Kootenay, British Columbia

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.

Nelson BC Aerial - bridge and lake.

Regional Advantages

Electric car recharging.

Canada’s first community-driven, collaborative strategy to build an electric vehicle charging station network.

Old-style buildings in Nelson.

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.

Connectivity depicted on laptop.

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.

Powertech lab

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

First Nations

The main pillars of the Kootenay regional economy are tourism, mining, and forestry, with a significant portion of regional employment existing directly in, or in support of, these three sectors.

Development corporations— owned collectively by aligned First Nations or by individual First Nations— are the primary vehicles by which First Nations pursue and advocate for sustainable economic development.

Economic Development Associations

Educational Institutions

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.

Connect With A Regional Expert

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.