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Economic Base

The economic base of the Town is diversified and lies in many industries: agriculture, forestry, manufacturing, and tourism.


Since its settlement, the Town has thrived on the success of agriculture, an industry that continues to play an important role in the health of the Swan Valley. The rich soils provide excellent farm land as the area enjoys the second highest crop productivity rating in the Province; it has never experienced a total crop failure.

Main crops grown are cereal, oilseed and specialty. The considerable amount of livestock in the Swan Valley illustrates the area's diversified base. In addition to the traditional cattle production, the area also has bison, hogs, horses, elk, sheep and the Province's largest goat producer.


The area's tremendous forest reserves contribute to more than 600 people employed in this industry through international and regionally-based companies. Key industry participants are Louisiana Pacific (oriented strand board) and Spruce Products (dimensional lumber). The Town of Swan River was awarded the 1998 Forest Capital of Canada award for excellence and commitment to maintaining the forest industry. It was the first community to ever receive this honor.

There is also growing interest in the non-timber forest product industry with all-natural products being developed using materials found in the forest.


In the Swan River area, manufacturing began with forest products and has expanded to include metal fabrication, customized industrial equipment, woodworking, cabinetry, and concrete products. Most items are destined for national and foreign markets.


With a growing global interest in eco-tourism and the amazing, untouched natural resources that surround the Town of Swan River, tourism is growing industry with almost 100 geocaches in the region. Hundreds of visitors travel to Swan River each year to enjoy the excellent shopping, dining and accomodation options, and the numerous festivals and events. With beautiful scenery, clear lakes and groomed trails, this is a natural destination location.


Current activity consists of fruit and vegetable u-pick farms, and on-farm processing and manufacturing businesses. There is tremendous opportunity for further value-added developments in the area of agricultural innovation, food processing, greenhouse production, recycled product manufacturing and bio-mass based industries.