This article is about the city in British Columbia. For other uses, see Kamloops (disambiguation).
City of Kamloops
City view of Kamloops
, Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Tournament Capital of Canada, The Loops
Motto: Salus et Opes (Health and Wealth)
City of Kamloops
Location of Kamloops in British Columbia
Coordinates: 50°40′34″N 120°20′27″W / 50.67611°N 120.34083°W / 50.67611; -120.34083Coordinates: 50°40′34″N 120°20′27″W / 50.67611°N 120.34083°W / 50.67611; -120.34083
1811 (fur trading post)
Elected city council
• Governing body
Kamloops City Council
Terry Lake, Todd Stone
299.23 km (115.53 sq mi)
5,668.64 km (2,188.67 sq mi)
345 m (1,132 ft)
286.3/km (742/sq mi)
• Metro density
17.4/km (45/sq mi)
• Summer (DST)
Postal code span
V2B to V2E
+1-250 & +1-778
Kamloops is a city in south central British Columbia, located at the confluence of the two branches of the Thompson River near Kamloops Lake. It is the largest community in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and the location of the regional district's offices. The surrounding region is more commonly referred to as the Thompson Country. It is ranked 37th on the list of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in Canada and represents the 44th largest census agglomeration nationwide, with 85,678 residents in 2011.
5 Geography and location,
8.1 Religious groups,
12 Notable people
12.1 Historical figures,
12.3 Famous Athletes,
12.4 Arts, culture and media,
12.5 Other notable people,
14 Planetary nomenclature,
15 Sister cities,
16 In media,
17 See also,
19 External links,
The Kamloops area was not exclusively inhabited by the Secwepemc (Shuswap) nation (part of the Interior Salish language group) prior to the arrival of European settlers. The Cree-Saulteaux band led by Chief Yawassannay had migrated to this region in the early 15th century. The Yawassanay band's Kamloops settlement was the largest of their three tribal areas. The first European explorers arrived in 1811, in the person of David Stuart, sent out from Fort Astoria, then still a Pacific Fur Company post, and who spent a winter there with the Secwepemc people, with Alexander Ross establishing a post there in May 1812 - "Fort Cumcloups".
The rival North West Company established another post - Fort Shuswap - nearby in the same year. The two operations were merged in 1813 when the North West Company officials in the region bought out the operations of the Pacific Fur Company. After the North West Company's forced merger with the Hudson's Bay Company in 1821, the post became known commonly as Thompson's River Post, or Fort Thompson, which over time became known as Fort Kamloops. The post's journals, kept by its Chief Traders, document a series of inter-Indian wars and personalities for the period and also give much insight to the goings-on of the fur companies and their personnel throughout the entire Pacific slope.
Soon after the forts were founded, the main local village of the Secwepemc, then headed by a chief named Kwa'lila, was moved close to the trading post in order to control access to its trade, as well as for prestige and protection. With Kwalila's death, the local chieftaincy was passed to his nephew and foster-son Chief Nicola, who led an alliance of Okanagan and Nlaka'pamux people in the plateau country to the south around Stump, Nicola and Douglas Lakes.
Relations between Nicola and the fur traders were often tense but in the end Nicola was recognised as a great help to the influx of whites during the gold rush, though admonishing those who had been in parties waging violence and looting on the Okanagan Trail, which led from American territory to the Fraser goldfields. Throughout, Kamloops was an important way station on the route of the Hudson's Bay Brigade Trail, which originally connected Fort Astoria with Fort Alexandria and the other forts in New Caledonia to the north (today's Omineca Country, roughly), and which continued in heavy use through the onset of the Cariboo Gold Rush as the main route to the new goldfields around what was to become Barkerville.
The gold rush of the 1860s and the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880s brought further growth, resulting in the City of Kamloops being incorporated in 1893 with a population of about 500. The logging industry of the 1970s brought many Indo-Canadians into the Kamloops area, mostly from the Punjab region of India. In 1973, Kamloops annexed Barnhartvale and other nearby communities.
