Kootenays, British Columbia

Located in the mountains of south-eastern British Columbia, the Kootenay Development Region is an aggregation of three of British Columbia’s Regional Districts: East Kootenay, Central Kootenay, and Kootenay Boundary. These regional districts encompass rural municipalities and unincorporated areas for the purpose of delivering services and providing social, economic, and environmental initiatives.

The Kootenay region stretches over four mountain ranges starting with (from east to west): the Rocky Mountains, the Purcell Mountains, the Selkirk Mountains, and the Monashee Mountains. The region extends from the Alberta border west to the Okanagan Similkameen Regional District and the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District in the north and encompasses the Canadian portion of the Columbia River Basin. Among the larger centres in the region are: Cranbrook, Nelson, Castlegar, Kimberley, and Grand Forks.

As a result of physical geography the region is isolated, with an area of 57,786.8 km2 (6.2% of British Columbia) and a population of 142,110 (2006 census). The natural features of the region contribute to an economy strongly rooted in natural resources (e.g., forestry, mining), hydroelectric power generation, and tourism. Within the region are many of British Columbia’s prominent resort communities, including Fairmont Hot Springs, Fernie, and Big White. A high level of biodiversity also exists in the region, as do many conservation areas and federal and provincial parks including: Kootenay National Park, Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park, and Valhalla Provincial Park.

Kootenays Project Outputs


Columbia Lake, British Columbia (Breen, 2011)
Grand Forks Art Gallery (Breen, 2011)
Highway 6 (Breen, 2011)