Williams Lake City is located in the Central Interior of British Columbia, Canada, 552km north of Vancouver. It is located in the Cariboo region and is home to over 10,832 people, of which 2,115 are Aboriginal peoples (as of 2011). The City of Williams Lake boundary lies within the Shuswap (Secwepemc [pronounced suh-wep-muh]) traditional territory and neighbours both the T’exelcemc First Nations (Williams Lake Indian Band) and the Xat’súll First Nation (Soda Creek Indian Band). In addition to the City boundary lying within traditional territory, the City of Williams Lake is home to many Tsilhqot’in (also called the Chilcotin) people. Williams Lake is named in honour of Secwepemc chief William.
Williams Lake’s primary industries include forestry, mining, logging, milling and ranching. Transportation also played a vital role in its economic growth with the construction of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway, later BC Rail and now CN Rail. As a result, the city is a main hub for several scenic tour routes, including the historic Gold Rush Trail, the Coast Cariboo Circle Route, and the Lakes & Trails Circle Route. Williams Lake has a local public transportation bus system provided by BC Transit and HandyDART, as well as an airport.
The city is a popular destination for outdoor activities including whitewater rafting, mountain biking as well as the Williams Lake Stampede, an annual event held over the Canada Day long weekend. The stampede festivities includes rodeo competitions, float parading and carnival rides and games.