"Kamloops" is the anglicised version of the Shuswap word "Tk'əmlúps", meaning 'meeting of the waters'. Shuswap is still spoken in the area by members of the Tk'emlúps Indian Band.
An alternate origin sometimes given for the name may have come from the native name's accidental similarity to the French "Camp des loups", meaning 'Camp of Wolves'; many early fur traders spoke French. One story perhaps connected with this version of the name concerns an attack by a pack of wolves, much built up in story to one huge white wolf, or a pack of wolves and other animals, traveling overland from the Nicola Country being repelled by a single shot by John Tod, then Chief Chief Trader a great degree of respect locally, preventing the fort from attack.
Industries in the Kamloops area include primary resource processing such as Domtar Kamloops Pulp Mill, Tolko-Heffley Creek Plywood and Veneer, Lafarge Cement, Highland Valley Copper Mine (in Logan Lake), and others. RIH (Royal Inland Hospital) is the city's largest employer. TRU (Thompson Rivers University) serves a student body of 10,000 including a diverse international contingent. Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning (TRU-OL) is the biggest distance education provider in British Columbia and one of the biggest in Canada.
There are tertiary industrial sector entities such as
British Columbia Lottery Corporation,
Kamloops is home to many galleries including nationally recognized Kamloops Art Gallery, the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra,Western Canada Theatre, the British Columbia Wildlife Park, the Kamloops Heritage Railway, and Riverside Park. Kamloops is also well known for its public art including numerous pole carvings and murals.
Kamloops is a transportation hub for the region due to its connections to Highways 5 and 97, the Trans-Canada and Yellowhead Highways.
Kamloops is also a rail transportation hub. The Canadian Pacific (CPR) and Canadian National (CNR) main line routes connect Vancouver BC in the west with Kamloops. The two rail roads diverge to the north and east where they connect with the rest of Canada. Kamloops North railway station is served three times per week (in each direction) by Via Rail's The Canadian.
Kamloops is home to Kamloops Airport (Fulton Field), a small Regional airport currently being expanded, with construction underway into 2010. Airlines currently flying to Kamloops are Air Canada, WestJet and Central Mountain Air.
Local bus service is provided by the Kamloops Transit System.
Geography and location:
Kamloops is situated in the Thompson Valley and the Montane Cordillera Ecozone. The central core of the city is located in the valley near the confluence of the north and south branches of the Thompson River. Suburbs stretch for more than a dozen kilometres along both north and south branches, as well as to the steep hillsides along the south portion of the city and lower northeast hill sides.
Kamloops Indian Band areas begin just to the northeast of the downtown core but are not located within the city limits. As a result of this placement, it is necessary to leave Kamloops' city limits and pass through the band lands before re-entering the city limits to access the communities of Rayleigh and Heffley Creek. Kamloops is surrounded by the smaller communities of Cherry Creek, Pritchard, Savona, Scotch Creek, Adams Lake, Chase, Paul Lake, Pinantan and various others.
The climate of Kamloops is semi-arid (Köppen climate classification BSk) due to its rain shadow location. Because of milder winters and aridity, the area west of Kamloops in the lower Thompson River valley falls within Köppen climate classification BWk climate. Kamloops gets short cold snaps where temperatures can drop to around −20 °C (−4 °F) when Arctic air manages to cross the Rockies and Columbia Mountains into the Interior.
The January mean temperature is −2.8 °C (27 °F). That average sharply increases with an average maximum temperature of 4 °C (39 °F) in February. The average number of cold days below −10 °C (14 °F) per year is 8 as recorded by Environment Canada.
Although Kamloops is located above 50° north latitude, summers are warm to hot with prevailing dry, and sunny weather. Daytime humidity is generally low (sometimes less than 20% after a dry spell) which allows for substantial nighttime cooling. Occasional summer thunderstorms can create dry-lightning conditions, sometimes igniting forest fires which the area is prone to.
Spring and Fall are usually pleasant and dry but can be short in duration.
Kamloops lies in the rain shadow leeward of the Coast Mountains and is biogeographically connected to similar semi-desert areas in the Okanagan region, and a much larger area covering the central/eastern portions of Washington, Oregon and intermontane areas of Nevada, Utah and Idaho in the US.
