District of Sicamous
The municipality of Sicamous is located at the northern end of the Okanagan Valley, about halfway between Calgary and Vancouver along the Trans-Canada highway. The Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 97A, which travels south through the Okanagan Valley to the United States border, intersect in the centre of Sicamous.
Sicamous has a strong tourist industry and is known as both the 'Gateway to the Shuswap' and the 'Houseboat Capital of Canada'. Visitors are drawn to its lakes in the summer and mountains in the winter – the community has a resort feel, and offers a variety of resort experiences, including water-based recreation, houseboating, golf, backcountry hiking and snowmobiling. The strength of the recreational market, combined with local residents and highway travelers, allows Sicamous to support commercial and business services sectors that are larger and more diversified than what is typical for rural municipalities of its size.
Along with its tourism industry, Sicamous has a small manufacturing sector, and some forestry and agriculture. The local population is aging, and the need for seniors’ services is expected to grow. Nearly one-third of the population is employed seasonally, and the community hopes to increase year-round employment opportunities, continuing a trend to extend the tourism industry to all four seasons. The local agricultural industry also has potential for expansion and further promotion.
The beautiful natural environment in and around Sicamous is vital to the community’s identity and quality of life. The community is aware of the impacts of human activity and development on the environment, and is committed to ensuring that it is supported and protected for a range of values – including aesthetics, recreation, wildlife habitat, and unique and sensitive ecosystems. Residents are deeply invested in the preservation and enhancement of local history and culture, and the municipality has a vibrant and growing creative community.