In the southeast corner of B.C., bordering the United States and Alberta, the Kootenay region is one of Canada’s leading destinations for outdoor pursuits. Pristine rivers, lakes and beaches, waterfalls, mineral hot springs, alpine meadows, and snow-capped mountains attract outdoor enthusiasts from around the world. Coal production, mining, forestry, and tourism all contribute to the local economy while value-added manufacturing industries, technology and digital media are emerging in the region.
Canada’s first community-driven, collaborative strategy to build an electric vehicle charging station network.
A lack of traffic jams, an inclusive and strong business community, and breathtaking forests and lakes nearby help make this community one of the best in the province.
Via a collaboration of regional government partnerships and the Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation, the region is home to a comprehensive open access fibre optic network.
MetalTechAlley is comprised of companies in Metallurgy, Digital Fabrication, Industrial Recycling, CleanTech and Industrial IoT promoting the shift to a circular economic model.
The Kootenay region is home to 163,100 residents. Key communities such as Nelson and Cranbrook deliver unique shops, friendly neighbours, and an active and progressive business development strategy. Established natural resource industries continue to add value to the local economy through development of agri-food processing, mass timber and mining circular economy initiatives, and solid footing for the burgeoning tech and digital media sectors. Forestry companies in the Boundary and West-Kootenay region are expanding with additional capital investments. Find out more about economic opportunities in this region:
Economic Development Organizations
The Kootenay region encompasses the ancestral lands of the Secwepemc, Syilx, Ktunaxa and Sinixt peoples. There are four Ktunaxa Nation communities in the Kootenay region; ?Akisq’nuk, Yaqan Nukiy, ?Aqam and Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ‘it. Ktunaxa Enterprises Ltd. (KEL) supports the Ktunaxa Nation in developing and achieving a level of economic self-sustainability through successful investments, the development of economic partnerships, and business development. Through business development and industry engagement, economic opportunities are being developed throughout the region in the forestry, mining, construction, environmental services, agriculture, and tourism sectors.
The Shuswap Band community is also located in the region. Kenpesq’t Development Corporation oversees Shuswap business opportunities related to natural resource sectors and commercial land development.
The Kootenay Aboriginal Business Development Agency (KABDA) provides business development support to indigenous entrepreneurs in the region and administers the Ktunaxa Ready business directory.
The Osoyoos Indian Band is an active forestry company in the Boundary Country region.
Economic Development Associations
The College of the Rockies offers a full range of programs in the areas of university studies, adult basic education, health, child youth and family studies, administrative studies, tourism, computer technology, fire services and trades.
Selkirk College was the first regional community college in British Columbia. It has grown into one of the largest organizations in the Kootenays and offers over 60 programs.
Regional experts can help familiarize you with the amenities, infrastructure, and opportunities in each region. They can introduce you to the economic development offices and industry associations that will support the integration of your business into the province.