Ladysmith Economic Development Commission
The business of balance. There is so much more to life than just work. It is a rare thing to find a business
community that balances passion and play. Until you find yourself in Ladysmith. This is where spirited,
innovative and creative entrepreneurial minds grow roots and sprout wings. Which makes our job a whole
lot easier. We are the Economic Development Commission, and we are in charge of creating the best
environment for businesses of all kinds. We do things like support businesses to expand, leverage community
assets to attract business investments and encourage new sectors to flourish. Ladysmith: Make it happen here.
The business address of the future

Eco n o mic t i m e s a re c h a ng i ng .     To d a y ’s g r o w i n g p r o s p e c t s .   To u r i s m I n f r a s t r u c t u r e . Tourism
BC’s resource-based economy is under           We are currently targeting our                  is a strong focus of the Ladysmith
pressure. We all need to diversify             recruitment and business support                economy, and we have achieved
and increase our investment in value-          efforts on these five sectors:                  success as a tourist destination
added and service-based industries.            1 Marine manufacturing & services               thanks to our beautiful natural
Small businesses are increasing                2 Professional services                         surroundings, heritage architecture
in number, and entrepreneurs are               3 Tourism infrastructure                        and small-town charm. This sector
looking for dynamic, supportive                4 Wood products manufacturing                   will continue to expand significantly
communities to establish themselves            5 Food and beverage processing                  as new marina amenities and
in. Here in Ladysmith, we are planning                                                         spa/resort-type accommodations
for this future.                                                                               are developed.
  We are putting a lot of time and           M a r i n e M a n u f a c t u r i n g . Our
energy into preparing for the changing       excellent natural harbour and marina              Wo o d Pr o d u c t s M a n u f a c t u ri n g .
needs of a new economy. Over the             facilities make Ladysmith a perfect               We can offer businesses high-quality
past few years we have conducted             fit for a variety of marine-related               wood supplies, affordable space
extensive market research and have           industries. And many of our workers               in industrial buildings, workers with
created a forward-looking strategy           are already highly knowledgeable                  a high degree of relevant experience
for economic growth. We are actively         and skilled in these areas.                       in wood products and value-added
working with local business groups                                                             manufacturing and access to
to implement this strategy and create        P r o f e s s i o n a l S e r v i c e s . Many    appropriate markets on the Island
new opportunities.                           knowledge-based businesses can                    and in the Lower Mainland.
  Ladysmith’s population has been            compete globally from anywhere, and
growing steadily since 2000. We have         more and more entrepreneurs are                   F o o d a n d B e v e r a g e P r o ce s s i n g .
seen a corresponding increase in our         choosing quality of life over big city            This industry already has a presence
business sector, as well as in new           living. Our small-town atmosphere,                in the area and expansion is a
housing construction. We plan to keep        coupled with incredible recreational              real possibility. Our proximity to
this steady growth happening by              opportunities and excellent amenities,            the Cowichan Valley and other
implementing local business programs         makes Ladysmith an ideal location                 agricultural areas, as well as our
and targeting sectors that have a strong     for professionals wanting to live a               excellent transportation corridors,
potential for success in our market.         relaxed West Coast lifestyle.                     means we have access to many
By encouraging and supporting growth                                                           high-quality agricultural products.
and diversification, we aim to create
and maintain a vibrant, healthy
                                                       LADYSMITH, BRITISH COLUMBIA               |   THE BUSINESS OF BALANCE
economy for many years to come.
                                                 L a d ysmi t h is a b u si n e ss co m m u ni t y t h a t b a l a n ce s p a ssi o n a n d p l ay,
                                         w h e re s p iri t e d e n t re p re n e u ria l mi n d s g ro w ro o t s a n d s p ro u t wi ngs .

