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Squamish is Hardwired for Culture and Adventure this Fall

September 20, Squamish, B.C- It’s no secret, Squamish’s popularity is on the rise and there are many reasons why. Travellers have discovered this gem adventure destination and know that each season brings something new. With the arrival of fall this week, Squamish continues to impress with its wide range of active activities and cultural events. Here are the top 5 seasonal highlights to choose from.

1- Try the newest craze“Rope Running” is the newest attraction in town, Rope Runner Aerial Adventure Park. Standing 17 meters high and 20 meters in diameter the structure is built of steel, wood, ropes and wire where guides are assisting visitors to ‘run the rope’ and take part in various ‘games’. A full body harness and unique safety system keeps visitors safe, giving them the ability to move through the various level ropes course where they get to choose their unique path along the circuit, balancing over wooden beams, running like a ninja warrior, jumping off the tower at 15 meters or simply navigating through the obstacles. A selection of 50 games is offered, including logger sports (high wire log rolling), Ninja warriors (running boards, monkey bars, rings of madness and more), biking (pedaling a bike on a beam 40 feet in the air), climbing (big spider-web climbing net) and more.
For information:  www.exploresquamish.com/explore/aerial-adventure-park
2- Take a hike. Enjoy the best activity Squamish has to offer at this time of the year. Trails lead everywhere in this region, along rivers, lakes, ancient rainforests and vast mountainous terrain. There are many great trails to enjoy and here are three that can’t be missed, starting with the ‘Sea to Summit’ trail accessible from the Sea to Sky Gondola’s parking lot at the base to its peak at the Summit Lodge. The moderate 7.5 km trail with 900 meters elevation gain offers spectacular vistas of Shannon Falls, Howe Sound, Sky Pilot and the surrounding peaks. While at the Sea to Sky Gondola visitors may want to do something different and join a guided nature hike with a local indigenous cultural ambassador from the Talking Trees guided tour company. During the tour the local guide helps visitors to connect with the surrounding nature and shares cultural uses of the regional alpine forest, local plants and food that leave visitors with a deeper connection and appreciation for the local First Nations culture and nature. The Stawamus Chief trail remains a classic for its stunning views and diverse terrain made of a mix of steep stairs, ladders and mossy west coast forest. The intermediate 7.5 km trail with 550 meters elevation gain is a true pleaser.  Brohm Lake trailsin Interpretive Forest located 12 km North of Squamish is the most scenic of all in the fall. The lake trail is 3.6 km long with elevation gain between 220 and 348 meters and offers panoramic views of the Tantalus range, Paradise Valley, The Chief, Shannon Falls and Howe Sound.
3- Dig into cultural events of all kinds. The Sea to Sky Gondola’s Annual Mountain Music Series concludes September 22nd with the Sea to Sky Orchestra. The popularSquamish Artwalk is a month long celebration of local Visual Arts. During September visitors can view the creations of over 40+ artists in unique venues across town.
A unique opportunity to mingle with locals and meet local and renown artists and artisans up close. Guided Bike Art Tours take visitors to various art venues in town.Tour departs September 23 at 2:30pm from Brennan Park Rereation Centre. Reservations required. Weekly Creative Workshops are also taking place throughout the event. The last Workshop on Chinese Brush Painting takes place on September 30th.
For more information: www.squamishvisuals.com/artwalk
4- Socialize with friendly locals. The Squamish Farmer’s Market runs every Saturday in downtown Squamish, until October 25th. It’s the ideal venue to stock up on fresh produce and artisan-made goods while supporting the community. Refresh Market takes place at the West Coast Railway Park’s CN Roundhouse, November 17-18. The popular fall event is the town’s biggest shopping venue for handmade vintage and curated wares. Known for its highly edited mix of locally made clothing, jewelry, dry goods and more, Refresh features 100 vendors from Pemberton to Vancouver alongside food trucks, music and good vibes.
5- Please the kids in preparation for their favorite late fall / early winter event. From October 25-31, The Mystery of the Magic Pumpkin takes place at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park. It’s a fun-filled day exploring the pumpkin patch and jumping aboard the Magic Pumpkin ride in search of a personal magic pumpkin full of surprise. November 25- December 17, The Polar Express is back to town. Kids can take a ride on their favorite Christmas train when it returns to the West Coast Railway Heritage Park and go on an hour-long train ride complete with treats and stops in the North Pole Workshop and Gingerbread Village. For more information: www.exploresquamish.com/events/magic-pumpkin-train /www.exploresquamish.com/events/polar-express
6- Observe Mother Nature at its best with the return of the salmon spawning in Squamish’s rivers, and the majestic bald eagles enjoying the feast. Industry experts predict a record year for regional pink salmon run this year. A delight for our majestic feathery friends, the Bald Eagles. Keep an eye out this eagle watching season, it may as well be a record year. The season begins at the end of November and runs until February.
There is plenty to enjoy year-round in Squamish. For more information on Squamish’s fall activities and events please visit: www.exploresquamish.com .
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Group of Seven in Stone Cellar, Perth, Ontario