These areas of relatively similar climate have many distinctive native plants and animals in common, such as Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa), big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), prickly pear cactus (Opuntia fragilis in this case), rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis), Black widow spiders and Lewis's Woodpecker.
The hottest temperature ever recorded at the airport, 40.6 °C (105 °F), occurred on July 31, 1971; the hottest reliably accurate temperature ever recorded within the city, 41.7 °C (107 °F), occurred first on July 27, 1939 and again two years later on July 16, 1941.
Climate data for Kamloops Airport
Record high Humidex
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Precipitation mm (inches)
Rainfall mm (inches)
Snowfall cm (inches)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Percent possible sunshine
Source #1: Environment Canada
Most days above 30 °C (86 °F)
Fewest fog days
Most sunny days in warm months
Most growing degree days
Most days without precipitation
Rank among 100 largest Canadian cities
(next to Whitehorse)
(next to Chilliwack)
(next to Penticton)
(next to Portage la Prairie)
(next to Windsor and St. Catharines-Niagara)
(next to Medicine Hat and Lethbridge)
26.94 °C (80.5 °F)
278.98 mm (10.98 in)
9.65 °C (49.4 °F)
Data is for Kamloops Airport (YKA), in the city of Kamloops, 5 NM (9.3 km; 5.8 mi) west northwest of the town.
Interior Savings Centre
McArthur Park Arena
Kamloops hosted the 1993 Canada Summer Games. It co-hosted (with Vancouver and Kelowna) the 2006 IIHF World U20 Championship from December 26, 2005, to January 5, 2006. It hosted the 2006 BC Summer Games. In the summer of 2008, Kamloops, and its modern facility the Tournament Capital Centre, played host to the U15 boys and girls Basketball National Championship. The city is known as, and holds a Canadian trademark as, Canada's Tournament Capital.
Sun Peaks Resort is a nearby ski and snowboard hill. Olympic medallist skier Nancy Greene is director of skiing at Sun Peaks and the former chancellor of Thompson Rivers University. The Overlander Ski Club runs the Stake Lake cross country ski area with 50 km (31 mi) of trails. Kamloops is home to world-famous mountain bikers such as freeride pioneers and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame members Wade Simmons, Brett Tippie, (also a former Canadian National Team member for snowboard cross and giant slalom), Richie Schley. Also home to freerider Matt Hunter. Kamloops was featured in the first mountain bike film by Greg Stump, "Pulp Traction", and later the first three "Kranked" films, which starred the original Froriders, Tippie, Simmons and Schley. In 2007, the Kamloops Bike Ranch opened in Juniper Ridge along Highland Drive. The Kamloops Rotary Skatepark located at McArthur Island is one of the largest skateboard parks in Canada.
Kamloops is home to the Western Hockey League's Kamloops Blazers who play at the Interior Savings Centre. Alumni of the Kamloops Blazers include Mark Recchi, Jarome Iginla, Darryl Sydor, Nolan Baumgartner, Shane Doan, Scott Niedermayer, Rudy Poeschek and Darcy Tucker. Two-time champion coach Ken Hitchcock would later win the Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars. Lacrosse teams include the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League's Kamloops Junior B Rattlers, as well as the Kamloops Storm. Also calling Kamloops home is the Canadian Junior Football League's Kamloops Broncos, and Pacific Coast Soccer League's Kamloops Excel, both of whom play at Hillside Stadium.
Soccer for the city includes: Kamloops Youth Soccer Association, Kamloops Blaze rep team and the Kamloops Excel (see above). TRU hosts the Thompson Rivers WolfPack, and has sports teams that include men's and women's volleyball, basketball, soccer and badminton. Also the WolfPack have hockey, rugby, badminton, golf and baseball teams.
Kamloops hosted the World Masters Indoor Championships 2010 on March 1-6, 2010.
Kamloops hosted the 2011 Western Canada Summer Games.
Sources: Statistics Canada
Canada 2011 Census
% of Total Population
Visible minority group, Source:
Other visible minority
Mixed visible minority
Total visible minority population
Aboriginal group, Source:
Total Aboriginal population
Demographics of the City of Kamloops according to Statistics Canada 2006 census.
