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All across Canada

YVR launches contest to live at the airport for 80 days

Vancouver Airport. Photo: Natalie Taylor

Vancouver’s version of the epic adventure, Around the World in 80 Days, is a little more grounded. Literally. To celebrate its’ 80th Anniversary, Vancouver Airport (YVR) launched the contest “Around The Airport in 80 Days.”   The contest is currently closed and in the voting stage, which ends on August 5, 2011.  The winner will be stuck living at the airport and the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel for 80 consecutive days documenting the stories behind the tarmac on video at  liveatYVR.ca commencing August 17, 2011 .   Additionally, the winner receives a $15,000 honorarium, three meals per day for the 80 day period, and complimentary phone and video equipment.

Summer Weekend Getaway Ideas

Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia. Photo: Corbin Fraser

Welcome to our first slideshow feature! We will be showcasing awe-inspiring photos across Canada to help you plan your travels, whether it’s for a short break or for a well deserved vacation.

Travel Tuesday – Interview with Dylan Lowe of The Grand Canadian Hitchhike

Dylan Lowe of The Grand Canadian Hitchhike. Photo: Dylan Lowe

Dylan Lowe, also known in blogger circles as The Traveling Editor, is no stranger to hitchhiking.  He’s managed to travel his way through Morocco, Spain, New Zealand and Germany by the kindness of others.  His current expedition is the Grand Canadian Hitchhike where he has hitched his way through each province from Vancouver to Ontario, and is continuing east to Halifax.  We were able to prod Dylan away from the road for a few minutes to ask him a few questions about his journey.

WheresAndrew and ReidonTravel, on travelling within Canada

Andrew Evans on an Ontario lake. Photo: Brian Gratwicke

Two notable writers from major travel publications have been traipsing throughout our home and native land recently. Andrew Evans (@WheresAndrew in the Twitterverse) is National Geographic Traveler’s Digital Nomad. He toured Ontario exclusively for the past month, Tweeting, vlogging and blogging his findings along the way. (more…)

Introducing WHEREBLOG: Our guide to Canadian travel

Above: A photo of Indian Harbour, Nova Scotia. Photo credit: Dennis Jarvis.

Welcome to Where Canada’s new blog! We’re really excited to launch some new features, including roundups of relevant travel news, fabulous restaurants and cool accommodations; interviews with interesting people who have travelled across our home and native land to inspire and inform you; and guides to the best road trips our vast country has to offer.

Editor’s Choice: Nova Scotia Icewine

Sweet, decadent and rare—there’s nothing quite like icewine. And this province makes some of the world’s best, a fact celebrated during February’s Nova Scotia Icewine Festival. And if you’ve read this far, odds are good you’ll want to take a couple bottles of the internationally acclaimed treat home with you. Find a new favourite at Bishop’s Cellar on Lower Water Street. The wine boutique boasts numerous vintages, including Benjamin Bridge Borealis, Blomidon Ortega, Gaspereau Valley Icewine, Grand Pré Vidal and Jost Ortega.

Wherelist: Best New Restaurants 2009

Where editors from across the country have cast their ballots for the Best New Restaurants to open in Canada in 2009. From creative twists on traditional cuisines to stylish décors and high quality food for reasonable prices, these are the eateries you won’t want to miss from coast to coast.

Veneto Tapa Lounge, Victoria

Victoria’s best new restaurant takes traditional tapas to a whole new level. Led by chef Tod Bosence, the sophisticated, urban Veneto Tapa Lounge offers both a hip bar area and quieter dining room, ideal for enjoying Bosence’s creative dinner menu. Each entree is presented tapas style – those in the mood for beef, for example, will enjoy it three ways: veal ravioli with portabella mushroom ragout and roasted garlic cream sauce; marinated short rib with parmesan polenta cake; and New York strip roulade with spicy lobster stuffing and bordelaise sauce.

Cibo Trattoria, Vancouver

With London’s River Café alumnus Neil Taylor heading up the kitchen and ex-Lumiere general manager/sommelier Sebastien Le Goff in charge, it didn’t take long for Cibo to gain a solid reputation for its vibrant rustic Italian cuisine, thoroughly grounded in West Coast ingredients. Taylor’s dishes, which change by the week (if not the day), are constructed with uncomplicated—but wickedly exacting—flair.

Parker House Grill & Wine Bar, Calgary

Parker House is the kind of place where diners can experience high quality service, ambience and food, for a reasonable price tag. Chef Andrew Keen, known for his excellence in “forgotten fare,” has created a menu inspired by traditional New England comfort dishes with creative twists. For dinner, most entrees (with the exception of their steaks) sit in the mid-twenties range, while diners on a budget can try one of their thin-crust pizzas for as low as $12.88.

