The predominant colour scheme is royal blue and gold with significant touches of green. Blue symbolizes the City's location by two great rivers. The gold refers to the sun and life, and to wealth flowing from a variety of sources. Green refers to the forests, both their natural beauty and the economic wealth they represent.
This is modeled on the “crossroads” symbol. The diagonals have gently waved edges with narrow blue bars which symbolize Castlegar's position on the confluence of two majestic rivers - the Columbia and the Kootenay. The straight gold horizontal and vertical bars are designed to emphasize that Castlegar is at the crossroads of Kootenays, a position that Castlegar has retained throughout its history and which Castlegar will build upon in its future. On the central gold circle is a unique emblem for Castlegar, a castle with three small towers at the top. The castle refers to the origins of the City's name. The two smaller towers represent the original Town of Castlegar and the original Town of Kinnaird. The amalgamated, larger City of Castlegar is represented by the larger centre tower.
The crest combines elements from the coat of arms of the former Town of Kinnaird. It is set on a helmet above the shield with mantling showing in colours of blue and gold. The lower part of the crest is the crown, the ancient emblem of municipal government. Here it is in the form granted to the Town of Kinnaird, blue stones with gold masonry. On the face of the coronet are the emblems found on the central part of the Kinnaird shield, the maple leaf flanked by two crescents which would underscore both Castlegar as a Canadian community and recall another heritage now part of the collective civic heritage. Above the coronet is a cougar, a stately and noble animal which is part of Castlegar's natural landscape.
The compartment on which the shield rests is made up of a green mound set with pine trees and sunflowers. In the centre is a swiftly flowing stream. Beneath this is a motto scroll and beneath this, a representation of rivers, using alternating wavy bands of blue and white. The symbolism, is multiple; the pines referring to the local forests and the sunflowers a floral emblem for the City. The stream which "falls" on the vertical into the water below, represents the spillway of the Keenleyside Dam on the Arrow Lakes and the waters at the base the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers.
On either side of the shield, the supports are gold osprey, their wings raised up. The osprey represents the magnificent local heritage of wildlife, specifically as it relates to the rivers. It is also a bird noted for the acuity of sight, thus an apt symbol for a City looking ahead confidently to its future. The heart medallion refers to Castlegar as being in the "heart" of the Kootenays'.
The motto is taken from the Town of Kinnaird's coat of arms. The Town of Kinnaird motto was developed in 1969 by Sir Thomas Innes of Learney, Lord Lyon King of Arms in Edinburgh who granted the Town's coat of arms that year. It was developed in the classic Scots fashion to be an echo of the motto of the Chief of the Kinnairds which is ERRANTIA LUMINA FALLUNT (Wandering Lights Deceive). The Town Motto, approved by Lord Kinnaird, was HAEC LUMINA NUMQUAM ERRANTIAE (These lights never wander), which had the added merit of emphasizing the Town's progress.
Following the rule of classic heraldry, the City's flag is made from the colours and the elements found on the shield, redrawn to suit a banner 3 units high by 5 units wide.