Category Archives: BC

‘Green light’ for St Patrick’s celebrations around the world!

16 March 2017:  Over 250 iconic landmarks and sites around the world will be illuminated green over the coming days – as part of Tourism Ireland’s 2017 Global Greening initiative to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick.

The annual initiative, now in its eighth year, which sees a host of major landmarks around the world turn green for St Patrick’s Day, has grown from strength to strength, with many new landmarks signing up to take part this year.

Stadiums, statues, castles and towers will go green to celebrate our national day (17 March) with exciting additions for 2017 including the One World Trade Center in New York – the main building of the re-built World Trade Center in New York and the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

Canadian landmarks going green this year include the Toronto Sign, Casa Loma, Whistler Ski Resort, Calgary Tower, Cabot Tower, The Big Fiddle, the Museum of Nature, the Big Nickel, the Distillery District, the Sails of Lights, the Futalognkosaurus (dinosaur) in the Royal Ontario Museum, Montreal City Hall, Complexe Desjardins, and La Tour McGill.
Click Tourism Ireland’s Global Greenings for footage of the world turning green.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This is the eighth year of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative and each year I am delighted to see even more well-known attractions and landmark sites wishing to get involved. The eagerness of cities and countries everywhere to take part underlines the strength of the deep connection that people all over the world feel to Ireland. More than 70 million people around the world claim links to the island of Ireland and St Patrick’s Day is a truly unique opportunity to reconnect them with their heritage.”

Of course, the ‘greenings’ are just one part of the St Patrick’s Day celebrations. The place to be on 17th March is Ireland where there are two festivals which shouldn’t be missed.

In Dublin, Ireland’s capital city, the ‘St Patrick’s Festival’ will last for four great days, taking in the weekend and running from 16-19 March.  The city will be alive with music, film, arts, dance, culture, fun and even international rugby.

Each year the festival has a different theme with this year’s ‘Ireland We Are’ giving the city a chance to showcase all that Ireland stands for today.  Festival favourites include the world’s largest outdoor céilí, world-class museums hosting free workshops and guided historic walks including famous sites such as the Guinness Storehouse. The main event, the St Patrick’s Festival parade, is held on Friday 17 March in Dublin’s city centre.

In Northern Ireland, the newly curated ‘Home of St Patrick Festival’ celebrates St Patrick, the man and the saint, as one of the world’s most inspiring and loved saints of all time. Taking place in the beautiful landscape of Counties Armagh and Down, which was once Patrick’s home, the festival will culminate on Sunday 19 March with ‘The Voice of the Irish’ closing concert in spectacular Newry Cathedral.

“TRIP OF A LIFETIME” CRUISE SERIES 2018 SEASON

ONE OCEAN EXPEDITIONS’ 2018 SEASON INTRODUCES AN EXCLUSIVE “TRIP OF A LIFETIME” CRUISE SERIES

Vancouver, March 15th 2017: The spotlight shines on Canada’s North this year as the world is invited to discover epic locations in Canada celebrating 150 years of confederation. This event has inspired Canadian cruise specialist, One Ocean Expeditions (OOE) to introduce more in-depth Canadian Arctic exploration…

 

The intimate and immersive nature of OOE’s small ship expedition cruises impacts travellers’ lives, while enhancing their appreciation for the Arctic and other Canadian destinations. Exploration of the Arctic is slowly becoming a journey of choice and a “Trip of a Lifetime” for Canadians and global travellers. OOE has been developing sustainable Arctic tourism for over a decade and are consistently innovative in creating itineraries taking visitors to some of the most unspoiled places on earth with programs that focus on education, science, history, arts & culture and exploration.  OOE’s small ship adventures take travellers further afield providing access to archeological sites, remote Inuit communities and wildlife viewing opportunities few often experience.

 

OOE’s 2018 cruise season continues to inspire, with the introduction of a ‘Circumpolar Art in the Arctic’ program that bridges the Norwegian High Arctic and the Canadian High Arctic through visual art. Internationally acclaimed visual artists include Cory Trepanier, David McEown, Bruce Pearson, Christopher Cran, wildlife documentary producer Karen Bass, internationally award winning photographer Daisy Gilardini, as well as polar scientists, historians and ambassadors of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

 

A new and exceptional voyage for 2018 is the inaugural Canada’s East Coast Golf Expedition.’ The seven-night expedition cruise invites guests to experience some of the best golf courses along Canada’s East Coast.  Passengers enjoy the luxury of waking up every morning to a new course and the ease of boarding an expedition zodiac to take them ashore for their next round of golf. With additional expedition stops to Sable Island and Iles de Madeleine, this program offers unbeatable golf and cruising memories for golfers and non-golfing partners alike.

 

From early July to the end of September, OOE operates several 12-night ‘Classic Northwest Passage voyages emphasizing early Arctic exploration. Along with an historical focus, guests travel to some of the last remaining great wilderness regions on the planet with sightings of polar bears, whales, and myriad bird species.

 

The 11-night ‘Baffin Island – Jewel of the Arctic trip that was introduced in 2016 has already become one of the top selling voyages. The stunning nine-night ‘High Arctic Explorer voyage commences in Resolute, Nunavut, one of the most northern outposts in the Canadian Arctic. This trip offers the perfect blend of wildlife, history, culture and scenery.

 

The 10-night ‘Labrador and Torngat Explorer cruise departs from the historic town of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia and explores two iconic National Parks, Gros Morne and Torngat Mountains. Exploring the rugged Newfoundland & Labrador coast provides an abundance of wildlife experiences that can be seen all the way up to Nunavut’s capital, Iqaluit. This itinerary is special and a gem of new offerings launched for the 2017 summer travel season.

 

A number of early booking offers are in place for 2018 summer travel. On Canada’s East Coast Fins and Fiddles and Golf Expedition a complimentary pre-voyage hotel and US$100 shipboard bar credit is provided. For all other Arctic and Labrador voyages, early bookings benefit with a flight credit ranging from US$500 to US$1000. All offers expire May 31, 2017. ONE CLUB Loyalty Program members (past travellers with OOE) can apply their 10% loyalty savings to any current booking offers.

PRE-SEASON SALE – Girls Getaway Weekends – Snowpack Updates – New Glamping Options & More

PRE-SEASON SALE – Girls Getaway Weekends – Snowpack Updates – New Glamping Options & More

Girls Getaway Weekend: 2015
Hey girls, want to have an epic weekend of fun in the great outdoors? Come out and challenge the rapids by day and enjoy amazing chef-prepared meals and campfire fun by night……and then sleep in river’s edge cabin tents to the sound of the river! All-inclusive 3 day/ 2 night getaway from just $240 US / $299 CDN
reorafting.com/site/groups-and-packages/ladies-weekend.html
Or call Tina, Karen or Michelle at 604-461-7238 or 800-736-7238

Massage 2
Snow Pack Update & Best Time to Come to REO in 2015
Mother Nature is really making an impact in 2015! The Nahatlatch valley has received less than 40% of it’s normal snowpack which feeds our beautiful jade-green river. So here are some things to expect in 2015:
May & June: don’t miss the legendary rapids in full form; best time for the big stuff
July: Expect warm water, hot days and technical whitewater. Canyon opens! Stein opens!
August: Nahatlatch canyon runs, low water uppers, get on the Thompson for massive waves.
September: All about the Thompson…..expect the best levels of the year for paddle rafting
Check out Pre-Season Sales: Day Trips & 1-Night Rafting & Camping
reorafting.com/site/rafting-trips/nahatlatch-day-trip.html
reorafting.com/site/rafting-trips/nahatlatch-1-night.html
Book by May 5 for lowest rates of the year!

More Glamping, More Overnight Options
REO is adding more glamping units to meet the growing demand for our amazing river’s edge units. We are building two “party tents” that will have beds for 6-8; more family units with queen bed and 2 twin beds; and more queen bed units.
Check out details and pre-season sales on our glamping getaways:
reorafting.com/site/rafting-trips/1-night-glamping-raft.html
reorafting.com/site/rafting-trips/2-night-glamping-raft.html
reorafting.com/site/retreats-and-glamping/glamping-vacation-1-night.html
Music by the River: Don’t Miss these REO Events
REO Songwriters Retreat July 12-17, 2015
reorafting.com/site/retreats-and-glamping/reo-songwriters-retreat.html
Songwriting Techniques of the Masters Retreat July 22-26, 2015
reorafting.com/site/retreats-and-glamping/masterful-songwriting.html
REOfest July 24-26, 2015
reorafting.com/site/retreats-and-glamping/reofest.html
Rymecology: The Art of Hip Hop, Rap & Spoken Word July 24-26
reorafting.com/site/retreats-and-glamping/rhymecology-hip-hop-rap.html

Contact Bryan at 604-307-3122 / bryan@reorafting.com for more details on music and songwriting events
Office:
604-461-7238 or 800-736-7238
info@reorafting.com
marketing@reorafting.com

Canada Day celebration with Parks Canada

Free admission to Parks Canada sites to celebrate Canada Day

OTTAWA, June 13, 2013 /CNW/ – Parks Canada reminds that admission will be free in all 44 national parks, 167 national historic sites, and four national marine conservation areas on Canada Day.

To celebrate Canada Day, Canadians are invited to participate in an array of activities offered across the country.

For details on celebrations across the country including activities involving Parks Canada in Canada’s Capital, please visit: www.pc.gc.ca/eng/voyage-travel/celebrations2013.aspx#Canada.

You can also follow us on these social media networks:
www.facebook.com/ParksCanada
www.twitter.com/ParksCanada

Vacations That Make You a Better Man: From wine tasting, to jungle survival and adventure sports

VACATIONS THAT MAKE YOU A BETTER MAN

From wine tasting, to jungle survival and adventure sports; here are some travel suggestions for the modern man

Vacation days are a precious commodity and although some men might be happy to squander them laying on a beach, here are some travel suggestions aimed at increasing knowledge, physical prowess and even helping to make the world a better place. 

Pump Up The Pedal Pressure

Forget the Lycra, dressed from head to toe in protective gear; downhill mountain bikers are the gladiators of the two-wheel world. EnjoyWhistler.com offers a package including mountainside accommodation, a bike lesson on Whistler Mountain, and then a trip to the Scandinave Spa so you too can feel like you faced the arena – and won. For more information visit www.EnjoyWhistler.com

Me Tarzan: Jungle Survival Training

Be the knight in shining armour, rather than the paper pusher behind him. Leave the desk job behind and embark on a trip to the jungle. Learn expert survival training whilst helping to protect stunning habitat and cultural landmarks in places like Belize, Borneo, and the Himalayas. For more information visit www.GoVoluntouring.com

Brain vs. Braun: Intellectual Summer Camp

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could drop a line about cloning genes into your usual chat-up repertoire? Or perhaps a little something on geology, or the human quest for truth? Head to Quest University Canada for a week-long adult intellectual summer camp and you’ll certainly learn something to liven up the conversation. For more information visit www.QuestU.com

Into the Wild: Whitewater Rafting and Fishing

You know you’re a man when you can jump off a cliff called the “Devil’s Elbow”. Part of Sunwolf’s “Elaho River Expedition”, their full-day summer whitewater rafting trip includes conquering grade five rapids and a dip in the glacial waters if you’re brave enough to face the Devil’s Elbow drop. If you visit during the colder months the rivers teem with steelhead trout just begging to be reeled in. For more information visit www.Sunwolf.net

Learning the Lingo: Give and Surf          

Learn how to surf and brush up on your Spanish in Bocas del Toro, Panama while you help the local community. Get a tan, learn the lingo and catch some waves whilst assisting in the day-to-day running of a preschool for the local children. For more information visit www.GoVoluntouring.com

Cool Combination: Savvy Skier and Wine Aficionado

Kill two birds with one stone at Big White Ski Resort, based in the heart of Canadian wine country. Learn to navigate your way around not only the slopes but also the wine list with their “Groomers and Grapes Package”, which includes a tour of the local wineries. With 700cm of powdery snow, 118 runs to explore and a 60ft manmade ice tower to clamber up, who doesn’t like a man who can handle the cold? For more information visit www.BigWhite.com

Manmade Impact: Heal The World

Adventure philanthropy can take you all over the world, whether you want to help build an orphanage in Guatemala, install solar panels in Nicaragua or help with a water treatment system in Malaysia. No construction experience required, just some muscle and a sense of adventure. For more information visit www.GoVoluntouring.com

Hands-On volunteer travel project deals around the world!

Hands-On Time Travel

Dig into history with volunteer projects all over the world

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, February 26, 2012 – Help to unravel some of the world’s mysteries by assisting on archaeological sites where Roman soldiers, Mongolian warriors, and Rapanui sculptors once resided. Volunteers step back in time in spectacular locations whilst being guided by professionals in need of assistance. This is a hands-on way to help preserve vital cultural resources around the globe and learn more about ancient ways of life.

Discovering Italy’s Ancient Etruscan and Roman Coast http://goo.gl/l7Y0L

The ancient maritime settlement of Poggio del Molino is located in the heart of the former territory of Populonia, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. This excavation of the Etruscan coastal necropolis aims to fill key gaps in our knowledge of the industrial history and coastal economy, from the early Roman period to the Middle Ages. The project results will offer a profound understanding of the industrial aspects of Roman rule and exploitation. With treasure hunters, looters, and even development pressures threatening the integrity of the site, volunteer help is needed to secure the past before it is lost forever.

