka is the native land of outstanding actor Innokenty Smoktunovsky.
Not far from the village of Kireevsk there is Shaitan area, which dates back to the early iron age. Annually there is the archeological camp for children “Sibirika” here. The largest wooden construction in Tomsk Region, which is Merchant Tarasov’s mill, still remains in the village of Voronovo. Unfortunately, the building is abandoned now. A group of enthusiasts is now building a new city of Ruyan close to the village of Urtam, which will become, according to the authors, the capital of Siberian youth entrepreneurship.
Before 1933 Asino had been called Ksenyevka – to commemorate Emperor Nicholas II’s sister Kseniya. Asya is a diminutive form of the name “Ksenya”. Writers Vil Lipatov and Georgy Markov lived and worked in Asino District.
Before the Revolution the village of Pervomayskoe had been called Pyshkino-Troitskoye. The first part of the name originates from the name of Chulym Ruler Pyshka, the second one was added in honour of the Life-Giving Trinity Church, which was built here in 1725. There is G.M. Reyle History and Household Museum in the village of Berezovka (the man was an Estonian in exile, who worked at a local school for 48 years.
The sturgeon and nelma refuge is situated on the Chulym River in Teguldetsky District. There is a mineral spring in the district, and its water is sold under the trademark “Omega”.