Why we choose the Kootenays

Living and working in the Kootenays

There are autumn colours on a small tree in the foreground, an old wooden fence and mountains set against a blue sky in the background.

It is not hard to see why people from the Kootenays love their commute to work everyday with views like this. — Kimberly Shellborn photo

Many entrepreneurs and forward thinkers who call the Kootenays home choose this region for the quality of life that it offers. From Rossland to Revelstoke, Creston to Castlegar, local communities offer appealing lifestyles to those who choose to move or stay here. We asked some local business people what they like best about living and working here. Their answers showed the diversity of the advantages of living in the Kootenays.

Chriss Botterill, owner of Genex Marketing:

“People seem to have each other’s backs here, which makes it easy to form quality relationships. The people of this region are giving, passionate about the outdoors, love spending time with family and friends and prioritize contributing to the community in any way they can. Cranbrook is a great place for good hockey, a slow pace of life and the quiet feeling of living in nature. “

Miche Warwick, Kootenay Food communication liaison and manager of the Rossland Mountain Market:

"What I like best about living and working in the Kootenays comes down to the same thing—food. Food is such an important aspect of my life. It's my fuel, my most important passion and what I love to advocate the most for. I feel like we're really lucky here; we're surrounded by a beautiful and productive environment that offers us an opportunity to grow and produce food for ourselves. We're also surrounded by a beautiful community of people who care about preserving and nurturing this environment and this opportunity. In regards to food security, I see incredible progress happening in all corners of the Kootenays. We have a unique, Kootenay-wide team of dedicated individuals striving for a stronger, more secure food system for our region, and there is nothing I am happier and more honoured to be a part of."

Heather Jackson, manager of communications and marketing at College of the Rockies:

“I like the drive. I live in Kimberley and I work in Cranbrook, and I have to tell you that commute is probably the prettiest of anywhere in the country. In the morning when the sun is reflecting on the mountains—in the winter when the mountains are all pink from the sun’s reflection—it’s just beautiful.  Also the fact that you’re five minutes away from a ski hill and about five minutes away from four or five golf courses is pretty fantastic.”

Andrea Ryman, co-owner of Endless Adventure:

“We all talk about the Kootenay Bubble effect and the shelter we all have from the outside world. I love the mountains, the rivers and the community. Most of our everyday encounters are laid-back and friendly in nature. We truly live in a magical place where people from all walks of life unite in a common goal to enjoy Mother Nature and respect our neighbours.”

Jessica Curran, owner of Primary Choice Homes:

“(I appreciate) the quality of life here including the richness of the people that live in the Kootenays.”

Justin Giroux, manager of Emco:

“I love living in the middle of nature, surrounded by mountains and forests. It might sound strange, but I really enjoy my commute to work and home. It’s a beautiful reminder of why I live and work here.”


Kristen Mitchell

Kristen studied at College of the Rockies in Cranbrook and has worked in a variety of industries, from agriculture to construction, retail to restaurants. She now brings her understanding of the area to Kootenay Business magazine. View all of Kristen Mitchell’s articles

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