Every summer we try to make a few local trips to explore our province and  one of the regions we love to visit is Lanark County, which offers perfect combination of small towns, cottages on the beach and wild life. And after spending couple days in the cottage (“The Dancing Bass” Lodge cottage) we went to Perth for some shopping and lunch.

That lunch was a very special treat for us! Based on the art of Famous Canadian Group of Seven Chef Jamie Troutman from “The Stone Cellar” created the menu that interprets various elements present in paintings in “edible art”. Hours of research made it possible to reflect the famous Canadian art in the fine Canadian cuisine. In his creations Jamie is using the true Canadian ingredients coming from local farms. Chef Troutman, as per his own words, using the “deconstruction of the elements” from art into cuisine.

Lawren Harris, Icebergs by Chef Jamie Troutman

The shot glasses made of clear ice represent the art of Lawren Stewart Harris, who was criticized as being cold, but in fact deeply spiritual and one of the skilled abstract painters.

From ice and cold we suddenly surrounded by flowers and greenery of “Tangled Garden” by J. E. H. MacDonald –  Jamie Troutman’s sunflower salad full of summer colours and fresh herbs… MacDonald’s art is distinguished by dark palette, tough, rich and at the same time elegant design. And Jamie is using the dark of the stone slab as background for the splash of colours…

Group of Seven MacDonald Tangled Garden
“Tangled Garden” in sunflower salad by Chef Jamie Troutman

From flowers and greenery of the garden we travel to Nova Scotia with help of another Jamie’s culinary creation based on “Nova Scotia Cove” again by J. E.H. MacDonald.  Scallops and wild rice combined in a beautiful setting with shells to represent seashore…

Group of Seven, edible art
Chef Jamie Troutman, Scallops  served with Wild Rice – “Nova Scotia Cove” by J. MacDonald

We keep our taste buds tuned as next we get served Canadian beef – so tender! …accompanied by some root vegetables… chef’s creation based on the painting by Arthur Lismer “Habitant Farm”…

"Habitant Farm" Lismer and Chef Troutman
“Habitant Farm” by Arthur Lismer and Chef Troutman

Lanark County is well known for Maple Syrup producers and it would be logical to find this unique Canadian product in local cuisine and famous art.

J. Troutman "Maple Glazed Pork" based on "The red Maple" by A. JacksonJ. Troutman “Maple Glazed Cheese” based on “The Red Maple” by A. Jackson.

Our experience would not be complete without the dessert!Apple dessert based on "Asters and Apples" by J. MacDonaldApple dessert based on “Asters and Apples” by J. MacDonald

If you decide to indulge in creativity and fine cuisine make sure to make a 48 hours reservation, and if so, you may need to find a fine place to stay. Luckily the area offers a good variety of hotels – one of our favourites is “Perth Manor” which offers classic architecture, cozy rooms, beautiful garden and friendly atmosphere.

