Stories

Here are some regional success stories to inspire your next economic development project.

A Game Changing Approach to Tourism Marketing in the Columbia Valley

The Columbia Valley, known for its stunning landscapes and welcoming communities, thrives on tourism, with key attractions like Radium Hot Springs, Panorama, and Invermere. The Columbia Valley Tourism Marketing Society (CVTMS) was established to unify tourism marketing and manage the Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT), a crucial funding source for local programs and events. With support from the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC), a cohesive marketing strategy was developed, leading to the launch of the Travel Columbia Valley website and enhanced collaboration among businesses. This unified approach has sparked economic growth and new ventures like Radium Brewing, bolstering year-round tourism and regional development.

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Beyond the River – Greater Trail’s Builds a New Tourism Sector

An innovative tourism development project with a buy-local component is providing economic benefits in the Greater Trail area of the South Kootenay region. Diverse stakeholders came together to create the “Beyond the River” campaign which promotes the area’s world-class sport fishing opportunities to attract more visitors throughout the year. Supported by the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC), the highly collaborative project is increasing tourism capacity, and provides a foundation to support future projects that will help grow the local economy.

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Thompson-Okanagan Team Takes to the World Stage to Address Workforce Shortages

The Thompson-Okanagan region is a well-known Canadian tourist destination, it is not immune to the shortage of skilled workers experienced in many Canadian communities. International recruitment is considered a key tool for addressing worker shortages in the area. With the support of the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC), three major economic development organizations collaborated to market the region at the world’s largest emigration event in Houten, Netherlands in 2023. The initiative has led to an ongoing strategy to attract new talent and help the region grow and thrive.

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North Shore Business Improvement Association Validates Return on Investment

Kamloops’ North Shore Business Improvement Association (NSBIA) has grown significantly since its inception, but after almost three decades, it was time to validate its strategic direction and value proposition to members and stakeholders. With the support of the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC), the NSBIA conducted a Membership Engagement and Return on Investment Project in 2022 which confirmed its good work and where the organization goes next.

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Celebrating a Successful Research Funding Partnership

It’s been three years since the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC) and Mitacs launched their research funding partnership serving the Southern Interior of BC, and they are excited to share some key outcomes and reflect on future opportunities.

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Revitalizing Downtown Hope – Planning for a Resilient Future

Visitors to Hope are discovering that the community is much more than a convenient gas and pit stop off the highway when travelling to and from the Lower Mainland. As a new downtown revitalization strategy rolls out, a more vibrant and engaging downtown area is emerging, drawing both residents and tourist traffic into the area, and creating new economic opportunities. The project was supported with funding from the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC).

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Boston Bar & North Bend Make Plans to Revitalize Economy

The pioneering spirit associated with the early history of Boston Bar and North Bend is evident again. The area was once one of the richest gold mining areas in Canada, later supported by forestry. But after a major mill closed in the 1980s, many people moved away and the economy began to decline. With the support of the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC), the community conducted an analysis of its needs, strengths, and opportunities, renewing the promise of a strong and sustainable future.

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Marketing Campaign Creates a Mountain of Opportunities for Sun Peaks

The momentum continues as Sun Peaks Resort rolls out a marketing and awareness campaign to create a more resilient and sustainable economy in the post-pandemic era. Supported by the Economic Trust of Southern Interior (ETSI-BC), the project is attracting more diverse customers with new options for meeting and event space at the world-class Sun Peaks Centre.

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Columbia Valley’s Special Events Strategy Builds a Year-Round Destination

Special events have been part of the tourism offering in the Columbia Valley, and they provide significant economic benefits to the region’s economy. During COVID-19, however, several signature events were shut down. Costs were increasing, travel was declining and the area was facing competition from events from other communities. With the support of ETSI-BC, the communities of the Columbia Valley came together to develop an events development strategy that has put the region on course to become a primary event destination.

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Agriculture Blossoms in the Arrow Lakes Region

Supporting local agriculture and increasing food security are economic priorities in the Arrow Lakes region of the West Kootenays. The Grow Arrow Lakes Project, driven by the Nakusp and Area Development Board (NADB), has provided important insight to developing the sector through engagement with its diverse players. The project was supported with funding from the Economic Trust of Southern Interior (ETSI-BC).

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Forest Impact Recovery Advisors

Diane Tinker
Laura Turmel
Andrew Zwicker
Dawn Driscoll
Arnice Asquin
Robyn Cyr
Carolyn Gibson
Meagan Preston
Jerry Ericsson

Highlighted Board Members

Julie Kimmel
Kevin Acton
Susan Clovechok
Alan Harrison