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Kootenay and Boundary

The Kootenay/ Boundary is a spectacular mountain-oriented destination that starts in the southern centre of BC and stretches to the southeastern part of the province, following the United States border. The region encompasses three different mountain ranges, lush valleys, rushing rivers, peaceful lakes, thick forests and beautiful alpine meadows. Provincial and municipal parks throughout the area preserve much of the varied terrain and make the areas accessible for newcomers and locals.

The Kootenay/Boundary has a diverse and accepting population and wouldn't exist as it is known today if it weren't for immigrants arriving to the region. Most of the locals enjoy having ready access to nature and year round outdoor activities. They are recognized as having an "easy-going, play-hard attitude" and consider their jobs just one part of life, with spending time with family and friends, supporting community through volunteering, participating in recreation and the arts, just as important.

The communities are rich with the culture and history of immigrants; Grand Forks and Castlegar with a Russian Doukhobor heritage, Trail with an Italian heritage with Nelson considered to be the cultural and art mecca of the Kootenay.

The region has the highest imbalance in the province between retirees and new Canadians entering the workforce. 89% of new immigrants arriving here are considered "invisible" and are coming to the region with intermediate to advanced English language skills, the highest proportion in B.C.

Immigration accounts for 2% of our regions' population and we are home to a total of 2,615 immigrants. The region has a land-mass with the smallest population density of new immigrants in the province with 230 arriving to the region in the last 5 years. The main countries from which recent immigrants have arrived to our region (in order) were the US, UK, Australia, South Africa, Germany, Netherlands, Philippines, China, India and New Zealand (BC Stats 2011). Of these, two thirds are in the working age category (25-64).

The economic drivers of the Kootenay/Boundary are mining, forestry and manufacturing with growth sectors including agriculture, technology and the newly discovered grape growing potential. An all season emerging tourism industry is responsible for over a half a million travelers passing through the region annually. The communities have a vibrant and diverse business community with numerous business networking and support services.