Origins of Angkor http://goo.gl/6exJR

The rural village of Ban Non Wat in Northeast Thailand is one of the most important sites for understanding indigenous societies ancestral to the Angkor Empire. Volunteers with Earthwatch will help to search for new prehistoric sites and identify the location of resources such as salt and potting clay. They will help reveal how Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron Age peoples were affected by their environment, changing climates, the development of agriculture, technological advances, and by contact with those from other lands.

Digging for the Deep World of Devon’s Roman Ruins http://goo.gl/jZpgF

The discovery of this Romano-British settlement is of tremendous importance. The settlement is the largest discovered in the county to date and detected structures hint at native roundhouses, enclosures, and a Roman road. At present, there is nothing comparable to the site in Devon and research will significantly contribute to our understanding of life in the Romano-British world. Earthwatch volunteers will be the first to conduct fieldwork helping further understand the nature, date, and extent of the site.

Restoring Prehistoric Landscapes on Easter Island http://goo.gl/H488W

The massive stone sculptures that dot this remote Polynesian island have perplexed centuries of explorers. Earthwatch probes the past to discover what forces led to disastrous changes here in the 17th century, ending a millennium of peace and prosperity. Volunteers will work in a uniquely beautiful landscape, searching for prehistoric gardens, livestock enclosures, and agricultural fields. Under the gaze of the giant stone moai, they’ll conduct surface surveys, take photographs and GPS coordinates, measure stone features and dig test-pits in gardens to document the evolution of farming on the island.

Archaeology of the Mongolian Steppe http://goo.gl/A6ylc

Earthwatch is supporting archaeological and cultural investigations in the stunning Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, needed to ensure a holistic approach to managing the area. Volunteers will be surveying the landscape for significant archaeological and cultural resources such as burial cairns, steles and other commemorative monuments or markers, the remains of campsites and rudimentary structures, rock art, and other indications of the cultural history and vitality of the region. The goal of the project is to establish baseline data and is a remarkable opportunity to be involved in designing an ongoing archaeological investigation.

About GoVoluntouring: www.govoluntouring.com

Flight Centre’s responsible travel division, GoVoluntouring, is a leading online community for volunteers, overseas teachers, and learners abroad. Its unique search filters allow users to perform detailed and customizable searches from a huge database of projects and programs in over 110 countries around the world.

What’s New in Victoria… May 2012 news

 

 


Tourism Victoria’s Monthly Media Newsletter                          May 2012


        In this issue: 

                  * Island Chef Food Fest: Eat Food & Fund Farms
                  * Fly From Tee to Tee
                  *
Celebrating a Diamond Jubilee

                  * Royal BC Museum Offers Kids Dinosaur Fun

                  * The Fairmont Empress Bees Create Sweet New Brew

                  * Merridale Adds New Orchard Cookhouse

                  * Cycle Your Way Through Wine Country

                  * Tourism Victoria Provides Escape Plan

                 


Island Chefs Collaborative Island Chef Food Fest: Eat Food & Fund Farms
Southern Vancouver Island is often referred to as “Canada’s Provence” for its high quality, niche food products. On June 10, 2012, visitors to Victoria, B.C. can enjoy the outdoors and experience Vancouver Island’s bounty all in one place with the Island Chefs Collaborative’s fifth annual food festival. Held from noon to 4:00 p.m. at Fort Rodd Hill, this year’s festival, Eat Food & Fund Farms , will include more than 60 local food producers and chefs. Culinary tourists are encouraged to grab a bite and explore around the grounds of the National Historic Site, a coast artillery fort built in the late 1890s complete with three gun batteries, underground magazines, command posts, guardhouses, barracks and searchlight emplacements. The food fest showcases top chefs, restaurateurs and local producers, while raising awareness on the issues and challenges of food production and sustainability on Vancouver Island. Tickets are $40 CDN for adults, $20 CDN for youth and $80 CDN for a family ticket, which includes two adults and two youth. For those looking for a healthy way to get to the festival, Habit Coffee will be organizing its annual bike trip to the fest. Skip the queue and get free bike parking as bike participants arrive before noon. The Island Chefs Collaborative is a like-minded community of chefs and food and beverage professionals with a common interest in regional food security, the preservation of farmland and the development of local food systems.  For more information visit www.iccbc.ca.


Harbour Air Fly From Tee to Tee
Celebrating its 30th year in 2012, Harbour Air in Victoria, B.C. is the world’s largest carbon neutral seaplane airline. Offering flights between Victoria and Vancouver, the summer flight schedule also offers a daily flight between two of Canada’s premier golfing destinations: Victoria and Whistler. With the mildest climate in the country, Victoria offers residents and visitors golf year-round. Golfers can choose from twenty courses in the Victoria area, from full-scale championship links to smaller, less difficult courses, most with spectacular lake, ocean and mountain views. Visitors can try their hand at Victoria’s newest championship golf course Highland Pacific Golf, or Canada’s only 36-hole Jack Nicklaus designed golf course at The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa. The truly dedicated golfer can spend an entire vacation exploring a variety of courses and follow the Vancouver Island Golf Trail, golfing their way up and down Vancouver Island at 12 premier courses. If that’s not enough, the extreme golfing fanatic can play two cities in one trip by catching a float plane to Whistler, B.C. Once daily from May 18 to September 30, 2012, Harbour Air’s flight from Victoria’s Inner Harbour offers golfers spectacular aerial views of the majestic glaciers and turquoise waters before landing on beautiful Green Lake in Whistler, B.C. and hitting the next green in just over an hour’s time. Whistler boasts four championship courses in Big Sky Golf and Country Club, Nicklaus North Golf Course, Whistler Golf Club and The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club. Flight cost between B.C.’s capital and the world-class mountain resort is $266.40 CDN. For more information visit www.harbour-air.com.


Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrating a Diamond Jubilee
Victoria, B.C. has long been known for its British heritage and the city simply cannot resist celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Anniversary of her 60-year reign. Several events and activities at some of Victoria’s most iconic locations have been planned around her Majesty’s milestone. The month of June 2012 has been declared Diamond Jubilee month at The Fairmont Empress. Events planned range from an exclusive Diamond Jubilee Gala to outdoor tea parties to queen-worthy spa packages. Four-legged friends are also welcome at the Royal Dog Show and Tea Party. On June 1, 2012 the Royal BC Museum will also honour the Queen with its latest exhibition, Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration . Featuring nearly 100 portraits by royal photographer Cecil Beaton, this exhibit explores Beaton’s long relationship with Elizabeth, who was a teenage princess when he first photographed her in 1942. Experience the many different sides of Elizabeth in her roles as princess, monarch and mother while getting a glimpse of her royal life with a number of rarely seen photographs alongside extracts from Beaton’s personal diaries and letters. Beaton’s royal portraits were among the most widely published photos of the 20th century and this five-section exhibition charts the shift in Beaton’s style from early rococo-inspired portraits to the starker images of the 1960s. The exhibition will open June 1 and run until September 3, 2012. Tickets are $14.29 CDN for adults and $9.06 CDN for children. For more information visit www.fairmont.com/empress and www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.


Royal BC Museum Dinosaurs Royal BC Museum Offers Kids Dinosaur Fun
Located in downtown Victoria, B.C., the Royal BC Museum’s fourth annual summer camp series is taking on Dinosaurs! With the feature exhibition Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries opening May 17, 2012 the summer camps will allow budding paleontologists to discover more about dinosaurs. Divided into six week-long segments, campers will spend time in the exhibition, visit the paleobotany lab behind-the-scenes in the museum, attend an IMAX movie and go on a geologically inspired field trip. The camps run from July 16 to August 31, 2012. The camp costs $224 CDN and is open to children ages 6 to 12. The feature exhibition offers amazing bio-mechanical models and lush dioramas to give the thrill of discovering something brand new about the creatures that lived millions of years ago. Visitors are encouraged to dive into the exciting world of modern paleontology, where new dinosaur fossils are being discovered faster than ever before. The young and young-at-heart are invited to try some dinosaur fun with interactive animations like Dino-Pedia and Continental Drift and other fun dino activities. Designed and curated by the world-famous American Museum of Natural History, this exhibit is a must-see for all ages and Victoria is its only stop in Canada. For more information visit www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca 


Fairmont Empress Bees The Fairmont Empress Bees Create Sweet New Brew
In late April, The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, B.C. welcomed back their most famous summer residents the honeybees. Last year, The hotel became the newest property in the Fairmont family to initiate a honeybee program, bringing ten hives and 800,000 bees to the hotel’s Centennial Garden. The bees produced 1,300 pounds of honey, which was used in the hotel restaurants for Afternoon Tea. In partnership with Hoyne Brewery, the honey was also used to create the Empress Honey Wheat Ale, launching just in time for summer. Beginning May 10, 2012, visitors can try the new brew in the best seats in the house when The Fairmont’s Veranda opens for the summer season. The perfect setting to enjoy the sights and sounds of Victoria’s picturesque Inner Harbour, The Veranda offers a farm to fork menu featuring some of Vancouver Island’s finest ingredients for visitors’ dining experience. Open from 11:30 a.m. to dusk, or chilly if that comes first, the Veranda also provides heaters, wraps and sun shades for their guests’ enjoyment. For more information visit www.fairmont.com/empress.


Merridale Orchard Cookhouse Merridale Adds New Orchard Cookhouse
This May, Merridale Ciderworks located 25 minutes north of Victoria, B.C., offers a feast for the senses with the opening of their Orchard Cookhouse. This new outdoor kitchen is complete with a BBQ grill, brick oven and new smoker, offering endless opportunities for menu creativity. With all of Merridale’s food now being cooked outside, menu experimentations to date include: smoked cider glazed wild salmon, marinated smoked vegetables for sides and pizza toppings and pork ribs on the grill. And, if that doesn’t get your mouth watering, this summer Merridale will also feature an impressive line of burgers made from lamb, beef, seafood and chicken and also a veggie burger for those less meat inclined. The smoker will be used to smoke meats for both the bistro and the deli, offering visitors a flavourful smoked taste. Daily seafood specials will feature tasty bowls of mussels, or the freshest find for the day. Merridale Ciderworks, nestled in the south of Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley, is Canada’s largest producer of craft cider from English and French cider apples. For more information visit www.merridalecider.com .


Saanich Peninsula Cycling Tour Cycle Your Way Through Wine Country
Victoria, B.C. is rated the cycling capital of Canada (Statistics Canada 2006) and along with world-class trails, the region produces internationally recognized and award-winning wines. Visitors can experience this ever growing wine region on two wheels with a tour from Cycle Treks called the Saanich Peninsula Wine Tour. This guided, full-day tour (approximately seven to eight hours), follows the picturesque Lochside Trail through bird sanctuaries, active farmlands and over train tressles. Stops include Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, a ten-acre certified organic farm that produces hand-crafted ciders onsite, Church and State Wines, an 11-acre property producing award-winning wines and Victoria Spirits, B.C.’s first artisan gin distillery. The tour returns via the stunning Colquitz River Trail. The cost for this tour is $139 CDN and includes a hybrid-style bicycle, helmet, map, water bottle and lunch. Cycle Treks also offers Victoria City, The Butchart Gardens, West Coast Adventure, Seaside Touring Route, Cowichan Valley Winery and Lochside Trail tours as well as multi-day tours of Southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. For more information visit www.cycletreks.com.   


  
WIn Your Escape Tourism Victoria Provides Escape Plan
Maybe it’s the anticipation of warmer weather on the way or maybe it’s the work week that never ends; whatever the case may be, wouldn’t it be nice to escape it all? Until July 3, 2012, Tourism Victoria is offering visitors the chance to win one of five perfectly-you escapes departing from Vancouver, B.C. or Seattle, WA to Victoria, B.C. valued at $2,000 CDN each! Visitors can discover their unique travel style and enter to win using the Escape Planner app at www.WinYourEscape.com , then share the contest on Twitter using the hashtag #WinYourEscape and they’ll be entered to win one of the $100 CDN weekly cash prizes. As an island destination, Victoria offers visitors an escape from the hurried world and is a unique blend of old world charm and new world experiences. This combined with the wild beauty of the Pacific Ocean and old-growth rainforests set against a backdrop of the Olympic Mountains makes for a nearby getaway that feels out of this world. For more information visit www.tourismvictoria.com.


For more information

please contact:



Cathy Ray

Manager, Travel Media Relations

(United States)

Phone: 250-414-6985

cathy.ray@tourismvictoria.com

Holly Lenk

Manager, Travel Media Relations

(Canada & Overseas)

Phone: 250-414-6974

holly.lenk@tourismvictoria.com

Tessa Humphries

Coordinator, Travel Media Relations

Phone: 250-414-7390

tessa.humphries@tourismvictoria.com 




Coming up for us….


 

 

 

 

 

Holly Lenk will be in Fredericton, NB from May 2 to 5 attending the 2012 TMAC Conference and AGM.


Cathy Ray will be in Vancouver, BC on May 7 hosting a reception for the media launch of Tourism Victoria’s Summer Marketing Campaign.


Cathy Ray and Tessa Humphries will be in Seattle, WA on May 8 hosting a reception for the media launch of Tourism Victoria’s Summer Marketing Campaign.


Holly Lenk will be in Whitehorse, YT from May 27 to 31 attending GoMedia Canada.


Tessa Humphries will be in Seattle, WA and Portland, OR the week of June 12 to 15 along with partners from Tourism British Columbia, Tourism Vancouver and Tourism Whistler for a media marketplace event and media calls.


 

 

 



Top 5…

Family Friendly Activities

Beacon Hill Children’s Farm

The Royal BC Museum


Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre


The Victoria Bug Zoo


Wildplay Westshore Victoria


 


Did you know….



