VANCOUVER – Olympic fever and national pride hits an all-time high as Canada prepares to welcome the world for the 2010 Winter Games. The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), guided by a panel of five of Canada’s esteemed travel experts, has unveiled a list of the nation’s Top 13 Must-Experience NOW Winter places. The 13 spots come from the CTC’s user-generated website, localsknow.ca, where Canadians “in the know” have been uploading their great unknown spots daily in the hopes of inspiring their nation to keep exploring and to “discover the Canada you don’t know.”
“In true Olympic spirit, local residents have shared their favourite experiences from their own backyard with us in the hopes of fuelling excitement across this country. This unique list highlights Canada’s incredible contribution to the world as a leading winter tourism destination. It doesn’t get better than that!” says Michele McKenzie, president and CEO of the CTC.
After screening over 500 winter travel submissions with the Canadian Tourism Commission on localsknow.ca, francophone travel blogger Marie-Julie Gagnon, respected travel writer and editor Liz Fleming, witty travel author Laurie Gough, plus travel television personalities Bruce Kirkby and Robin Esrock identified their top 13 spots for best off-the-beaten-path experiences that are compelling, inspirational and memorable.
Canadians are now being encouraged to view the 13 spots and outdo those on the list by uploading their own unique travel gems for a chance to win a Canadian trip of a lifetime. All Canadians who upload their favourite winter-themed spot, complete with photo and description, to localsknow.ca between Feb. 8 and March 21, 2010, will be entered to win one of 13 exceptional Canadian getaway prizes. The contest, entitled “LOCALS KNOW Ultimate Upload – WIN an exclusive vacation with Air Canada,” will award 13 lucky winners an exclusive VIP experiential vacation package, donated by Air Canada and Canada’s tourism industry. Complete contest details are available at localsknow.ca.
The 13 Must-Experience NOW Winter spots as picked by the panel of experts are:
BRITISH COLUMBIA: Fairy Meadows, Selkirk Ranges – Nestled on the
mountainside and accessible by helicopter is the splendid Alpine Club of
Canada’s hut. Its interior even features a sauna.
ALBERTA: The Swing at Banff, Banff – Hung between two large trees on the
side of a mountain, this giant swing is quite a thrill both in the winter
SASKATCHEWAN: Big River Shiver, Big River – It’s the Big River Shiver
Polar Bear Swim, complete with sleigh rides, snowmobiling and ice
fishing – an event for true Canadians. Take a dive into the lake on a day
when the wind-chill is -40 degrees, then warm up with hot chocolate by
the bon fires.
MANITOBA: Bank of Hudson Bay, Hudson Bay – Polar bear watching out of
Churchill – watching them cavort with things like caribou antlers is like
watching a cat with catnip.
ONTARIO: Skating on the Sky, Providence Bay – Experience pond hockey on
Lake Huron as it’s frozen over like a sheet of glass – it can feel like a
magical winter day.
QUEBEC: Iceberg near Aupaluk in Ungava Bay – Take in the amazing pastel
colours of sunsets in the Great North amid the icebergs near Aupaluk,
NEW BRUNSWICK: Saint John’s Best Kept Sliding Spot, Saint John – Each
year, hundreds of people come out to test new sleds on the notorious
sliding hill at the Saint John airport. When conditions are just right,
the 200-300 foot drop provides quite a thrill.
NOVA SCOTIA: Winter Surfing in Nova Scotia, Cow Bay – Catch a wave on a
nor-eastern swell – winter surfing in Nova Scotia.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND: Blooming Point, Blooming Point – Enjoy a sunny
winter day out snowshoeing near Tracadie Bay.
NEWFOUNDLAND: Codroy Valley, Codroy Valley – The views of the long-range
mountains in Codroy Valley are breathtaking.
YUKON: Yukon River, Whitehorse – Take in the serene backdrop of the
mountains against the Yukon River.
NORTH WEST TERRITORIES: Igloo Church of the North, Inuvik – High in the
Arctic Circle, this famous Igloo Church of the North defines Inuvik and
the Beaufort Delta region, and brings warmth in a wonderfully
breathtaking winter environment.
NUNAVUT: Cape Dorset/Kinngait, Cape Dorset – Hailed as the most artistic
community in Canada, Cape Dorset is the “Capital of Inuit Art” with 22
per cent of its labour force employed in the arts. This spot has been the
centre for drawing, printmaking and carving since the 1950s.
To upload your favourite hidden gem and win the Canadian trip of a lifetime visit: localsknow.ca.