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It’s awesome because of its people, diverse culture, entrepreneurial spirit and scenic beauty.
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British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province, is defined by its Pacific coastline and mountain ranges. Nature areas like Glacier National Park offer hiking and biking trails, as well as campgrounds. Whistler Blackcomb is a major ski resort that hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. The scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway links Whistler with Vancouver, a city known for its film industry, at the province’s southern U.S. border.
The province’s name was chosen by Queen Victoria, when the Colony of British Columbia (1858–1866), i.e., “the Mainland”, became a British colony in 1858. It refers to the Columbia District, the British name for the territory drained by the Columbia River, in southeastern British Columbia, which was the namesake of the pre-Oregon Treaty Columbia Department of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Queen Victoria chose British Columbia to distinguish what was the British sector of the Columbia District from the United States (“American Columbia” or “Southern Columbia”), which became the Oregon Territory on August 8, 1848, as a result of the treaty.
Ultimately, the Columbia in the name British Columbia is derived from the name of the Columbia Rediviva, an American ship which lent its name to the Columbia River and later the wider region; the Columbia in the name Columbia Rediviva came from the name Columbia for the New World or parts thereof, a reference to Christopher Columbus.
Given its varied mountainous terrain and its coasts, lakes, rivers, and forests, British Columbia has long been enjoyed for pursuits like hiking and camping, rock climbing and mountaineering, hunting and fishing.