Meeting MPI Toronto - January/February 2015 - (Page 13)

CANADA'S HIDDEN GEMS: READY TO WELCOME AND DELIGHT GROUPS OF ALL SIZES C By Micki Lubek, CMP, Scotiabank onsider taking your meeting off the beaten, less advertised path. Nature provides a spectacular backdrop that can surpass any décor or audiovisual special effects hands down (Northern Lights anyone?). In Canada, we have an incredible array of locales to surprise and delight groups of all sizes. Close enough to major Canadian cities, yet feeling a million miles away, here are some new places to explore and consider for your upcoming programs. sites are the backdrop for your next Charlevoix meeting. Take Route 138 to the Parc des Hautes-Gorges-de-la-RivièreMalbaie for a fun team-building adventure. Your group will experience one of the most challenging and magnificent hikes in the province of Quebec. Reaching the summit as a group will be an achievement that is memorable for everyone. Or, book an appointment with the most awaited summer residents: whales! People looking forward to an unforgettable gastronomical experience will be more than satisfied by the JASPER, ALBERTA passionate producers and restaurateurs of the Flavour Trail. Ever had seared duck foie gras, young goat shank or plum mistelle? Whatever terroir product you choose to indulge in, the talents of Charlevoix's renowned chefs will be sure to cast a spell on your taste buds. Nestled in the heart of Canada's largest Rocky Mountain Park, Jasper offers visitors unparalleled access to pristine wilderness. Its shimmering glaciers, abundant wildlife, crystal clear lakes and thundering waterfalls, all surrounded by rugged mountain peaks, are just some of the reasons you will find it on UNESCO's World Heritage List. One must-see natural feature in Jasper is Maligne Canyon. During the summer, you can enjoy fantastic views of cascading waterfalls from a series of bridges. In the winter, the frozen floor of the canyon becomes a magical place, shimmering with ice sculptures. Explore the entrance to a cave system, ice caves, fossils and towering frozen waterfalls stretching over 30 metres up the canyon walls. For a truly unique attendee experience, consider arranging a tour of Maligne Canyon at night. It will be dark in the canyon, but once you strap on a headlamp, the illumination of the limestone and the constantly evolving ice formations create an otherworldly effect. Or, take a moment to turn off your headlamp and gaze up at Jasper's incredibly dark sky. Jasper National Park is one of the world's largest dark sky preserves and to celebrate this designation, October in Jasper is defined by the night sky. The Jasper Dark Sky Festival runs every October and with events for young and old, for those that are well versed in astronomy or those that simply appreciate beauty, there is something in the night sky for everyone. CHARLEVOIX, QUEBEC  Only one hour east of Québec City, Charlevoix features a full range of first-class accommodations with meeting facilities, and teambuilding or leisure activities. Splendid scenery, fresh sea breezes, wide-open spaces and unique natural ANNAPOLIS VALLEY, NOVA SCOTIA A one-hour drive from Halifax International Airport will transport your group to the pastoral vistas of the Annapolis Valley. For the meetings and convention planner there is a plethora of itinerary components to experience outside the meeting room. Small groups can stay in one of the many inns that dot the Annapolis Valley and experience the country inn vibe while convening with colleagues. Activities and unique venues abound, such as wine-tasting tours or dinners in the many valley vineyards, or whale-watching expeditions to watch humpbacks and dolphins perform aquatic gymnastics. Otherwise, organize a group 'u-pick' and reach for apples, pears, peaches, blueberries and many more seasonal delights. Plan a dine-around and savour the culinary specialties offered in restaurants that rival those of any city in the country. A great time to visit the Annapolis Valley is between May and June when you can catch the breathtaking sights and aromas of hundreds of apple blossoms. BAFFIN ISLAND, NUNAVUT Here's a place that is much closer than you think! With jets arriving daily from Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal and Winnipeg your group can be in one of the regional centres or the capital city of Iqaluit in a few hours. You will quickly find yourself comfortable in a cozy bed-and-breakfast or a contemporary hotel, while endless tundra and ocean waits outside your continued on page 23 | MEETING * 13

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting MPI Toronto - January/February 2015

President’s Message
Editor’s Word
Welcome, New Members!
Upcoming Events
Discovering Toronto’s Best Kept Secrets – A Venue Guide
Entertainment Trend Forecast 2015
Inside the Chapter: MPI Toronto’s Hidden Gems
Canada’s Hidden Gems: Ready to Welcome and Delight Groups of All Sizes
Hiding in Plain Sight: The New Niagara
Secrets for Effective Negotiation and Getting What You Want
Chapter Speaks
Attendee Engagement – Try Something New!
The Rise of Restaurant-Inspired Events
Destination Winnipeg
Advertisers’ Index &

Meeting MPI Toronto - January/February 2015