The job market is fairly tight, but having kitchen skills is definitely a huge asset. There's quite a few decent restaurants and I often see job postings for them at kcds.ca (Kootenay Career development centre).
Yeah definitely look for shared housing (with roomates) to get a better rate. Most rooms in a shared house are around $500, sometimes utilities included. Most bachelors or 1 bdrm suites run around $700-$800. Currently I'm paying $330/mo plus utilities (about $30-50mo. per person for power, gas and internet), but we are sharing a 2 brdm with 3 people. Check out IloveNelson.com's classifieds for listings.
Good luck and I hope you enjoy how much this place sucks. The snow is shit, the town is boring, and to get the best turns you've got to earn them. And they still suck.