Discover Armstrong, British Columbia: A Blend of History and Tourism
Armstrong, officially known as the City of Armstrong, is a charming city nestled in the North Okanagan region of the Canadian province of British Columbia. Situated between Vernon and Enderby, Armstrong overlooks the picturesque Spallumcheen Valley. This city, which celebrated its centennial in 2013, is approximately 480 km (300 mi) from Vancouver, B.C., and Spokane, Washington.
Armstrong, British Columbia: Location and Historical Overview
Armstrong is a rural community and commercial center in the North Okanagan, with traditional economic activities including agriculture, grain farming of alfalfa and corn, logging, and ranching. The city is located amidst the dairy and farmlands of the Spallumcheen Valley, a name derived from a Shuswap language word with multiple meanings: "beautiful valley", "flat meadow", "meeting of the waters", and "prairie-banked river".
The city was named after William Heaton Armstrong, a London banker who helped finance the Shuswap and Okanagan Railway in 1892 and local development at the turn of the century. The influence of Dutch immigrants settling in the valley after the Second World War is represented by their cheese-making knowledge, allowing Armstrong to become well known for the cheese it produced.
Armstrong is also famous for hosting the Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede, an annual event since 1899 (except for 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic). The city is governed by a seven-member city council headed by the Mayor, with meetings being held the second and fourth Mondays of every month. The current Mayor is Chris Pieper, who is in his second term.
Education in Armstrong, British Columbia
Armstrong boasts four public education facilities; two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school. Armstrong Elementary School, initially known as the "Armstrong Spallumcheen Consolidated School", was the first school in the Province to be constructed as a central school. Len Wood Middle school and Pleasant Valley Secondary were later added to suit the growing region, with Highland Park Elementary opening in 1983 to satisfy increasing demand.
Armstrong, British Columbia: Economy, Tourist Attractions, and Activities
While agriculture, logging, and ranching remain dominant in Armstrong's economy, tourism increasingly plays a significant role. The city and the surrounding Spallumcheen Valley are particularly popular with long-distance cyclists as a desirable location for short-haul excursions.
Museums and Places of Interest in Armstrong, British Columbia
Armstrong and the surrounding area feature many attractions including museums, golf courses, water sports, snow sports including skiing and snowmobile riding, boating, fishing, and hiking trails. The Armstrong-Spallumcheen Museum and Art Gallery, the Old School House, the Caravan Farm Theatre, and the Silver Star Mountain Resort are among the most popular attractions. The Armstrong Farmer's Market, the Okanagan and BC Rockies Circle Tour, and the Armstrong skateboard park also draw many visitors.
Armstrong Cheese: A Signature Product of Armstrong, British Columbia
Armstrong Cheese is well known throughout Canada and in parts of the United States. Despite the original Armstrong Cheese site closing in 2004, the Village Cheese Company continues to be a major tourist attraction. Here, visitors can watch master cheesemakers at their craft and sample a variety of cheeses.
Climate of Armstrong, British Columbia
Armstrong has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb), offering a unique blend of seasons for visitors and residents alike.
Demographics of Armstrong, British Columbia
In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Armstrong had a population of 5,323 living in 2,217 of its 2,292 total private dwellings, a change of 4.1% from its 2016 population of 5,114. With a land area of 5.22 km2 (2.02 sq mi), it had a population density of 1,019.7/km2 (2,641.1/sq mi) in 2021.