The Stone Cellar Restaurant                                                                                   Address: 71 Gore St E, Perth, ON K7H 1H Menu: thestonecellar.com                                                                                       Reservations: opentable.com                                                                                 Phone: (613) 267-0200

Perth Manor Hotel                                                                                                 Address: 23 Drummond St. West, Perth, ON                                       Phone: (613) 264-0050 and if this one is not available –

Best Western Plus Perth Parkside Inn & Spa                                                   Address: 82 Peter St, Perth, ON                                                                 Phone: (613) 326-0082.

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Farmstead experience on Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County, Ontario

After the four and a half hour drive from downtown Toronto we arrived at the Blue Hen Farm.  Right at the turn we saw an old cupboard filled with jars of homemade preserves and a sign “Honk for Service”…  And we saw the farmhouse in the opening between trees.

Farmers Jeff and Leslie greeted us and as we entered the house we were amazed by the old fashioned setting of the rooms – furniture, chandelier and even the old upright piano that produced some wonderful melodies after our evening meals…

Executive Chef, Costas preparing dinner for Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

 

Leslie and Jeff used to live in Ottawa and have jobs as many of us do… The idea of farming came up after some changes in jobs and also as a result of research of the food industry, commercial farming and agriculture.

Executive Chef Costas

Later, after getting settled in our rooms we headed down for dinner made by Chef Kostas who came out to tell us about the ingredients he used in his cooking, the dinner was amazing and filling.

As farmers do every day after dinner, we went into the barnyard to help with evening chores.

 

 

We found all the work surprisingly entertaining; we unloaded some 20 stacks of straw that will be used as bedding for the animals, fed the calves and pigs, brought the sheep and goats back to the barn and herded the chickens into their coop.

Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

There was a special place where hens lay eggs, so we picked our breakfast! The eggs were dark and light brown, white and even light blue…

Once the chores were done, tired we went to our bedrooms; may be the mattresses were so comfortable or the day was long – falling asleep was no problem at all.

Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

In the morning we woke up around half past six to the mouthwatering smell of bacon and eggs…

Breakfast during Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

And after breakfast we went to the yard to do morning chores which repeats the evening in the back order – letting the sheep and chickens out,  showering and feeding pigs… and saying hello to all of the farm animals.

Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Evening chores during Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

 

The goats are very young and new to the farm and don’t know the barn yard, so they we carried to the pasture  like babies!

Calf is sucking a finger, Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

Although all of the chores seem like quite a lot to do, they were our favourite part of the day. We also found that doing chores and waking up that early in the morning was very refreshing which was useful since we had a long day ahead of us. We found all of the animals so cute… and especially the three kittens that roam around the barnyard. There are also two dogs that help farmers by guarding  the barn yard from foxes and other invaders.

Leslie and Jeff ask that visitors do not  bring or wear any fragrances on the farm including mosquito spray, however they do supply their own free of charge so that you do not get bitten by pesky flies.  Leslie makes her own natural soap – I found it very smooth and took a little piece home as a souvenir. Around the house we also found natural fragrances, bug spray and soap – all handmade from natural ingredients that smell like summer fields…

Their mission statement is free range thinking, meaning all of the animals are free to roam the field and raised with no antibiotics or chemical supplements at all. “Being a novice in such a tedious business as farming should be challenging for city folks” – I asked… yes, and they learn every day.

We also had a chance to learn – about how to feed pigs and chickens and how to take care of sheep and goats;  we would join Leslie to let the animals out of the barn with the first rays of sun and get them all back in the evening…

For us it was just two days – but these days were filled with smiles and laughter, delicious homemade meals and that feeling of love and happiness…

After Dinner Chat

We took a lot of pictures that will remind us about this wonderful place and people that are so enthusiastic about  what they do.  Thank you Jeff and Leslie for teaching us some very basic skills that we miss in our city life!

So, time to leave The Blue Hen Farm… I think I  saw tears in some eyes…, we hope to come again.

