New CV Trails App Makes Backcountry Trail Info Available Online… Or Off!

Getting out to enjoy the hiking trails of the Upper Columbia Valley in the East Kootenay just got that much easier.

Published earlier this fall, the new Columbia Trails mobile app is available to all backcountry enthusiasts with a mobile device.  Developed by Fairmont Hot Springs resident, Philip Boyer, the mobile app is a companion to the original comprehensive online application found at the website.

The mobile version allows users to plan their hike, bike, run or ski and store their data on their iPhone or Android device to be used even while they are out of range of coverage.  This includes GPS files that can be used on navigation apps such as Canada Topo Maps.

“It’s a full-fledged app that allows off-line access to more that 100 trails here in the Columbia Valley.” said Mr. Boyer.

While developed privately by Mr. Boyer, the app utilizes the same data as the website, which he also developed under the design guidance of fellow Valley software developer and backcountry enthusiast, Rob Orchiston, in 2014.  The effort was funded by the Greenways Trails Alliance.

“These apps and website are an extremely valuable resource for the Valley that compliments other resources such as Aaron Cameron and Matt Gunn’s Hikes Around Invermere (book) and other websites.  I often find myself referring to to find a new trail to hike or bike,” said Mr. Orchiston.  “this is a premier resource for visitors and locals alike.”

Incredibly user-friendly, once you’ve identified a trail of interest the full details are available:  trail description, trailhead access, heights, times, distances, elevation profile, GPS route file and photos.  A simple click and you’ve got a PDF of the trail with maps, photos and descriptions to download or print.

No need to fear random, unproven, or rogue trail information.  All of the the trails outlined in the app, as well as the website, are official, sanctioned trails and include those for hikers, mountain bikers, trail runners, Nordic skiers, horseback riders, wheelchair accessible and other non-motorized backcountry users.

“Trails are easily added by smartphone or computer.  Anyone can create an account and add their own trails”, said Mr. Orchiston.  However, in an effort to ensure quality and safety, only confirmed and sanctioned information will be approved.

Mr. Orchiston adds that the design allows organizations in other regions to license the technology from Greenways to set up and brand their own trail repositories and apps with little effort.

Mr. Boyer anticipates upgrading the app some time next year with more enhancements.

Backcountry users can find and download the Columbia Valley Trails app at the Apple App or Google Play stores.


2018 Design for Startups Industry Research Program | November 1 Deadline

Design for Startups is unique program in which student designers join early-stage company teams in order to work on a specific design problem.

Through this initiative a new model for connecting art and design university with early-stage companies through accelerators and VC-backed portfolios has been developed and tested.

Design for Startups is an initiative of Living Labs, one of four research centres at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. We support creative projects, social venture and entrepreneurship driven by art and design; build projects and partnership models that use art and design as a mechanism for innovation and community building; and connect with organizations to develop externally facing, embedded, adaptive design labs that take a form suitable to the structure and culture of organizations and the nature of the design problems to be addressed.

Early-stage tech companies seeking emerging creative talent are encouraged to apply and be matched with a designer who can help with everything from branding to designing an app.

Companies who are interested in applying can visit the program’s webpage for more info.  Deadline for program registration is November 1, 2017.


2016-17 KAST Annual Report

This past year has been a busy one here at KAST.  Our goal is to build a recognized, vibrant and prosperous science and technology community in the region and it has been exciting to see initiatives established supporting this end.

It has been a building year for KAST.  With the MIDAS project initiated, staff were able to focus on the the work of making it run smoothly. The results have been impressive and we are pleased to see it embraced by local industry, educational institutions, as well as inventors and budding entrepreneurs. KAST projected the project’s significant impact on industry, business and the community and it’s to our great satisfaction that those projections have become a reality.

With the Venture Acceleration Program (VAP) and the High Expertise in a Rural Environment (HERE) programs, KAST has continued to fulfill the ambitious mandate of facilitating local technology entrepreneurs. For the future, KAST has committed to working on a program to attract technology workers, entrepreneurs and professionals to the Basin. This is consistently seen by local industry as one of the top barriers to economic growth in our area and has the potential to be another high impact program.

