Vancouver Island & Coast

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.

Victoria harbor and parliament.
Victoria, BC Parliament Buildings and the Downtown

Regional Advantages

Father holding his two daughters hands.
TOP 10 MOST LIVABLE CITIES IN 2019

A combination of temperate climate, global access, business opportunities, welcoming culture, and access to nature provide a world-class quality of life.

Half-crescent shaped, glass building.
SONGHEES INNOVATION CENTRE

A co-working space for Indigenous entrepreneurs, freelancers, creatives, innovators, and problem-solvers based in the Songhees Wellness Centre.

Solar Panel up close with sunset.
CANADA’S TOP TEN GREENEST CITIES

An environmentally conscious and sustainable economy is a key advantage in recruiting and retaining top talent.

River running into ocean on Vancouver Island.
SALMON CAPITAL OF THE WORLD

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.

COMMUNITIES

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

FIRST NATIONS

The 53 First Nations of Vancouver Island are located in three distinct tribal regions–Coast Salish, Nuuchah nulth, and Kwakiutl–the First Peoples of Vancouver Island and comprise a total population of approximately 39,331. First Nations communities in this region are active in the natural resources sector along with cultural and ecotourism. First Nations economic development corporations, owned by aligned Nations or individual First Nations, are working towards sustainable development.

Economic Development Associations

Educational Institutions

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.

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.