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Exploring Waterloo Region – Bingeman’s Big Splash

After lunch at the (nearby) Boston Pizza, we came in to the Bingeman’s Big Splash. After changing into our bathing suits we stepped out on to the deck exited about all of the slides that awaited us. They had many slides to choose from and better yet, the height restrictions are very reasonable so that everyone can go (most of the required heights are around forty inches). My personal favourite slide was the Cyclone.

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

Over all, the park quite fairly spread out which makes it feel like there is less of a crowd, there also is a big wave pool

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

which has a shallow end

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

and a deep end however the tubes have to be rented for five dollars each and Cabana rentals are also available, another thing to note is that most of the rides are one person at a time, however there are a couple that two people can ride on at the same time.

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

We highly recommend that you try it out especially if traveling with young ones.

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario
Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario
Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario
Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

Overall it is the most fun water park in the region.

By Jonathan K.

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Exploring Waterloo Region – Bingeman's Big Splash

After lunch at the (nearby) Boston Pizza, we came in to the Bingeman’s Big Splash. After changing into our bathing suits we stepped out on to the deck exited about all of the slides that awaited us. They had many slides to choose from and better yet, the height restrictions are very reasonable so that everyone can go (most of the required heights are around forty inches). My personal favourite slide was the Cyclone.

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

Over all, the park quite fairly spread out which makes it feel like there is less of a crowd, there also is a big wave pool

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

which has a shallow end

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

and a deep end however the tubes have to be rented for five dollars each and Cabana rentals are also available, another thing to note is that most of the rides are one person at a time, however there are a couple that two people can ride on at the same time.

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

We highly recommend that you try it out especially if traveling with young ones.

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario
Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario
Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario
Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

Overall it is the most fun water park in the region.

By Jonathan K.

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Family trip to African Lion Safari, Hamilton, Ontario

African Lion Safari, Hamilton, Ontario

African Lion Safari first opened its doors to the visitors in 1969 and since then went through a lot expansions and animal additions… About 6,000 visitors come here daily to see the exotic animals that are roaming free in the fields or just enjoying the warm summer day in their artfully created habitats on land and water.

To start our visit we boarded the “African Queen” boat that took us around the island where we saw monkeys jumping in the ropes and multiple birds such as vultures and pelicans.  One of the spots was taken by two lemur families. The boat operators told us about animals routine and some funny life stories…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

The boat came back to the pierce and we decided to take a bus that goes to African savanna . We had to enter through the specially designed gate system that allows buses and cars to safely go in and out of that area. “Keep your arms and heads inside, no windows opening”…. The bus tour goes through multiple enclosures  each housing different wild animals.  We are surrounded by lions,  then  we pass by cheetahs… We got to see many mountain goats as well as rhinos and many giraffes…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

The best part of the bus tour was visiting the giraffes, they came up very closely so we had around four of them circling around the bus, one of them even licked the bus mirrors. It is quite a spectacular view  – one of them gracefully approaching our window, the other is in the front of the bus… oh, one more is in the front!

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

Following the bus tour we went on the ”Nature Boy” scenic railway, the tour lasts around fifteen minutes. On the way we got to see the elephants habitat, a donkey and many turtles that came out of the pond for summer sun. It was a nice way to give our feet some rest and enjoy the fresh air coming from the lake and trees…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

 

Elephants Bath time was now up, so we headed to the lake to see them coming gracefully – leading was a large male elephant and then smaller ones – females and young siblings. Elephants got in the water, it looked like they are walking on the bottom of the lake – but no, some places are deep and they do have to swim, sometimes we could only see the very top of the head and the trunk… they had some fun time splashing and spraying each other; later rangers came and started throwing apples to the elephants – which was a lot of fun for all!!

Elephant swim
A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada
A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

It was a hot day – we would not mind to go for a plunge too – and we could at the Safari’s water park area – however, we were quite hungry and went to the cafe to have lunch…. We had to say goodbye to all the animals big and small before heading of to our next destination.

