Lois Farley | The Great Canadian Travel Co. - Part 2

STAFF PICKS

January 4, 2022 | Pearl McCallum

Coming to the end of 2021, another difficult year for travel, I think back over my time in the industry.  More than 20 years ago I went to college to become a travel agent because, well, I loved to travel.  The job was presented as hard work for little pay; …

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December 10, 2021 | Lois Farley

Republishing this blog from 2020 with the revision to include that 2021 was similar to 2020 but was more of a “Stink, Stank, Stuck” kind of year! It seemed like a lot of the year we were spinning our wheels, stuck in a rut of continuing restrictions, lifting of restrictions, …

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November 10, 2021 | Lois Farley

This Remembrance Day we’d like to honour members of our own families and friends who have served during war time and in regular military service.

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Romantic Film Locations

February 10, 2021 | Lois Farley

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching I was thinking about what makes a trip romantic. Travelling with someone you love is inherently romantic but there really are some places that just seem to hit the romance mark more than others. What better way to show that a place is romantic than featuring it in a romance movie? Here are just a few Romantic Film Locations that you can plan to visit when it’s safe to travel again, and the movie they were featured in. Movie descriptions are pulled from the IMDb website and movie titles are linked to that page.

I know I’ve left off some good ones. What movies would you add to this list?

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Our 40th Birthday Prize Trip Contest

February 10, 2021 | Lois Farley

Wednesday, 10 February: Our 4-week 40th Birthday Prize Trip Contest is now closed. We’ll be tabulating all of the qualifying entries received from our surveys, testimonials and Google reviews and will draw one lucky winner. We had hoped to announce the winner on Valentine’s Day but due to some technological issues we’ll have to wait until next Wednesday.  So, check out our February 17th newsletter for the prize announcement.

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We’ve said “goodbye, au revoir, tavvauvutit, farvel, adiós, γειά σας, bless, slán leat, farvel, до побачення, do widzenia, arrivederci” and “don’t let the door hit you on your way out” to 2020! I think most of us are happy to see it go and look forward to the New Year of 2021 with hope and optimism that things will get better as the year progresses.

Now that the busy holiday season is over, we decided to turn our attention to celebrating our 40th Birthday. We turned 40 on November 21, 2020 and, unlike a lot of people that turn 40, aren’t the least bit depressed about it. In fact, it’s a great reason to have a celebration!

For 4 weeks, starting January 13th, we’ll be sending out a newsletter featuring our 40th Birthday Prize Trip Contest. If you click on the link in the newsletter and complete the Prize Trip Survey you’ll be entered into the draw for a chance to win a Polar Bear Daytripper tour for 2, departing from Winnipeg on October 23, 2021.

P.S. Don’t you wish you were on that beach, writing “Happy Birthday” in the sand? We sure do!

The Fine Print: Rules of Prize Trip Contest

From our Travel Partners – 40th Birthday Wishes

February 08, 2021 | Lois Farley

Everyone loves sharing their birthday celebrations with family and friends, and that’s exactly how we feel about our travel partners. Some we’ve dealt with for nearly 40 years, others perhaps only the past few years. But, no matter how long we’ve known one another, we are so grateful for your partnership and thank you for the birthday wishes!

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Contest Rules – 40th Birthday Prize Trip

January 13, 2021 | Lois Farley

Contest rules:

Beginning at 9:00AM (CT), January 13 to 11:59PM (CT), February 09, 2021 you can enter the Great Canadian Travel Group Inc.’s 40th Birthday Prize Trip Contest (the “Contest”).

Just complete and submit our Contest Survey linked in our newsletters, for 4 weeks beginning on January 13, 2021.

If your name is drawn as the winner of the Contest you will win a trip for 2 on our Churchill Polar Bear Daytripper departing Winnipeg on October 23, 2021.

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Black Friday & Cyber Monday

November 24, 2020 | Lois Farley

The term Black Friday was first used to describe the financial crisis of Friday, September 24, 1869, the day the US gold market crashed. It was indeed a “dark day”.

The modern use of the historic term Black Friday started in the consumer-goods-crazy, post-war 1950’s. People started taking the Friday after Thanksgiving Day off in large numbers to hit the stores and start their holiday shopping. The sheer volume of shoppers caused traffic accidents and violence amongst shoppers waiting in line to get into the stores or fighting over merchandise. Because of all of the problems caused store owners started calling it Black Friday.

