Bella Coola sits in a mountain valley at the end of a stunning fjord, 500 kms north by air, and 1,000 kms by road from Vancouver on British Columbia’s mainland coast. Surrounded by spectacular mountains, rivers and forests, it is home to abundant wild life, including salmon, black bears, deer, moose and bald eagles.
Bella Coola’s nearly 2,500 residents are pretty evenly split between members of the Nuxalk (pronounced Nu-hawlk) First Nation and people of non-Aboriginal descent. Many of the latter are descendants of Norwegian settlers who arrived in the late 1800s from Minnesota.
Bella Coola’s physicians practice out of an integrated facility that houses both the Bella Coola Medical Clinic and the Bella Coola General Hospital, but also do clinics at the local high schools and fill-in clinics at Anahim Lake. The hospital provides acute, residential and emergency care, as well as diagnostic imaging, telehealth, and visiting physiotherapy services. There is also a lab and pharmacy onsite. The Medical Clinic hosts visiting specialists.
What the community has to offer:
- With all services within walking distance of physician accommodations, a mostly car-free lifestyle is possible; use of a car for access to events and services outside the townsite is possible (no off-roading use).
- Comfortable accommodations a stone’s throw from the clinic and hospital.
- Endless trails for hiking, powder skiing, snowmobiling, horseback riding, sailing and fishing.
- A variety of indoor or outdoor sports activities, an outdoor pool operating from late June to early September, a local theatre group, and an active arts council that regularly hosts concerts and brings in visiting artists.
- Annual events include a summer rodeo and music festival and a fall fair.
- Spectacular scenery visible from the townsite or hiking areas.
How to get there:
Bella Coola is accessible by air or road, as well as ferry from April to September.
See RCCbc’s rural community website to learn more about Bella Coola.
Contact Rural and Remote Division to learn more about the Bella Coola Chapter.
Amber Bacenas, Physician Lead >