From otherworldly outdoor destinations to vibrant cosmopolitan cities, Canada offers an extraordinary array of exhilarating adventures. Easy access from the U.S., a kaleidoscope of cultures and a spirit of genuine hospitality are also among Canada’s unique attributes—with a wide spectrum of one-of-a-kind experiences close to home for American-based organizations.
A vast country with 10 provinces and three territories, Canada can’t be beat for unique and unforgettable incentive programs, says Jennifer Attersall, director of incentive travel for Destination Canada’s Business Events team. For example, “one of the best ways to motivate teams is with a trip aboard the iconic Rocky Mountaineer. As participants take the luxury train from Vancouver to Banff, they will see some of the most unbelievable landscapes from their glass domed observation cars—snow-capped mountain peaks, pristine alpine lakes, rolling forests and an array of extraordinary wildlife. The mesmerizing views are accompanied by locally sourced gourmet meals and impeccable service.” After two days on the train, groups arrive to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies. “With incomparable vistas, shimmering emerald lakes and luxury properties, such as the Fairmont Banff Springs, it’s one of the most sought-after incentive destinations in the world,” notes Attersall.
Another unique incentive destination is Churchill, on the shores of Hudson’s Bay in Manitoba. Known as one of the best places on the planet to see polar bears in the wild, Churchill “is truly unique when it comes to unforgettable incentive rewards,” says Attersall. Thanks to its location directly beneath the Auroral Oval, Churchill is one of the world’s premier destinations for witnessing the enchanting dance of the northern lights, visible up to 300 days a year. “For prime aurora viewing and captivating local stories, incentive groups can take a large all-terrain Tundra Buggy across the Churchill River for a gourmet, locally foraged multi-course meal at the famous pop-up restaurant, Dan’s Diner,” recommends Attersall. “In the summer months, groups can go on kayaking excursions to see beluga whales. Your team is sure to be amazed as the curious creatures come up to the surface right beside them. Alternatively, groups can see the whales from a different perspective on a thrilling aqua-gliding adventure, which involves gliding on the water’s surface on a floating mat that’s tethered to a zodiac.”
Amazing aquatic adventures also await groups in the colorful coastal city of St. John’s—the provincial capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador, and one of the oldest cities in North America. Here, says Attersall, kayaking excursions can bring groups alongside towering ancient icebergs, as they catch sight of breaching humpback whales or frolicking pods of dolphins. After a memorable day on the water, groups can relax on shore with local cocktails containing fresh “bergy bits” foraged from the icebergs.
Canada also offers many secluded eco resorts, accessible only by float planes and boats, where small groups of high achievers can find true relaxation in nature. In British Columbia, the Spirit Bear Lodge, nestled in the world’s largest coastal rainforest and operated by the Kitasoo/Xai'xais First Nation, offers an array of authentic cultural and adventurous activities. The highlight, says Attersall, is catching a glimpse of one of the rarest animals in the world: the Kermode (spirit) bear. A subspecies of the black bear with a white coat, there are only a few hundred of these magnificent, culturally significant bears in existence. “Seeing them in the wild is a transformative experience that will stay with your team long after they return home.”
Newly opened luxury properties in Canada include Klahoose Wilderness Resort in British Columbia, which offers grizzly bear viewing experiences and a woodfire cedar sauna located on the dock; the Club Med resort in Charlevoix, Quebec, with world-class skiing in winter and countless opportunities for outdoor adventures in summer; and 1 Hotel Toronto, a sustainable urban retreat inspired by the city’s diverse natural environment.
This is only a sampling of the wide range of the unique incentive experiences in Canada. To help planners identify destinations that are the best fit, Destination Canada’s Business Events team “can provide impartial insights into our diverse destinations”, says Attersall, “be it urban, resort or legendary locations. We can truly adapt to each individual group by doing a thorough analysis of their wants and needs, and personalizing incentive experiences that are tailored and curated specifically for these interests.” We can also facilitate connections with our Team Canada partners, and even provide bid assistance. “Destination Canada’s Business Events team can assist in gathering bids from across Canada,” says Attersall. “From a simple dates and rates check, to coordinating multiple venues in multiple locations, our job is to support meetings and incentive programs in Canada.”–Regina Baraban
Looking to learn more about Canada's
wealth of incentive offerings?
Contact Jennifer Attersall, Director of Incentive Travel at Destination Canada.
Telephone: +1 403-923-5972"