Campus Towns: Kootenay Region

Around 10% of jobs are still in the primary industries (forestry, mining, oil and gas, fishing and hunting) in this area, where the median age and unemployment are higher than much of the province. Projected growth of jobs 2018-2028: 18.3% (4,300 jobs).

By Charlene Rooke



Where: Along with Nelson (three locations), Castlegar, Trail and Grand Forks campuses, Kaslo and Nakusp have learning centres affiliated with Selkirk.
What: Everything from contemporary music and forest technology to ski resort operation and a rural pre-med program. The Castlegar hub has a Gathering Place on the campus providing a supportive environment for indigenous learners. The Nelson Silver King campus has student trades shops, the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute and the Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre.
Size: 2,700 full-time students and 90 programs over eight facilities.
Community: Employment workshops, workplace training, a lecture series at the Mir Centre for Peace and 15 kilometres of walking trails are ways to interact in Castlegar. The Shambhala Music & Performance Hall on the Nelson 10th Street Campus hosts public performances, and there’s a hair salon at the Nelson Silver King Campus.

Castlegar single-family residential property values were up 11% in 2019 (average value $316,000); in Nelson, condo values were up 10% (average value $370,000), townhomes were up 22% (average value $388,000) and homes were up 18% (average value $462,000). Castlegar’s former City Centre Motel site near the college has been sold to a developer for multi-family housing. Register now for Nelson Landing, a 265-unit community planned for the northern edge of the city on one of the last parcels of lakefront property there.

Ski resort operation students. Photo courtesy Selkirk College



Where: Seven campuses across the region, with a hub in Cranbrook. There’s a student residence there, but additional locations in Creston, Fernie, Golden, Invermere and Kimberley are ripe with rental-housing opportunities for investors.
What: Mountain activity skills training in Fernie, adventure tourism in Golden and other unique programs cultivate students with a love for the wild outdoors of this region. Trades, health, business and university-transferable studies are all offered here.
Community: Professional cooking students prepare your meal at the Class Act Dining Room or get a bargain trim from trainees at the College Hair Salon in Cranbrook. There are hundreds of online courses available for registration, including a 26-week Cannabis Education and Training course.

Cranbrook single-family residential property values were up 96% in 2019 (average value $296,000); condo values were up 7% (average value $119,000). Twenty-three luxe Legacy Summit condos coming to Wildstone golf course northwest of town will range from 687 to 2,446 square feet.