The Thompson-Okanagan stretches across the interior of the province and is a popular tourist destination, renowned for its sunny climate and beautiful landscapes. The region is an area of remarkable geographical diversity, comprising desert, mountains, lakes, and rivers. Its many fertile valleys and benchlands grow tree fruits, vegetables, grains, flowers, and the grapes used to make the region’s award-winning wines.
Its diverse economy is based on the key industries of health care, manufacturing, technology, agriculture, livestock, forage production and ranching, mining, logging, and tourism. Key growth industries include information and communications technology, film and digital media, clean energy, viticulture and wine production, aviation and health care.
With over 700 tech companies employing over 12,000 people, and annual revenues surpassing $1.7 billion, technology thrives in the Thompson-Okanagan.
The Okanagan Valley, its sub-regions, climates, and soil conditions are suited to growing a range of varietals and support an industry with over 240 wineries and 10,300 related jobs.
With over 2000 hours of sun annually, the region features four distinct seasons to enjoy everything from skiing, snowmobiling, golfing, cycling, hiking, and boating.
Kelowna is one of the fastest growing in Canada, the third largest metropolitan area in B.C., with the 10th busiest airport in Canada facilitating connections both national and internationally.
Kelowna, Vernon and Kamloops are all key cities that contribute to the region’s population of 609,300 people. Well serviced by multiple transportation links to the Lower Mainland, northern B.C. and Alberta, the Thompson-Okanagan is well located for investment in any sector. The Thompson-Okanagan’s warm climate, rich soils, and generous sunshine makes it an important agricultural centre for the province as well as a popular tourism and recreation destination. Find out more about opportunities in this region:
Economic Development Organizations
The region’s economy is a diverse mix of industries that are predominantly service based, although its historic industrial base of forestry, mining, and agriculture remains important. Health care and social services are the economic region’s top employers, followed by various forms of manufacturing, accommodation, and food services.
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 in the region.
Economic Development Associations
The University of British Columbia has a campus located in Kelowna, providing science, grad studies, engineering and applied science, and other valuable programs to the local community.
Okanagan College is the region’s largest higher education institution. Offerings range from bachelor’s degrees to diplomas, trades, vocational training, professional development, corporate training and adult basic education.
Located in Kamloops, Thompson Rivers University’s main campus offers over 140 on-campus programs and 60-plus Open Learning programs, from traditional academics to trades, from certificates to graduate degrees.
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.