Kootenay Gear Makers Share Their Thoughts About The New KORE Initiative In British Columbia

KORE now represents dozens of outdoor gear manufacturers in the Kootenay region of British Columbia. Here are some of their comments about the new initiative.

The Kootenay Outdoor Recreation Enterprise (KORE) is a collective of dozens of outdoor product gear makers and has a goal to build and enhance the gear manufacturing sector. This “Craft Gear From Here” initiative is the first of its kind in Canada and it makes sense that it’s situated in the Kootenays of British Columbia because the region is a recreational paradise where engineers, designers, and makers can test and perfect their products.

Outdoor products made by those who KORE represents include climbing gear, bikes, technical apparel, ultralight backpacks and tents, campers, snowboards, skis, and fishing lures equipment. Below are quotes from various individuals associated with the KORE initiative.

“KORE Is an exciting development for the Kootenays, we have the perfect playground on our doorstep in which to use and develop outdoor equipment. As a small manufacturer I’m looking forward to what KORE will bring to our area and how it will bring the outdoor industry together.” — Jonathan Quarrie, Starlight Snowboards (Rossland, BC)

“I’m extremely inspired by the vision of KORE, as the mission is very close to my heart. I feel there’s no better place to innovate than in the Kootenay Region of British Columbia. Spending time here innovating feels more like play than work, and by enjoying access to wilderness and low population density we’re able to focus clearly on the problems than need solving rather the problems associated with lack of clarity, presence and purpose. I feel lucky to live, play and work in the region and am very proud to be part of the KORE collective.” – Cam Shute, Dark Horse Innovations (Nelson, BC)

“Three years ago, Fels Skis teamed up with Thoroughbred Custom Skis based in Golden, BC to further research & development for a unique line of alpine skis. Together we have started to manufacture our new Attitude line of patented by Fels alpine skis right here in the Kootenays.   Fels Skis and Thoroughbred Customs Skis are both excited to be part of the new KORE industry collective. The opportunity to build our networks, access resources and expertise in conjunction with marketing support will be beneficial moving forward as we establish our brand throughout the Kootenays and abroad.” – Chris Fels, Fels Skis (Invermere, BC)

“As someone who works in the outdoor recreational industry, I was drawn to Kimberley for the fantastic outdoor based lifestyle it has created for our family, but also for the positive impact this has on my job. KORE’s objective of bringing outdoor recreational companies to the Kootenays will benefit everyone – the employees, companies, the towns and our existing population. I can’t wait for it to take shape!” – P.J. Hunton, Senior Design Engineer, Norco Bicyles, (Kimberley, BC)

“We are excited about the KORE initiative to bring others with similar interests and passions together to make our inspiring region a new hub for product innovation and development. Our product design studio is looking forward to contributing and collaborating with more “outdoor creatives” like ourselves.” — Krista Humphrey / Bernard Mitchell, Wewerke Design (Trail, BC)

“KORE is an exciting initiative in the Columbia Basin that brings together designers and manufacturers of outdoors equipment. As a business advisor and coach I am particularly excited about KORE as it facilitates a collaborative partnership approach among passionate, like-minded, local business owners. Creating this supportive environment paired with local access to transformational business support services results in a true win for businesses, the communities and the regional outdoors industry overall.” – Michael Hoher, Business Advisor and Coach with Export Navigator and RevUp (Nelson, BC)

“We are excited to be a resource for the KORE initiative! We’ve been documenting the many talented Mountain Culture Innovators and Product Designers of the region for nearly two decades. To bring these people and businesses together in a KORE collective would be an incredible plus for our region.” Peter Moynes – Publisher/Photo Editor, Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazine (Nelson, BC)

“Economic development initiatives work when you take full advantage of natural assets. We are successfully driving tourism and local lifestyle with what Kimberley has to offer, so this initiative is a natural extension for us. I am very excited about the possibilities.” — Don McCormick, Mayor, Kimberley, BC