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STAFF PICKS

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 …

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January 4, 2021 | Lois Farley

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 …

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December 9, 2020 | Ian Kalinowsky

2020 is nearly done! Like us, we’re pretty sure you won’t be sorry to see this year go! It’s been a tough year for a lot of people, for small businesses and entire industries. We would never have dreamed when we welcomed in 2020, that the year would so dramatically …

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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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Travelling in the Rocky Mountains During a Pandemic

November 04, 2020 | Shauna Cook

I am sure we are all feeling the same thing these days … I just want to travel!  Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, there is really very little travel happening outside of our own country.

My husband and I were getting a little antsy for an adventure, so we packed up our SUV and drove west across the Canadian Prairies.  Of course, packing these days means we pack a few additional items – hand sanitizer and face masks.

We arrived at our first destination – Emerald Lake Lodge, in beautiful Field, British Columbia.  On arrival, we were directed to a parking lot, were we parked our SUV and were shuttled to the main lodge.  The first indication of COVID-19 measures was the sign on the shuttle advising that all passengers must wear face masks on the shuttle – no problem as we are slowly getting used to masks as part of everyday life.  There was ample social distancing in the main lodge, lots of space between tables at dinner, and all staff wearing masks at all times (except front desk staff who were behind a full plexiglass screen).

 

 

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Canoeing in Manitoba’s Whiteshell

August 24, 2020 | Karen Pearson

2020 has been a bit different for all of us, so far, with travel options limited to those closer to home.

 

Last weekend, my partner Chris and I took advantage of the beautiful summer weather and went canoeing on White Lake in Manitoba’s Whiteshell Provincial Park. Our plan had been to portage to Cabin Lake and canoe there as well. However, upon landing at the portage site, we discovered that the route information was outdated due to a pond between the two lakes drying up, and the 200m portage was in fact one kilometre. It was easy enough to walk it, though slow-going due to the abundance of wild blueberries and saskatoons that we couldn’t help but stop to pick (and eat, of course!). After walking the full kilometre, we decided to forgo hauling the canoe and our gear down the narrow, overgrown, twisting path over rocky, hilly terrain, especially since we would have had to repeat it in reverse on the return trip. Instead, the portage site served as a lovely lunch stop, with the berries as our appetizer.

We saw several falcons, many other birds, countless insects of course, and a turtle sunning himself on a rock in the shallow, reedy water near the shore. Unfortunately I was unable to take many photos because every time I stopped paddling, the waves pushed us off course and toward the rocky shore. I had to be content with simply enjoying the moment and taking photos with my mind. It’s really the best way to do it, rather than seeing everything through the lens of a cell phone camera.

 

 

Hearing only birdsong, the sound of the waves lapping against the canoe, and the wind in our ears, it was not difficult to relax and let go of the stresses of everyday life. Focusing only on paddling the canoe, one could easily forget there was such a thing as Covid-19. After we paddled far enough to leave behind the cabins, boathouses, and campgrounds, there was only wilderness as far as the eye could see.

 

It was very easy to imagine this was exactly how things looked to Indigenous peoples long before white men arrived. It was so peaceful and beautiful. It’s no wonder Mother Earth is so sacred in the Indigenous culture.

 

If you’d like to come to Canada when it’s safe to travel again, and explore our beautiful wilderness, get in touch and we can design a program for you, either here in Manitoba or anywhere in our amazing country!

Attending the Spirit of the Arctic Tourism Summit

May 06, 2019 | Allison Silvaggio

Attending the Spirit of the Arctic Tourism Summit in Nunavut’s capital of Iqaluit helped expand my knowledge on travelling to the North.

I have been lucky enough to visit 3 of the Arctic communities, including Pond Inlet, Cambridge Bay and Naujaat (which is located on the Arctic Circle). Read More >

Out on the Tundra in Churchill

November 06, 2018 | Lois Farley

“Sssshhhh, turn around quietly and look out the window.” Those were the words said in hushed tones by our tour host as we were happily sitting in the lounge car of the Tundra Buggy Lodge™, having a wee drink before dinner. We turned and looked in awe, as right outside the windows, casually strolling by in the tell-tale pigeon-toed gait, was a big, beautiful polar bear. You could hear the intake of breath as we all marvelled at the incredible wonder of nature walking right by us. “That’s a young male, about 3 years old” our guide informed us. His powerful muscles rippled underneath his fur telling us that he is a force of nature, a natural hunter and predator. But the round, black eyes and black nose set in that white face offered all of us that unmistakable sense of “Oh, you look cute enough to cuddle”. A feeling best kept as thought and not action! These are not cute and cuddly toys! Read More >

Amelia Goes Fishing

August 27, 2018 | Amelia Bearhart

Fish On. That is 2 words I love to hear. I was up in Northern Manitoba at Gangler’s North Seal River Lodge. I went fishing for Northern Pike and Lake Trout. Every few minutes someone would yell out “Fish On”; This meant that someone in the boat had caught a slimy, squirmy, yummy fish on their hook.

Gangler’s is a fly in fishing, hunting and eco-tourism camp in the north-west corner of Manitoba, near the border of Nunavut and Saskatchewan. The 5,000,000 acres of barren land, 12 river system and hundreds of lakes allows guests endless outdoor opportunities.  Read More >

Take A Closer Look – Polar Bears in Churchill

July 19, 2018 | Archived Blogs

Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, is a town located on the edge of the Arctic that has a distinctive frontier town feel. It comes alive every time a new group of tourists comes to visit. The people are friendly, and the scenery is spectacular. The northern point of the Canadian Shield as the boreal forest ends and the Taiga begins is where this magical place resides, complete with snowshoe hares, ptarmigans, arctic foxes, snowy owls, and the majestic polar bear. Read More >

O Canada – Our Home

June 28, 2018 | Karen Pearson

Having just returned from nearly six weeks in South America, I have a renewed appreciation for Our Home and Native Land. Here are some of the many things we take for granted that I missed while I was away:  Read More >

24-Hours in Halifax

June 05, 2018 | Allison Silvaggio

When attending travel seminars, there is never enough time to explore the destination in which you are visiting.  However, I always try and give myself at least one full day to explore the sites, pick up some souvenirs, and try the local cuisine.

This time it was Halifax, Nova Scotia and one day was definitely not enough.  I started my day with a Starbucks coffee, which was hard to find (definitely more pubs in Halifax than coffee shops).  Then boarded my half day tour to Peggy’s Cove. Read More >

Northwest Passage Expedition Cruise

May 01, 2018 | Allison Silvaggio

During my time spent in the travel industry, I have been extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to visit some amazing and very remote destinations.  One of the best experiences would be travelling aboard the Akademik Ioffe for 16 days, cruising through the famous Northwest Passage.

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