Gateway Gazette

BC Communities Hosting Conference to Attract Entrepreneurs to the Elk Valley

FERNIE, BC–(Marketwired – April 28, 2016) – The Elk Valley Economic Initiative (EVEI) announced today that it is hosting its first economic development conference June 16 to 18 in Fernie, BC. The 2 1/2-day event, titled the adVenture Capital Conference, is designed to introduce prospective entrepreneurs and investors to business opportunities in British Columbia’s Elk Valley.

The Elk Valley provides a diverse economy built around outdoor recreation and adventure tourism, forestry and metallurgical coal mining. The region is noted for several world-class outdoor activities including powder skiing, mountain biking, fly-fishing, snowmobiling, ATVing, hunting, wakeboarding, and backcountry adventures. The region is also the heart of Canada’s metallurgical coal mining industry. At this time, over 90% of Canada’s steelmaking coal exports come from the Elk Valley, with five mines currently in production and several others in various phases of exploration and permitting.

Located in BC’s South-East Kootenay region, the Elk Valley extends from Lake Koocanusa and the Montana border to the Alberta border from Kananaskis Country to Crowsnest Pass. It includes the municipalities of Fernie, Sparwood, Elkford, Hosmer, Morrissey, Elko, Grasmere and the Ktunaxa Ksanka, or Tobacco Plains First Nation.

“The conference is being hosted by the Elk Valley Economic Initiative, and supported by our local communities”, stated EVEI Chair Sharon Strom. “We’re very excited about the level of support received from the communities of Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford, and our local industries in promoting the abundance of opportunities here and the lifestyle we all enjoy”, Strom added.

Highlights of the conference include:

  • Luncheon keynote speech on Entrepreneurship, delivered by New York Times bestselling author Chris Brogan. This luncheon is open to the general public.
  • Dinner keynote speech on Partnerships with Chief Clarence Louie, noted entrepreneur, economic developer and chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band.
  • Adventure Day on Saturday June 18 where attendees and their families can choose from a variety from Elk Valley adventures including mountain biking, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, fly-fishing, hiking, kayaking, boating, golf, spa, arts tour, and Teck mine tours.

Conference attendees will learn about pre-identified business opportunities in the Elk Valley, in addition to exploring their own business ideas with local municipal and business representatives. Some of the Valley’s pre-identified opportunities include:

  • Services to support metallurgical coal mining operations, including drilling and environmental consulting and testing services
  • Four-season adventure tourism services and education
  • Luxury wilderness lodges and limited service hotels
  • Mobile, quick-service, fast-casual and fine-dining restaurants
  • Small engine repair and storage for RV’s, boats, snowmobiles and ATVs
  • Licensed childcare providers and workers
  • Home-based businesses
  • Graphic designers, multimedia developers, artists and artisans
  • Conference, arena and sports facilities
  • Commercial, residential and vacation property development
  • Seniors and workforce housing
  • Engineering, consulting and professional services

The main conference events will be held at Fernie Alpine Resort, with parts of the conference being held in Elkford and Sparwood.

Tickets are now on sale at or for more information call 1-888-808-0826.

About the Elk Valley Economic Initiative
The Elk Valley Economic Initiative is a non-profit society whose members represent the communities and industry in BC’s Elk Valley. Members include the municipalities of the City of Fernie, the District of Sparwood, the District of Elkford; their respective Chambers of Commerce; and the Tobacco Plains Indian Band.

The purpose of the Initiative is to collaboratively pursue regional economic development projects and initiatives in the Elk Valley; striving to expand opportunities for existing businesses, attract new ones and diversify the types of businesses in the region.

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