Travellers around the world are telling destination marketers they want to explore and live a life that’s less ordinary. That’s why Destination Canada has created the Canadian Signature Experiences (CSE) collection — once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences found only in Canada. They show the world what Canada’s tourism brand is all about. The CSE collection helps eligible tourism businesses promote their product internationally. It also makes it easier for the travel trade to sell more of Canada, and to make more money doing so. Media can utilize the collection to find a rich array of story ideas, media collateral and other resources.
A Culinary Journey Through Canada’s Desert — Watermark Beach Resort / Covert Farms
This remarkable culinary journey begins at Watermark Beach Resort on sun-warmed Osoyoos Lake and continues through Canada’s only pocket desert to the organic fields and vineyards, country market and wine shop at Covert Farms in the south Okanagan Valley. Travel through a rare antelope-brush ecosystem, past steep bluffs that are home to 18 species of bats and onto a sandy plateau where a glacial ice dam burst 10,000 years ago. Here, First Nations fishing grounds on the Okanagan River nudge up against the lush biodynamic fields of 600-acre Covert Farms. Get picked up in a vintage 1952 Mercury truck for a fun guided farm tour, stopping along the way to pick and taste peaches, muskmelons and tomatoes, sun-basked and fresh from the vine. Back at the Watermark Wine Bar and Patio, local wines are paired with farm-fresh Okanagan Valley fare. Evening falls to the serenade of circling nighthawks and guests feel like they can almost reach out and touch the stars, brilliant against the ink-black night sky of a true Canadian desert.
A Day In The Vineyards — Mission Hill Family Estate Winery
At Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, making great wines and providing a special place where people can enjoy them has been proprietor Anthony von Mandl’s dream and life’s work. The winery is a refuge from the hurried pace of daily life. Mission Hill is world-renowned for its award-winning wines, stunning setting and architecture, and Terrace Restaurant — honoured as one of the top five winery restaurants globally.
Summerhill Pyramid Organic Winery, Kelowna, photo credit: Kevin Towbridge
Discover Pyramid Power at an Award Winning Organic Winery and Bistro — Summerhill Pyramid Winery
When Summerhill Pyramid Winery owner Stephen Cipes first visited the Okanagan in 1986, the New York developer believed he’d found unique conditions to produce intensely flavoured small organic grapes. The Summerhill Pyramid is second only to the Great Pyramid of Egypt for alignment and precision. The French tradition of putting sparkling wines in a dark, cool place for thirty days for the cuvee and dosage to ‘marry’ was Cipes’s original inspiration to achieve this goal. The aging of Summerhill wine in this true pyramid is the final step in production.
Do You Believe In Magic, Wells Gray Provincial Park, Clearwater photo credit: Interior Whitewater Expeditions
Do You Believe In Magic? — Interior Whitewater Expeditions
Canoeing, Hiking and Rafting… there is more adventure and jaw-dropping natural beauty in this journey than you could ever imagine. This is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true. Professional guides accompany you as you canoe the pristine waters of Mahood Lake in Wells Gray Park. Savour gourmet, local Canadian cuisine cooked over an open fire. Hike to remote Mahood River and experience the majesty of Sylvia and Goodwyn Falls. Along the way, you’ll discover First Nation’s pictographs that exist along the canyon walls in the Mahood Valley… dating back as far as 3,000 years. Climb aboard your rafts to begin the two day adventure travelling down the mighty Clearwater River surrounded by towering canyon walls, rapids and chutes, probably the greatest in all of British Columbia.
East Meets West at Echo Valley Ranch and Spa, Clinton
EAST MEETS WEST — Echo Valley Ranch and Spa
The juxtaposition may seem strange at first – a traditional Thai spa set among the corrals, cattle and cowboys at this isolated B.C. guest ranch. But after a day in the saddle or hiking a canyon trail, and a shared gourmet meal with owners Norm and Nan Dove, it all makes perfect sense. The couple – he’s Canadian, she’s Thai – built this luxury getaway to fit both the wild western landscape here and their own personal traditions. Echo Valley Ranch is a destination, a well-appointed western guest ranch where wellness is the theme, whether you’re here for the healthy gourmet food, spa regime, meditation or just to get away from it all. There may be no better place, outside Thailand, to experience the true bliss of traditional Thai spa treatments and massage – and no horseback holiday that’s quite this unique.
Great Estates Winery Tour Experience — Great Estates of the Okanagan
Great Estates of the Okanagan Wine Tours visits five of the most exceptional wineries in the Okanagan Valley for a unique touring experience. A special route has been designated through breathtaking scenery… a route off the beaten path and not marked on standard wine tour maps. Guided or self-driven, the Great Estates Tour will take you alongside 100 miles of pristine lakes in the Okanagan Valley. Along the way are rest areas and picnic stops, providing a great place to stretch your legs and take in British Columbia’s Wine Country.
Let’s Talk Powder Skiing — Mike Wiegele Heli Skiing
Mike Wiegele Heli Skiing/Boarding and Cat Skiing is regarded as the best heli skiing in North America and arguably the world — 3.5 hours north of Kamloops near the Rocky Mountains. With more than 10 metres of snow each year, Wiegele is renowned for majestic, pristine powder and exceptional ski terrain. Located in Blue River, Mike Wiegele’s Heli Village provides exclusive luxury in a self-contained resort setting. Impeccable safety record, luxurious accommodation, dining and amenities make this the nirvana of winter resorts!
Rocky Mountaineer offers unique train vacation packages on three rail journeys into the Canadian Rockies rolling through the centre of the Thompson Okanagan region. This luxurious train travels by daylight through the beauty of Canada’s West, overnighting in Kamloops. Through our region you can take in the awe-inspiring scenery of the rugged Fraser Canyon, badlands of the Thompson and cool blue lakes of the Shuswap. Named by National Geographic Magazine as one the great train trips in the world!
Adams River Sockeye Salmon Run, Roderick Haig Brown Provincial Park, Scotch Creek, Chase
Salmon ‘N Wine Discovery — MJO Tours / Podollan Inn
Join MJO Tours on the Salmon ‘N Wine Discovery package, a Canadian fall foliage journey to the famous Adams River where the sockeye salmon life-cycle begins and ends. Feel the autumn air on your face as you wind through the forest, the rush of the river beside you as the sockeye return to mate and die. You will be immersed in First Nation’s heritage and culture as your interpretive guide shows how this journey of the salmon impacted the lives of both aboriginals and early settlers. Complementing this day of discovery is a series of wine tastings featuring the cool-climate wineries product paired with cheese and artisans meats, all made and produced locally. Overnight stays are at the luxurious Podollan Inn where you will also enjoy a three-course Chef-inspired dinner at Table 24 with each course accompanied by a selection of three recommended paired wines.
The Canadian, Thompson Okanagan, photo credit: VIA Rail
VIA Rail Canada – Aboard ‘The Canadian’ — VIA Rail Canada
VIA Rail‘s historic ‘Canadian’ train offers a number of packages of luxurious rail travel including cross-Canada experiences and scenic trips through stunning areas of BC and Canada’s Rocky Mountains. Packages include travel through the gorgeous Thompson Okanagan region including Gold Country, Kamloops, the South and North Thompson Valleys, and the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies — Mt. Robson. The trips feature the pampering of Sleeper Touring class and sumptuous meals, as well as exciting views of scenery and wildlife.