Kimberley's humble beginnings date back more than 100 years ago, when it was known as the township of Mark Creek Crossing. It is a city that hasn't forgotten its cultural, economic and historical roots.
Mining History in Kimberley
In 1892, while prospectors named Bouregois and Langille were searching the mountains for minerals, they discovered a lead zinc ore called galena. The first claim staked was the North Star, the location of present-day Kimberley Alpine Resort.
News of the ore strike traveled fast, and prospectors Walter Burchette, John Cleaver, E.C. Smith and Pat Sullivan came to the area. They were rewarded with the discovery of a rich mineral ore deposit, and the "Sullivan Mine" was created and claimed the same year. In 1909, Consolidated Mining & Smelting Company of Canada Limited (now known as Teck Cominco) purchased the Sullivan Mine. It operated for almost 100 years, and became the largest lead and zinc mine in the world.
Years before the mine depleted its ore body, a comprehensive strategy was put in place to promote the area as a four-season recreational destination, due to the enormous wealth of activities and things to do close to town. Because of its location, European feeling, and town layout, it adopted an alpine theme and in 1973, became known as the Bavarian City of the Rockies.
Today, it is a popular and affordable year-round community that has a laid-back attitude and plenty of reverence for what the city has on offer: fishing, skiing, hiking, biking, hot springs and more. Friendly and enthusiastic locals greet visitors warmly. The area has attracted a variety of successful people, including athletes, gold medalists, NHL players, authors, movie producers, artists, and musicians, who call Kimberley their new home.
Kimberley's mining history is well-preserved and honours the bedrock of the city. Explore the Sullivan Mine and the Kimberley Underground Mining Railway tour/exhibit, or explore the Power House, Orpheum Theatre, North Star School House and Miner's Cabin. Stroll the historic streets of Fort Steele Heritage Town. Cominco Gardens is less about iron and ore and more about blossoms and blooms, but it was named for the famous mining company.
Centre 64 is Kimberley's arts and cultural centre. Some of the more popular festivals and events include the Kootenay Dirtbag Film & Photo Fest, Marysville Daze, Julyfest, Miner Days, Arts on the Edge, and the Kimberley Music & Dance Festival.