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Castlegar is the second largest city in the West Kootenay .It is located within the Selkirk Mountains where merges the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers. It is a regional trade and transportation centre, with a local economy fueled by forestry, mining and tourism. It was recently cited as one of the Top 8 Places in British Columbia for most promising growth.
It is home to Selkirk College, a regional airport, a pulp mill, and several sawmills. The population of 7,259 people includes a large number of Doukhobors, who were largely responsible for much of Castlegar's early development and growth. A sizeable Portuguese community grew as workers, mainly from theAzores islands, moved in to take up employment in the area.
The area which was to become Castlegar was an important centre for the Sinixt (Lakes) Peoples. Outside the city limits are the small surrounding communities of Ootischenia, Brilliant, Robson, Robson West, Raspberry, Tarrys, Thrums, Glade, Shoreacres, Fairview, Genelle, Pass Creek and Krestova. There are also the much smaller communities of Deer Park, Renata, and Syringa on Lower Arrow Lake. Taken together, these outlying areas comprise an approximate population of a further 8,000 people.