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Whistler

On a High Note

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Enjoy the view at the summit lodge. (Photo: Keegan Pearson Photography)

Enjoy the view at the summit lodge. (Photo: Keegan Pearson Photography)

Want that top-of-the-world feeling? At the Sea to Sky Gondola, it’s just a 10-minute ride away. Perched 885 m (2,900 ft) above sea level, the summit lodge is a jumping-off point for further adventures, with pristine trails perfect for hiking and snowshoeing. The young—and young at heart—slide at the tube park, while experienced skiers glide into the backcountry. Others simply settle in for the breathtaking views of Howe Sound. Paradise, found.

Keep Cozy with Icebreaker

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Fend off the elements with gear from Icebreaker

Fend off the elements with gear from Icebreaker

The great outdoors are pretty great. But let’s face it: sometimes they’re cold and wet, too. Keep the elements at bay with gear from Icebreaker. The outdoor outfitter creates activewear from superfine merino wool, a fabric that’s warm, breathable and odour-resistant. Named the official base layer—and sock provider—of Whistler Blackcomb, Icebreaker crafts their clothes from the fibres of merino sheep, New Zealand’s true alpine extremists. Get outfitted from head to toe at Can-Ski (page 34) or Escape Route (page 34).

Go for Gold at Whistler Blackcomb

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Whistler Skier's Plaza

Whistler Skier’s Plaza. (Photo: Justa Jeskova/Tourism Whistler)

Whistler Blackcomb has never been afraid to think big. In fact, the ski resort’s foundations are built on the biggest dreams of all: the Olympics. In the 1960s, four Vancouver businessmen developed the area with the intent of bidding on the 1968 Winter Olympics. Three more bids and decades later, the town finally succeeded with the 2010 Winter Games. Along the way, the mountain resort accumulated its own accolades, including the number one rating overall by SKI Magazine—three years in a row. Add in awards for dining, après-ski and terrain, plus the record-breaking Peak 2 Peak, and it’s clear the resort never gave up its gold-medal bid

Restful Repast at Nita Lake Lodge

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

West Coast fare at Aura

Sustainable West Coast fare at Aura

Seeking serenity? Escape the bustling Village to tranquil Nita Lake Lodge, a timber-and-stone retreat perched at lake’s edge. After a day spent making tracks in champagne powder, settle into Cure Lounge for casual après-ski beside the enormous stone fireplace. Then head next door, where sophisticated Aura boasts a menu of sustainable, seasonal, West Coast fare. Picturesque and peaceful.

By the Numbers: Peak 2 Peak Gondola

The math is simple: two mountains and the record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola all add up to one awesome experience

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The Peak 2 Peak Gondola. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

The Peak 2 Peak Gondola. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

1 The gondola is the first in the world to link the peaks of two mountains, a feat that delivers truly one-of-a-kind views.

3 It’s one for the books: the Peak 2 Peak broke three Guinness World Records, claiming fame as the world’s longest unsupported span, the highest lift of its kind, and the longest continuous lift system.

(more…)

Outstanding Art at Audain

By LOUISE PHILLIPS

Audain Art Museum

Audain Art Museum

The sheer numbers are impressive. The Audain Art Museum’s  seven galleries of Northwest Coast art enshrine 200 works spanning 200 years of art-making in BC. Acquired by Vancouver philanthropists Michael and Yoshiko (Karasawa) Audain, the collection honours 11 indigenous cultures, from the Coast Salish in southern BC to the Tlingit in the north. Traditional ceremonial masks and textile art contrast with modern, genre-bending pieces by Bill Reid, Brian Jungen and Don Yeomans. Galleries celebrate the vivid marinescapes of E.J. Hughes and studies of Native villages by pioneer painter Emily Carr. Contemporary BC artists such as Attila Richard Lukacs and Ken Lum suit the minimalist design of this serene, airy space. It all adds up to a memorable journey through BC art.

West Coast Cravings

By SHERI RADFORD
Jan. 2017

Enjoy Pacific Northwest tastes at The Salted Vine.

