The American publication showcased KORE in its January 2023 issue.

Backcountry Magazine has featured the Kootenay Outdoor Recreational Enterprise Initiative in its “Evolution Issue” in a story entitled “A Collective of Dreamers.”

Written by Vancouver Island-based journalist Ryan Stuart and photographed by Peter Moynes of Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazine, the four-page article showcases Kootenay makers such as Greg Fortier of Trapper Snowboards and Al Eagleton of Instinct Skis, business development consultant Paul Wiest, and KORE founders Matt Mosteller and Kevin Pennock. It tells the story of how KORE came to be and why it’s having a positive impact on small- to medium-sized businesses in the interior region of British Columbia between the Okanagan valley and the Alberta border.

The story explains how there are a lot of gear makers in the Kootenay region, more than Pennock and Mosteller initially realized, and because of that there are political ramifications. Mosteller is quoted as saying, “We believe the outdoor economy is bigger in B.C. than mining and forestry, but we don’t have a seat at the table on deciding how the land is used.” Stuart goes on to write that the Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C. estimates the outdoor economy contributes six billion to the province’s GDP although that number is extrapolated from US statistics and may not be accurate. In comparison, the provincial government issue a 2020 report that said, “the forest sector contributed $5.6 billion to the provincial GDP.”

“Intuitively I think [outdoor gear making] is bigger here than we realize it is,” says Paul Wiest in the article. He’s a business and economic development consultant for the Economic Trust of Southern Interior BC and believes there are now a lot of opportunities for small-scale manufacturing operations compared to years past.

The article also features Rossland local Al Eagleton who says he lives in the perfect testing ground for his skis. But being based in the Kootenays also has its challenges such as shipping and a smaller labour pool. But he goes on to say KORE can help provide solutions in the realm of marketing and insurance through economies of scale.

To read the Backcountry Magazine article in its entirety, pick up the “Evolution Issue” on newsstands until mid-February.

To learn more about the gear manufacturers represented by KORE, visit the Makers section on this website.