Aside from BC Ferries, Harbour Air, Victoria Clipper, the M.V. Coho and Kenmore Air who regularly service the Victoria area, you can also fly directly into the Victoria International Airport (YYJ) from a number of Canadian and American cities?


Non-stop direct flights are available from Vancouver, Seattle, Calgary, Toronto and San Francisco year-round.  Seasonal non-stop flights are available from Honolulu, Las Vegas and Phoenix.


Happy Travels!

 


Other services:


Visit the website


Access our media gallery


Read Tourism Victoria’s “Going Local” blog


 


 



 

 


Tourism Victoria’s Monthly Media Newsletter                          May 2012


        In this issue: 

                  * Island Chef Food Fest: Eat Food & Fund Farms
                  * Fly From Tee to Tee
                  *
Celebrating a Diamond Jubilee

                  * Royal BC Museum Offers Kids Dinosaur Fun

                  * The Fairmont Empress Bees Create Sweet New Brew

                  * Merridale Adds New Orchard Cookhouse

                  * Cycle Your Way Through Wine Country

                  * Tourism Victoria Provides Escape Plan

                 


Island Chefs Collaborative Island Chef Food Fest: Eat Food & Fund Farms
Southern Vancouver Island is often referred to as “Canada’s Provence” for its high quality, niche food products. On June 10, 2012, visitors to Victoria, B.C. can enjoy the outdoors and experience Vancouver Island’s bounty all in one place with the Island Chefs Collaborative’s fifth annual food festival. Held from noon to 4:00 p.m. at Fort Rodd Hill, this year’s festival, Eat Food & Fund Farms , will include more than 60 local food producers and chefs. Culinary tourists are encouraged to grab a bite and explore around the grounds of the National Historic Site, a coast artillery fort built in the late 1890s complete with three gun batteries, underground magazines, command posts, guardhouses, barracks and searchlight emplacements. The food fest showcases top chefs, restaurateurs and local producers, while raising awareness on the issues and challenges of food production and sustainability on Vancouver Island. Tickets are $40 CDN for adults, $20 CDN for youth and $80 CDN for a family ticket, which includes two adults and two youth. For those looking for a healthy way to get to the festival, Habit Coffee will be organizing its annual bike trip to the fest. Skip the queue and get free bike parking as bike participants arrive before noon. The Island Chefs Collaborative is a like-minded community of chefs and food and beverage professionals with a common interest in regional food security, the preservation of farmland and the development of local food systems.  For more information visit www.iccbc.ca.


Harbour Air Fly From Tee to Tee
Celebrating its 30th year in 2012, Harbour Air in Victoria, B.C. is the world’s largest carbon neutral seaplane airline. Offering flights between Victoria and Vancouver, the summer flight schedule also offers a daily flight between two of Canada’s premier golfing destinations: Victoria and Whistler. With the mildest climate in the country, Victoria offers residents and visitors golf year-round. Golfers can choose from twenty courses in the Victoria area, from full-scale championship links to smaller, less difficult courses, most with spectacular lake, ocean and mountain views. Visitors can try their hand at Victoria’s newest championship golf course Highland Pacific Golf, or Canada’s only 36-hole Jack Nicklaus designed golf course at The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa. The truly dedicated golfer can spend an entire vacation exploring a variety of courses and follow the Vancouver Island Golf Trail, golfing their way up and down Vancouver Island at 12 premier courses. If that’s not enough, the extreme golfing fanatic can play two cities in one trip by catching a float plane to Whistler, B.C. Once daily from May 18 to September 30, 2012, Harbour Air’s flight from Victoria’s Inner Harbour offers golfers spectacular aerial views of the majestic glaciers and turquoise waters before landing on beautiful Green Lake in Whistler, B.C. and hitting the next green in just over an hour’s time. Whistler boasts four championship courses in Big Sky Golf and Country Club, Nicklaus North Golf Course, Whistler Golf Club and The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club. Flight cost between B.C.’s capital and the world-class mountain resort is $266.40 CDN. For more information visit www.harbour-air.com.


Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrating a Diamond Jubilee
Victoria, B.C. has long been known for its British heritage and the city simply cannot resist celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Anniversary of her 60-year reign. Several events and activities at some of Victoria’s most iconic locations have been planned around her Majesty’s milestone. The month of June 2012 has been declared Diamond Jubilee month at The Fairmont Empress. Events planned range from an exclusive Diamond Jubilee Gala to outdoor tea parties to queen-worthy spa packages. Four-legged friends are also welcome at the Royal Dog Show and Tea Party. On June 1, 2012 the Royal BC Museum will also honour the Queen with its latest exhibition, Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration . Featuring nearly 100 portraits by royal photographer Cecil Beaton, this exhibit explores Beaton’s long relationship with Elizabeth, who was a teenage princess when he first photographed her in 1942. Experience the many different sides of Elizabeth in her roles as princess, monarch and mother while getting a glimpse of her royal life with a number of rarely seen photographs alongside extracts from Beaton’s personal diaries and letters. Beaton’s royal portraits were among the most widely published photos of the 20th century and this five-section exhibition charts the shift in Beaton’s style from early rococo-inspired portraits to the starker images of the 1960s. The exhibition will open June 1 and run until September 3, 2012. Tickets are $14.29 CDN for adults and $9.06 CDN for children. For more information visit www.fairmont.com/empress and www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.


Royal BC Museum Dinosaurs Royal BC Museum Offers Kids Dinosaur Fun
Located in downtown Victoria, B.C., the Royal BC Museum’s fourth annual summer camp series is taking on Dinosaurs! With the feature exhibition Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries opening May 17, 2012 the summer camps will allow budding paleontologists to discover more about dinosaurs. Divided into six week-long segments, campers will spend time in the exhibition, visit the paleobotany lab behind-the-scenes in the museum, attend an IMAX movie and go on a geologically inspired field trip. The camps run from July 16 to August 31, 2012. The camp costs $224 CDN and is open to children ages 6 to 12. The feature exhibition offers amazing bio-mechanical models and lush dioramas to give the thrill of discovering something brand new about the creatures that lived millions of years ago. Visitors are encouraged to dive into the exciting world of modern paleontology, where new dinosaur fossils are being discovered faster than ever before. The young and young-at-heart are invited to try some dinosaur fun with interactive animations like Dino-Pedia and Continental Drift and other fun dino activities. Designed and curated by the world-famous American Museum of Natural History, this exhibit is a must-see for all ages and Victoria is its only stop in Canada. For more information visit www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca 


Fairmont Empress Bees The Fairmont Empress Bees Create Sweet New Brew
In late April, The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, B.C. welcomed back their most famous summer residents the honeybees. Last year, The hotel became the newest property in the Fairmont family to initiate a honeybee program, bringing ten hives and 800,000 bees to the hotel’s Centennial Garden. The bees produced 1,300 pounds of honey, which was used in the hotel restaurants for Afternoon Tea. In partnership with Hoyne Brewery, the honey was also used to create the Empress Honey Wheat Ale, launching just in time for summer. Beginning May 10, 2012, visitors can try the new brew in the best seats in the house when The Fairmont’s Veranda opens for the summer season. The perfect setting to enjoy the sights and sounds of Victoria’s picturesque Inner Harbour, The Veranda offers a farm to fork menu featuring some of Vancouver Island’s finest ingredients for visitors’ dining experience. Open from 11:30 a.m. to dusk, or chilly if that comes first, the Veranda also provides heaters, wraps and sun shades for their guests’ enjoyment. For more information visit www.fairmont.com/empress.


Merridale Orchard Cookhouse Merridale Adds New Orchard Cookhouse
This May, Merridale Ciderworks located 25 minutes north of Victoria, B.C., offers a feast for the senses with the opening of their Orchard Cookhouse. This new outdoor kitchen is complete with a BBQ grill, brick oven and new smoker, offering endless opportunities for menu creativity. With all of Merridale’s food now being cooked outside, menu experimentations to date include: smoked cider glazed wild salmon, marinated smoked vegetables for sides and pizza toppings and pork ribs on the grill. And, if that doesn’t get your mouth watering, this summer Merridale will also feature an impressive line of burgers made from lamb, beef, seafood and chicken and also a veggie burger for those less meat inclined. The smoker will be used to smoke meats for both the bistro and the deli, offering visitors a flavourful smoked taste. Daily seafood specials will feature tasty bowls of mussels, or the freshest find for the day. Merridale Ciderworks, nestled in the south of Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley, is Canada’s largest producer of craft cider from English and French cider apples. For more information visit www.merridalecider.com .


Saanich Peninsula Cycling Tour Cycle Your Way Through Wine Country
Victoria, B.C. is rated the cycling capital of Canada (Statistics Canada 2006) and along with world-class trails, the region produces internationally recognized and award-winning wines. Visitors can experience this ever growing wine region on two wheels with a tour from Cycle Treks called the Saanich Peninsula Wine Tour. This guided, full-day tour (approximately seven to eight hours), follows the picturesque Lochside Trail through bird sanctuaries, active farmlands and over train tressles. Stops include Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, a ten-acre certified organic farm that produces hand-crafted ciders onsite, Church and State Wines, an 11-acre property producing award-winning wines and Victoria Spirits, B.C.’s first artisan gin distillery. The tour returns via the stunning Colquitz River Trail. The cost for this tour is $139 CDN and includes a hybrid-style bicycle, helmet, map, water bottle and lunch. Cycle Treks also offers Victoria City, The Butchart Gardens, West Coast Adventure, Seaside Touring Route, Cowichan Valley Winery and Lochside Trail tours as well as multi-day tours of Southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. For more information visit www.cycletreks.com.   


  
WIn Your Escape Tourism Victoria Provides Escape Plan
Maybe it’s the anticipation of warmer weather on the way or maybe it’s the work week that never ends; whatever the case may be, wouldn’t it be nice to escape it all? Until July 3, 2012, Tourism Victoria is offering visitors the chance to win one of five perfectly-you escapes departing from Vancouver, B.C. or Seattle, WA to Victoria, B.C. valued at $2,000 CDN each! Visitors can discover their unique travel style and enter to win using the Escape Planner app at www.WinYourEscape.com , then share the contest on Twitter using the hashtag #WinYourEscape and they’ll be entered to win one of the $100 CDN weekly cash prizes. As an island destination, Victoria offers visitors an escape from the hurried world and is a unique blend of old world charm and new world experiences. This combined with the wild beauty of the Pacific Ocean and old-growth rainforests set against a backdrop of the Olympic Mountains makes for a nearby getaway that feels out of this world. For more information visit www.tourismvictoria.com.


For more information

please contact:



Cathy Ray

Manager, Travel Media Relations

(United States)

Phone: 250-414-6985

cathy.ray@tourismvictoria.com

Holly Lenk

Manager, Travel Media Relations

(Canada & Overseas)

Phone: 250-414-6974

holly.lenk@tourismvictoria.com

Tessa Humphries

Coordinator, Travel Media Relations

Phone: 250-414-7390

tessa.humphries@tourismvictoria.com 




Coming up for us….


 

 

 

 

 

Holly Lenk will be in Fredericton, NB from May 2 to 5 attending the 2012 TMAC Conference and AGM.


Cathy Ray will be in Vancouver, BC on May 7 hosting a reception for the media launch of Tourism Victoria’s Summer Marketing Campaign.


Cathy Ray and Tessa Humphries will be in Seattle, WA on May 8 hosting a reception for the media launch of Tourism Victoria’s Summer Marketing Campaign.


Holly Lenk will be in Whitehorse, YT from May 27 to 31 attending GoMedia Canada.


Tessa Humphries will be in Seattle, WA and Portland, OR the week of June 12 to 15 along with partners from Tourism British Columbia, Tourism Vancouver and Tourism Whistler for a media marketplace event and media calls.


 

 

 



Top 5…

Family Friendly Activities

Beacon Hill Children’s Farm

The Royal BC Museum


Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre


The Victoria Bug Zoo


Wildplay Westshore Victoria


 


Did you know….



Aside from BC Ferries, Harbour Air, Victoria Clipper, the M.V. Coho and Kenmore Air who regularly service the Victoria area, you can also fly directly into the Victoria International Airport (YYJ) from a number of Canadian and American cities?


Non-stop direct flights are available from Vancouver, Seattle, Calgary, Toronto and San Francisco year-round.  Seasonal non-stop flights are available from Honolulu, Las Vegas and Phoenix.


Happy Travels!

 


Other services:


Visit the website


Access our media gallery


Read Tourism Victoria’s “Going Local” blog


 


 



 

 


Tourism Victoria’s Monthly Media Newsletter                          May 2012


        In this issue: 

                  * Island Chef Food Fest: Eat Food & Fund Farms
                  * Fly From Tee to Tee
                  *
Celebrating a Diamond Jubilee

                  * Royal BC Museum Offers Kids Dinosaur Fun

                  * The Fairmont Empress Bees Create Sweet New Brew

                  * Merridale Adds New Orchard Cookhouse

                  * Cycle Your Way Through Wine Country

                  * Tourism Victoria Provides Escape Plan

                 


Island Chefs Collaborative Island Chef Food Fest: Eat Food & Fund Farms
Southern Vancouver Island is often referred to as “Canada’s Provence” for its high quality, niche food products. On June 10, 2012, visitors to Victoria, B.C. can enjoy the outdoors and experience Vancouver Island’s bounty all in one place with the Island Chefs Collaborative’s fifth annual food festival. Held from noon to 4:00 p.m. at Fort Rodd Hill, this year’s festival, Eat Food & Fund Farms , will include more than 60 local food producers and chefs. Culinary tourists are encouraged to grab a bite and explore around the grounds of the National Historic Site, a coast artillery fort built in the late 1890s complete with three gun batteries, underground magazines, command posts, guardhouses, barracks and searchlight emplacements. The food fest showcases top chefs, restaurateurs and local producers, while raising awareness on the issues and challenges of food production and sustainability on Vancouver Island. Tickets are $40 CDN for adults, $20 CDN for youth and $80 CDN for a family ticket, which includes two adults and two youth. For those looking for a healthy way to get to the festival, Habit Coffee will be organizing its annual bike trip to the fest. Skip the queue and get free bike parking as bike participants arrive before noon. The Island Chefs Collaborative is a like-minded community of chefs and food and beverage professionals with a common interest in regional food security, the preservation of farmland and the development of local food systems.  For more information visit www.iccbc.ca.