By Jonathan K.

 

 

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Day trip to Collingwood, July 2017

After the 1 hour drive from downtown Toronto we arrived at the Cranberry Village. We first arrived to the rooftop patio, which has the best view in all of Collingwood.

Roof top Patio in Living Water Resort, Collingwood

From the roof you can see the lake Huron, the 19 hole golf course as well as the newly refurbished marina.

Cranberry Golf Resort

Following a quick resort tour and lunch on the roof top patio we went to do paddle board yoga (SUP Yoga).

 

SUP Yoga, by Blu Wave in Living Water Resort, Collingwood

 

At first we thought that there was no way we could balance on a paddle board, let alone do handstands, bridges and other meditation poses.

Paddle Board Yoga by Blu Wave, in Collingwood Ontario

It turned out however that meditating on a paddle board while being gently rocked by the lake was very relaxing as well as a slightly challenging workout, after about an hour we returned back to the village to take on the iron chef challenge.

The iron chef challenge works like this; two teams of equal size are given 10 minutes to plan a dish using unknown ingredients
They can also “ purchase” products such as a lemon or herbs using the team’s points, which are then deducted from the final score.

Iron Chef Challenge Team 1, July 2017
Iron Chef Challenge food preparation

Once they have used up their 10 minutes of planning time, they are given 20 minutes to cook and arrange their chosen dish. The team at the end with the most points wins. However its not that simple as the chefs who organize the competition/exercise will throw in some really odd ingredients to challenge the contestants even more. For example in our list of products that we must use was included local fresh perch and oddly enough, a small box of cereal, again, all of the given items must be included.

Iron Chef Competition
Second Team in Iron Chef Challenge in Living Water Resort, Collingwood
Iron Chef Challenge winning team, July 2017

 

After completing the challenge, we went to the lakeside grill to enjoy their specialty steak, we heard that it was delicious because they had recently invested quite a lot of money into a brand new grill that cooks the whole steak perfectly and evenly and it was delicious, so delicious in fact that we all wanted another plate of steak even though we were full.

And like that the day was finished, we said our goodbyes and got in the car for the 1 hour drive back home.

By Jonathan K.

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Schedule of Events in Laurentians Region

JUNE 30 and july 1
Festival brassicole des Laurentides
Parc de la gare
420, rue de la Gare, Saint-Faustin-Lac-Carré
819 688-2161, extn. 234
festivalbrassicoledeslaurentides.com
The Laurentian Beer Festival invites all fans of microbreweries
to discover and taste craft beers and
meet the artisans behind these products. Product
presentations, entertainment, shows, music and
booths serving local and regional food.

 

july 1 to 29
Nostalgia evenings in Sainte-Adèle – Concerts
Parc de la famille
Corner of Morin and Émile-Cochand, Sainte-Adèle
450 229-2921 | ville.sainte-adele.qc.ca
Series of free outdoor musical concerts, on Saturday
nights, at Parc de la famille. 8 p.m. First part at
7:30 p.m.
• July 1: A tribute to Peter Gabriel
• July 8: All Access Showband – Songs from the 50s
• July 15: Nicolas Pellerin et les Grands Hurleurs –
Moderne traditional music
• July 22: Lobster Country Band – Country
• July 29: Gregory Charles

july 1 to 9
Lac Masson en fête in
Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson
Ville de Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson
1 855 228-2545 | ste-marguerite.qc.ca
• July 1 and 2: great annual bazaar in favour of the
church, on the parish grounds. Rain or shine.
• July 8 and 9: local products fair and sailing festival,
in the heart of the village, SUP tryouts with Echo
Aloha, big BBQ, pontoon rides, animation, storytelling
and concert.

july 1 to december 3
Série Ça Me Dit Concerts Rona Dagenais
Parc Georges-Filion – Saint-Sauveur
1 877 528-2553 | valleesaintsauveur.com
The Rona Dagenais «Ça me dit» concerts (concert
series) has really changed since its beginnings. Now
it offers much more than concerts: exhibitions, circus
performances, thematic weekends, open-air cinema,
an urban dance competition, two sidewalk sales and
many free outdoor concerts.

