Discover Kamloops, British Columbia: A Blend of History and Modernity

Kamloops, a city nestled in south-central British Columbia, Canada, is a place where the North and South Thompson Rivers converge. This city, located east of Kamloops Lake, is part of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, with the district offices based here. The surrounding region is often referred to as the Thompson Country. With a rich history dating back to its incorporation in 1893 and a thriving modern community, Kamloops offers a unique blend of past and present.

The Historical Journey of Kamloops, British Columbia

The history of Kamloops, British Columbia, is a fascinating tale of exploration, trade, and growth. The first European explorers arrived in 1811, with David Stuart, a trader from Fort Astoria, spending a winter with the Secwépemc people. The following year, trader Alexander Ross established a post known as "Fort Cumcloups".

The North West Company established a rival post, Fort Shuswap, in the same year. The two businesses merged in 1813 when the North West Company bought the operations of the Pacific Fur Company. In 1821, the Hudson's Bay Company merged with the North West Company, and the post became commonly known as Thompson's River Post, or Fort Thompson, and later as Fort Kamloops.

The city grew significantly during the gold rush of the 1860s and the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which reached Kamloops in 1885. The city was incorporated in 1893 with a population of about 500. Today, Kamloops is the twelfth largest municipality in the province, with a 2021 population of 97,902.

Kamloops, British Columbia: A Modern City with a Thriving Economy

Modern Kamloops is a vibrant city with a diverse economy. Known as the Tournament Capital of Canada, Kamloops hosts more than 100 sporting tournaments each year at world-class sports facilities such as the Tournament Capital Centre, Kamloops Bike Ranch, and Tournament Capital Ranch.

Major industries contributing to the regional economy include logging, beef cattle, vegetable farming, transportation, viticulture, health care, tourism, and education. Thompson Rivers University, established as Cariboo College in 1970, has approximately 25,000 students and is a significant contributor to the local economy.

The Rich Cultural Tapestry of Kamloops, British Columbia

Kamloops is home to a range of cultural events, including the Kamloops Wine Festival, Kamloops Film Festival, River Beaver Classic, Brewloops, Kamloops International Buskers Festival, and the Hot Nite in the City Show 'n' Shine. The city also boasts a thriving arts scene, with the Kamloops Art Gallery, Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park, Kamloops Museum and Archives, Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, and Western Canada Theatre all contributing to the city's cultural richness.

Exploring the Natural Beauty of Kamloops, British Columbia

Kamloops is located in the Thompson Valley and the Montane Cordillera Ecozone. The city's center is near the confluence of the Thompson River's north and south branches, with suburbs stretching for more than a dozen kilometers along the river branches and into the surrounding hillsides. The city is surrounded by smaller communities, including Cherry Creek, Pritchard, Savona, Scotch Creek, Adams Lake, Chase, Paul Lake, Pinantan, and others.

Kamloops, British Columbia: A Hub of Transportation

Kamloops is a significant transportation hub in the region, located at the crossroads of the Coquihalla Highway, Yellowhead Highway, and Trans-Canada Highway. The Canadian Pacific and Canadian National mainline routes connect Vancouver in the west with Kamloops. The city is also home to Kamloops Airport, with airlines including Air Canada Express, WestJet Encore, Canadian North, and Central Mountain Air providing service.

Kamloops, British Columbia: A City of Many Names

The name "Kamloops" is the anglicized version of the Shuswap word "Tk'əmlúps", meaning "meeting of the waters". The city's name has also been given to a crater on the surface of Mars, Crater Kamloops, which was officially adopted by the International Astronomical Union's Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (IAU/WGPSN) in 1991.


Whether you're a history buff, a sports enthusiast, a nature lover, or a culture vulture, Kamloops, British Columbia, has something for everyone. With its rich history, thriving economy, vibrant culture, stunning natural beauty, and excellent transportation links, Kamloops is a city that truly offers a unique blend of past and present.