Invest Columbia Valley Home2023-03-21T14:18:54-07:00

Work. Elevated.

Columbia Valley – A Place To Raise Your Bar

Give Your Life a Lift

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 fast 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

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



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.


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


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?


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.


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


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

Living Wage in Columbia Valley Now $22.63

As the cost of essentials continues to balloon, particularly for housing and food, the Columbia Valley’s living wage has climbed to $22.63 per hour for 2023, marking an increase of 3.5 per cent from last year, the 2023 Living Wage Update report shows.

The living wage, calculated by Columbia Valley Economic Development, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, BC Office and Living Wage for Families BC, is the hourly rate that each of two parents working full-time must earn to support a family of four based on the actual costs of living in a particular community.

While parents with young children in licensed childcare have benefitted from large fee reductions this year, the savings are entirely consumed by soaring prices in other areas. Housing costs alone demand an added $82 per month from their budget—a spike of 3.94%. Food, the second most expensive item in the living wage family budget, is an extra $73 per month, soaring by 6.1 per cent.

Many BC employers have stepped up to pay both direct and contract employees wages sufficient to support families, with nearly 400 certified Living Wage Employers across the province, and two in the Columbia Valley.

Many BC workers earn less than the living wage and face impossible choices—buy groceries or heat the house, keep up with bills or pay the rent on time.

“In the last two years, the gap between the minimum wage and living wages in BC has grown significantly. In 2023, this gap is now close to $5.88 dollars per hour,” says Theresa Wood, Columbia Valley Economic Development.

“BC’s low-wage workers need a raise but the labour market alone can’t resolve all economic insecurities,” notes Wood. “Governments can and should do more to address the cost-of-living crisis that people are facing across the province.”

Wood stresses that the living wage only allows for a modest lifestyle without extras many of us take for granted.

“The living wage lets workers meet their basic needs and have the time and money for an active and fulfilling family and personal life,”

CLICK HERE to learn how the living wage is calculated


Is your Business Prepared for an Emergency?

In an unpredictable and ever-changing world, continuity planning has become an essential aspect of business management. Organizations, regardless of their size or industry, need to be prepared for various scenarios that could potentially disrupt their operations.

One of the most pressing scenarios businesses in the Columbia Valley today is the threat of wildfires. With the increasing frequency and intensity of wildfires, businesses must be prepared to swiftly respond to evacuation alerts. A continuity plan that includes protocols for relocating employees, securing vital equipment and documents, and establishing alternative work arrangements can minimize downtime and ensure business continuity during such emergencies.

A well-developed continuity plan comprises several key components. Information storage is critical, as businesses need to safeguard their important documents and data. Implementing secure off-site or cloud-based storage solutions ensures that vital information remains accessible even if the physical workspace is compromised.

Communication is another vital aspect of continuity planning. Establishing a communication plan that includes multiple channels and designated points of contact enables efficient communication with employees, clients, suppliers, and other stakeholders during disruptive events. This ensures everyone stays informed and can collaborate effectively, minimizing confusion and maximizing productivity.

Risk reduction is an integral part of any continuity plan. By conducting thorough risk assessments and identifying potential hazards, businesses can proactively implement measures to mitigate risks. This may include strengthening infrastructure, implementing backup systems, or diversifying suppliers to reduce dependency on a single source.

Continuity planning is of utmost importance for businesses to weather unexpected disruptions. Whether it’s a wildfire threat, an illness outbreak, or any other interruption, having a well-crafted continuity plan can save businesses from significant setbacks. By focusing on information storage, communication strategies, risk reduction, and hazard identification, organizations can proactively prepare for various contingencies.

For businesses seeking assistance in developing a continuity plan, a free resource is available through Community Futures. Theresa Wood, at, can provide guidance and support in creating a robust plan to help keep you and your staff prepared for an emergency.

Building your continuity plan is easy with the tool created by Community Futures. Get started on yours today!


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.

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.

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