july 2 to august 27
Les dimanches sur la promenade
Sunday Concerts
Promenade Paul-Sauvé – Saint-Eustache
450 974-2787 | saint-eustache.ca
Free concerts, Sunday afternoons, on Promenade
Paul-Sauvé, behind the Saint-Eustache church, on the
shores of Rivière des Mille Îles.

until august 6
It’s peak season at la maison lavande
La Maison Lavande – Culture et parfumerie
902, chemin Fresnière, Saint-Eustache
1 877 780-3009 | maisonlavande.ca
It’s finally peak season at La Maison Lavande. The
summer activities resume with a bunch of little extras:
bistro, entertainment, guided tours, picnic area,
new terrace, a family area and more. You can bring
your own picnic. Open daily, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(the fields are open until 4:30 p.m.). Applicable entry
fees.
july 4 to august 1
Place du Village en spectacle in Sainte-Thérèse
free outdoor concerts
Place du Village
6, rue de l’Église, Sainte-Thérèse
450 434-1440 | sainte-therese.ca
Various outdoor music concerts presented on Tuesdays
at Place du village. 7:30 p.m. Animation at 6:30
p.m.
• July 4: Fanny Bloom – Pop
• July 11: Riot and The Blues Devils – Blues rockabilly
• July 18: Jojo et les Sixtease – Retro
• July 25: A tribute to Bob Dylan, with Alain Lépine –
Folk-rock

• August 1: Frédéric Lapierre, Angèle Courville and
the Alternatim Vocal Ensemble – Francophone

 

july 6 to august 6
Festival International Hautes-Laurentides
1 855 776-4080 | concertshautes-laurentides.com
Music festival. Artistic director: Alexandre Da Costa.
This year, festival organizers have decided to modify
the event and innovate by having more of a presence
on the regional cultural scene, thus creating a more
significant impact than the last 18 years. This 19th edition
will mark the beginning of the new «international»
era, with its new name: Festival International HautesLaurentides.

july 7 to august 13
1001 pots
2435, rue de l’Église, Val-David
1 888 322-7030, extn. 4235 | 1001pots.com
The largest exhibition of ceramics in North America.
25,000 original pieces. Workshops and special
activities. Daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission $2.

july 7 to 16
Tremblant international blues festival
Tremblant Resort
1000, chemin des Voyageurs, Mont-Tremblant
819 681-3000, extn. 46643 | tremblantblues.com
More than 100 concerts, mostly free, on multiple
indoor and outdoor stages. Ten days of blues,
ranging from its purest roots to R&B, soul, funk,
country, folk and rock influences. More varied than
ever, this year’s program will be presented in a series
of intimate settings so you can get up close and
personal with all the performers.
july 8 to august 26
Outdoor musical concerts in
Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts
Place Lagny
2, rue Saint-Louis, Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts
1 888 326-0457 | ville.sainte-agathe-des-monts.qc.ca
Free outdoor concerts at Place Lagny on Saturday
nights. 8:30 p.m., first part 7:30 p.m.
• July 8: A tribute to Les Colocs
• July 15: Cherry Chérie
• July 22: Annie Blanchard
• July 29: Loco Locass
• August 5: Qw4rtz
• August 12: Marco Calliari
• August 19: Pierre Kwenders
• August 26: Raphaël Torr – A tribute to Joe Dassin
july 13 to 16
Lachute fair
Lachute Fairgrounds
399, chemin Gougeon, Lachute
450 562-3741 | expolachutefair.com
The oldest agricultural fair in Québec! Agricultural
exhibits, rides, demolition derby, various shows,
diverse contests, exhibition of farm equipment.