For a full review of the activities and mandate of Kootenay Association of Science & Technology, please read the full Annual Report HERE.

HR Tech Group – Province of BC Diversity and Inclusion Project

HR Tech Group is conducting a project on behalf of the Province of British Columbia, to understand the current diversity and inclusion practices in the BC Tech sector and recommend strategies and solutions to narrow any gaps.

HR Professionals, leaders and employees working in the BC Tech sector are invited to share their perspectives.  We believe this is an important project and encourage you to take 5-10 minutes to participate in the following survey and thought exchange. Both feedback tools are open until September 22.

If you have an HR Lead in your organization, please coordinate with them on inviting a small random sample of leaders (1-3) and employees (2-5) to participate in these feedback tools.

Your feedback, along with information gathered through an environment scan of the leading strategies and practices, will be used to develop a report and recommendations for the Province of BC by the end of 2017.



BOS Forestry Corp Software Developer Wanted

The BBA Program is Hiring – Looking for Agriculture Specialist

BOS Forestry Corp Software Developer WantedThe Columbia Basin Trust and the Basin Business Advisors program are responding to feedback from residents, and will be enhancing their business support services specifically for agricultural producers within the Columbia Basin.

As such, they are looking to add some more talent to the stable.

The Basin Business Advisor – Agriculture Specialist will provide business advisory services to existing farm businesses including crop, dairy, poultry and meat producers in the Columbia Basin. The Advisor is a business counsellor, providing advice and guidance to business owners and managers.

This full-time position may be located at various Community Futures offices within the Columbia Basin (ideally Trail, Nelson or Cranbrook) and reports to the BBA Program Manager. Travel throughout the Basin is required.


1. Delivering business advisory services to existing agricultural businesses:

  • counselling business owners/operators in regards to financial management,  business planning, marketing, strategic planning, human resource planning, etc.;
  • conducting financial and business assessments and providing detailed recommendations;
  • meeting with clients in-person (at the client’s location or at the BBA office) or virtually (using video-conferencing or other online meeting technology); and
  • if appropriate, referring clients to specialized business consultants.

2. Representing and promoting the BBA program:

  • taking part in networking events in order to promote awareness and understanding of the BBA program.

3. Supporting the delivery of the BBA program which will include:

  • ongoing development of counselling and training materials;
  • identifying, liaising and managing relationships with specialized business consultants;
  • marketing and promotion of the BBA program;
  • systematic gathering of reporting information from clients; and
  • liaising with program partners and industry/community organizations.


Training and Experience:

  • a minimum of three years proven business experience, with direct agriculture applications.
  • knowledge of farm business management practices, including knowledge of financial practices, understanding of financial statements, knowledge of human resource practices, marketing and sales strategies, distribution, etc.;
  • a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field OR an equivalent combination of education, training and experience;
  • education and/or experience in training, coaching or counselling;
  • experience in developing business tools or training materials is an asset; and
  • experience in developing and maintaining relationships with small and medium sized businesses.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • personal qualities include characteristics which would engender trust and confidence in business owners accessing the program, such as maturity and experience;
  • strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with clients, sub-contractors, partners and the business community;
  • knowledge of farm operations;
  • excellent communication skills are required, including writing skills;
  • comfortable with speaking at public events on behalf of the program;
  • knowledge of the Columbia Basin economy is desirable;
  • ability to maintain a high degree of confidentiality;
  • high level competency in the use of MS Office (primarily word and excel);
  • ability to travel throughout the Columbia Basin is required, as well as use of a personal vehicle for travel. Mileage will be paid at provincial government rates; and
  • ability to work flexible hours.

Note: this position does not require extensive knowledge regarding crop science or animal science.


To indicate interest in this position, please submit your CV to by Sept 22, 2017. Please reference BBA Agriculture Advisor in the title.

For information on the Basin Business Advisors program visit

They are also requesting qualifications for Agricultural Specialist Consultants. Please see alternate Request for Qualified Applicants posting.