Harbour Air Fly From Tee to Tee
Celebrating its 30th year in 2012, Harbour Air in Victoria, B.C. is the world’s largest carbon neutral seaplane airline. Offering flights between Victoria and Vancouver, the summer flight schedule also offers a daily flight between two of Canada’s premier golfing destinations: Victoria and Whistler. With the mildest climate in the country, Victoria offers residents and visitors golf year-round. Golfers can choose from twenty courses in the Victoria area, from full-scale championship links to smaller, less difficult courses, most with spectacular lake, ocean and mountain views. Visitors can try their hand at Victoria’s newest championship golf course Highland Pacific Golf, or Canada’s only 36-hole Jack Nicklaus designed golf course at The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa. The truly dedicated golfer can spend an entire vacation exploring a variety of courses and follow the Vancouver Island Golf Trail, golfing their way up and down Vancouver Island at 12 premier courses. If that’s not enough, the extreme golfing fanatic can play two cities in one trip by catching a float plane to Whistler, B.C. Once daily from May 18 to September 30, 2012, Harbour Air’s flight from Victoria’s Inner Harbour offers golfers spectacular aerial views of the majestic glaciers and turquoise waters before landing on beautiful Green Lake in Whistler, B.C. and hitting the next green in just over an hour’s time. Whistler boasts four championship courses in Big Sky Golf and Country Club, Nicklaus North Golf Course, Whistler Golf Club and The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club. Flight cost between B.C.’s capital and the world-class mountain resort is $266.40 CDN. For more information visit www.harbour-air.com.


Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrating a Diamond Jubilee
Victoria, B.C. has long been known for its British heritage and the city simply cannot resist celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Anniversary of her 60-year reign. Several events and activities at some of Victoria’s most iconic locations have been planned around her Majesty’s milestone. The month of June 2012 has been declared Diamond Jubilee month at The Fairmont Empress. Events planned range from an exclusive Diamond Jubilee Gala to outdoor tea parties to queen-worthy spa packages. Four-legged friends are also welcome at the Royal Dog Show and Tea Party. On June 1, 2012 the Royal BC Museum will also honour the Queen with its latest exhibition, Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration . Featuring nearly 100 portraits by royal photographer Cecil Beaton, this exhibit explores Beaton’s long relationship with Elizabeth, who was a teenage princess when he first photographed her in 1942. Experience the many different sides of Elizabeth in her roles as princess, monarch and mother while getting a glimpse of her royal life with a number of rarely seen photographs alongside extracts from Beaton’s personal diaries and letters. Beaton’s royal portraits were among the most widely published photos of the 20th century and this five-section exhibition charts the shift in Beaton’s style from early rococo-inspired portraits to the starker images of the 1960s. The exhibition will open June 1 and run until September 3, 2012. Tickets are $14.29 CDN for adults and $9.06 CDN for children. For more information visit www.fairmont.com/empress and www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.


Royal BC Museum Dinosaurs Royal BC Museum Offers Kids Dinosaur Fun
Located in downtown Victoria, B.C., the Royal BC Museum’s fourth annual summer camp series is taking on Dinosaurs! With the feature exhibition Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries opening May 17, 2012 the summer camps will allow budding paleontologists to discover more about dinosaurs. Divided into six week-long segments, campers will spend time in the exhibition, visit the paleobotany lab behind-the-scenes in the museum, attend an IMAX movie and go on a geologically inspired field trip. The camps run from July 16 to August 31, 2012. The camp costs $224 CDN and is open to children ages 6 to 12. The feature exhibition offers amazing bio-mechanical models and lush dioramas to give the thrill of discovering something brand new about the creatures that lived millions of years ago. Visitors are encouraged to dive into the exciting world of modern paleontology, where new dinosaur fossils are being discovered faster than ever before. The young and young-at-heart are invited to try some dinosaur fun with interactive animations like Dino-Pedia and Continental Drift and other fun dino activities. Designed and curated by the world-famous American Museum of Natural History, this exhibit is a must-see for all ages and Victoria is its only stop in Canada. For more information visit www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca 


Fairmont Empress Bees The Fairmont Empress Bees Create Sweet New Brew
In late April, The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, B.C. welcomed back their most famous summer residents the honeybees. Last year, The hotel became the newest property in the Fairmont family to initiate a honeybee program, bringing ten hives and 800,000 bees to the hotel’s Centennial Garden. The bees produced 1,300 pounds of honey, which was used in the hotel restaurants for Afternoon Tea. In partnership with Hoyne Brewery, the honey was also used to create the Empress Honey Wheat Ale, launching just in time for summer. Beginning May 10, 2012, visitors can try the new brew in the best seats in the house when The Fairmont’s Veranda opens for the summer season. The perfect setting to enjoy the sights and sounds of Victoria’s picturesque Inner Harbour, The Veranda offers a farm to fork menu featuring some of Vancouver Island’s finest ingredients for visitors’ dining experience. Open from 11:30 a.m. to dusk, or chilly if that comes first, the Veranda also provides heaters, wraps and sun shades for their guests’ enjoyment. For more information visit www.fairmont.com/empress.


Merridale Orchard Cookhouse Merridale Adds New Orchard Cookhouse
This May, Merridale Ciderworks located 25 minutes north of Victoria, B.C., offers a feast for the senses with the opening of their Orchard Cookhouse. This new outdoor kitchen is complete with a BBQ grill, brick oven and new smoker, offering endless opportunities for menu creativity. With all of Merridale’s food now being cooked outside, menu experimentations to date include: smoked cider glazed wild salmon, marinated smoked vegetables for sides and pizza toppings and pork ribs on the grill. And, if that doesn’t get your mouth watering, this summer Merridale will also feature an impressive line of burgers made from lamb, beef, seafood and chicken and also a veggie burger for those less meat inclined. The smoker will be used to smoke meats for both the bistro and the deli, offering visitors a flavourful smoked taste. Daily seafood specials will feature tasty bowls of mussels, or the freshest find for the day. Merridale Ciderworks, nestled in the south of Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley, is Canada’s largest producer of craft cider from English and French cider apples. For more information visit www.merridalecider.com .


Saanich Peninsula Cycling Tour Cycle Your Way Through Wine Country
Victoria, B.C. is rated the cycling capital of Canada (Statistics Canada 2006) and along with world-class trails, the region produces internationally recognized and award-winning wines. Visitors can experience this ever growing wine region on two wheels with a tour from Cycle Treks called the Saanich Peninsula Wine Tour. This guided, full-day tour (approximately seven to eight hours), follows the picturesque Lochside Trail through bird sanctuaries, active farmlands and over train tressles. Stops include Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, a ten-acre certified organic farm that produces hand-crafted ciders onsite, Church and State Wines, an 11-acre property producing award-winning wines and Victoria Spirits, B.C.’s first artisan gin distillery. The tour returns via the stunning Colquitz River Trail. The cost for this tour is $139 CDN and includes a hybrid-style bicycle, helmet, map, water bottle and lunch. Cycle Treks also offers Victoria City, The Butchart Gardens, West Coast Adventure, Seaside Touring Route, Cowichan Valley Winery and Lochside Trail tours as well as multi-day tours of Southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. For more information visit www.cycletreks.com.   


  
WIn Your Escape Tourism Victoria Provides Escape Plan
Maybe it’s the anticipation of warmer weather on the way or maybe it’s the work week that never ends; whatever the case may be, wouldn’t it be nice to escape it all? Until July 3, 2012, Tourism Victoria is offering visitors the chance to win one of five perfectly-you escapes departing from Vancouver, B.C. or Seattle, WA to Victoria, B.C. valued at $2,000 CDN each! Visitors can discover their unique travel style and enter to win using the Escape Planner app at www.WinYourEscape.com , then share the contest on Twitter using the hashtag #WinYourEscape and they’ll be entered to win one of the $100 CDN weekly cash prizes. As an island destination, Victoria offers visitors an escape from the hurried world and is a unique blend of old world charm and new world experiences. This combined with the wild beauty of the Pacific Ocean and old-growth rainforests set against a backdrop of the Olympic Mountains makes for a nearby getaway that feels out of this world. For more information visit www.tourismvictoria.com.


For more information

please contact:



Cathy Ray

Manager, Travel Media Relations

(United States)

Phone: 250-414-6985

cathy.ray@tourismvictoria.com

Holly Lenk

Manager, Travel Media Relations

(Canada & Overseas)

Phone: 250-414-6974

holly.lenk@tourismvictoria.com

Tessa Humphries

Coordinator, Travel Media Relations

Phone: 250-414-7390

tessa.humphries@tourismvictoria.com 




Coming up for us….


 

 

 

 

 

Holly Lenk will be in Fredericton, NB from May 2 to 5 attending the 2012 TMAC Conference and AGM.


Cathy Ray will be in Vancouver, BC on May 7 hosting a reception for the media launch of Tourism Victoria’s Summer Marketing Campaign.


Cathy Ray and Tessa Humphries will be in Seattle, WA on May 8 hosting a reception for the media launch of Tourism Victoria’s Summer Marketing Campaign.


Holly Lenk will be in Whitehorse, YT from May 27 to 31 attending GoMedia Canada.


Tessa Humphries will be in Seattle, WA and Portland, OR the week of June 12 to 15 along with partners from Tourism British Columbia, Tourism Vancouver and Tourism Whistler for a media marketplace event and media calls.


 

 

 



Top 5…

Family Friendly Activities

Beacon Hill Children’s Farm

The Royal BC Museum


Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre


The Victoria Bug Zoo


Wildplay Westshore Victoria


 


Did you know….



Aside from BC Ferries, Harbour Air, Victoria Clipper, the M.V. Coho and Kenmore Air who regularly service the Victoria area, you can also fly directly into the Victoria International Airport (YYJ) from a number of Canadian and American cities?


Non-stop direct flights are available from Vancouver, Seattle, Calgary, Toronto and San Francisco year-round.  Seasonal non-stop flights are available from Honolulu, Las Vegas and Phoenix.


Happy Travels!

 


Other services:


Visit the website


Access our media gallery


Read Tourism Victoria’s “Going Local” blog


 


 




Tourism Victoria’s Monthly Media Newsletter                          May 2012


        In this issue: 

                  * Island Chef Food Fest: Eat Food & Fund Farms
                  * Fly From Tee to Tee
                  *
Celebrating a Diamond Jubilee

                  * Royal BC Museum Offers Kids Dinosaur Fun

                  * The Fairmont Empress Bees Create Sweet New Brew

                  * Merridale Adds New Orchard Cookhouse

                  * Cycle Your Way Through Wine Country

                  * Tourism Victoria Provides Escape Plan

                 


Island Chefs Collaborative Island Chef Food Fest: Eat Food & Fund Farms
Southern Vancouver Island is often referred to as “Canada’s Provence” for its high quality, niche food products. On June 10, 2012, visitors to Victoria, B.C. can enjoy the outdoors and experience Vancouver Island’s bounty all in one place with the Island Chefs Collaborative’s fifth annual food festival. Held from noon to 4:00 p.m. at Fort Rodd Hill, this year’s festival, Eat Food & Fund Farms , will include more than 60 local food producers and chefs. Culinary tourists are encouraged to grab a bite and explore around the grounds of the National Historic Site, a coast artillery fort built in the late 1890s complete with three gun batteries, underground magazines, command posts, guardhouses, barracks and searchlight emplacements. The food fest showcases top chefs, restaurateurs and local producers, while raising awareness on the issues and challenges of food production and sustainability on Vancouver Island. Tickets are $40 CDN for adults, $20 CDN for youth and $80 CDN for a family ticket, which includes two adults and two youth. For those looking for a healthy way to get to the festival, Habit Coffee will be organizing its annual bike trip to the fest. Skip the queue and get free bike parking as bike participants arrive before noon. The Island Chefs Collaborative is a like-minded community of chefs and food and beverage professionals with a common interest in regional food security, the preservation of farmland and the development of local food systems.  For more information visit www.iccbc.ca.