Creations Dining Room & Lounge, Sawridge Inn Edmonton South, Edmonton

Artful, delicious dining at Creations—the paint’s barely dry and the buzz is on for the eclectic Canadian fusion cuisine of Creations, the stunning new dining room and lounge in the atrium of the Sawridge Inn Edmonton South. Walls of fire, water, badlands hoodoos and a huge dreamcatcher treat the senses as menu items entice patrons to explore palate pleasers such as Sherried Beef Caprese.

Rustica Steakhouse, Canadian Rockies

Rustic has earned its place as one of the Canadian Rockies’ top restaurants for its elegant ‘mountain lodge’ atmosphere and uncompromising dedication to Canada Prime Beef. But it’s the cuisine of Caribbean-born Chef Stefan Mahon that keeps them coming back for more. Only the top 0.3% of beef in Canada earns Prime designation (a superior grade to AAA)—Stefan’s New York cuts, grand filet mignon and prime rib chops are prepared with a signature dry rub, seared under a 1500°F (815°C) broiler and presented on 500°F (260°C) plates with garlic butter.

Hermanos, Winnipeg

Winnipeggers are feeling the Latin heat thanks to the fiery flavours of South American cuisine at this year’s arrival of Hermanos Restaurant and Wine Bar. Set in a 5,500-square-foot warehouse in the Exchange District, fast lunches, tapas and mains are found on the mainly Argentinean- and Brazilian-influenced menu. The crispy fried empanadas are a must-try.

Raw Aura, Mississauga

Raw Aura, true to its name, offers a menu of entirely raw cuisine—the better to emphasize the natural and nourishing properties of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts. In an intimate yet airy space, friendly staff dish out delectably fresh fare including a “peace wrap” bursting with avocado, tomatoes, carrots, kale, sprouts and hummus, and zesty lo-mein featuring noodles made of zucchini and golden beets.

Loire, Toronto

Loire, a self-described “casual gourmet” spot, well-situated along increasingly foodie-friendly Harbord Street offers fresh, seasonal dishes that could include chili- and cornmeal-crusted Lake Erie whitefish, grilled New York striploin and a succulent beef or lamb burger on challah bread. This intimate restaurant effortlessly straddles the line between relaxed neighbourhood fave and boldface fine-dining destination.

Teca, Muskoka

Overlooking Lake Rosseau is Teca, a fine Italian restaurant located within the luxurious Rosseau Resort & Spa. Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Muskoka Lakes, find this decidedly urban dining room and a centrally located open kitchen that dishes up authentic rustic Italian fare. Tuck into freshly made pasta—from papperdelle and gnocchi to spaghetti and meatballs—or thin crust pizza made in a wood-stone oven, as well as veal chops, fish, striploin and rack of lamb.

The Grand Pizzeria & Bar, Ottawa

Nestled on one of the most auspicious corners in Ottawa’s bustling ByWard Market, The Grand Pizzeria is a popular addition to the downtown dining scene. Built in the late 17th century, this enviable location once housed The Grand Hotel. Today, it’s home to the perfect pizza pie. Traditional Italian appetizers (antipasti, salads) make way for the main attraction: authentic Napoletana pizza. The dough is created and hand-pressed by Master Pizzaiolo Pasqualino Oliveri, who placed first in the 2004 European Pizza Championship, among other honours.

Pipa Restaurant & Bar, Halifax

Chef Luis Gaspar and partner Victoria Dunham Gaspar are longtime veterans of Halifax’s dining scene. And when they decided to embark on a project all their own, they saw a glaring omission in the city’s dining scene. Specializing in Portuguese cuisine, with rich, filling and full-flavoured dishes. Pipa is the only restaurant of its type in Halifax, specializing in Old World and Brazilian dishes such as Moqueca (fish stew) and Feijoada (a stew of meats and black beans). Seafood dishes abound, including fresh grilled sardines.

Tegan and Sara: The Calgary Sister Act Comes Home

By Ryan Duncan

Though Calgary natives Tegan and Sara Quin have been filling concert halls and dominating college radio with their punk rock attitude and folk pop sound,  you might not have heard their music. They’ve played for audiences across the U.S., Canada and Australia, are performers in the 2010 resurrection of the all-female music festival Lilith Fair, and have just released their sixth studio album, The Sainthood.

We talk to Tegan about the double standards for female indie bands, working with DJ Tiesto, and being a gay role model.


WC: There is an obvious change in your sound on The Sainthood, what inspired you to take a more pop approach?