july 14 to 16
AIM Electronic Music Festival
Parc Carillon
Rue du Plein-Air, Saint-André-d’Argenteuil
aimexperience.com
AIM is a new, outdoor electronic music festival presenting
over 50 artists on 3 stages (techno, house,
deep house, pop electronic and chill out) held at Parc
Carillon in Saint-André d’Argenteuil. With a focus on
live and DJ performances, interactive multimedia
art, sound and digital technology, AIM proposes an
ultimate and intimate set design in a festival environment.

july 14 to 16
Festival Manitou: Celebrating indigenous
cultures
Domaine Saint-Bernard
539, chemin Saint-Bernard, Mont-Tremblant
819 425-3588 | domainesaintbernard.org
First edition of the event Festival Manitou: Celebrating
indigenous cultures. The event is part of the
celebrations planned for the 150th anniversary of the
Canadian Confederation, and aims at the demystification
and reconciliation of past and present Aboriginal
and Canadian cultures. Musical and dance performances,
culinary discoveries, forest walks, stories
and legends will be among the highlights of the day.
july 15 to 23
Route des Arts
Southwestern Lower Laurentians
450 533-6360 | routedesarts.ca
An open doors event in the workshops and ateliers.
Come and admire the artists’ beautiful creations
and learn about their techniques in the intimate setting
of their studios and, perhaps, find a high quality
work of art to suit your taste. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
july 21 to 30
Festival Nuits Blues Laurentides
Parc Adolphe-Jodoin – Saint-Adolphe-d’Howard
450 745-3212 | nuitsblues.ca
Festival for blues aficionados presented in
the enchanting atmosphere of Saint-Adolphed’Howard
village, on sponsored stages and at
Parc Adolphe-Jodoin.

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Bombardier Museum of ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

We arrived in Valcourt QC to see the place where the man known as the  pride of Valcourt created his company that would be renowned by the  world. The visit begins with the simple garage where  Joseph Armand  Bombardier decides to overcome the challenges of driving in the deep  snow.

Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

By adapting the tractor wheels into treads and skis to become parts of  the vehicle he was able to make the first snowmobile- the B7 – that  within a very short period of time became in great demand not just in Quebec but all over Canada. In the garage there is still his officefilled with tools and papers, as if he just stepped out for a moment.
And you can see the first original snowmobile that looks quite bulky, since it was made of wood and various parts from other machines, stands in the middle of the garage.

Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

The new creation became so popular that the company moved to the new larger building and was supported by the whole community of Valcourt. The larger sized vehicles followed and the business was prospering until… after World War II, the Quebec government passed a law that required cities to  remove the snow from highways and streets and the need for the snowmobile as a transportation quickly faded. The creativity of Joseph Armand Bombardier never stopped and he
brought new ideas into growing the business… a few months later the “Ski-Doo” comes out of his production and quickly gives raise to the new sport and gives all new outlook for winter fun.

Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec
Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

From section to section we could see the machines created in different times for the variety of purposes – snowmobiles of all sizes, all terrain vehicles, the rail transport – here you can get on the actual streetcar and image being on the streets of the busy downtown.
In the next hall we were impressed by the original subway wheels that are used in Montreal Metro – and these are produced by Bombardier Inc. as well.

Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

One of the expositions is dedicated to the aircraft industry, here the imagination will take you up to the skies – yes, you can fly! And feel like a pilot of the commercial aircraft, which destination is any place of your choice!

Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

And not just the destinations you can reach here, you can build the totally new vehicle of your own creation. In the room filled with I-pads there is big screen with the images of all sorts of surrealistic machines moving, floating, flying, zooming… it’s a wonderful world of imagination; and no matter the age – it is a great fun for all!

FabLab, Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

One more surprise at the end of our tour – so called ‘’ FabLabs’’. Anyone who likes to create, is in need of tools and good technical advice can come here and for a very reasonable fee get it all including materials, software and a helping hand! Really impressive and well done! And so encouraging!

