Stampede City (sorry Calgary)! Heart of the Cariboo and home to some of the last Cowboys to saunter their way across the Mountains and rolling ranchlands of a region that got its start as little more than a pair of wagon tracks, guiding intrepid miners to the Cariboo gold rush of the mid-1800's.
Home of the Williams Lake Stampede, the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame and local-boy-makes-good and Man in Motion himself, Mr Rick Hansen, an icon and hero to the entire country. Williams Lake is, and quite likely always will be, the Wild West.
240kms from Prince George and 285 to Kamloops (500-ish to Vancouver), Williams lake is well situated in the Cariboo, Chilcotin region of the province. As the territory's most central hub, it's the crossroads of Highway 97 north and south and the jumping-off point for Highway 20 west to the rugged Central Coast. With warm summers and cool dry winters, Williams Lake has a lot to offer the outdoor enthusiast while still being conveniently located to larger centres when you or the family just "need to get away" or make a mad dash to Ikea.
The dominant industries in Williams Lake are a combination of forestry, mining and ranching, the latter adding to the romance of living in this part of the world and a major driver of the cultural component of the community. You will literally rub shoulders with modern-day cowboys while walking down the street...something you can't say about living in Surrey. Now, I'm not a horse person; nothing that big should be that intelligent but if you do fancy yourself a bit of a cowpoke, Williams Lake is, without question, the promised land. Now it's not all spurs and saddles, Williams Lake also has a bustling retail, service and transportation sector that employ a large portion of the community's 11,000 plus residents in the city itself and near 30,000 if you include the immediate service area. Fun Fact: The wildly popular "Timber Kings" television show on HGTV is filmed in Williams Lake with the Master Craftsmen at Pioneer Log Homes. Owner and GM Andre Chevigny actually follows me on LinkedIn, so you will have to excuse me while I have my fanboy moment.
Ultimately, Williams Lake is an unassuming diamond. Geographically well positioned, solid economics and with a culture that you won't find in other parts of the province, this community is unique and yes...special. Granted, Williams Lake isn't for everybody. If you're a North Coast boy (like me), you may struggle to find where you fit in with people who, when they're not riding horses or building small castles out school bus sized logs, ride killer bulls...in a cage...for fun. Did you see the picture at the top of this article? That's what getting attacked by Volvo looks like. Killer cows aside, the community is charming, the people are warm and inviting and once you find your swagger you'll be right as rain. It is important to note that this brief write-up doesn't begin to touch on all that this community has to offer (camping, hiking, skiing, world-class mountain biking to name a few). For more information, take a look at Tourism Williams Lake's website.
Think about Williams Lake and feel free to reach out to me either on LinkedIn or via email at [email protected] and I'll be happy to talk about what's happening. Below you will find a list of opportunities that we are currently working on in Williams Lake. For all other opportunities, click here: