10 Reasons to Explore Canada in 20171.11.16 | Nicola Brereton
The Countdown has started. In 2017, Canada will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation. Throughout the year, celebrations will take place across the country to mark this important milestone in Canada’s history. The majority of celebrations will involve local communities, promoting and celebrating the Canadian identity, it’s ethnic, linguistic , cultural and regional diversity and the country’s rich history and heritage.
Although events are planned across the entire country, the capital city of Ottawa, will feature heavily in the celebratory events. In June 2017 a new permanent Arctic Gallery opens at the Canadian Museum of Nature (www.nature.ca) and on Canada Day, July 1st, the new Canadian History Hall will open at the Canadian Museum of History (www.historymuseum.ca) whilst in November 2017 the Canada Science and Technology Museum celebrates its 50th Anniversary and re- opens after $80.5 M in building repairs and upgrades. The Bank of Canada Museum (formerly the Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada) reopens in a totally renovated building in Sparks Street (www.bankofcanadamuseum.ca). Museums aside throughout 2017, Ignite 150 is a series of 17 epic stunts and gatherings throughout the Capital, including a gourmet experience 50 metres in the air (August) and a Yoga session on a barge floating down a local waterway. In March 2017 the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championships feature athletes on skates hurtling down a massive ice track filled with high vertical drops and hairpin turns, all set above the Rideau Canal locks (www.redbullcrashedice.com/en_INT). Hydro Ottawa will open up the Chaudiere Falls with public viewing platforms and recognition of sacredness of the space to the Aboriginal People , whilst in the Summer of 2017 Downtown Ottawa will be taken over by La Machine’s roving, larger than life mechanical creatures. These are just a few snippets of what will be on offer. Keep an eye on developments through these sites:
Lonely Planet names Canada Number One Destination for 2017
If you’re looking for somewhere exciting to travel next year, look to Canada, Lonely Planet’s number one destination for 2017. Each year, the leading travel media company ranks destinations based on the diversity and quality of the travel experiences offered. Results are published in the annual ‘Best in Travel’, series. The 2017 edition, featuring Canada, hits the shelves in late October, 2016.
“We are honoured to have been selected as Lonely Planet’s Destination of the Year for 2017”, said the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism. “Of course, this recognition doesn’t mean our work is done; it shoudl encouage us to keep this momentum building. Our tourism partners from coast to coast to coast are working hard to provide travellers with unique and unforgettable experiences. There is something here for everyone. The year 2017 is also our country’s 150th anniversary, and we couldn’t think of a better time to invite the world to discover Canada“.
“This is exciting!” said David. F. Goldstein, Destination Canada’s President and CEO. “We can’t think of an better time to invite the next generation of travellers to discover Canada”.
“Canada is always popular with us”, said Lonely Planet’s Canada destination editor Alex Howard, “but there’s so much happening in 2017 that made it number one. Its the country’s biggest birthday party in recent memory with the sesquicentennial next year, and they won’t be shy about celebrating. Now is the time to start planning a trip”.
As a premiere four season travel destination, there is no shortage of extraordinary experiences for travellers to Canada. Whether you are looking to escape into pristine wildernesss or explore our vibrant cities, rich in culture and great food, we have something for everyone.
Over 14 million international visitors chose to explore Canada between January to August 2016, including a record breaking 2.5 million overseas arrivals this summer.
Free Entry to Canada’s National Parks in 2017
For visitors exploring further afield than Ottawa next year, Parks Canada, who represent Canada’s National Parks will celebrate the anniversary by offering visitors, including those from overseas , free admission in 2017. The Goverment of Canada announced free admission for all Canadian and international visitors to national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada and free lockage for recreational boaters on historic canals and waterways in 2017 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Confederation.
For more information : www.pc.gc.ca/eng/voyage-travel/admission.aspx
Picasso on the Prairies
With a public opening date set for 2017, the Remai Modern is regarded as one of the most visionary new art museums in North America. The Remai Modern was designed by Canadian architectural firm KPMB, and will be a striking building from the outside. The design was inspired by the local landscape and history of architectural modernism – it responds to the flat topograhpy of Saskatchewan’s natural landscape and evokes agrarian traditions of low-rise, linear structures. The exterior will be clad in a metal mesh screen, whose copper colour was inspired by the Bessborough Hotel (CNR, 1932), one of Saskatoon’s historic architectural landmarks located north on the South Saskatchewan River. The museum will face the river.
Lead Patron, Ellen Remai, purchased and donated the worlds’ most comprehensive collection of Picasso Linocuts to the new gallery. The Collection features works made by the Spanish Master from 1951 to 1965. Given this donation, Saskatoon City Council unanimously voted to name the new gallery in her honour.
