Friday, February 20

Terroir, Identity and Seduction Symposium

Saskatoon Inn – February 20 to 22, 2009

The conference aims to officially launch a collective reflection on terroir products through workshops and networking. These activities will point the way to introducing and developing collective projects related to the terroir. These projects will allow us to redefine and promote the revitalization of our rural communities as well as our entire community's sense of identity.

A wealth of conference experts in terroir development from around the world will discuss subjects such as:

Rural development initiatives

Food and culture

Marketing terroir products

Tourism and regional development

Dietetics and local products

Pow wows are on the rise as native people rediscover their roots, and Winnipeg, MB’s Manito Ahbee—A Festival for All Nations—is at the centre of it

Pow wows are on the rise as native people rediscover their roots, and Winnipeg, MB’s Manito Ahbee—A Festival for All Nations—is at the centre of it all.

This gathering is one of the biggest, drawing over 800 dancers around the continent. Anyone can join in—just note a few dos and don’ts.

It is Manito Ahbee—“where the Creator Sits,” a sacred, secret site in southern Manitoba’s Whiteshell Provincial Park. It’s also the name of the annual continental event of Turtle Island, the Aboriginal name of North America, a 10-day meeting of native minds and hearts held in late October in Winnipeg, MB, that culminates in an explosion of wildly colourful regalia, whirling dance and pounding drums—the International Competition Pow Wow.

Pow wows are sweeping North America as native people have, in recent decades, rediscovered their history and culture. And this is one of the biggest, drawing some 800 dancers from around the continent. Manito Ahbee’s even pulling in mainstream, non-Aboriginal visitors, fascinated by the dancers’ skills and energy.

The Pow Wow’s the butter on the bannock of Métis celebration, conferences, traditional crafts marketplace, and Métis and native music at venues around downtown Winnipeg, as well as at the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards.

These aren’t your grandfather’s soulful chants, though; First Nations music has evolved into an audio kaleidoscope of genres from the hip hop of KrayKree to Ed Peekeekoot’s country styling.

Even so, the Pow Wow is totally traditional, and there are rules. You don’t, as I did, lie on the floor to get a good photo angle (I was admonished gently). You don’t call dancers’ clothing “costumes”—costumes mean Halloween, and these outfits are imbued with serious symbolism.

You do get swept away by the passion of the competition dances that last well into the evening. And when they call out “intertribal dance,” you get to join in—even if you’re like me, a white gal, wearing a decidedly non-festive sweatshirt and sneakers.

Source: Canadian Tourism Commission

A streetcar named desirable

Environmentally friendly trams return to Vancouver in 2010

Was it 2009, or 1959? For a moment there it was hard to tell, as we watched an excavator erase what remained of a once-bustling Vancouver streetcar line. A half-century back, the same scene was unspooling all over the city, as diesel buses replaced an extensive network of trams, tracks and overhead wires in the name of, ah, progress.

But this present-day deconstruction project, near the entrance to Granville Island, will have a happier ending. Turns out the City of Vancouver is working with Canadian tram-builder Bombardier to bring streetcars back to the city—well, at least a tiny piece of it—for the 60 days of the 2010 Winter Games. The company supplies cool "low-floor" electrified trains to Euro-cities such as Milan and Marseille and, come next year, will run a couple of the new trams on a rebuilt 1.8-km (1.12-m) line between Granville Island and the new Canada Line Olympic Village SkyTrain rapid-transit line station.

Which is where the digger comes in. Until recently, the right-of-way in question was a decrepit and crumbling Canadian Pacific Railway branch line; in recent years, the Downtown Historic Railway ran a restored streetcar over the tracks for summer visitors. Vancouver is kicking in $8.5 million to rebuild it for Bombardier's Uber-Trams, then will hand it back to the historians after the athletes head home.

The line has been a whisper of what once was—and come next year, with newly up-to-snuff railbed, track and stations, it will prove itself a glimpse of what, inevitably, the city will be again.

Source: Canadian Tourism Commission

Canadians give travel advice to US President Barack Obama. Catch it on video!

Canadians give travel advice to US President Barack Obama. Catch it on video!

President Obama marked his first international visit to Canada Feb. 19. The CTC and Ottawa Tourism were onsite with video cameras in Ottawa, ON last weekend asking people for personalized welcome messages for the president- what he should experience in Ottawa and what he needs to know about Canada.

Source: Canadian Tourism Commission