Hi st o r y                             G e o g ra p h y                                       D e m o g ra p hi c s
The Ladysmith area has been home        Ladysmith is located right on the                      Ladysmith has experienced steady
to the Chemainus First Nation for       49th parallel, on the east coast                       population growth since 2000,
at least 5,000 years. European          of beautiful Vancouver Island.                         increasing by 7% over the last five
settlement took hold in earnest         The town is built next to the ocean,                   years. The population has now
when the town of Ladysmith was          just off tranquil Stuart Channel.                      reached 8,100. Most of this growth is
established to service the nearby       It boasts a 5-mile natural harbour,                    due to relocation – that is, people
Extension coal mine; the town was       and provides excellent boating                         choosing to move here. And our
incorporated in 1904. Coal mining       access to the beautiful Gulf                           population’s income is increasing –
dominated the economy until             Islands. The mountains which                           by slightly more than BC’s average.
demand dwindled in the early 1930s.     surround it not only offer spectacular
Logging soon took over as the major     views, but also protect it from much                   Ec o n o m y
industry, and it continues to play an   of the rain that the rest of Vancouver                 Ladysmith’s economy has always
integral role in our area’s economy.    Island experiences.                                    depended heavily on natural
                                                                                               resources – first coal, and then
                                                                                               wood. Logging and lumber mills
                                                                                               continue to play an important role
                                                                                               in our economic development.
                                                                                               More recently the service industry
                                                                                               has expanded, and pleasure boating
                                                                                               and tourism have become key
                                                                                               economic pillars.

  In the past few years we have               and art facilities are all close by.           We have excellent highway access
seen the value of building permits            And kayaking, sailing, and golfing             for transporting goods throughout
rise sharply. There has also been             are available right on our doorstep.           the Island, and easy access to
a considerable increase in business                                                          Nanaimo’s two BC Ferry locations,
incorporations and a doubling of              Cl im ate                                      which provide regular service
business licences issued.                     Ladysmith has a temperate                      to the mainland.
                                              Mediterranean-like climate; we get               Nanaimo airport, only ten minutes
Wo rk f o rc e                                moderate rainfall in the winter, and           away, offers regularly scheduled
We boast a high proportion of                 it’s dry and sunny in the summer               flights to Vancouver and the Lower
educated and skilled individuals with         months. Our moderate coastal                   Mainland, and float planes fly directly
experience in a wide variety of areas.        climate is characterized by slight             to downtown Vancouver. In addition,
Moreover, due to our proximity to a           seasonal variations in temperature,            deep sea port facilities are available
number of educational institutions,           and typically receives over 1900               at Nanaimo and Chemainus, and
we have the means to ensure that              hours of bright sunshine each year –           our many marinas provide service
our workers can continue to meet              only slightly less than Rio de Janeiro         for commercial boaters.
the challenges of the changing                gets! Ladysmith receives an average
labour market.                                of 1077 mm of rainfall and 80.9 mm             R ea l e st a t e m a rk e t
                                              of snowfall per year – about the               Residential housing has seen a
                                              same as Vancouver.
A m en i t i e s a n d a t t ra c t i o n s                                                  boom in the last few years. House
Ladysmith offers a unique blend                                                              prices have increased in sync with
                                              E a s y a cc e ss t o m a j o r m a rk e t s
of small-town atmosphere, big city                                                           the rest of the province, but remain
                                              Ladysmith offers convenient access
convenience and spectacular natural                                                          relatively affordable. In 2007, single
                                              to markets on Vancouver Island
environment. Amenities include                                                               family homes sold for an average
                                              and the BC mainland. We are
excellent schools and nearby colleges,                                                       of $318,833.
                                              located right on the population
90 hectares of park and open space,
                                              corridor of south-eastern Vancouver
a large network of municipally
                                              Island, on the main route between
maintained paths and hiking trails,
                                              Nanaimo (26 km to the north) and
a community centre, pool and senior’s
                                              Victoria (85 km to the south).
centre. Shopping, music, theatre

                                                   LADYSMITH, BRITISH COLUMBIA                |   THE BUSINESS OF BALANCE
                                                                  L a d ysmi t h is a c t iv e l y cre a t i ng a v i b ra n t , h e a l t h y e co n o m y
                                                        by e n co u ra g i ng a n d su p p o r t i ng g ro w t h a n d d iv e rsi f ic a t i o n .

           This is what balancing business and life looks like:

S e a l e gs K aya k i n g Ad v e n t u re s   O l i v i a ’ s Fa s h i o n a n d Fu r n i s h i n g s            S o u t h w oo d Pro d u c t s

