About Cowichan Valley
Cowichan is located in Canada’s only maritime Mediterranean climatic zone and is home to the warmest year-round temperatures in the country. For decades now, Cowichan has been producing amazing artisanal food and drinks from the region’s burgeoning farms, wineries, cideries, breweries and distilleries.
The Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) is bordered by the Nanaimo and Alberni-Clayoquot Regional Districts to the north and northwest, and by the Capital Regional District to the south and east. As of the 2016 Census, the Regional District had a population of 83,739, which represents an increase of 4% since 2011. The region includes nine electoral areas and four municipalities, including the City of Duncan (4,944 residents), the Towns of Ladysmith (8,537) and Lake Cowichan (3,226), and the District Municipality of North Cowichan (29,676).
The leading economic sectors in terms of employment include tourism, agriculture, forestry, and value‐added manufacturing.
With a population of 83,000, a university, a new hospital and RCMP detachment planned, less than an hour drive to the island’s two major ports and international airports (Nanaimo and Victoria), and a short float plane ride to Vancouver, Cowichan is a great place to do business.
We invite you to discover unique towns and villages, learn about Indigenous communities, get to know talented artisans and explore the health, wellness, and education opportunities our Cowichan communities have to offer.
The Cowichan Valley is home to several acclaimed digital animation companies, software developers, and respected thought leaders within the tech industry. An active tech community is established with co-working spaces, a collaborative mentality, and strong support for the sector by the local government.
The region has a Tech Strategy (2017) and Economic Development Cowichan and other players are working to implement a number of strategic actions to support the tech ecosystem in the valley.
Some of the main strengths that have been identified with the tech sector in the Cowichan Valley are:
- High quality of life (slower pace, families, short commute, and recreation).
- Lower costs (housing and business operations).
- Access to schools and health care.
- Extensive ecosystem supporting the development of the tech sector.
- Well-established and growing base of tech companies.
- Regional interest in further developing the sector.
- Available and attractive space for operations.
To learn more about Cowichan Valley, please visit the Community Information Tool.
Cowichan Valley – map of zoning and other key local resources
See a more comprehensive map here.
Tech Investment Opportunities
Public Infrastructure Projects
Several large builds are underway in Cowichan, including a new hospital ($887.4 million, Fall 2026), secondary school ($82.1 million, Spring 2024), and RCMP detachment ($49 million, Fall 2022), opening up significant investment opportunities.
Co-Working Space and Tech Innovation HUB
Invest in the establishment of a Tech Innovation Hub and Co-Working space in the region. There are building owners in key locations currently looking for partnerships in this area.
With a diversity of agricultural producers, forestry, value-added wood companies, and cannabis companies in the region, there are many investment opportunities in the area of clean-tech.
Investing in a Business
Cowichan is a growing, vibrant community and home to numerous tech companies, many of which are expanding and are open to investment. Visit Venture Connect or contact Economic Development Cowichan for more information.
The people of the Cowichan Valley are known for their love of quality local food and beverages, their passion of the outdoors, care for the environment, respect for first nations culture and teachings and for being an active and connected to community.
And Cowichan has lots to offer in all of these respects. The valley is home to numerous wineries, cideries, craft breweries and distilleries, over 700 farms, and many small-scale food producers. It has one of BC’s largest year-round farmers’ markets, and an unbeatable array of outdoor activities from biking and hiking, to kayaking/canoeing, horseback riding, white water rafting, rock climbing, fishing and more.
The valley is home to BC’s largest First Nations community, Cowichan Tribes, (along with 8 other indigenous communities) and the broader community greatly benefits from the wisdom shared by its indigenous elders.
There are more than 100 community and non-profit organizations in the valley which support community-building efforts and protection of the environment.
At the same time, the region is highly entrepreneurial with many innovative and emerging small businesses, including in the tech sector.
We invite you to see how you can leverage what the Cowichan region has to offer by investing in the region.