Harbour Air Fly From Tee to Tee
Celebrating its 30th year in 2012, Harbour Air in Victoria, B.C. is the world’s largest carbon neutral seaplane airline. Offering flights between Victoria and Vancouver, the summer flight schedule also offers a daily flight between two of Canada’s premier golfing destinations: Victoria and Whistler. With the mildest climate in the country, Victoria offers residents and visitors golf year-round. Golfers can choose from twenty courses in the Victoria area, from full-scale championship links to smaller, less difficult courses, most with spectacular lake, ocean and mountain views. Visitors can try their hand at Victoria’s newest championship golf course Highland Pacific Golf, or Canada’s only 36-hole Jack Nicklaus designed golf course at The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa. The truly dedicated golfer can spend an entire vacation exploring a variety of courses and follow the Vancouver Island Golf Trail, golfing their way up and down Vancouver Island at 12 premier courses. If that’s not enough, the extreme golfing fanatic can play two cities in one trip by catching a float plane to Whistler, B.C. Once daily from May 18 to September 30, 2012, Harbour Air’s flight from Victoria’s Inner Harbour offers golfers spectacular aerial views of the majestic glaciers and turquoise waters before landing on beautiful Green Lake in Whistler, B.C. and hitting the next green in just over an hour’s time. Whistler boasts four championship courses in Big Sky Golf and Country Club, Nicklaus North Golf Course, Whistler Golf Club and The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club. Flight cost between B.C.’s capital and the world-class mountain resort is $266.40 CDN. For more information visit www.harbour-air.com.


Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrating a Diamond Jubilee
Victoria, B.C. has long been known for its British heritage and the city simply cannot resist celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Anniversary of her 60-year reign. Several events and activities at some of Victoria’s most iconic locations have been planned around her Majesty’s milestone. The month of June 2012 has been declared Diamond Jubilee month at The Fairmont Empress. Events planned range from an exclusive Diamond Jubilee Gala to outdoor tea parties to queen-worthy spa packages. Four-legged friends are also welcome at the Royal Dog Show and Tea Party. On June 1, 2012 the Royal BC Museum will also honour the Queen with its latest exhibition, Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration . Featuring nearly 100 portraits by royal photographer Cecil Beaton, this exhibit explores Beaton’s long relationship with Elizabeth, who was a teenage princess when he first photographed her in 1942. Experience the many different sides of Elizabeth in her roles as princess, monarch and mother while getting a glimpse of her royal life with a number of rarely seen photographs alongside extracts from Beaton’s personal diaries and letters. Beaton’s royal portraits were among the most widely published photos of the 20th century and this five-section exhibition charts the shift in Beaton’s style from early rococo-inspired portraits to the starker images of the 1960s. The exhibition will open June 1 and run until September 3, 2012. Tickets are $14.29 CDN for adults and $9.06 CDN for children. For more information visit www.fairmont.com/empress and www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.


Royal BC Museum Dinosaurs Royal BC Museum Offers Kids Dinosaur Fun
Located in downtown Victoria, B.C., the Royal BC Museum’s fourth annual summer camp series is taking on Dinosaurs! With the feature exhibition Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries opening May 17, 2012 the summer camps will allow budding paleontologists to discover more about dinosaurs. Divided into six week-long segments, campers will spend time in the exhibition, visit the paleobotany lab behind-the-scenes in the museum, attend an IMAX movie and go on a geologically inspired field trip. The camps run from July 16 to August 31, 2012. The camp costs $224 CDN and is open to children ages 6 to 12. The feature exhibition offers amazing bio-mechanical models and lush dioramas to give the thrill of discovering something brand new about the creatures that lived millions of years ago. Visitors are encouraged to dive into the exciting world of modern paleontology, where new dinosaur fossils are being discovered faster than ever before. The young and young-at-heart are invited to try some dinosaur fun with interactive animations like Dino-Pedia and Continental Drift and other fun dino activities. Designed and curated by the world-famous American Museum of Natural History, this exhibit is a must-see for all ages and Victoria is its only stop in Canada. For more information visit www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca 


Fairmont Empress Bees The Fairmont Empress Bees Create Sweet New Brew
In late April, The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, B.C. welcomed back their most famous summer residents the honeybees. Last year, The hotel became the newest property in the Fairmont family to initiate a honeybee program, bringing ten hives and 800,000 bees to the hotel’s Centennial Garden. The bees produced 1,300 pounds of honey, which was used in the hotel restaurants for Afternoon Tea. In partnership with Hoyne Brewery, the honey was also used to create the Empress Honey Wheat Ale, launching just in time for summer. Beginning May 10, 2012, visitors can try the new brew in the best seats in the house when The Fairmont’s Veranda opens for the summer season. The perfect setting to enjoy the sights and sounds of Victoria’s picturesque Inner Harbour, The Veranda offers a farm to fork menu featuring some of Vancouver Island’s finest ingredients for visitors’ dining experience. Open from 11:30 a.m. to dusk, or chilly if that comes first, the Veranda also provides heaters, wraps and sun shades for their guests’ enjoyment. For more information visit www.fairmont.com/empress.


Merridale Orchard Cookhouse Merridale Adds New Orchard Cookhouse
This May, Merridale Ciderworks located 25 minutes north of Victoria, B.C., offers a feast for the senses with the opening of their Orchard Cookhouse. This new outdoor kitchen is complete with a BBQ grill, brick oven and new smoker, offering endless opportunities for menu creativity. With all of Merridale’s food now being cooked outside, menu experimentations to date include: smoked cider glazed wild salmon, marinated smoked vegetables for sides and pizza toppings and pork ribs on the grill. And, if that doesn’t get your mouth watering, this summer Merridale will also feature an impressive line of burgers made from lamb, beef, seafood and chicken and also a veggie burger for those less meat inclined. The smoker will be used to smoke meats for both the bistro and the deli, offering visitors a flavourful smoked taste. Daily seafood specials will feature tasty bowls of mussels, or the freshest find for the day. Merridale Ciderworks, nestled in the south of Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley, is Canada’s largest producer of craft cider from English and French cider apples. For more information visit www.merridalecider.com .


Saanich Peninsula Cycling Tour Cycle Your Way Through Wine Country
Victoria, B.C. is rated the cycling capital of Canada (Statistics Canada 2006) and along with world-class trails, the region produces internationally recognized and award-winning wines. Visitors can experience this ever growing wine region on two wheels with a tour from Cycle Treks called the Saanich Peninsula Wine Tour. This guided, full-day tour (approximately seven to eight hours), follows the picturesque Lochside Trail through bird sanctuaries, active farmlands and over train tressles. Stops include Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, a ten-acre certified organic farm that produces hand-crafted ciders onsite, Church and State Wines, an 11-acre property producing award-winning wines and Victoria Spirits, B.C.’s first artisan gin distillery. The tour returns via the stunning Colquitz River Trail. The cost for this tour is $139 CDN and includes a hybrid-style bicycle, helmet, map, water bottle and lunch. Cycle Treks also offers Victoria City, The Butchart Gardens, West Coast Adventure, Seaside Touring Route, Cowichan Valley Winery and Lochside Trail tours as well as multi-day tours of Southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. For more information visit www.cycletreks.com.   


  
WIn Your Escape Tourism Victoria Provides Escape Plan
Maybe it’s the anticipation of warmer weather on the way or maybe it’s the work week that never ends; whatever the case may be, wouldn’t it be nice to escape it all? Until July 3, 2012, Tourism Victoria is offering visitors the chance to win one of five perfectly-you escapes departing from Vancouver, B.C. or Seattle, WA to Victoria, B.C. valued at $2,000 CDN each! Visitors can discover their unique travel style and enter to win using the Escape Planner app at www.WinYourEscape.com , then share the contest on Twitter using the hashtag #WinYourEscape and they’ll be entered to win one of the $100 CDN weekly cash prizes. As an island destination, Victoria offers visitors an escape from the hurried world and is a unique blend of old world charm and new world experiences. This combined with the wild beauty of the Pacific Ocean and old-growth rainforests set against a backdrop of the Olympic Mountains makes for a nearby getaway that feels out of this world. For more information visit www.tourismvictoria.com.

 

 


Tourism Victoria’s Monthly Media Newsletter                          May 2012


        In this issue: 

                  * Island Chef Food Fest: Eat Food & Fund Farms
                  * Fly From Tee to Tee
                  *
Celebrating a Diamond Jubilee

                  * Royal BC Museum Offers Kids Dinosaur Fun

                  * The Fairmont Empress Bees Create Sweet New Brew

                  * Merridale Adds New Orchard Cookhouse

                  * Cycle Your Way Through Wine Country

                  * Tourism Victoria Provides Escape Plan

                 


Island Chefs Collaborative Island Chef Food Fest: Eat Food & Fund Farms
Southern Vancouver Island is often referred to as “Canada’s Provence” for its high quality, niche food products. On June 10, 2012, visitors to Victoria, B.C. can enjoy the outdoors and experience Vancouver Island’s bounty all in one place with the Island Chefs Collaborative’s fifth annual food festival. Held from noon to 4:00 p.m. at Fort Rodd Hill, this year’s festival, Eat Food & Fund Farms , will include more than 60 local food producers and chefs. Culinary tourists are encouraged to grab a bite and explore around the grounds of the National Historic Site, a coast artillery fort built in the late 1890s complete with three gun batteries, underground magazines, command posts, guardhouses, barracks and searchlight emplacements. The food fest showcases top chefs, restaurateurs and local producers, while raising awareness on the issues and challenges of food production and sustainability on Vancouver Island. Tickets are $40 CDN for adults, $20 CDN for youth and $80 CDN for a family ticket, which includes two adults and two youth. For those looking for a healthy way to get to the festival, Habit Coffee will be organizing its annual bike trip to the fest. Skip the queue and get free bike parking as bike participants arrive before noon. The Island Chefs Collaborative is a like-minded community of chefs and food and beverage professionals with a common interest in regional food security, the preservation of farmland and the development of local food systems.  For more information visit www.iccbc.ca.


Harbour Air Fly From Tee to Tee
Celebrating its 30th year in 2012, Harbour Air in Victoria, B.C. is the world’s largest carbon neutral seaplane airline. Offering flights between Victoria and Vancouver, the summer flight schedule also offers a daily flight between two of Canada’s premier golfing destinations: Victoria and Whistler. With the mildest climate in the country, Victoria offers residents and visitors golf year-round. Golfers can choose from twenty courses in the Victoria area, from full-scale championship links to smaller, less difficult courses, most with spectacular lake, ocean and mountain views. Visitors can try their hand at Victoria’s newest championship golf course Highland Pacific Golf, or Canada’s only 36-hole Jack Nicklaus designed golf course at The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa. The truly dedicated golfer can spend an entire vacation exploring a variety of courses and follow the Vancouver Island Golf Trail, golfing their way up and down Vancouver Island at 12 premier courses. If that’s not enough, the extreme golfing fanatic can play two cities in one trip by catching a float plane to Whistler, B.C. Once daily from May 18 to September 30, 2012, Harbour Air’s flight from Victoria’s Inner Harbour offers golfers spectacular aerial views of the majestic glaciers and turquoise waters before landing on beautiful Green Lake in Whistler, B.C. and hitting the next green in just over an hour’s time. Whistler boasts four championship courses in Big Sky Golf and Country Club, Nicklaus North Golf Course, Whistler Golf Club and The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club. Flight cost between B.C.’s capital and the world-class mountain resort is $266.40 CDN. For more information visit www.harbour-air.com.


Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrating a Diamond Jubilee
Victoria, B.C. has long been known for its British heritage and the city simply cannot resist celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Anniversary of her 60-year reign. Several events and activities at some of Victoria’s most iconic locations have been planned around her Majesty’s milestone. The month of June 2012 has been declared Diamond Jubilee month at The Fairmont Empress. Events planned range from an exclusive Diamond Jubilee Gala to outdoor tea parties to queen-worthy spa packages. Four-legged friends are also welcome at the Royal Dog Show and Tea Party. On June 1, 2012 the Royal BC Museum will also honour the Queen with its latest exhibition, Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration . Featuring nearly 100 portraits by royal photographer Cecil Beaton, this exhibit explores Beaton’s long relationship with Elizabeth, who was a teenage princess when he first photographed her in 1942. Experience the many different sides of Elizabeth in her roles as princess, monarch and mother while getting a glimpse of her royal life with a number of rarely seen photographs alongside extracts from Beaton’s personal diaries and letters. Beaton’s royal portraits were among the most widely published photos of the 20th century and this five-section exhibition charts the shift in Beaton’s style from early rococo-inspired portraits to the starker images of the 1960s. The exhibition will open June 1 and run until September 3, 2012. Tickets are $14.29 CDN for adults and $9.06 CDN for children. For more information visit www.fairmont.com/empress and www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.


Royal BC Museum Dinosaurs Royal BC Museum Offers Kids Dinosaur Fun
Located in downtown Victoria, B.C., the Royal BC Museum’s fourth annual summer camp series is taking on Dinosaurs! With the feature exhibition Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries opening May 17, 2012 the summer camps will allow budding paleontologists to discover more about dinosaurs. Divided into six week-long segments, campers will spend time in the exhibition, visit the paleobotany lab behind-the-scenes in the museum, attend an IMAX movie and go on a geologically inspired field trip. The camps run from July 16 to August 31, 2012. The camp costs $224 CDN and is open to children ages 6 to 12. The feature exhibition offers amazing bio-mechanical models and lush dioramas to give the thrill of discovering something brand new about the creatures that lived millions of years ago. Visitors are encouraged to dive into the exciting world of modern paleontology, where new dinosaur fossils are being discovered faster than ever before. The young and young-at-heart are invited to try some dinosaur fun with interactive animations like Dino-Pedia and Continental Drift and other fun dino activities. Designed and curated by the world-famous American Museum of Natural History, this exhibit is a must-see for all ages and Victoria is its only stop in Canada. For more information visit www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca 


Fairmont Empress Bees The Fairmont Empress Bees Create Sweet New Brew
In late April, The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, B.C. welcomed back their most famous summer residents the honeybees. Last year, The hotel became the newest property in the Fairmont family to initiate a honeybee program, bringing ten hives and 800,000 bees to the hotel’s Centennial Garden. The bees produced 1,300 pounds of honey, which was used in the hotel restaurants for Afternoon Tea. In partnership with Hoyne Brewery, the honey was also used to create the Empress Honey Wheat Ale, launching just in time for summer. Beginning May 10, 2012, visitors can try the new brew in the best seats in the house when The Fairmont’s Veranda opens for the summer season. The perfect setting to enjoy the sights and sounds of Victoria’s picturesque Inner Harbour, The Veranda offers a farm to fork menu featuring some of Vancouver Island’s finest ingredients for visitors’ dining experience. Open from 11:30 a.m. to dusk, or chilly if that comes first, the Veranda also provides heaters, wraps and sun shades for their guests’ enjoyment. For more information visit www.fairmont.com/empress.


