Recreation Technology & Performance Apparel Design
Innovative, collaborative, and creative
Innovation and a collaborative ecosystem are the breeding ground for the emerging industry of recreation technology and performance apparel design in Squamish.
Nearly 30% of our local workforce are trained in design, engineering or technology-related fields, and we’re Canada’s outdoor recreation capital. The synergy of high-performance athletes, the natural environment and recreational entrepreneurs provides a perfect testing ground for piloting or field-testing new products.
Squamish is home to over 30 recreational clubs and associations, and hosts internationally recognized annual recreational events including the Kite Clash (kite boarding), Squamish Enduro (mountain biking), Squamish 50 (trail running), the Climbing Academy (rock climbing) to name a few.
It’s a small but mighty and growing sector. 138 employees work across 37 businesses and the complementary workforce of engineering, engineering-related and precision technologies includes more than 500 Squamish residents trained in the field. It is an upward-pointing trend – there were over 850 programs completed in 2018 alone in related studies in the Lower Mainland of BC.
The Recreation Technology & Performance Apparel Design sector accounts for $10M in purchases in 2019, with $7.7M made out of region. This includes firms in sporting goods and component design, high-performance apparel, lifestyle and wellness products.
BC's unique position in rec tech
BC and Vancouver in particular are home to a substantial apparel industry that is the 4th-largest component of the province’s manufacturing sector. There are an estimated 436 firms in BC, employing approximately 7,642 people.
In addition to apparel, over 100 sporting and athletic goods manufacturers call BC home, and the province is ranked third in the nation after Ontario and Quebec, with over half located in the Greater Vancouver area. In 2019, the BC Apparel and Gear Association launched to help scale up and promote the performance apparel and gear sector in BC.
Canada's rec tech and performance apparel sectors
Canadian exports of sporting and athletic goods (excluding apparel) amounted to approximately $500 million and accounted for $2.3B in imports in 2020. Canada is home to over 250 sporting and athletic goods manufacturers, and self-employed Canadians represent another 380 businesses.
Clothing manufacturing, including performance apparel, accounts for nearly 3,500 firms in Canada and the majority of these (96.5%) are considered small businesses with between 0-99 employees. The net revenue for clothing manufacturing, including performance apparel, totalled $141.6M in 2018.
Sucess story - OneUp Components
The story of OneUp Components starts with the simple fact that Squamish has become an epicentre for the biking community, says one of the company’s founders, Chris Heynan. He and two other friends created a unique product to improve their riding and they’ve been at it ever since.
Tools and resource library
Looking for more information on the rec-tech and performance apparel sector? Look no further. Squamish has wealth of research, information, and tools to help you start, grow or invest in BC. Check out a sample below.
Squamish Outdoor Recreation Technology Profile
A profile of the Outdoor Recreation Technology sector in Squamish.
National Research Council Canada - Support for Technology Innovation
Advice and funding to help small and medium-sized businesses increase their innovation capacity.
Sell Your Innovation Through Innovation Solutions Canada
Bring your innovation to market faster through the Government of Canada.
Learn About Provincial Venture Capital Programs
Incentive programs that encourage equity investments in B.C. small businesses.
The Employment potential of Circular Clothing
New report: learn about sustainable practices and employment potential of Circular Clothing.
Squamish Outdoor Recreation Profile
This Outdoor Recreation Profile reviews Squamish and regional assets to align them with key growth sectors and trends.
Related Organizations and Associations:
District of Squamish Economic Development Team
As your point of contact within the District of Squamish, we can connect you to the municipal departments that will help to start and grow your business. Contact us for support with zoning information or site selection, and we can connect you to the appropriate staff member from Community Planning, Building, Real Estate Services, and/or Engineering. Several members of our staff are experienced with the specific regulations for your industry, and can help guide you through site selection. We can also provide you with resources to help you start or grow your business, including market research, business intelligence, recommendations for key contacts, and ideas for funding.
BC Sports Rep Association
Formed in 1992, the British Columbia Sports Rep Association unifies agents and representatives across the sporting goods industry throughout the province. This includes a bi-annual trade show.
BC Apparel & Gear Association
This association describes its vision to become the supercluster for leading brands and talent in the apparel and gear space. Their aim is to bring brands together with a focus on growth and sustainability.
Canadian Sporting Goods Association
Described as Canada’s sports industry hub, the Canadian Sporting Goods Association represents the Canadian sporting goods industry locally and internationally.
Trade and Invest BC
Trade and Invest BC help organizations and investors find success doing business in British Columbia by facilitating foreign direct investment, helping to build connections between companies, and promoting BC products and services globally.
Invest in Canada
Invest in Canada is Canada’s global investment attraction and promotion agency. Facilitating global investment that spurs job growth and makes Canada stronger. Invest in Canada's customized services help global companies unlock investment opportunities in Canada.