Kayaking is just one element of the Lazy Bear Wilderness Expedition, a recent addition to the Signature Experiences Collection® of the Canadian Tourism Commission.

A tour that unravels the esoteric mysteries of Manitoba’s Legislative Building, a unique fishing experience that includes a river boat ride to a historic fur trade portage, and kayaking with pods of beluga whales are three of the latest Manitoba tourism experiences to be included in Canada’s “Signature Experiences” collection. 

The prestigious Signature Experiences Collection® (SEC) of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) is an innovative marketing program with the goal of inspiring more high-spending international travellers to book their next vacation in Canada. It showcases high-quality Canadian tourism enterprises that deliver the authentic experiences CTC research says international customers look for when they choose a vacation.

 The 115 SEC members are ambassadors of Canada’s tourism brand, “Canada. Keep Exploring,” and have met rigorous criteria to ensure they will stand out in a crowded and competitive marketplace.

The newest Manitoba Signature Experiences include: 

Hermetic Code Tour of the Manitoba Legislature – Heartland International Travel and Tours: Hosted by Frank Albo, researcher and academic inspiration behind The Hermetic Code, the tour is an evening of decoding the famous symbols and architecture that make the Manitoba Legislature unique. Albo uncovers a trail of occult clues concealed in the building’s architecture including hidden hieroglyphic inscriptions, numerological codes and Freemasonic symbols. 

Pathway of the Voyageurs – Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge: Visitors fly to Aikens Lake Lodge in the Atikaki Provincial Wilderness Park, where they meet local guides and head out by boat to learn about wilderness fishing and enjoy a traditional shore lunch before visiting a historic fur trade portage, a wilderness walking trail where fur traders would have carried canoes and goods around rapid waters or waterfalls. This is followed by a Franco-Manitoban evening of cuisine and storytelling. The lodge is also a finalist for the Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s 2011 Traveller Experience Award. 

The Lazy Bear Wilderness Expedition – Lazy Bear Lodge: Guests travel by float plane to the Headwaters of the South Knife River to embark on Huck Finn-style rafts carrying them deep into the boreal forest. The experience also includes a day kayaking among the beluga whales in Hudson Bay, travel to the Seal River in search of the polar bears and a cultural tour of the Churchill area. 

Colin Ferguson

“The Signature Experiences designation is important in promoting the diversity of tourism opportunities available in Manitoba to an international market”, says Colin Ferguson, President and CEO of Travel Manitoba. “By qualifying to become part of the collection, tourism businesses have the opportunity to reach key international audiences through CTC marketing, media and sales campaigns in 11 international markets,” says Ferguson. 

“Right now, Manitoba is mainly known for polar bears, which is a fraction of what this province has to offer,” says Don Finkbeiner, owner of Heartland International Travel & Tours. “The designation brings greater awareness of Winnipeg and Manitoba to the international stage.” 

Previously designated members of the Signature Experiences Collection® from Manitoba include

Marvels of Manitoba from Churchill Nature Tours, Birds, Bears and Belugas from Churchill Wild and Polar Bears by Tundra Buggy by Frontiers North. 

Travel Manitoba is a Crown Corporation under provincial legislation that leads and stimulates sustainable tourism growth in Manitoba’s $1.19 billion tourism industry.  In partnership with the tourism industry, the agency is responsible for tourism marketing, visitor information services, product development, research and public information. 

Media contact:     Linda Whitfield, Travel Manitoba
Ph: 204-927-7825; [email protected]