Merridale Orchard Cookhouse Merridale Adds New Orchard Cookhouse
This May, Merridale Ciderworks located 25 minutes north of Victoria, B.C., offers a feast for the senses with the opening of their Orchard Cookhouse. This new outdoor kitchen is complete with a BBQ grill, brick oven and new smoker, offering endless opportunities for menu creativity. With all of Merridale’s food now being cooked outside, menu experimentations to date include: smoked cider glazed wild salmon, marinated smoked vegetables for sides and pizza toppings and pork ribs on the grill. And, if that doesn’t get your mouth watering, this summer Merridale will also feature an impressive line of burgers made from lamb, beef, seafood and chicken and also a veggie burger for those less meat inclined. The smoker will be used to smoke meats for both the bistro and the deli, offering visitors a flavourful smoked taste. Daily seafood specials will feature tasty bowls of mussels, or the freshest find for the day. Merridale Ciderworks, nestled in the south of Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley, is Canada’s largest producer of craft cider from English and French cider apples. For more information visit www.merridalecider.com .


Saanich Peninsula Cycling Tour Cycle Your Way Through Wine Country
Victoria, B.C. is rated the cycling capital of Canada (Statistics Canada 2006) and along with world-class trails, the region produces internationally recognized and award-winning wines. Visitors can experience this ever growing wine region on two wheels with a tour from Cycle Treks called the Saanich Peninsula Wine Tour. This guided, full-day tour (approximately seven to eight hours), follows the picturesque Lochside Trail through bird sanctuaries, active farmlands and over train tressles. Stops include Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, a ten-acre certified organic farm that produces hand-crafted ciders onsite, Church and State Wines, an 11-acre property producing award-winning wines and Victoria Spirits, B.C.’s first artisan gin distillery. The tour returns via the stunning Colquitz River Trail. The cost for this tour is $139 CDN and includes a hybrid-style bicycle, helmet, map, water bottle and lunch. Cycle Treks also offers Victoria City, The Butchart Gardens, West Coast Adventure, Seaside Touring Route, Cowichan Valley Winery and Lochside Trail tours as well as multi-day tours of Southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. For more information visit www.cycletreks.com.   


  
WIn Your Escape Tourism Victoria Provides Escape Plan
Maybe it’s the anticipation of warmer weather on the way or maybe it’s the work week that never ends; whatever the case may be, wouldn’t it be nice to escape it all? Until July 3, 2012, Tourism Victoria is offering visitors the chance to win one of five perfectly-you escapes departing from Vancouver, B.C. or Seattle, WA to Victoria, B.C. valued at $2,000 CDN each! Visitors can discover their unique travel style and enter to win using the Escape Planner app at www.WinYourEscape.com , then share the contest on Twitter using the hashtag #WinYourEscape and they’ll be entered to win one of the $100 CDN weekly cash prizes. As an island destination, Victoria offers visitors an escape from the hurried world and is a unique blend of old world charm and new world experiences. This combined with the wild beauty of the Pacific Ocean and old-growth rainforests set against a backdrop of the Olympic Mountains makes for a nearby getaway that feels out of this world. For more information visit www.tourismvictoria.com.


For more information

please contact:



Cathy Ray

Manager, Travel Media Relations

(United States)

Phone: 250-414-6985

cathy.ray@tourismvictoria.com

Holly Lenk

Manager, Travel Media Relations

(Canada & Overseas)

Phone: 250-414-6974

holly.lenk@tourismvictoria.com

Tessa Humphries

Coordinator, Travel Media Relations

Phone: 250-414-7390

tessa.humphries@tourismvictoria.com 




Coming up for us….


 

 

 

 

 

Holly Lenk will be in Fredericton, NB from May 2 to 5 attending the 2012 TMAC Conference and AGM.


Cathy Ray will be in Vancouver, BC on May 7 hosting a reception for the media launch of Tourism Victoria’s Summer Marketing Campaign.


Cathy Ray and Tessa Humphries will be in Seattle, WA on May 8 hosting a reception for the media launch of Tourism Victoria’s Summer Marketing Campaign.


Holly Lenk will be in Whitehorse, YT from May 27 to 31 attending GoMedia Canada.


Tessa Humphries will be in Seattle, WA and Portland, OR the week of June 12 to 15 along with partners from Tourism British Columbia, Tourism Vancouver and Tourism Whistler for a media marketplace event and media calls.


 

 

 



Top 5…

Family Friendly Activities

Beacon Hill Children’s Farm

The Royal BC Museum


Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre


The Victoria Bug Zoo


Wildplay Westshore Victoria


 


Did you know….



Aside from BC Ferries, Harbour Air, Victoria Clipper, the M.V. Coho and Kenmore Air who regularly service the Victoria area, you can also fly directly into the Victoria International Airport (YYJ) from a number of Canadian and American cities?


Non-stop direct flights are available from Vancouver, Seattle, Calgary, Toronto and San Francisco year-round.  Seasonal non-stop flights are available from Honolulu, Las Vegas and Phoenix.


Happy Travels!

 


Other services:


Visit the website


Access our media gallery


Read Tourism Victoria’s “Going Local” blog


 


 



 


Tourism Victoria’s Monthly Media Newsletter                          May 2012


        In this issue: 

                  * Island Chef Food Fest: Eat Food & Fund Farms
                  * Fly From Tee to Tee
                  *
Celebrating a Diamond Jubilee

                  * Royal BC Museum Offers Kids Dinosaur Fun

                  * The Fairmont Empress Bees Create Sweet New Brew

                  * Merridale Adds New Orchard Cookhouse

                  * Cycle Your Way Through Wine Country

                  * Tourism Victoria Provides Escape Plan

                 


Island Chefs Collaborative Island Chef Food Fest: Eat Food & Fund Farms
Southern Vancouver Island is often referred to as “Canada’s Provence” for its high quality, niche food products. On June 10, 2012, visitors to Victoria, B.C. can enjoy the outdoors and experience Vancouver Island’s bounty all in one place with the Island Chefs Collaborative’s fifth annual food festival. Held from noon to 4:00 p.m. at Fort Rodd Hill, this year’s festival, Eat Food & Fund Farms , will include more than 60 local food producers and chefs. Culinary tourists are encouraged to grab a bite and explore around the grounds of the National Historic Site, a coast artillery fort built in the late 1890s complete with three gun batteries, underground magazines, command posts, guardhouses, barracks and searchlight emplacements. The food fest showcases top chefs, restaurateurs and local producers, while raising awareness on the issues and challenges of food production and sustainability on Vancouver Island. Tickets are $40 CDN for adults, $20 CDN for youth and $80 CDN for a family ticket, which includes two adults and two youth. For those looking for a healthy way to get to the festival, Habit Coffee will be organizing its annual bike trip to the fest. Skip the queue and get free bike parking as bike participants arrive before noon. The Island Chefs Collaborative is a like-minded community of chefs and food and beverage professionals with a common interest in regional food security, the preservation of farmland and the development of local food systems.  For more information visit www.iccbc.ca.


Harbour Air Fly From Tee to Tee
Celebrating its 30th year in 2012, Harbour Air in Victoria, B.C. is the world’s largest carbon neutral seaplane airline. Offering flights between Victoria and Vancouver, the summer flight schedule also offers a daily flight between two of Canada’s premier golfing destinations: Victoria and Whistler. With the mildest climate in the country, Victoria offers residents and visitors golf year-round. Golfers can choose from twenty courses in the Victoria area, from full-scale championship links to smaller, less difficult courses, most with spectacular lake, ocean and mountain views. Visitors can try their hand at Victoria’s newest championship golf course Highland Pacific Golf, or Canada’s only 36-hole Jack Nicklaus designed golf course at The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa. The truly dedicated golfer can spend an entire vacation exploring a variety of courses and follow the Vancouver Island Golf Trail, golfing their way up and down Vancouver Island at 12 premier courses. If that’s not enough, the extreme golfing fanatic can play two cities in one trip by catching a float plane to Whistler, B.C. Once daily from May 18 to September 30, 2012, Harbour Air’s flight from Victoria’s Inner Harbour offers golfers spectacular aerial views of the majestic glaciers and turquoise waters before landing on beautiful Green Lake in Whistler, B.C. and hitting the next green in just over an hour’s time. Whistler boasts four championship courses in Big Sky Golf and Country Club, Nicklaus North Golf Course, Whistler Golf Club and The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club. Flight cost between B.C.’s capital and the world-class mountain resort is $266.40 CDN. For more information visit www.harbour-air.com.


Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrating a Diamond Jubilee
Victoria, B.C. has long been known for its British heritage and the city simply cannot resist celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Anniversary of her 60-year reign. Several events and activities at some of Victoria’s most iconic locations have been planned around her Majesty’s milestone. The month of June 2012 has been declared Diamond Jubilee month at The Fairmont Empress. Events planned range from an exclusive Diamond Jubilee Gala to outdoor tea parties to queen-worthy spa packages. Four-legged friends are also welcome at the Royal Dog Show and Tea Party. On June 1, 2012 the Royal BC Museum will also honour the Queen with its latest exhibition, Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration . Featuring nearly 100 portraits by royal photographer Cecil Beaton, this exhibit explores Beaton’s long relationship with Elizabeth, who was a teenage princess when he first photographed her in 1942. Experience the many different sides of Elizabeth in her roles as princess, monarch and mother while getting a glimpse of her royal life with a number of rarely seen photographs alongside extracts from Beaton’s personal diaries and letters. Beaton’s royal portraits were among the most widely published photos of the 20th century and this five-section exhibition charts the shift in Beaton’s style from early rococo-inspired portraits to the starker images of the 1960s. The exhibition will open June 1 and run until September 3, 2012. Tickets are $14.29 CDN for adults and $9.06 CDN for children. For more information visit www.fairmont.com/empress and www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.


Royal BC Museum Dinosaurs Royal BC Museum Offers Kids Dinosaur Fun
Located in downtown Victoria, B.C., the Royal BC Museum’s fourth annual summer camp series is taking on Dinosaurs! With the feature exhibition Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries opening May 17, 2012 the summer camps will allow budding paleontologists to discover more about dinosaurs. Divided into six week-long segments, campers will spend time in the exhibition, visit the paleobotany lab behind-the-scenes in the museum, attend an IMAX movie and go on a geologically inspired field trip. The camps run from July 16 to August 31, 2012. The camp costs $224 CDN and is open to children ages 6 to 12. The feature exhibition offers amazing bio-mechanical models and lush dioramas to give the thrill of discovering something brand new about the creatures that lived millions of years ago. Visitors are encouraged to dive into the exciting world of modern paleontology, where new dinosaur fossils are being discovered faster than ever before. The young and young-at-heart are invited to try some dinosaur fun with interactive animations like Dino-Pedia and Continental Drift and other fun dino activities. Designed and curated by the world-famous American Museum of Natural History, this exhibit is a must-see for all ages and Victoria is its only stop in Canada. For more information visit www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca 


Fairmont Empress Bees The Fairmont Empress Bees Create Sweet New Brew
In late April, The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, B.C. welcomed back their most famous summer residents the honeybees. Last year, The hotel became the newest property in the Fairmont family to initiate a honeybee program, bringing ten hives and 800,000 bees to the hotel’s Centennial Garden. The bees produced 1,300 pounds of honey, which was used in the hotel restaurants for Afternoon Tea. In partnership with Hoyne Brewery, the honey was also used to create the Empress Honey Wheat Ale, launching just in time for summer. Beginning May 10, 2012, visitors can try the new brew in the best seats in the house when The Fairmont’s Veranda opens for the summer season. The perfect setting to enjoy the sights and sounds of Victoria’s picturesque Inner Harbour, The Veranda offers a farm to fork menu featuring some of Vancouver Island’s finest ingredients for visitors’ dining experience. Open from 11:30 a.m. to dusk, or chilly if that comes first, the Veranda also provides heaters, wraps and sun shades for their guests’ enjoyment. For more information visit www.fairmont.com/empress.


Merridale Orchard Cookhouse Merridale Adds New Orchard Cookhouse
This May, Merridale Ciderworks located 25 minutes north of Victoria, B.C., offers a feast for the senses with the opening of their Orchard Cookhouse. This new outdoor kitchen is complete with a BBQ grill, brick oven and new smoker, offering endless opportunities for menu creativity. With all of Merridale’s food now being cooked outside, menu experimentations to date include: smoked cider glazed wild salmon, marinated smoked vegetables for sides and pizza toppings and pork ribs on the grill. And, if that doesn’t get your mouth watering, this summer Merridale will also feature an impressive line of burgers made from lamb, beef, seafood and chicken and also a veggie burger for those less meat inclined. The smoker will be used to smoke meats for both the bistro and the deli, offering visitors a flavourful smoked taste. Daily seafood specials will feature tasty bowls of mussels, or the freshest find for the day. Merridale Ciderworks, nestled in the south of Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley, is Canada’s largest producer of craft cider from English and French cider apples. For more information visit www.merridalecider.com .