TQ: When we first started we had to be very economical. Our first records reflected our band at the time, we had to record music to sell tour dates and hit the road.

Our style of song writing hasn’t changed, but our ability to adapt, change and add things has. Ten years, and several records later we are more confident and although it was not always intentional, we emulate the things we like to listen to. We are creating our image with every new record, and it’s important to create music that people can relate to–when I listen to music on the radio now it doesn’t reflect me or my friends. I grew up in the ’80s listening to Bruce Springsteen and Cyndi Lauper.


WC: What is the best part about performing at music festivals?

TQ: That depends on the type of festival. The concept of Lilith Fair is incredible. As a feminist it’s amazing to see a group of women taking over the main stage. We just got back from a festival tour in Europe, and although we had a lot of fun, it was pandemonium. Thousands of people, all kinds of weather and liquor—people get so fucking unhinged and crazy, it’s like Armageddon with music.


WC: Do you think there is still a double standard for women in the music industry?

TQ: It has always been there. There is no shortage of indie rock boys, but the women tend to be unheard of. There are some amazingly talented and intelligent women out there, but they are still half naked trying to sell records. I used to wonder how we would ever make it, there was no way I was going to be able to put on high heels and sell sex in order to be heard. I mean, Beyonce’s a babe, I can’t compete with that.

We get lots of press and very little radio play. That is why I say we are the most famous band you’ve never heard.


WC: You and Sara are featured on Tiesto’s track “Feel it in My Bones.” How did your collaboration with Tiesto come about?

TQ: We first worked with Tiesto for the “Back in Your Head” remix, we ended up performing with him at a festival. His tour later brought him through Vancouver and he told us that he was going to be making a dance record featuring artists that weren’t in that genre. We are always up for experimenting with different kinds of music; it’s great to play for a different audience so we were in for that.


WC: How do you feel about your sexuality being a common topic in the media?

TQ: Well 10 years ago, the perception of society was to not talk about our sexuality, it was too “racy” for local press. But somewhere between 2002 and 2004 it seemed to be the only thing we were being asked about. We are both very proud to be role models, and if we are helping it to be ‘not as hard’ to be gay for our audience, what’s the problem? The fact is I have been criticized for not talking about it, and for talking about it too much, it’s weird, it’s not like wrote the article that I am being quoted in, you know?


WC: How do you feel about being on tour?

TQ: I get nervous about heading out on tour because I love being home, but once I return, I miss the road; it’s a double edged sword. I have grown accustomed to touring, and nothing equals being on stage and playing our music, so in that sense, I have become dependent on it. Touring can be humbling though, it hits us when we hit a city we have never been to before, I mean I wouldn’t roll into Los Angeles, play one show, leave and expect that it’s going to explode all over the country. I am looking forward taking this record on the road. We have an epic tour planned taking us all over Canada, to America and Australia.


WC: You have two sold out shows in Calgary. Has the experience of playing your hometown changed?

TQ: Playing in Calgary used to present me with a lot of pressure. We would have so many friends and family members to see, and we would have so little time to do it. This year we have two dates in Calgary, I am humbled by that. Putting together our own stage show is something I really like to do, I was in drama as a kid, and really liked putting on plays. That is where the passion for performing stems from.

What’s Hot in July Across Canada

This month, discover the hottest events happening in cities near you.


Steven Page may have parted ways with his fellow Barenaked Ladies, but he hasn’t left the music biz. You’ll find him performing at this year’s Vancouver Folk Music Festival, July 17 to 19 at Jericho Beach Park, along with acts ranging from The Proclaimers to Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band to Women in Docs. There’s more than just tunes on the agenda: food, crafts and an area for kids ensure a whole weekend of family fun.


Thrills ’n’ chills happen in Walking with Dinosaurs when a life-sized Tyrannosaurus Rex breathes down your neck. Baby T-rex also appears along with other Jurassic titans for this 200-million-year adventure, July 22 to 26 at Rexall Place. Experience the theatre event of the year as The Lion King’s cast of more than 40 performers recreate the magic of Africa. Giraffes strut, birds swoop and gazelles leap as the entire savannah comes to life and Pride Rock slowly emerges from the mist. It runs until August 2 at the Jubilee Auditorium.


The Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest presents hundreds of the biggest names in the music business: KISS, Lynard Skynard, Ice Cube, Jeff Beck, Stone Temple Pilots, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and more, take to the stages at LeBreton Flats from July 8 to 19. The National Gallery of Canada showcases some incredible paintings during their From Raphael to Carracci: The Art of Papal Rome exhibit, on until September 7.