Enjoy Pacific Northwest tastes at The Salted Vine.

Looking for a taste of the West Coast? Visit The Salted Vine, a newcomer to the Squamish dining scene, for local selections that extend from the food to the decor to the serving dishes. Ocean Wise seafood, beef from Pemberton and produce from Brackendale are just a few of the local ingredients that go into the ever-changing line-up of fresh, seasonal creations. They’re served on dishware made in Squamish, against a backdrop of works by some of the area’s many artists. Consider it the ultimate 100-mile-diet meal.

Canada’s Best New Attractions for Summer 2011

Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta

For travellers planning their summer trips in Canada this year, the regional editors of Where magazine have released their top picks for summer travel. The winners of Where Canada’s Best New Attractions for Summer 2011 represent the most exciting attractions – new, significantly improved, or celebrating major milestones this year. A diverse group of attractions from coast to coast, this year’s winners offer a wide range of activities and events suitable for any family, art lover, sports fanatic, nature lover or adventurer. Together, these attractions serve as the top must-see and must-dos for anyone travelling in Canada this summer. (more…)

Gap year students may forego Canadian travel plans due to tuition hikes

Photo by Patrick Haney

The gap year may be a thing of the past in England. According to the Daily Mail, due to upcoming hikes in tuition, students are foregoing the tradition of taking a year off before heading to university to travel and work abroad. Canada is a popular choice for gappers with 5,000 one-year work visas available to U.K. citizens age 18 to 35 this year through the International Experience Canada program. (more…)

Jazz on the Mountain At Whistler

Greg Lowe, Kevin Eubanks and Oliver Jones are all expected to play

Jazz festivals have become a summer staple, and with all the competition to draw in music lovers, talent line ups need to entice. A nice setting doesn’t hurt either. Whistler is hoping that having both of these factors in their favour will draw crowds to their new Jazz on the Mountain At Whistler festival this Labour Day long weekend starting on September 2nd. The festival will feature international names like Spyro Gyra, Oliver Jones, The New Gary Burton Quartet and even that former late night sidekick Kevin Eubanks.

The concerts are spread out across the village, with the ticketed events taking place at the Whistler Olympic Plaza. Tickets start at $65 per day, with family packages also on offer. For those who want something more intimate, there’s brunch at the luxe Bearfoot Bistro with Lorne Lofsky, the jazz guitarist ($49). And to capitalize on the setting, a Mountain Top BBQ is scheduled each evening at the top of Whistler with a rotating menu and performers Ali Milner, Chris Smith and The Night Crawlers.

Organizers hope to make the festival family friendly on this key holiday weekend—they’ve also included a street festival spread about the village geared to the kids, which will include jugglers, acrobats and acoustic musical sets.

Visit whistlerjazzfest.com for schedules and ticketing information. For the Mountain Top BBQ, visit whistlerblackcomb.com for ticketing pricing and information.

Hot Dining: Notable Newcomers

Sizzling steaks at Sidecut in Whistler

The regional editors of Where recently unveiled their list of 2010’s best new restaurants across Canada.

1. Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie – Vancouver, BC; 604-688-087; www.bao-bei.ca

2. Sidecut (pictured) – Whistler, BC; 604-966-5280; www.fourseasons.com

3. Prime Steakhouse and Lounge – Victoria, BC; 250-386-2010; www.primesteak.ca

4. Charcut Roast House – Calgary, AB; 403-984-2180; www.charcut.com

5. Zinc – Edmonton, AB; 780-392-2501; www.zincrestaurant.ca

6. Habitat Restaurant – Canmore, AB; 403-678-8880; www.granderockies.com/habitat

7. Segovia Tapas Bar and Restaurant – Winnipeg, MB; 204-477-6500; www.segoviatapasbar.com

8. Enoteca Sociale – Toronto, ON; 416-534-1200; www.sociale.ca

9. Taste, the Restaurant at Touchstone – Muskoka, ON; 705-764-5353; www.touchstoneonlakemuskoka.com/taste.html

10. Town – Ottawa, ON; 613-695-8696; www.townlovesyou.ca

11. Fujiyama – Halifax, NS; 902-492-1133; www.sushifujiyama.ca

What’s Hot in January Across Canada

Halifax

Roots-rock legends Blue Rodeo return to the Halifax Metro Centre on January 28, performing concert classics like “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet” and “Diamond Mine,” along with their newest material.