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Remembrance Day

November 10, 2020 | Lois Farley

“On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month we will remember them.”

Who and what exactly are we remembering?

The First World War was ignited by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, on the 28 June, 1914. This sparked unrest and soon led to the Central Powers (Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany and the Ottoman Empire) invading several European countries. When Germany failed to meet the ultimatum from Great Britain to withdraw its troops from Belgium, as of the 4 August, 1914 the Allied Powers (Great Britain and her colonies including Canada, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan and the United States) were at war with the Central Powers.

Due to new military technologies such as machine guns and tanks, trench warfare and use of poisonous gas, WWI was the costliest conflict in Canadian history, and claimed the lives of more than 60,000 Canadian citizens.

The poignant Irish ballad, Green Fields of France, captures the tragic and terrible cost of this war, on a very personal level as it asks questions of a young 19-year-old soldier who was killed in battle in 1916.
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George Henry Hambley, Canadian Light Horse Brigade, WWI

November 10, 2020 | Lois Farley

George Henry Hambley (1896-1983)

My Uncle George enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force at age 18, on the 13 October, 1915 at Camp Sewell (which later became Camp Hughes), near Carberry, MB. He served in France, Belgium, and Germany and was involved in some major battles including Ypres, Mons, Cambrai, and Vimy Ridge.

Some of these battles involved trench warfare where poisonous gas was used. For the remainder of his life, until his death at age 86, his sleep was disrupted from the effects of the gas attacks he had lived through. Sometimes we’d be sitting at the kitchen table talking and Uncle George would suddenly just go to sleep. He’d wake up a few minutes later, not missing a beat in our conversation, as if nothing had happened. I think he felt himself very lucky that this was the worst injury he came home with, after all the horrors of war he’d seen.

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Max Ward, a True Canadian Aviation Pioneer

November 04, 2020 | Lois Farley

When I read the news reports yesterday saying that Max Ward, the founder of Wardair had died at age 98, I felt very sad and nostalgic. It feels like the end of an era in Canadian aviation, the passing of an honourable gentlemen of aviation and royalty in the Canadian travel industry.

A northern bush pilot who built a regional carrier into Canada’s largest charter airline has died.
   Max Ward collapsed Monday at his Edmonton home and died in hospital shortly after surrounded by family. He was 20 days shy of his 99th birthday.

‘He’d been in failing health for some time,” said family friend Jacquie Perrin, who confirmed Ward’s death. He did his best to hang in for the 99th, but he didn’t quite make it.’
   It was a rare example of Ward not reaching his goals.”
-The Canadian Press, November 04, 2020

Back in the late 70s and 80s, when I was in the early years of my career in travel, Wardair was the preferred airline for Canadians going on holiday to Mexico, the Caribbean and especially to Hawaii. Later they’d become first choice to the UK as well. Their planes were nicely decorated, well maintained and perfectly groomed; their staff obviously loved the company they worked for; onboard service was top notch, with delicious meals served on china and the champagne flowed like water.

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Samhain, the Origins of Halloween

October 27, 2020 | Lois Farley

Have you ever wondered where our Hallowe’en traditions came from? Why do we dress up in costumes? Why do we go door-to-door, asking for treats, and why do we give out candy? Why do we threaten to play a trick on people? Why do we carve pumpkins and put candles or lights inside them? Why do we decorate with skeletons and skulls, ghosts and witches? To find out, we have to look back, way back, to the days of the Celts and Druids.

It wasn’t until recently, as I began looking into my Irish heritage, that I learned our Hallowe’en here in Canada and the US has its roots in Ireland and the ancient, Celtic tradition of Samhain (pronounced Saw-win), dating back about 3,000 years.

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Festival of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

October 26, 2020 | Lois Farley

The introduction by the church of All Saint’s Day and All Souls’ Day led to the celebration in Mexico and other Latin American countries, of Dia de los Muertos – Day of the Dead. A slight misnomer, it’s actually a two-day event, November 1st and 2nd, filled with festivals and lively celebrations, combining Indigenous Aztec rituals with Catholicism, brought to this region by Spanish conquistadores.

The belief that all of their loved ones who had passed on would be insulted by sadness and mourning means that, during Dia de los Muertos, people joyfully celebrate the lives of the deceased with food and drink, parties and activities the dead enjoyed in their lives. During these two days the dead are awakened from their eternal sleep and become a part of the community, sharing celebrations with their loved ones.

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