Aboriginal population: 5,165 (6.43%),
Growth rate (2001-2006): 4.0%,
Total private dwellings: 34,163,
Land area: 297.30 km (114.79 sq mi),
Density: 270.4 /km (700 /sq mi),
Data is from the 2001 census.
No religious affiliation: 28,280 (36.81%),
Protestant: 27,050 (35.21%),
Catholic: 14,835 (19.31%),
Other Christian: 3,705 (4.82%),
Sikh: 1,340 (1.74%),
Buddhist: 455 (0.59%),
Orthodox Christian: 360 (0.47%),
Other religions: 340 (0.44%),
Hindu: 170 (0.22%),
Muslim: 150 (0.20%),
Jewish: 90 (0.12%),
Eastern religions: 35 (0.05%),
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_in_Kamloops
Public schools in the Kamloops area are part of School District 73 Kamloops/Thompson. Private schools include Kamloops Christian School, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School (Catholic), and St. Ann's Academy (Catholic).
Thompson Rivers University offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as certificate and diploma programs. It has satellite campuses in
100 Mile House,
Thompson Rivers University also has an open-learning division. Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning (TRU-OL) is the biggest distance and online education provider in British Columbia and one of the biggest in Canada.
Thompson Career College and Sprott Shaw College are private post-secondary institutions with campuses in Kamloops.
Officially recognised neighbourhoods within the city of Kamloops.
Unofficially recognized areas are listed beneath the neighborhoods to which they belong:
Lac Le Jeune,
Thompson Rivers University,
Below is a list of people who are from Kamloops, or who lived there for an extended period.
Edward Donald Bellew, recipient of the Victoria Cross.,
Jim Chamberlin, aerodynamicist, who contributed to the design of the Canadian Avro Arrow; NASA's Project Mercury, Gemini spacecraft and the Apollo program.,
Kanao Inouye, the notorious "Kamloops Kid", the first of the two Canadians ever convicted of war crimes.,
Donald McLean, former Chief Trader of Fort Kamloops and one of the casualties of the Chilcotin War.,
Allan McLean, son of Donald McLean and leader of the outlaw gang known as the Wild McLean Boys.,
Frank Robert Miller, former Deputy Minister of National Defence.,
Bill Miner, noted American stagecoach/train robber caught near Kamloops and put on trial in Kamloops.,
Chief Nicola, conjoint chief of the Nicolas and the Kamloops Shuswap during the fur trade and gold rush eras.,
Robert and Henry Pratt, first settlers in Barnhartvale, British Columbia.,
John Fremont Smith A pioneer settler of Kamloops a Black Caribbean from the Danish West Indies served as Indian agent.,
Johnny Ussher, settler, provincial magistrate and Gold Commissioner (killed by Allan McLean),
Mark Sweeten Wade, medical doctor, newspaperman and historian.,
Philip Gaglardi, aka Flying Phil, former Provincial Minister of Highways and Mayor.,
Jack Davis, politician who was elected both federally and provincially.,
John L. Frazer, was a member of the Canadian House of Commons from 1993 to 1997.,
Edmund Davie Fulton, was a member of the Canadian House of Commons from 1945 to 1963, and 1965 to 1968.,
Leonard Marchand, QPC, CM, the first person of First Nations ethnicity to serve in the federal cabinet and the first Status Indian to serve as a Member of Parliament.,
Nelson Riis, former Kamloops alderman and Director of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, later federal MP for Kamloops.,
Peter Wing, North America's first mayor of Chinese descent.,
Dana Flahr, professional skier,
Nancy Greene, Named Canada's Athlete of the Century in 1999, Olympic Skier who won Gold for Canada in 1968, and 13 World Cups (the Canadian record) for a total of 17 Canadian Title Championships,
Stu Grimson, former NHL ice hockey player,
Dylan Armstrong, Olympic shot putter who finished 4th in the 2008 Olympics,
Don Ashby, former NHL ice hockey player,
Mitch Berger, NFL player,
Rick Boh, former NHL ice hockey player,
