Important Economic Sectors
The economy of the area primarily depends on forestry, ranching, and tourism. The forestry industry is the main economic activity, but tourism is the fastest growing industry. The ranching community is healthy, possessing some of the best grazing lands in the province.
The film industry is a budding economic sector for Clinton and the entire region. Numerous movie and television productions have been shot in the region and the number will continue to grow as the TNRD's Film Commission continues to actively market the area as ideal for production.
Forestry continues to be the mainstay of the local economy and is focused on supplying the softwoods: lodgepole pine and spruce. The timber supplies the area's only mill, West Fraser Mills Ltd., Chasm Sawmill north of Clinton on Chasm Road. The mill is specially equipped to mill dimensional sized lumber.
Many opportunities in producing a value-added product exist. Wood and wood byproducts produced locally represent excellent opportunities in areas such as furniture making, wood pellets, wood trim and novelty items. The initiative to establish a value-added plant has received strong support from local residents and businesses.
Tourism is potentially the greatest economic generator for Clinton and the surrounding region. As the gateway to a pristine natural environment of the BC wilderness, the Village is itself perhaps one of the greatest attractions as it is a destination for heritage and history buffs following the gold rush trail north to Barkerville.
For those interested in exploring the region's natural environment, Clinton and area is home to six provincial parks: Big Bar Lake, Chasm, Downing, Green Lake, Edge Hills, and Marble Range. The area also contains 12 forestry campsite locations.
Western Heritage Week begins with the Clinton Annual Ball, which began in 1867 and is the longest surviving event of its type in BC. It is held the Saturday of the long weekend in May. During the week following, an Open House at the Museum, the ever popular Old Timers' Tea, Cowboy Dinner Theatre, Parade and Rodeo take place. The Rodeo is a British Columbia Rodeo Association sanctioned two day event and includes a Rodeo Dance, 4H Steak Barbeque and pancake breakfast.
Several guest ranches in the region offer year-round facilities and activities. Guests can experience working on a cattle ranch or engage in other outdoor recreational activities like horseback riding and fishing. The many lakes around Clinton offer fabulous fishing and beautiful scenery, and the mountains and meadows that surround Clinton offer the perfect conditions for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.
In the winter, wide snowy vistas provide unlimited opportunities for snowmobilers and cross-country skiers. The Clinton Snow Jockey Club maintains over 60 kilometers of marked ski trails that are groomed regularly and easily accessed 15 kilometers outside Clinton. In the summer, these trails are suitable for mountain biking and hiking. Clinton also has a curling rink and an indoor ice rink with artificial ice.
Ranching is one of the cornerstones of the local economy because of the extensive rangelands in the area. Ranchers in and around Clinton are self-sufficient and are an integral part of the local economy.
Soil and climatic conditions are not conducive to many agricultural activities although conditions are good for commercial hay and alfalfa production. A commercial feed pellet operation is also feasible given the climate throughout the area.
There is a commercial vegetable and fruit growing operation - Horsting Farms - 35 km south of Clinton. Potential exists on the bench lands along the Fraser River provided a suitable and inexpensive irrigation system can be constructed.
Mining holds promise for the area and will require significant capital investment to reactivate the limestone deposits in the area. The clay deposits in the region were once used for brick manufacturing and may be suitable for commercial development to supply the pottery market.
In 1988, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District established a Film Commission whose mandate was to promote the region as a location to the film and television industry. In 1998, a re-constituted Film Commission Board was established to better position itself and to take advantage of film industry opportunities.
Numerous feature films, movies of the week, television episodes and commercials have been filmed in the area. The feature film, 'The Pledge', directed by Sean Penn and starring Jack Nicholson and Robyn White conducted principle photography in the year 2000.
Other projects shot in this area include:
• The Sweet Hereafter
• Christmas in Calico
• America's Most Wanted
• Hard Core Logo
• Eyes of a Cowboy
• 5th Estate - Cattle Drive
• Jack Rabbit Patrol
• Bird on a Wire
• Unfinished Life
Also, numerous commercials have been shot for clients such as Toyota, Ford, Kodak, Miller Beer, Nescafe, Yamaha, Canadian Tire and Chivas Regal to name a few. These projects provide a boost to the local economy with large production crews taking advantage of the services offered in the community and local residents obtaining parts as extras during filming.