Living & Working in Northern B.C.
The people of Northern B.C. have a unique understanding of what it's like to live and work in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world—they understand the phrase "Supernatural British Columbia" in a way few others can.
And hand-in-hand with the spectacular surroundings—trees and mountains, rivers and lakes, oceanscapes and landscapes and just good old fresh air—the region has given rise to a more relaxed, friendlier way of life. Living in largely supportive, close-knit communities, locals and newcomers enjoy the inherent friendliness that so often comes with small town living.
Northern B.C. is home to about 200,000 people, spread out from islands and coastal communities through mountain towns and the ranchlands of the Northern Interior on to the foothills of the Rockies. Communities here range from small towns and villages to the bustling northern centre of Prince George—providing plenty of choice in terms of the kind of community in which you'd like to live and work.
With educational opportunities and economic development projects occurring throughout the region, Northern B.C. offers a broad range of career and life options, and a bright future for you and your family.
Here are some of the perks of life and work in Northern B.C.
Experience all four seasons right in your backyard—Northern B.C. offers incredible recreation opportunities year round. Outdoor winter sports focus on skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, snowmobiling and, in some communities, dogsledding; while in the summer, hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding and some of the best fishing in the world are all on the list of great recreational pursuits.
Thriving Arts & Culture
Northern B.C. has a rich history that shows itself in community events, the arts and a wide variety of festivals. First Nations culture as well as theatre, dance, music and visual arts with roots from all over the world play a part in the North's thriving arts scene.
And community-minded festivals such as Kitimat's multicultural Canada Day celebrations, the Bulkley Valley Fall Fair in Smithers and the Edge of the World Music Festival on Haida Gwaii—as well as many other festivals throughout the year—delight visitors and locals alike.
Sense of Community
The active and engaged people in B.C.'s north have likewise built active and engaged communities. Community groups and organizations bring together people passionate about a cause, subject or activity. From environmental and social justice groups to co-operatives of craftspeople and artisans, from cultural and ethnic societies and clubs to just about every type of sports league imaginable and from social clubs for seniors and youth groups to community volunteer groups, you'll find northern communities are lively and energetic places that are seldom short of enthusiastic people.
Working in smaller communities often allows you to take on a less specialized role than in larger centres, providing you with opportunities to experience a broader scope within your work. And future projections for career advancement are excellent. More than a third of our employees are eligible to retire in the next few years, which means skilled, dedicated people will be well-positioned to advance quickly and be active in directing their careers.
While the cost and availability of housing varies widely throughout the province, you'll find that many communities in Northern B.C. have affordable housing, with rents and housing prices far below those of many southern B.C. municipalities. Depending on the community you choose, you may be able to stretch your dollars farther in terms of housing costs, and you may also be able to stretch out in a larger home and yard. Additionally, residents of some communities may qualify for a Revenue Canada northern living allowance.
Small-town life doesn't mean you have to sacrifice urban amenities—many northern communities are home to cafes, restaurants, theatres, recreation centres and unique shops that rival those in larger communities—and there's almost always free parking!
With a laid-back approach to life, you can all but forget about traffic jams or road rage in B.C.'s northern communities. Enjoy a shorter commute and a close-knit community where you can spend more time with your family and get to know your neighbours.