Shane Doan, NHL ice hockey player,
Craig Endean, former NHL ice hockey player,
Todd Esselmont, ice and roller hockey player,
Erin Gammel, is a swimmer who competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics,
Don Hay, former NHL head coach,
Murray Kennett, is a former WHA ice hockey player,
Doug Lidster, former NHL ice hockey player,
Steve Marr, ice hockey defenceman.,
Bert Marshall, former NHL ice hockey player,
Spencer McLennan, Former CFL football player,
Don Moen, Former CFL football player,
Bob Mowat, former WHA ice hockey player,
Shane Niemi, is a Canadian sprinter,
Kelly Olynyk, Boston Celtics and Canada international basketball player,
Paul Osbaldiston, Former CFL football player,
Kevin Powell, Former CFL football player,
Mark Recchi, former NHL ice hockey player and Stanley Cup Champion (1991, 2006, 2011),
Peter Soberlak, former AHL professional ice hockey player,
Brett Tippie, former CAD National Team Snowboadcross & GS,& pioneer professional Mountain biker, MTB Hall of Fame.,
Dave Vankoughnett, Former CFL football player,
Tim Watters, former NHL ice hockey player,
Arts, culture and media:
Steven Galloway, novelist, was raised in Kamloops,
Boris Karloff, actor, joined the Jeanne Russell theatre company in Kamloops in September 1911,
Benjamin Ayres, actor, born in Kamloops,
Mark Madryga, meteorologist for Environment Canada and news weather forecaster for Global BC,
Chris Masuak, Punk rock singer-songwriter Australian Music Hall of Famer, born in Kamloops - lived in Brocklehurst (North Kamloops) in the 1960s. Now resides in Spain.,
John Pozer, award-winning filmmaker,
Michael Shanks, actor, born in Vancouver, but grew up in Kamloops,
Andrea Smith, singer-songwriter,
Elise Gatien, actress,
Braden Dunfield, also known as Ralm Rizard, electronic music producer, born in Toronto, but grew up in Kamloops,
Kate Morgan, Singer/Songwriter, named Virgin Radio's "Best Of BC" artist,
Other notable people:
Lesra Martin, resident lawyer who helped with Rubin "The Hurricane" Carter's prison release.,
Merle Terlesky, conservative activist.,
Elections into the municipality in Kamloops are held with the rest of the province every three years.
Provincially, Kamloops is considered to be bellwether, having voted for the governing party in every provincial election since the introduction of parties to British Columbian elections. By contrast, Kamloops has regularly voted against the party in power federally until the 2006 Federal election. Kamloops is represented in two provincial ridings - Kamloops and Kamloops-North Thompson - and one federal riding - Kamloops--Thompson--Cariboo.
Mayor - Peter Milobar,
Members of the Legislative Assembly:
Todd Stone, Kamloops-South Thompson,
Terry Lake, Kamloops-North Thompson,
Federal Members of Parliament:
Cathy McLeod (2008-present) Conservative Party of Canada,
Betty Hinton (2000-2008) Conservative Party of Canada,
Nelson Riis (1980-2000) New Democratic Party,
Don Cameron (1979-1980) Progressive Conservative Party of Canada,
Leonard Marchand (1968-1979) Liberal Party of Canada,
The city's name has been given to a crater on the surface of Mars. Crater Kamloops was officially adopted by the International Astronomical Union's Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (IAU/WGPSN) in 1991. The crater lies at 53.8° south latitude and 32.6° west longitude, with a diameter of 65 km (40 mi).
San Cristóbal, Venezuela,
Ali Sabieh, Djibouti,
In "Cementhead," a 1989 episode of the television series Booker, the titular detective (played by Richard Grieco) tracks a capricious professional hockey player (Stephen Shellen) back to his hometown of Kamloops.
Kamloops and surrounding areas have been used for various Hollywood films such as The A Team, 2012, The Pledge, Shooter, Firewall, The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and various others.
"The Eye of Jupiter", the eleventh episode of the third season of Battlestar Galactica was filmed in Kamloops in 2006.