Dec 2, 2011
Presentation of British Columbia
Sophisticated and Wild, British Columbia is sitting on the Pacific-Rim of Canada’s west coast, British Columbia is the crown jewel. Metropolitan meets Wild West in the six distinct British Columbia regions. Natural beauty, history, recreation, commerce, art, and culture abound delivering unprecedented diversity and sophistication.
European exploration and occupation began in British Columbia in the mid-1770s. The fur trade dominated by Great Britain and Spain continued until 1821. When the word of gold along the Thompson River in 1858, reached San Francisco, Victoria, the province’s capital city, instantly became a bustling city.
The territory once seriously considered aligning with the United States; however, the end of the gold rush along with substantial pressure from inhabitants sealed British Columbia’s admission to the Canadian Confederation on July 20, 1871, becoming the sixth of thirteen provinces.
British Columbia’s economy is stable, seeing moderate growth in industry, real estate and exports. At a population of over 4.5 million, spread out over 925,186 square kilometers British Columbia is the third most populous province, ranking fifth in territory size, and seventh for overall province population density.
Over half of all British Columbia residents live in the greater Vancouver metropolitan area. Vancouver or Victoria can be reached in approximately three hours by car or ferry from Seattle.
Must See in Victoria• Butchart Gardens, just 20 minutes from the downtown core, stunning and unforgettable.
• Fort Rod Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse, now automated, this lighthouse has guided ships since 1873.
• Museums include Alcheringa Gallery, Maritime Museum of British Columbia, and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.
Must See in greater Vancouver• The Steam Clock in Gastown, a 15 minute walk from downtown.
• Longsdale Quay, entertaining ferry ride, shopping, dining, and more shopping.
• Sea Walls, 15 miles of exploration as they surround the city.
• Capilano Suspension Bridge brings visitors up close with the rain forest.
• Whistler, a quaint village and site of the skiing events for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, is a 120 kilometer drive from Vancouver on the Sea to Sky Highway, one of North America’s most scenic roads, worth the drive any time of year.
• Kayaking, choose from sea or white water, either will delight the novice and challenge the expert.
• Camping, hiking and boating are abundant in the interior regions of Thompson Okanagan with pristine wilderness and dozens of parks surrounding Okanagan Lake.
By land, sea, or air nature thrives in the mild climates of the coastal communities and the cooler rugged inland mountains. On land visitors to the provincial parks can see moose, caribou, black bear and mountain goats; possible but less likely are sightings of wolves, cougars and grizzly.
Semiannually the sea plays host to essentially every migrating Pacific Gray Whale on the planet. The largest salmon run in the world occurs on the Fraser River. Look skyward to catch a glimpse of over one million birds migrating annually on the Pacific flyway.
Western hemlock, red cedar, fir and Sitka spruce grow large on the mild and moist coast; with more diminutive fir being the dominate species of tree in the drier inland climates. Plentiful wildflowers grace the edges of the scenic highways.
Vernon Winter Festival, Okanagan (February)
Cariboo Cross-Country Sky Marathon, 100 Mile House (February)
Pacific-Rim Whale Festival, Vancouver (March and April)
Cloverdale Rodeo, Cloverdale, (May)
The Edge of the World Music Festival, Haida Gwaii (July)
Williams Lake Stampede, Williams Lake (July)
Bard on the Beach Shakespearean Festival, Vancouver (June-September)
Okanagan Fall Wine Festival, Okanagan Valley (October)