TECH FOLK: If you work, invest, support, or significantly use tech as a business, organization, or individual, we want to hear from you as we work to understand the nature of tech presence in Columbia Valley so we can determine ways to grow the sector.
Invest Columbia Valley Home2021-08-12T21:46:12+00:00

Work. Elevated.

Columbia Valley – A Place To Raise Your Bar

Give Your Life a Lift

For those who loved Dilbert cartoons for all they had to say about what ails us a society and feel the need to escape. For the millennials and younger generations looking for a place to live more affordably, more soulfully…to raise a family. For the entrepreneurs, creators and digital workers craving lifestyle at the core and today only needing a decent Internet connection. For all those who are restless and yearning for the better life….

The mountains…the mighty Columbia…the mystical Kootenay…the freedom of spirit amidst nature’s cathedral, the deeper connectedness of people and place in the Columbia Valley are…right here…calling to you.

Why Columbia Valley?

Supporting your desire for lifestyle living

Supporting your business and investment interests

* Median monthly shelter costs – owned dwellings 15-40% lower than BC, 35-50% lower than Calgary. Median monthly shelter costs – rented dwellings up to 30% lower than BC, 15-35% lower than Calgary. Median value of dwellings 25-50% lower than BC, 15-45% lower than Calgary.
Src: Census Canada, 2016

Supporting your desire for lifestyle living

  • Lake-based recreation on Lake Windermere and Columbia Lake

  • Natural wonderment in Kootenay National Park, the Purcell and Rocky Mountain ranges, the birthplace and first travel of the mighty Columbia River, a world-class (we don’t say it lightly) Kootenay River, and the largest continuous wetlands in North America.

  • Hot springs (Radium, Fairmont, Lussier)

  • Thrill seeker? Try hang-gliding off Mt. Swansea, mountain bike one of many local trails, hike to soaring vistas (or great views, like the Hoodoos), hop on an ATV and check out the immense backcountry, or take on rapids with a rafting trip down Toby Creek. Limited only by imagination….

  • Unlimited year-round outdoor recreation including Nordic and downhill skiing, hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, mountaineering, white-water rafting, snowmobiling, and bird watching.

  • The unique Windermere Whiteway – a winter, 35 km groomed track that is a paradise for skaters and skiers and creates a recreation area used by anglers, curling bonspiels, hockey tournaments and more.

  • Championship golfing with 15 courses located within the region.

  • Safe, family-friendly communities bustling with activities and educational opportunities, including:

    • Organized sports and arts programs include freestyle, downhill and Nordic skiing; hockey; gymnastics; dance; martial arts; music and more.
    • Cultural activities such as festivals, films, live music and visual arts.
  • Post-secondary education available through College of the Rockies; excellent pre-schools and public schools serve all communities.

  • Accessible health care with Invermere & District Hospital serving the Columbia Valley and family doctors available for new residents.

  • Mild climate with winter temperatures typically ranging from 00C to -50C; warm summers and long shoulder seasons – golf, hike and bike March through October.

Valley Population

Winter 10,625
Summer 23,000

Our Vision

The Columbia Valley is a resilient, connected community with opportunities for year-round employment, innovation & expansion generated locally and via external investment in competitive economic sectors.

  • We have developed and linked key industry-sectors.
  • We foster collaboration to support a healthy, sustainable & inclusive community.

Moving Our Region
Forward.

0%
Recreational Property Ownership
0%
Population Growth 2011 to 2020
0%
Housing Prices Less than BC/Calgary
0
Golf Courses
0
Ski Resorts
0
Accommodation Units

KEY INDUSTRIES

THE LAND

Dynamic. Diverse.

The land enables vibrant forestry and mining sectors. Nature’s inspiration – with its warm, four-season climate and both active and peaceful outdoor recreation – sustains a large and growing tourism industry and motivates folks to pick up their lives and relocate to a Valley that elevates the soul. This dynamic is attracting investment and business growth in increasingly diversified economic sectors including value-added manufacturing, agriculture and food processing, professional services, creative industries, technology, construction, and retail.

OUR VISION

Powerful Productive Community

7 Communities. 1 Vision.

The Columbia Valley is a resilient, connected community with opportunities for year-round employment, innovation & expansion generated locally and via external investment in competitive economic sectors.

  • We have developed and linked key industry-sectors.
  • We foster collaboration to support a healthy, sustainable & inclusive community.

INVEST Opportunities

Search Imagine Kootenay for opportunities to purchase established businesses in Columbia Valley.