Saanich Peninsula Cycling Tour Cycle Your Way Through Wine Country
Victoria, B.C. is rated the cycling capital of Canada (Statistics Canada 2006) and along with world-class trails, the region produces internationally recognized and award-winning wines. Visitors can experience this ever growing wine region on two wheels with a tour from Cycle Treks called the Saanich Peninsula Wine Tour. This guided, full-day tour (approximately seven to eight hours), follows the picturesque Lochside Trail through bird sanctuaries, active farmlands and over train tressles. Stops include Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, a ten-acre certified organic farm that produces hand-crafted ciders onsite, Church and State Wines, an 11-acre property producing award-winning wines and Victoria Spirits, B.C.’s first artisan gin distillery. The tour returns via the stunning Colquitz River Trail. The cost for this tour is $139 CDN and includes a hybrid-style bicycle, helmet, map, water bottle and lunch. Cycle Treks also offers Victoria City, The Butchart Gardens, West Coast Adventure, Seaside Touring Route, Cowichan Valley Winery and Lochside Trail tours as well as multi-day tours of Southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. For more information visit www.cycletreks.com.   


  
WIn Your Escape Tourism Victoria Provides Escape Plan
Maybe it’s the anticipation of warmer weather on the way or maybe it’s the work week that never ends; whatever the case may be, wouldn’t it be nice to escape it all? Until July 3, 2012, Tourism Victoria is offering visitors the chance to win one of five perfectly-you escapes departing from Vancouver, B.C. or Seattle, WA to Victoria, B.C. valued at $2,000 CDN each! Visitors can discover their unique travel style and enter to win using the Escape Planner app at www.WinYourEscape.com , then share the contest on Twitter using the hashtag #WinYourEscape and they’ll be entered to win one of the $100 CDN weekly cash prizes. As an island destination, Victoria offers visitors an escape from the hurried world and is a unique blend of old world charm and new world experiences. This combined with the wild beauty of the Pacific Ocean and old-growth rainforests set against a backdrop of the Olympic Mountains makes for a nearby getaway that feels out of this world. For more information visit www.tourismvictoria.com.


For more information

please contact:



Cathy Ray

Manager, Travel Media Relations

(United States)

Phone: 250-414-6985

cathy.ray@tourismvictoria.com

Holly Lenk

Manager, Travel Media Relations

(Canada & Overseas)

Phone: 250-414-6974

holly.lenk@tourismvictoria.com

Tessa Humphries

Coordinator, Travel Media Relations

Phone: 250-414-7390

tessa.humphries@tourismvictoria.com 




Coming up for us….


 

 

 

 

 

Holly Lenk will be in Fredericton, NB from May 2 to 5 attending the 2012 TMAC Conference and AGM.


Cathy Ray will be in Vancouver, BC on May 7 hosting a reception for the media launch of Tourism Victoria’s Summer Marketing Campaign.


Cathy Ray and Tessa Humphries will be in Seattle, WA on May 8 hosting a reception for the media launch of Tourism Victoria’s Summer Marketing Campaign.


Holly Lenk will be in Whitehorse, YT from May 27 to 31 attending GoMedia Canada.


Tessa Humphries will be in Seattle, WA and Portland, OR the week of June 12 to 15 along with partners from Tourism British Columbia, Tourism Vancouver and Tourism Whistler for a media marketplace event and media calls.


 

 

 



Top 5…

Family Friendly Activities

Beacon Hill Children’s Farm

The Royal BC Museum


Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre


The Victoria Bug Zoo


Wildplay Westshore Victoria


 


Did you know….



Aside from BC Ferries, Harbour Air, Victoria Clipper, the M.V. Coho and Kenmore Air who regularly service the Victoria area, you can also fly directly into the Victoria International Airport (YYJ) from a number of Canadian and American cities?


Non-stop direct flights are available from Vancouver, Seattle, Calgary, Toronto and San Francisco year-round.  Seasonal non-stop flights are available from Honolulu, Las Vegas and Phoenix.


Happy Travels!

 


Other services:


Visit the website


Access our media gallery


Read Tourism Victoria’s “Going Local” blog


 


 



News from Victoria, April 2012 issue

Tourism Victoria’s Monthly Media Newsletter                             April 2012

        In this issue:

                  *Harnessing Your Energy in a World-First
                  *150 Years Packaged
                  *A Tweedy Affair
                  *Summer Theatre with Blue Bridge
                  * Bring Out Your Inner Scotsman
                  *Take a “Big Ride” Around Victoria This Summer
——————————————————————————–
 
 
 
 
 Harnessing Your Energy in a World-First
In Victoria, B.C., members and guests of the Victoria Athletic Club at the Hotel Grand Pacific now have the opportunity to harness their workout energy output to create electricity in a clean, green way. Using a pod of ten SportsArt “Green System” machines, specially designed energy saving treadmills and elliptical trainers, gym users’ energy is converted at a rate of 75 per cent and then transferred back to a grid to help power the athletic club, thus saving the facility approximately $3,000 in electricity costs per year. While this technology is not new, the partnership between SportsArt and local Victoria-based company EcoFit is. Together they have created a world’s first, as these machines not only send electricity back to the grid simply by using them, but they also allow users to see on a television screen how much power they are producing in real time. Furthermore to help encourage both fitness and environmental goals, once their work out is complete, users will receive an email detailing the stats of their workout. At the Victoria Athletic Club, no hard work goes unnoticed as fitness fanatics are acknowledged for their sweat by a rewards-based program started by EcoFit. Members and guests are given an EcoFit card upon registration which tracks their current and future energy production and fitness statistics, earning them EcoPoints they can redeem for discounts and offers within the hotel and at other local businesses. Having started in Victoria, this initiative is bound to succeed in eco-friendly markets around the world, as finding motivation to hop on that elliptical has never been so easy! For more information visit www.victoriaathleticclub.com.

——————————————————————————–
 
 
 
150 Years Packaged
The City of Victoria is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2012. The town site of Fort Victoria was incorporated as the City of Victoria on August 2, 1862 and in celebration a variety of events will be taking place over the course of the year. Fifty-seven 150th-themed arts, cultural and community-based projects are planned and take place from March to November. These projects include: Cycling Through Time Victoria from June 1 to June 23, a look back at bicycles and cycling in Victoria’s past, and several themed Chinatown Night Markets, taking place on the third Wednesday of the month from May to September. Special hotel packages for the 150th will also be available, including specials at The Fairmont Empress with rates starting at $150 CDN. The Inn at Laurel Point is offering a stay in a Laurel Wing room at $150 CDN and a $40 CDN food credit as a bonus if you book by April 30. And should you wish for a more intimate stay, Humboldt House B&B is also offering a 150th package which includes two tickets to Butchart Gardens, two tickets to Craigdarroch Castle, two tickets to the Royal BC Museum and chocolate truffles and sparkling wine awaiting you on your arrival. This package can be added to any two night stay for $150 CDN. For more information visit www.victoria.ca, www.fairmont.com/empress, www.laurelpoint.com and www.humboldthouse.com.  
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 A Tweedy Affair
On May 12, 2012, grab your chapeau and hop on a bike in Victoria, B.C. for a smashing good time at this year’s Tweed Ride Victoria. Occurring in countries around the world, including Tokyo and Finland, Tweed Rides started in London in the fall of 2009 and feature cyclists riding through city streets wearing classic tweed and other smart looking outfits. Victoria’s version will accept 350 riders and is a fundraiser for Bicycles for Humanity Victoria, a non-profit group that sends bicycles to those in need in Africa. This slower-paced cosmopolitan ride begins at 12:00 p.m. on the front lawn of The Fairmont Empress Hotel and includes judging stations along the way for prizes such as Best Men’s & Ladies Tweed and Tweediest Child, given out once the ride is complete. No Tweed Ride is complete without traditional Afternoon Tea, so riders are invited to bring their tweediest cup and saucer as the ride stops halfway for tea time. Be prepared for anything as this ride goes rain or shine. Whether you want to participate or just watch from the sidelines, this leisurely cycle is bound to be one classy affair. For more information visit www.tweedridevictoria.com.
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 Summer Theatre with Blue Bridge
Back for its fourth season in 2012, Victoria, B.C.’s Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre Company celebrates summer with plays from the United Kingdom and the United States. The season begins on May 15, 2012, with Willy Russell’s British Classic, Shirley Valentine . The play is a wildly funny one-woman tour-de-force about a Liverpool housewife who wins a trip to Greece. This is followed by another British Classic, Arms & the Man running June 5 to 17. John Steinbeck’s American classic Of Mice and Men follows next from July 3 to 15, 2012.  The season concludes with Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s Little Shop of Horrors , a smash-hit rock ‘n’ roll musical about a blood thirsty plant. Housed out of the beautifully restored MacPherson Theatre in downtown Victoria, the 2012 Blue Bridge Season promises visitors a season of wit, outrageous comedy, and rockin’ tunes all under one roof. Single tickets begin at $24.50 CDN. The Blue Bridge Theatre Company also offers special promotions such as B&B package deals and Tea Matinees, where the matinee audience receives a complimentary cup of tea and biscuits from beloved Victoria establishments Silk Road Tea Company and The Dutch Bakery and Coffee Shop. For more information visit www.bluebridgetheatre.ca.
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 Bring Out Your Inner Scotsman

Victoria, B.C.’s 149th Highland Games and Celtic Festival is a fun-filled weekend event for the whole family. From May 19 to 20, 2012, visitors are invited to experience all things Celtic, as Celtic music, dance, sports and culture entertain the crowds. The two-day event will feature competitions in highland dancing, pipe bands, kilted mile athletics, tug of war, sheep dog herding, haggis hurling and heavy events. This year’s heavy events competition, a crowd favourite, features the top Canadian athletes battling for the title of the 2012 CSAF Canadian Heavy Event Champion through events such as the caber toss, hammer throw, weight over bar and stone put. The traditional massed pipe band opening ceremonies, complete with a cannon and muskets display, take place on the second day of the event held at Topaz Park, located just minutes from downtown Victoria. The Victoria Highland Games and Celtic Festival is the perfect place to bring out your inner Scotsman. Advance tickets are $12 CDN for adults, $10 CDN for seniors and youth. Children 12 and under are free, with special advance ticket pricing available. For more information visit www.victoriahighlandgames.com.

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 Take a “Big Ride” Around Victoria This Summer

On June 23, 2012, cycling fanatics will flock to Victoria, B.C. to push their physical limits with the third annual Victoria Gran Fondo©. Meaning “the big ride” or “the big endurance”, a Gran Fondo is a ride a great depth and endurance and this year’s Victoria edition is just that featuring a 268 kilometre full-day ride around Southern Vancouver Island. Following the Pacific Marine Circle Route, riders will begin in Victoria and pass through the communities of Sooke, Jordan River, Port Renfrew, Lake Cowichan and Duncan before returning to B.C.’s capital. The ride is limited to 85 participants, costs $300 CND to enter and will feature support stations with food and nutritional supplements along the way. Visitors are welcome to cheer on these exceptional cyclists from various spots on the route. If the Gran Fondo is too intense for your tastes, the ride is part of the larger Victoria International Cycling Festival, with many other cycling events taking place throughout the Capital from June 1 to June 24. Highlights include Jumpship, June 22 to 24, with some of the world’s best freeride mountain bikers showing off their big air tricks on the surface of a floating barge! The crowd favourite Bastion Square Criterium will also be back featuring a closed 900 metre loop circuit on city streets around historic Bastion Square in downtown Victoria. The festival concludes with Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria on June 24. Offering a choice of a 50km, 100km or 140km distance, this ride was designed by Ryder based on some of his favourite training routes during his preparation for the Tour de France. Whether you wish to participate in the activities or watch from the sidelines, Victoria is the place to be this June for those who love to ride. For more information visit www.victoriagranfondo.com or www.vicf.ca

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  For more information

please contact:

Cathy Ray

Manager, Travel Media Relations

(United States)

Phone: 250-414-6985
cathy.ray@tourismvictoria.com

Holly Lenk

Manager, Travel Media Relations

(Canada & Overseas)

Phone: 250-414-6974
holly.lenk@tourismvictoria.com

Tessa Humphries

Coordinator, Travel Media Relations

Phone: 250-414-7390
tessa.humphries@tourismvictoria.com
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Coming up for us….
Holly Lenk will be in Fredericton, NB from May 2 to 5 attending the 2012 TMAC Conference and AGM.
Holly Lenk will be in Whitehorse, YT from May 27 to 31 attending GoMedia Canada.

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Top 5…

Places to See Spring Flowers

Abkhazi Gardens

The Butchart Gardens

The Gardens at HCP

Government House

Hatley Park National Historic Site

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Did you know….

Aside from BC Ferries, Harbour Air, Victoria Clipper, the M.V. Coho and Kenmore Air who regularly service the Victoria area, you can also fly directly into the Victoria International Airport (YYJ) from a number of Canadian and American cities?
Non-stop direct flight are available from Vancouver, Seattle, Calgary, Toronto, San Francisco year-round.  Seasonal non-stop flights available from Honolulu, Las Vegas and Arizona.
Happy Travels!

