British Columbia, The Great Outdoors of Canada
One Big Province
B.C.'s total land and freshwater area is 95 million hectares, larger than France and Germany combined. Only 30 countries are larger. British Columbia occupies about 10 per cent of Canada's land surface.
Set between the Pacific Ocean in the west and the magnificent Rocky Mountains in the east, British Columbia is Canada's westernmost province. Blessed with breathtaking landscapes, BC is home to a geographical diversity that lends itself to a vast array of activities and adventures. There are mountains to climb, rivers to run, beaches to comb, forests to hike, parks to stroll and warm summer lakes to laze about on.
The province generally enjoys a temperate climate but where there are mountains, there is snow. Renowned for the steep and the deep of its world-class ski terrain, BC is bustling with energy and opportunity as it prepares for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
Always a gold medal destination for savvy travelers, BC offers not just outdoor adventure but cosmopolitan culture, world class exhibitions, uptown shopping and fabulous dining . From sophisticated cities to breathtaking scenery there is something for everyone in BC.
People of British Columbia
- B.C.'s population was 4.405 million people as of December 2008.
- British Columbia is home to people of many different origins, cultural traditions, languages, ethnicities, and religions.
- B.C.'s aboriginal people are known as First Nations. There are 197 First Nations bands in the province, such as the Gitxsan, Haida, Nisga'a and Squamish.
- The top 10 languages spoken are now (according to the 2001 Census): English, Chinese (including Cantonese and Mandarin), Punjabi, German, French, Tagalog, Spanish, Italian, Korean, and Dutch.
- Each year, over 40,000 immigrants from around the world arrive in B.C.
The Great Outdoors
- B.C. has nearly 1,000 provincial parks and protected areas, attracting about 24 million visits every year.
- Since 2001, the provincial government has established 57 new parks, 143 conservancies, one ecological reserve and eight protected areas, and expanded more than 50 parks and six ecological reserves, protecting more than 1.9 million hectares (an area almost three times the size of Prince Edward Island.)
- This includes 200,000 hectares of habitat for the world-famous Spirit Bear, B.C.'s official mammal.
- Today, 14.26 per cent (or more than 13.5 million hectares) of British Columbia is protected – more than any other province in Canada.
For more information about B.C.’s provincial parks, please visit: www.bcparks.ca.
Doing Business in British Columbia
- British Columbia is Canada's gateway to the Asia-Pacific and is economically and geographically part of the northwest region of North America.
- While forestry, mining, fishing and agriculture remain important to B.C.'s economy, there is strong growth in new industries such as eco-tourism, agri-tourism, film and high tech.
- Our educational, transportation and telecommunications infrastructures are among the most modern in the world.
- Small businesses make up over 98 per cent of the province's businesses, and now employ more than one million British Columbians. The Canada/British Columbia Business Service Centre has a variety of links to services for the B.C. business community. It also features an Online Small Business Workshop and an Interactive Business Planner. Over the last eight years, over 100 tax cuts have been introduced. As a result, B.C. now has some of the lowest taxes in North America.
- British Columbia is the third-largest film and television production centre in North America - after New York and Los Angeles.
- The film industry is now a $1.2 billion industry in B.C. and directly employs about 35,000 people. Indirect jobs generated by the industry fuel the construction, tourism, and small business sectors.
Abundance Natural Beauty
Moraine Lake, Banff National Park
Calgary city skyline and Saddledome
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