Sheryll and Bud Bell were looking for a        Delaine and Bruce Burnett opened                                  For Carlos Pereira and Glenn Sebelius,
better way to make a living and raise four     Olivia’s shortly after moving to                                  Ladysmith’s central location, and its
kids when they launched their kayaking         Ladysmith five years ago. They felt that                          proximity to bigger markets of high end
business in 1997. Already firmly rooted        a store that offered fashions, furnishings                        homes in Nanaimo and Victoria, were
in the community, it was only natural          and gifts would fill a need here, and                             key factors in deciding where to situate
that their business would also become          their instincts have resulted in a                                their custom wooden door business.
an integral part of the fabric of this town.   successful enterprise frequented by                               Access to quality lumber, glass artists
But that’s the magic of the right idea in      people from near and far. They’ve                                 and carvers was important too. But
the right location. Ladysmith is ideal         been pleasantly surprised by how                                  quality of life was perhaps the biggest
and idyllic for this thriving enterprise       much support they’ve received from                                reason they chose to live here. When
that now offers everything from clinics        residents and other businesses, and                               they’re not busy making beautiful doors
and lessons to rentals and custom tours.       by the “amazing community spirit” that                            and other products for specialty homes,
“Our local guides have been with               abounds here. And they’re excited about                           Carlos is in his boat and Glenn
us since day one, and our customers            the positive impact increased tourism                             is diving. How often do they achieve
return year after year to paddle with          will have on their bottom line. For the                           that fine balance between work and
us,” says Sheryll. “There are no better        Burnetts, Ladysmith’s incredible ocean                            play? “Every chance we get,” says Carlos
measures for success!”                         vista, plentiful kayaking opportunities                           – an easy feat when the ocean is just
                                               and serene hiking trails are simply                               steps away!
                                               “icing on the cake.”

B u rc h e t t M a ri n e                     At l a n t is Kaya k s                       R o ya l D a r

Burchett Marine has been building and         Robin Thacker was thrilled to learn          When they opened their Mediterranean/
testing boat models for clients across        he could move his growing business to        Indian restaurant almost 4 years ago,
North American and around the world           Ladysmith when an ideal location             Kam and Gurb Gill were betting that
for close to 25 years. Owner Ron Burchett     became available. Atlantis manufactures      Ladysmith’s steady growth would bring
says he could live anywhere, but chooses      high quality composite kayaks, and           people wanting a small town feeling and
to live in Ladysmith for three reasons:       needs to be able to easily ship their        bringing a ‘big city’ palate. This bet paid
“lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle.” With the   boats around the world. “Being located       off. Perched on the hillside overlooking
airport “7 minutes away” and a wealth of      just off the Island Highway gives us         the ocean (with a great outdoor patio),
skilled trades people close by, Ron can’t     great access to our clients, whether they    the Gills’ restaurant has quickly become
imagine a better place to do business.        are local or overseas,” says Robin.          a favourite destination for locals and
His clients couldn’t agree more. He’s         “Of course, being on the ocean helps, too.   tourists alike. The investments they’ve
routinely visited by architects and boat      It’s like a heartbeat for our company.”      made in their business – including
designers from the US, Europe and             “As an added bonus, we’ve found              buying the building and bringing a chef
beyond who are consistently impressed         Ladysmith’s business network to be           from India – are also paying off. “We’re
by Ladysmith’s charm and beauty, and          world-class in terms of service, technical   here for the long term,” says Kam, “and
Ron’s fantastic lifestyle!                    know-how and pricing,” states Robin.         are really excited about where
                                                                                           Ladysmith is going.”

                                                         LADYSMITH, BRITISH COLUMBIA        |   THE BUSINESS OF BALANCE
A climate for living + A beautiful natural setting + An active and engaged community
Family-friendly amenities and activities + Great schools and recreational facilities
An affordable cost of living + Real estate that holds its value + Charming small-town
ambience + Vibrant arts and cultural scene + Year-round events and festivities
A gateway to outdoor adventure + Committed to environmental stewardship + A strong
vision for a sustainable future + Convenient mid-Island location, right on the 49th parallel

A c l i m a t e f o r b u si n e s s
Ladysmith's government is committed     > Ladysmith offers a skilled,
to fostering sustainable growth           educated labour force with a rich
                                                                                        LADYSMITH ECONOMIC
and development while maintaining         variety of experience and a deep
and developing all necessary              commitment to the future of the           DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION

support facilities.                       community.                                            410 ESPLANADE

> Ladysmith is perfectly situated       > Ladysmith has a vision for a                              PO BOX 220
  to grow rapidly and successfully by     prosperous and sustainable                            LADYSMITH, BC
  means of its expanding population,      future, which is supported
                                                                                              CANADA V9G 1A2
  excellent geographic location and       by the Economic Development
                                                                                                 1 250 245 6410
  established strategy for business       Commission and its many
  development.                            pro-business initiatives.                   w w w. l a d ysmi t h .c a

                                                                              TH E B US IN E SS OF BALAN C E

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