For more information: www.remaimodern.org
Opening of the Trans Canada Trail
It began as a bold dream in 1992 : the idea of creating a multi use trail that would be a gift from Canadians to Canadians. Since then, the Trans Canada Trail – a not for profit organisation – has been working with donors, partners, governments and volunteers to create an epic trail of trails offering a wide range of outdoor experiences on both land and water routes. True to its name, The Great Trail, embodies Canada’s magnificent urban, rural and wilderness landscapes along greenway, waterway and roadway. As a Muti Use recreational trail it promotes the enjoyment of six preferred activities : walking/hiking, cycling, paddling, horseback riding, cross country skiing and snowmobiling. Every Canadian province and territory is home to its own stretch of the trail which is owned and operated at the local level.
The Trail is used by millions of Canadians and international visitors to experience our country’s legendary wilderness, cycle historic rail trails, explore provincial and territorial capitals, paddle the routes of early explorers, visit national and provincial/territorial parks and historic sites, commute to and from work, and enjoy the benefits of safe, healthy and active living. The final launch date is set to be confirmed for summer 2017 with an official kick off date still to be announced. The Great Trail App designed for Iphone, Ipad and Ipod Touch is now available in Apple’s App store.
For more information : www.TheGreatTrail.ca
Invictus Games 2017
In May 2016, Prince Harry announced that Toronto, Ontario will step up to host the next Invictus Games. The 2017 event will take place from September 24 – 30 and will see more than 600 ill, injured and wounded servicemen and women from 17 allied nations compete in 12 adaptive sports. Hosting the Games in Canada in 2017, the year the country celebrates the 150th anniversary of Confederation will provide a unique opportunity for Canadians to commemorate and honour its ill, wounded and injured soldiers, and their families.
The Invictus Games will use the power of sport to inspire recovery , support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding of and respect for those who serve their country and their loved ones.
Canadians have a powerful empathy for soldiers, veterans and their families. They recognise that service members experience a wide range of physical and psychological challenges when serving and after they have left the military. The empathy is however, often latent; there is little opportunity to show support for active duty and veteran service members and their families as the military experience for most Canadians is far removed from their day to day existence. When Canadians are reminded of the sacrifice of its military members – often as a result of tragedy, such as the death of a soldier – they respond with an outpouring of support.
For more information: www.invictusgames2017.com
Montreal celebrates 375 Anniversary
Montreal will be celebrating its 375 anniversary with over 175 events over the yer. From the mighty St. Lawrence River to the top of Mount Royal, Montreal will be bubbling with actvities and celebrations organised around four major themes. These include Montreal Lights Up, Montreal Gets Moving, Montreal Ignites and Montreal Reinvents. Montreals bulidings, neighbourhoods and bridges will all be sparkling with light, whilst the Citieis nordic energy is the inspiration for an eclectic array of outdoor competitions, sports and recreational activities over four weekends. The Festival season will be sizzling in 2017 as Montreal ignites into celebrations of history, art, music and culture to express the city’s civic pride and rich diversity whilst as the action packed year draws to a close, Montreal’s gaze will shift towards the future and reinventing the city over the next 25 years.
For more information : www.375mtl.com
Half Corked Marathon Weekend : May 27th, 2017
One of the most hotly anticipated events in Western Canada, the Half Corked Marathon weaves racers through the beautiful vineyards of the Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country sampling wines and fine food along the route. Created by the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association, and inspired by the legendary Medoc Marathon in Bordeaux , the Half Corked Marathon pays homage to one of Canada’s most decorated wine regions: a celebration of the Golden Mile and Black Sage Road benches, connecting the communitieis of Oliver and Osoyoos. Primavera is the ultimate pre race family style pasta dinner served with the region’s best wines, and at the finish line the festivities include winery tastings, food trucks, live music, picnic lunches and more.
For more information : www.oliverosoyoos.com / @UncorktheSun
New Hotel opening in St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador
Alt Hotels wlil be opening a new hotel in downtown St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador in 2017. Alt Hotels are an innovative no frills chic concept combining modern design and eco friendly features at the same affordable rate, every day, all year round.
For more Information : www.althotels.com/en
Namaste at Niagara
In 2016 Niagara Falls trialed a new yoga experience at the Falls. They invited a few reporters and bloggers to try out the experience this July. THey were lead through a 30 minute yoga session on the viewing platform at the Falls with the thundering noise of the falls and the splashing of fresh water on the face as part of the experience. You’re going to get wet whatever happens so you might as well embrace it! The event was so succesful that the folks at the falls have decided to run it as a regular Sunday morning event in July/August 2017.
Tip : Bring an extra change of clothes, towel and maybe a poncho if you have one but the kind folks at the attraction also have them on hand.
The Falls are also undergoing a lighting transformation in 2017 with the launch of a new LED Lighting system on December 1st, 2016.
Proposed upgrades include more than twice the current lighting levels of the Falls being achieved, programmable lighting opportunities being available and a broader, more robust colour spectrum being attained. As well, given the technology improvements being implemented, the newly enhanced lighting system will eliminate dark gaps, while also providing greater energy efficiencies and reduced maintenance costs.
Nightly illumination of Niagara Falls will continue through the construction period which began in September 2016. An official lighting ceremony will take place on December 1st, 2016 in advance of Canada’s 150th celebrations in 2017.
For more information : www.niagaraparks.com