Discover your Kootenay investment opportunity
See All Opportunities

TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY + THE SWEETEST LIFESTYLE

Top 5 Exporting Industries

Top 5 Industries – Employment

Fastest Growing Industries

Fastest Growing Occupations

Business Successes

Meet our Creative Spirits

The Valley inspires creativity….so much so that many move here to pursue their creative passions. Writers. Painters. Musicians. Sculptors. Performers. Film. Digital Media. Join Us!

Did you know?

Population

Columbia Valley’s permanent population growth rate from 2011 to 2020 exceeds that of BC.

Big River

Canal Flats is the source of the Columbia River – the 9th longest and 2nd largest by volume river in North America, the 36th greatest flow of any river in the world, and the largest hydroelectric power producing river in North America.

Data Centre

Australia-based Iris Energy is expanding its data centre (currently Bitcoin) operation in Canal Flats to 30MW – which would make it the 5th largest data centre in Canada.

Aquacourt

Parks Canada recently invested $5.7 million dollars to restore and improve the Radium Hot Springs aquacourt facility.

Real Estate

Invermere real estate sales were up 66% in 2020.

School

School enrolment rose 11% in Columbia Valley between 2016 and 2020.

Golf

Four Valley golf courses are ranked in the top 25 in BC:

  • Greywolf, Panorama #4
  • Copper Point (Point), Invermere #17,
  • Radium Resort (Springs), Radium Hot Springs #19
  • Eagle Ranch, Invermere #25

In the News

Award for Columbia Valley Community Economic Development

In March, 2021, Columbia Valley Community Economic Development received the Marketing Innovation award for its “Live Columbia Valley” success and storytelling-based social media program.

CertainTeed Secures Another 50 Years in The Valley with New Gypsum Mine in Canal Flats

Your drywall could just come from Columbia Valley. The new 135-hectare Kootenay West Mine under construction 10 km northeast of Canal Flats will mine 400,000 tonnes of gypsum annually over a 43 lifespan for the mine. The new mine will replace CertainTeed’s Windermere Operations near Invermere. Approximately 80 full-time and contractor jobs have been created over the 18 month construction period. The mine expects to employ roughly 15 when it becomes operational in late 2021 or early 2022. CertainTeed Gypsum has been present in the Valley since the 1950s, operating four different quarries under the Windermere Mining Operation. CertainTeed is a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the world’s leading producer of gypsum products.

For More Information – https://www.certainteed.com/kootenay-west/

Round About Radium

Anyone who has driven in Columbia Valley in the summer knows the time delay that used to happen at the junction of Highways 93 and 95 in Radium Hot Springs. Today, a 10-minute time saving to/from Alberta or up/down the Valley has been generated by a $12M federal-provincial funded Roundabout completed in June 2020. Look for a major public art piece to be installed in the middle of the Roundabout in 2021.

News Release – https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/transportation-infrastructure/projects/radiumroundabout

Economic Development Strategic Priorities

Columbia Valley Community Economic Development is working to develop breakthroughs in THREE key areas that are the most transformative for investment attraction, tourism industry growth, workforce retention, and attraction of the creators, makers, and techies of the world who want to live an affordable, inspired life in the Valley.

Columbia Valley Events Calendar

MAKE CONNECTIONS IN THE VALLEY

I Am Columbia Valley

I am a cathedral by nature. Bringer of peace to the people. Wildlife bred in the bear and the cougar and the bighorn. Water born in the Windermere and the Columbia and the Kootenay.

The crisp blues and greys of nature’s paintbrush. And marshmallow skies that roll animated shadows by the peaks. Clean. Pristine. Free.

I am the crush in the stone under foot on new paths through the trees. Through the forest evergreen of the wonderland. Ways back from the infinite out back. Sun-kissed and reveled in the rejuvenation. Of a skitter stone across still glass. The 19th hole. Swoosh in the powder. Power in wilderness of the quad.

Proudness in plaid at fire light, dad bods, ruggedized moms, and blue-collar grit. Escape artists and peaceful adventurers. Dream makers and creators. And realness forged from fist of will and the grist mill of hard work spirit. In an other-world too super-sized and superficial. Here building humanity’s bridges.

Closer. Connected. Warm. Safer. All time the right time. Peaced out. Simpler pleasures. Untethered imaginations. Beautiful world. Nature…nurtures.

I am shared by a world inspired by me. I am dreams of what can be. Let your love run free. I am Columbia Valley.

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