About Kamloops, British Columbia

Brilliant blue skies. With over 2,000 hours of sunshine each year, all of our seasons are perfect for escaping to the outdoors. Spring starts early, to the delight of golfers and boaters. Summer is hot and sunny with warm days extending well into autumn. And with our endless blue skies and famous dry powder, winter in Kamloops is a snowy, playtime paradise.

Spectacular landscapes. Kamloops is home to an incredibly diverse landscape of sagebrush-covered hills, ravines, wide open grasslands, rugged mountains, forested valleys and pristine lakes. As a semi-arid ecosystem, our natural environment provides habitat for many unique plants and animals.

Non-stop outdoor fun. Whether you prefer adrenaline-charged excitement or more laid-back pursuits, you'll find unsurpassed opportunities to pursue your outdoor passions. Nowhere else will you find championship golf courses, renowned mountain biking trails, world-class skiing, dozens of lakes for fishing and boating, and more - all within 45 minutes of downtown.  

Relaxed western hospitality. Although we have everything you'd want in an urban centre, we haven't forgotten our small town roots. You'll love our unhurried lifestyle and our warm and friendly people.

 A vibrant downtown. With its mix of unique shops, historic buildings, tree-lined streets and brick sidewalks, the downtown area is the heart and soul of our city.

A convenient location. By road, by rail or by air, Kamloops is easy to get to. Four major highways come together in our city, providing convenient access from major centres such as Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Seattle.

 

Canada's Tournament Capital

With close to $50 million invested in new and renovated facilities to launch our Canada's Tournament Capital initiative, Kamloops is the premier host centre for tournaments, cultural events, high performance training camps, and national and international competitions. Click here for more information on the Tournament Capital Centre

As a warm and friendly city that supports sports and recreation to its fullest, there is always a solid support team involved in every event. This includes dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers, spirited ambassadors, and of course incredible support from local businesses and spectators.

In 2009, Kamloops hosted 92 tournaments, held numerous cultural events, and welcomed thousands of participants and spectators to the city. For many years, Kamloops has been synonymous with first-class events, a knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteer base, strong athletic showings, and a wide variety of outstanding venues.

The City of Kamloops has long recognized Sport Tourism as an economic generator for the City and to that end has made Canada's Tournament Capital one of its top goals in City Council’s Strategic Plan. Sport tourism is now the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry in Canada.

 

Useful Kamloops Links

City of Kamloops Website  (City's 2011 Annual Report.)

Venture Kamloops Website

Kamloops Chamber of Commerce Website

 

The History of Kamloops, British Columbia

Kamloops - A Meeting Place

The word Kamloops comes from the Secwepemc word “Tk’emlúps”, meaning "where the rivers meet" and in this case referring to the flowing together of the North and South Thompson rivers. In the early days, 30 bands of Secwepemc (or Shuswap people) lived along the rivers and lakes of BC’s south-central interior, moving constantly, thus being known as a semi-nomadic nation. A bounty of elk, deer, salmon, wild plant roots and berries dominated the Thompson Valley, as well as excellent farmland and water sources for growing crops. This made for a suitable place to settle and eventually set up trading posts to trade furs and contraptions with the white man. The earliest human remains date back to over 8,250 years ago, yet it is not known exactly how long the people have occupied the valley. Before the Shuswap, vast ice sheets covered the valley.

From train robberies to stagecoach transport, to cattle ranching, Kamloops is home to the true wild west drama of the Kamloops region. Europeans arrived in Kamloops around 1811. From their technical advances came further trading, industry, the railroad, and ship transport. The Gold Rush brought wealth and a large influx of people searching for a better life. In 1893, Kamloops was incorporated with less than 1,000 people; yet today it is a population of nearly 85,000 and growing.

Kamloops is still a central hub with its south central geographic location in the province connecting to Calgary, Vancouver, and the northern Cariboo-Chilcotin regions.

The people of Kamloops are what truly make the heart of Kamloops beat. Kamloopsians care about keeping the city beautiful and keeping our heritage alive: encouraging the western heritage of genuine leather, giving a wholesome friendly smile, and incorporating a cosmopolitan flair with exquisite, high-end urban amenities.

 

Western Heritage of Kamloops, BC

Kamloops has a rich history of wild west lore that still shines through today. After all, the city has been a ranching community since the nineteenth century, and even today, ranching is an integral part of the lifestyle of many residents. It’s easy to immerse yourself in Kamloops' western heritage. Check out the annual Kamloops Cowboy Festival or take in our scenery by horseback.

More on Agritourism & Farm Fresh

Rodeos, Festivals and Fairs

Amateur rodeos are held almost every weekend in the summer, and the world renowned Kamloops Cowboy Festival is an annual event occuring every spring with 3 full days of cowboy poetry, music and other events. Fairs, such as the Provincial Winter Fair, offer a chance to mingle with local ranchers and farmers and horsemanship clinics are popular for those looking to learn to ride or to sharpen up on their skills.

British Columbia Rodeo Schedule

Kamloops Exhibition Association

During a visit to Kamloops, drive through the ranchlands to see, visit and tour working ranches, hop on a horse-drawn wagon for a hayride in the summer and sleighride in winter, or saddle up and explore the landscape on horseback.