The Vancouver Island and Coast economic region is found on the west coast of B.C. and includes the provincial capital of Victoria, all of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and some of the coastal regions of the mainland, referred to as the Sunshine Coast. The temperate climate and diversified regional economy attract visitors and residents from around the globe, creating a healthy workforce. Vancouver Island and Coast accounts for a large proportion of the province’s employment in the goods sectors and there are significant resource-based activities. Key industries that provide opportunities in this region include technology, forestry, logging, fishing, tourism, and the service industry.
A combination of temperate climate, global access, business opportunities, welcoming culture, and access to nature provide a world-class quality of life.
A co-working space for Indigenous entrepreneurs, freelancers, creatives, innovators, and problem-solvers based in the Songhees Wellness Centre.
An environmentally conscious and sustainable economy is a key advantage in recruiting and retaining top talent.
Strategically located along the Strait of Georgia’s Inner passage, Campbell River boasts a reputation for one of the top salmon fishing destinations in the world for more than a century.
Vancouver Island and Coasts holds the second largest population in the province with over 881,700 residents. Key cities in this region include Victoria and Nanaimo on southern Vancouver Island, Campbell River and Courtenay on northern Vancouver Island, and Powell River on the Sunshine Coast. This region has a combination of urban and rural areas and an economy that reflects this diversity. Find out more about opportunities in this region:
Economic Development Organizations
Services are the fastest growing sectors in the south. In the mid, north island and mainland coast, commercial fishing and logging continue to play a large role. First Nations communities in these regions are economically active in natural resource sectors, as well as in the tourism and ecotourism industries.
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
Royal Roads University is an accredited, publicly funded, applied research university that has focused on lifelong education in the fields of leadership, business, environment, communication, tourism, hospitality, and social justice.
An internationally renowned teaching and research hub, the University of Victoria (UVic) tackles essential issues that matter to our world and our communities, improving lives and making a vital impact across the globe.
With its main campus located in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island University (VIU) offers programs in business and management, computer and information systems, recreation, tourism, hospitality, and service, as well as many other areas of study.
Offers university transfer and applied degree programs, career, and trades training, upgrading and preparatory programs and continuing education.
North Island College is a comprehensive community college, serving more than 9,000 students annually at four campuses, a learning centre, and through online and in-community learning.
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.