Bombardier Original Garage, Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec
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Granby Zoo, Quebec

During the last couple of years the topic of visiting Quebec was coming up several times in our discussions. Finally in May 2017 we booked a hotel and planned out the itinerary that would include some of the places that we thought would be interesting for everyone in the family.

The main destination was Quebec City and its beautiful downtown was so well preserved and such a distinct French heritage. We spent most of our time just strolling the streets, window shopping and watching the street performers who  really amazed us with their skills – fire jugglers, drama characters and musicians…

One of the destinations that excited our kids most was the Granby Zoo, which is about 3 hours drive from the downtown Quebec, and about an hour from Montreal. We were welcomed in the nice reception hall, got our tickets and went to explore the animal world.

Granby Zoo, Quebec

Right as we entered there was a gigantic size dinosaur’s head and a line up of kids willing to climb inside of it! No matter how big or small – they were very about the opportunity to see the real size dinosaurs! And there 21 of them right in front of you, so be very careful  – but don’t try to feed or pat these creatures!

Dino fun in Granby Zoo

Enough of the dinosaurs  – the kids forgot about dinosaurs right at the sight of the farm animals. And there were lots of them  – pigs, sheep, and goats – so friendly and ready to make friends!

Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Children are enjoying time at the Granby Zoo. Petting a piglet

After some hugs exchange with farm inhabitants we decided to go see some of the exotic creatures on display.

Granby Zoo, Quebec
Up close encounter with tropical fish via aquarium glass
Watching the turtles in Granby Zoo
Granby Zoo Aquarium

Oceania seemed to be a good place to start – first the stingrays and the variety of tropical fish and then all way around the Australian continent to see black swans, parrots, emus, and kangaroos.  Stingrays seem to be attracted to the hand emerged in the water –  some of them will come and allow us to gently touch their backs…
The Kangaroos were too busy to discuss any matters of their life, so the visit to the Oceania Garden was quite interesting as it is extremely rare you get to see kangaroos that close and with no fence!.

Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Australian Pavillion, Granby Zoo, Quebec

We entered the aviary and right away we were surrounded by many colorful parrots! For $1 you can buy a special nectar – just hold the cup tight and they will sit on your hand and drink it!

Granby Zoo Aviary, Quebec

We spend some good time  there – the parrots are so colorful and it is such a great experience to see them so close.

Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec

But there was a lot see and the time was  limited.
Our next destination was  Africa! Who doesn’t like to observe the grace of big cats, see elephants shower using trunks, slowly moving zebras and giraffes, and the hilarious monkeys?

Granby Zoo, Quebec
Meerkat, Granby Zoo, Quebec
Zebras, Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec

One of our major observations about Granby Zoo was the  design of the areas, nice fences that imitate greenery and well maintained grounds. We later learned that Granby Zoo received an Award for the Energy Consumption Reduction Efforts project that was implemented during the renovation of 2005-2010.

The Zoo is well mapped and organized – it was no problem to find any continent or animal of interest. And yes, the zookeepers definitely speak many languages, no worries if you don’t speak French!
After Africa we had just a bit of time to make a short tour of South America. We stopped by llamas who stretched out their necks asking for treat…

Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Llama, Granby Zoo, Quebec

it was a lot of fun to feed them some green leafs that we found on the trees  around; we were impressed by the spread of the wings of the Andean Condor and spent some time waiting for the alligators to wake up from the afternoon nap; finally one of them yawned and slowly moved towards the water… at the end of the South American trail we saw a powerful jaguar,  at the moment it was quite relaxed and not interested in any aggression.

Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec

On our way to South American continent we made a snack stop at “Le Marcher”. The restaurant offers a variety of foods and drinks and nice dining area;  there is also a large area outside with tables under umbrellas.
Next to the Restaurant there is an Amusement Park – where kids found some free rides while we were resting our feet; there is also an Amazoo Water park that offers quite the  variety of water rides, not now however… we may visit it some other time when the day will be hot enough for water fun…so long for now, the Zoo is closing and we are tired enough to get to our hotel and have some dinner.