Vancouver & Whistler

The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are almost here, and they’re bringing a lot more than just sports to Vancouver and Whistler. The Cultural Olympiad 2010 (Jan 22 – Mar 21) is the culmination of three years of Cultural Olympiads on the West Coast, and it features some of the world’s best artists, musicians, dancers, actors and performers. Vancouver highlights include Joni Mitchell’s The Fiddle and the Drum at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre (Jan 22 – 24), Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe at the Granville Island Stage (Jan 21 – Feb 6), and Steve Earle and Joel Plaskett at The Orpheum (Jan 23).

Whistler highlights include Canada’s first theatre of snow and ice, Nix (Jan 22 – Feb 27), Corb Lund at Whistler Village Square (Feb 19), and the Nunavut-based circus Artcirq at the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre (Feb 20).

Ottawa

During the Carleton Cup Triathlon on Jan 30, fearless participants—athletically inclined or otherwise—skate for nearly 7km up and down the Rideau Canal, run through the ByWard Market, then slide into The Aulde Dubliner & Pour House to pound back a drink. First one in gets the bragging rights, but the real winner is the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Led by controversial-yet-charismatic frontman Axl Rose, the newest incarnation of Guns N’ Roses will tour to promote Chinese Democracy, an album that was 15 years in the making.  They stop into Ottawa Jan 31.

Calgary

Known for its memorable songs like, “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” the Tony Award-winning musical, Fiddler on the Roof plays at the Jubilee until Jan 17. Throughout the month of January, One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo offers theatre-lovers innovative plays, skits and acts from around the world. Highlights include Kawasaki Exit, a play about the dark-side of Japanese social networking sites and The Pajama Men, a comedy duo who perform their act in their pjs.

Winnipeg

World-class men’s curling talent sweeps into Winnipeg for the BDO Canadian Classic Open Jan 20 – 24. Top names like Canada’s Olympic representative Kevin Martin and Scotland’s reigning World Champion David Murdoch are expected to participate.

Edmonton

Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie, one of Canada’s most accomplished dance organizations, brings three brilliant performances to Edmonton Jan 20: In Paradisum; Soudain, l’hiver dernier; and Fifteen Heterosexual Duets, all choreographed by James Kudelka.  Artistic Director Laurence Lemieux promises “an exhilarating voyage to the heights of paradise and the depths of the heart.”  Edmontonians revel in the winter months at the Winter Light Festival. Every weekend brings a blizzard of family fun with many events such as ice carving, ice-skating, art shows and much more. On until Mar 12, free admission.

Canadian Rockies

The Olympic Torch Relay comes through Banff Jan 20 and the town is celebrating outdoors with live music. Watch as teams carve massive blocks of ice into glittering sculptures at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise during the Ice Magic Festival, Jan 22 – 24 (if you can’t catch the carving, admire the art until it melts away in a few months). Or hit up Jasper in January for ski lift ticket and hotel discounts, plus fun events like the polar bear dip, Taste of the Town, music and skating parties, Jan 15 – 31.

Toronto

Important figures of history continue to draw crowds in the present. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart looms large over the city on select dates between Jan 13 and 24 as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra presents the Mozart@254 Festival, its annual concert series commemorating the 1756 birth of the Classical Era’s greatest composer. This year’s program features guest artists including famed baritone Russell Braun, violinist Pinchas Zukerman and many others. Or, have an archeological encounter with the great rulers of Egypt, by visiting the Art Gallery of Ontario’s ongoing exhibit, King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs. The massive display showcases rare artifacts from the days of Khafre, Amenhotep IV, Rameses II and other significant monarchs, as well as more than 50 exquisite treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamun. On until Apr 18.