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Other services:
Visit the website
Access our media gallery
Read Tourism Victoria’s “Going Local” blog

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Travelling with Wild Women Expeditions

Canada’s leading outdoor adventure company for women celebrates 22nd anniversary
Wild Women Expeditions unveils 2012 schedule of wilderness adventures, getaways and retreats

12 October, 2011 (Woody Point, Newfoundland) — Wild Women Expeditions (WWE), Canada’s largest all-women adventure travel company, enters its 22nd season with fun and unique adventures in every region of Canada. Wild Women Expeditions specializes in outdoor adventure travel exclusively within Canada.

In 1991, the company started as an all-women canoe tripping company and over the last 20 years, Wild Women has expanded across Canada and is now offering kayak, flatwater and whitewater canoe, hiking, cycling, surfing and yoga adventures in eight provinces and territories. Yoga and art retreats compliment multi-sport adventures in a variety of outstanding wilderness destinations, including Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim, the Rockies, Charlevoix Quebec, Northern Ontario, New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy and Newfoundland’s Gros Morne National Park.

In 2011, WWE broke new ground with the wildly popular “Wild Yoga Retreats” in Gros Morne, Newfoundland and Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, combining a wellness-based program with outdoor adventure activities. WWE Director Jennifer Haddow said, “Women are looking to experience the wild in a holistic way, with other women who share their values and interests. Women’s-only travel resonates with more and more women who want more than a typical getaway vacation. They want to be part of a meaningful wilderness experience and they talk about the connections with other woman on our adventures as being as valuable as the experience of the destinations themselves”.

From the beginning of June through to September 2012, many traditional favorites and some brand new expeditions are available. A greater number and range of trips have recently been added to meet the growing demand of women wanting to explore and experience the natural beauty of Canada’s wilderness.

Recognized nationally and internationally for excellence in all-women wilderness trips, Wild Women Expeditions accommodates both the absolute beginner and the well-seasoned tripper.

“WWE has had a steady climb, increasing our activities and business by almost 20 per cent in the last year, and is poised to grow even more in 2012.” said Haddow. “We are increasing our specialized trips, such as trips exclusively for lesbian and bisexual women, as well as building on trips for mothers and daughters and meeting more specific needs of the women’s travel community”.

The complete 2012 schedule is available at www.wildwomenexp.com, or for more information               1-888-WWE-1222       .

In 2011, WWE also launched a unique new blog ‘Women Going Wild’ (www.womengoingwild.ca) as a forum to share the stories of women about their empowerment and experience in Canada’s wilderness.

What’s New in Victoria, BC. March 2011 News

Tourism Victoria’s Monthly Media Newsletter


THE EMPRESS HOLDS COURT

Rising regally on Victoria, BC’s spectacular Inner Harbour, The Fairmont Empress showcases the spirit and energy of Vancouver Island in grand style. With her turn-of-the-century beauty, The Fairmont Empress has been a longstanding host to many visiting royalty and is excited to celebrate the new generation with a month long series of events. For the die-hard royal-watcher, hotel guests are invited to join the Rise & Shine with The Royals for Breakfast on Friday, April 29 at 3 am PST to watch the live broadcast of the Royal Wedding. Breakfast will be served from 3-6 am and is $39.00 CDN per person; guests wearing robes and pajamas are welcome and may request a late check out. Later that afternoon, the front lawns of The Fairmont Empress will welcome the public for their Royal Subjects Tea, where “Afternoon Tea To-Go” is available for $20.00 CDN. This picnic treat includes a cup of tea, traditional scone, cream, jam, mini sandwiches, delightful Empress-made pastries and a flag to wave. Grab a hat, bring a blanket to sit on and be prepared for a special announcement from “The Queen” herself on The Fairmont Empress Flag Deck. Dog lovers are encouraged to deck out their canine companions for the best dressed doggie contest. And to top off the celebrations, The Fairmont Empress is hosting an exclusive Royal Dinner to be served on the Queen’s China, previously only used by Her Majesty. Expect a selection of dishes from Royal Menus that the Queen herself ate from on previous visits to The Fairmont Empress. Three exclusive dinners will be held on April 29 – May 1 for an intimate number of guests and tickets are $150.00 CDN per person. Reservations are highly recommended; for more information visit http://www.fairmont.com/empress/vanity/royalty  


FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS IN SIDNEY’S ‘BOOKTOWN’
The town of Sidney, 20 minutes outside of Victoria, BC has proclaimed the week of April 24 to 30, 2011, as Royal Wedding Week. During this special week, all Sidney businesses are encouraged to decorate in a royal red, white and blue theme in honour of the nuptials. In London the wedding venue will be Westminster Abbey – in Sidney the Mary Winspear Community Centre will be the place to celebrate this happy and momentous occasion. A Royal Wedding Breakfast and Brunch will take place on April 29th at 9:00 am and 12:00 pm meals are $20.00 CDN and guests will watch a recording of the special ceremony. Those attending are encouraged to dress in royal wedding attire. Outside of the celebrations, visitors to Sidney will enjoy strolling the main street, Beacon Avenue, down to the oceanfront walkway and marina. Along the way, bakeries, coffee houses, art galleries and home decor and furnishings stores will be welcome stops for a leisurely royal afternoon. Sidney considers itself “Canada’s only book town” and boasts a love of both new and used books with almost a dozen bookstores on one street. For further information on Sidney’s royal events, contact Councillor Kenny Podmore, Town of Sidney 250-655-4631.


DRESS THE PART
With all the royal parties to attend and wedding season right around the corner, sometimes shopping on vacation is the best way to ensure an original outfit. Several of Victoria, BC’s local dress boutiques offer plenty of ways to stand out in the crowd. Bernstein & Gold is part fashion house, part homewares retailer, part spa and wholly a local gem. From frock to shoes and accessories, hostess gift and a little bliss treatment, B&G is the ultimate pre-party stop. Lark & Sparrow, in Victoria’s charming Cook Street Village has a constantly evolving collection of party dresses, unique casual pieces and lovely jewelry – perfect for bridesmaid gifts or a personal vacation memento. And, if a true original is desired, Covet’s in-house designer and tailor can create the perfect dress. Inspired by the Old-World art of dressing and nestled in Fort Street’s Antique Row, a treasure-trove of antique pins and vintage jewelry, Covet’s clients will be sure to find that perfect something old and something new. And, if the ideal topper for any wedding outfit is a hat; Roberta’s Hats offers a plethora of choices – from the traditional top hat to modern interpretations of the Fascinator, to help the wearer discover their inner royalty. For more information visit www.bernsteinandgold.com, Lark&SparrowFB, www.covetalterations.com  and www.victoriahat.com. 


POINT ELLICE HOUSE’S ROYAL SEASON OPENER
In anticipation and celebration of the Royal Wedding, Point Ellice House National Historic Site in Victoria, BC will be hosting a Tea and Toast on Thursday, April 28, 2011 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. Their Royal celebration will mark the opening of Point Ellice House for the 2011 season and the public is invited to enjoy, as in the days of  H.R.H. Prince William of Wales’ great-great-great-great grandmother, HRH Queen Victoria, a formal afternoon tea with scones, devon-style cream, preserves from the garden and lemon curd, fruit, and tea sandwiches. Point Ellice House has made special note that Prince William dislikes champagne, so toasts to the bridal couple will be carried out with the Point Ellice House special blend of tea, with lemon or milk, of course. Point Ellice House is accessible by car, bus and most charmingly, by water taxi from Victoria’s Inner Harbour. In support of the historic house museum, refreshments will be offered at $10.00 CDN each or two for $18.00 CDN. Hats and gloves encouraged; wedding attire optional. Point Ellice was the 19th century home of Peter and Caroline O’Reilly and their children, Frank, Kathleen, Mary Augusta and Jack. The house remained in the O’Reilly family for three generations, becoming a provincial historic site in 1974. Point Ellice is also nationally designated and is considered Western Canada’s finest collection of Victoriana in its original setting. For more information visit www.pointellicehouse.ca.


THE ROYAL TREATMENT
Not everyone gets to marry a prince or princess, but all can be treated like one at several of Victoria, BC’s spas, with their royal-themed spa services and treatments. The Fairmont Empress’ Willowstream Spa is a fairytale setting for their Royal Empress Renewal, a specialty facial with relaxing hand and foot treatments; $119.00 CDN for 60 minutes. A local secret, Silk Road’s Spa offers the Palace Pedicure, an Imperial Palace Asian-inspired treat that is a completely natural departure from its chemical counterparts. Walk away on a cloud, knowing there is no toxic rain to follow; Palace Pedicures are $55.00 CDN for 60 minutes. And for brides making Victoria their destination wedding location, the Merridale Spa at Merridale Cidery offers a wide range of Spa Wedding Packages as a treat to the bride, her bridesmaids or the new couple. Imagine sipping cider while being pampered in the tranquility of the country. Merridale Ciderworks, located 45 minutes north of Victoria, BC, encourages you to do just that at their day spa set in the heart of their working cidery. The spa offers a full range of spa treatments – have a massage overlooking their orchard and meadow or opt for a pond-side manicure…the scene is positively pastoral. For more information visit www.fairmont.com/empress, www.silkroadtea.com and  www.merridalecider.com.

  


LIQUID COURAGE FOR THE HEART
Once the drink of kings mead, or honey wine, has made a resurgence on Vancouver Island’s local food scene. Mead has gained a reputation as a giver of life, wisdom, courage and strength down through the ages, which may be why it was a popular choice for wedding celebrations and is thought to be the source of the term ‘honeymoon’. Local mead producer, Tugwell Creek Meadery, located 25 minutes outside of Victoria, BC blends varietal honeys and berries from Vancouver Island to produce an award winning beverage. Just in time for Spring, Tugwell Creek Meadery will open May 1st for their 8th season and offers tastings and self-guided tours. A visit to the meadery may be just enough encouragement for a shy groom’s wedding proposal. For more information visit www.tugwellcreekfarm.com.


VICTORIA’S OWN PRINCE & PRINCESS
Victoria, BC was named as a tribute to the United Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch, but Victoria’s reign is not the only royal legacy the city embraces. Abkhazi Garden has received international recognition for its unique west coast design, but it is the story of two royal lovers that has captured people’s hearts. War and imprisonment kept Georgian Prince Nicholas Abkhazi and Peggy Pemberton-Carter apart until they were able to finally reunite in Victoria to create what they called “A garden that love built.” Known for its collection of splendid rhododendrons and azaleas, visits in April and May guarantee breathtaking displays of colour and is the ideal setting for a cup of the garden’s fundraiser tea, Royal Abkhazi produced by local tea purveyor Silk Road. The tea is a graceful blend of black teas, vanilla, citrus and of course, soft florals, and reflects the passion of this modern-day romance in a garden. In 1946, the property that is now Abkhazi was purchased by Peggy Pemberton-Carter who came to Victoria after spending close to eight years in a Japanese internment camp outside of Shanghai. She was soon reunited with Prince Nicholas Abkhazi who she had met and fallen in love with in Paris in the 1920’s. Married in Victoria, they began building their garden and home. Slightly more than one acre, the garden features native Garry oaks, ornamental evergreens, significant rhododendrons, rock and alpine plants, naturalized bulbs and examples of Japanese maples and weeping conifers. Abkhazi Garden is maintained by volunteers of the Land Conservancy of BC. For more information visit www.abkhazigarden.com and www.silkroadtea.com.


VICTORIA’S FAIRYTALE WEDDING LOCATIONS
With the Royal Wedding just around the corner, many couples are looking to fulfill their own fairytale romance with the perfect wedding. Victoria, BC is a cosmopolitan island destination that boasts world-class accommodation, spas, food and wine – all the makings of a memorable wedding destination. Breathtaking mountain and ocean vistas, beautiful gardens and quaint heritage charm make Victoria one of the world’s most desirable destinations for a romantic getaway. So, if the bride’s dream has been to get married in a castle, Victoria’s Hatley Park, is one of Canada’s largest and most diverse National Historic Sites. At the centre is a magnificent castle built in 1908 by former British Columbia Premier and coal baron, James Dunsmuir. For those with an appreciation of the arts, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is a stunning location in the heart of the city. The beautiful 19th century Spencer mansion and modern galleries, along with their permanent collection of 15,000 objects d’art from Asia, Europe and North America, provide the perfect cultural setting for a picturesque event. And for the English Rose, The English Inn’s Tudor style manor houses and English gardens make for a timeless wedding, but with their professional wedding planners giving each ceremony every modern convenience, leaving more time for the blushing bride to bloom. For more information visit www.hatleypark.ca, www.aggv.bc.ca, and www.englishinn.ca.


 

March 2011


FOR MORE INFORMATION

please contact:

Cathy Ray

Manager, Travel Media Relations

(United States)

Phone: 250-414-6985

cathy.ray@tourismvictoria.com

Holly Lenk

Manager, Travel Media Relations

(Canada & Overseas)

Phone: 250-414-6974

holly.lenk@tourismvictoria.com

Lisa Pilling

Coordinator, Travel Media Relations

Phone: 250-414-7390

lisa.pilling@tourismvictoria.com


Top 5:

Romantic places to renew wedding vows

Brentwood Bay Lodge

Prior House B&B

Sooke Harbour House

The Inn at Laurel Point

Villa Marco Polo


OTHER SERVICES:

Visit our website

Access our media image gallery

Read Tourism Victoria’s “Going Local” blog



TOURISM VICTORIA
4th Floor | #31 Bastion Square | Victoria, BC V8W 1J1
www.tourismvictoria.com

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