Kimberley, reinvented and revitalized
Shedding the vestiges of its former persona, Kimberley, B.C., has a new identity
Less than 20 years ago, Kimberley, B.C., was a thriving mining town known for its Bavarian character, pedestrian Platzl and annual accordion festival. Thanks to visionary planners and loyal citizens, the closing of the Sullivan Mine in 2001 ushered in a new era of sophistication and raised Kimberley’s profile in the world beyond the East Kootenay.
Now home to the world-class Kimberley Alpine Resort, the SunMine, the Kimberley Conference & Athlete Training Centre, a cornucopia of restaurants and a thriving arts community, the small alpine city is a popular destination for tourists and a desirable home for those wanting an active lifestyle coupled with small-town charm, friendliness and affordable real estate. Kimberley’s technological amenities rival those in large urban centres, and a growing number of entrepreneurs are running virtual offices in their homes.
Kimberley’s administration has adopted a collaborative approach to economic development, showcasing its own assets and capitalizing on the resources available in neighbouring communities.
Kimberley’s Grady Pasiechnyk is the owner of two Wine Works shops, one in Kimberley and one in Cranbrook. He said that in the Kootenays, everyone is happy to share their experience with everyone else, which makes it a welcoming community. “Perhaps the biggest thing, though,” he said, “is that when you’re an entrepreneur, your work and life are one and the same, and I can’t think of a better place to live than the Kootenays.”
In terms of trends, Pasiechnyk sees that the community is growing, and he figures it’s because people are realizing that an amazing lifestyle is available here at a fraction of the price they’d pay in a city. “I’ve also found that our community is very conscious of supporting itself, and that vibe is contagious,” he said.