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Show 2001

Vision Quest 1,000 Mile Canoe Journey

First Nations villagers from Prince Rupert, Hazelton and Inside Passage joined Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers in Vision Quest, a 1,000 mile canoe journey down the Skeena River to the Pacific, then south to Victoria. The excitement generated shows that the spirit of cooperation can transcend any barriers. A tourism venture featuring the great carved canoes of British Columbia's First Nations will soon be in the waters of the southern BC coast. Artist Richard Krentz is launching "Voyages Out of Time" this summer, promoting aboriginal tourism and boosting employment prospects for young native people.

Eco Adventure WorldTakaya Adventures, a joint venture between Krentz and the Burrard Band in North Vancouver will run the trips. Visitors will be able to paddle a 10-m Stalashen canoe into the Burrard Inlet, accompanied by a native steersman and pilot in traditional dress. At his Queeneesh Studios on Vancouver Island, Krentz and a team of carvers built the first five canoes, combining traditional methods with modern tools and techniques, including the services of a naval architect.

The prows of the cedar canoes are carved into a wolf head design. At a small school next to his studio on Saratoga Beach, Krentz is training the steersmen, pilots and shore dancers as well as the crews of the Zodiac boats that accompany the canoes. Vision Quest Story is Continued on its own special page. Cultural tourism is a growing industry in the province, as communities diversify their economies and treaty settlements progress. Foreign visitors are keenly interested in the culture and history of Canada's Aboriginal people. German, United Kingdom and Japanese tourists have indicated a keen interest in the opportunities for education, understanding and spiritual renewal that cultural tourism represents.  

Grouse Mountain: The Hiwus Feast house on Grouse Mountain is setting a benchmark for authentic Aboriginal tourism. This longhouse, developed by Richard Krentz and Grouse Mountain Resorts Ltd., hopes to be among the first projects to receive accreditation by the Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC (ATBC) a member of COTA, hopes to launch a pilot for the accreditation system later this year. Although the process is not yet in place, some criteria, such as majority Aboriginal ownership or control, are outlined in the draft of a workbook developed by the association. The workbook assists an Aboriginal person setting up a cultural tourism business by identifying operating standards.

Inuit ambassador makes Macleans' annual honor roll
Mary Simon, Canada's first Inuit ambassador for circumpolar affairs, has been named to Macleans' magazine's 11th annual honor roll. Simon, 46, of Ottawa, is Canada's representative on, and chairwoman of, the newly created Arctic Council, an eight-nation group working to coordinate government policies dealing with the Far North. The council held its first meeting in September in Ottawa. Simon was born in Kangirsualujuak in remote northern Quebec. She spent the early part of her life moving from camp to camp with her family, and most of her education came through correspondence courses she took while living in the North. She says this early nomadic lifestyle was good training for her job as ambassador, a job in which she has traveled up to six months of each year, working to set up the council. Simon has been in the position for two years. "It's important that I'm Inuit, but it's far more important that I'm from the North, because I've lived through it; I have a deep understanding of the issues people in the North are faced with daily." Her goal is for the council to work toward creating jobs in the North through the promotion of trade, and to start lobbying governments for uniform legislation on environmental preservation in the area. Simon has been active in the northern community for a number of years, and she was a member of the negotiating team that created Nunavut, the territory that will be carved from the Northwest Territories by 1999. From Ottawa Citizen. 

Aboriginal peoples of British Columbia developed one of the richest and most complex cultures north of Mexico. Because of the diversity of the Pacific coast -- mild to cold climate, seashore to mountains -- the tribes that settled in this area developed completely different cultures and languages. The coastal inhabitants were experts at wood sculpture, as their totem polls attest even today. They were also famous for their skill and courage in whaling. As for their social system, it was marked by occasions such as the potlatch -- a ceremony in which important gifts were given to guests -- and by theatrical displays.

In 1774 the first Europeans, under the flag of Spain, visited what is now British Columbia. In contrast with eastern Canada, where the English and French were the two nationalities fighting over territory, Spain and Russia were the first countries to claim ownership of certain parts of British Columbia. In the 18th century, the Spanish claimed the west coast from Mexico to Vancouver Island. At the same time, the Russians were making an overlapping claim for control of the Pacific coast from Alaska to San Francisco.

In 1778, Captain James Cook of Great Britain became the first person to chart the region. The first permanent colony, in present-day Victoria, was established by the British in 1843.

When gold was discovered in the lower Fraser Valley in 1857, thousands of people came in search of instant wealth. To help maintain law and order, the British government established the colony of British Columbia the following year. In 1866, when the frenzy of the gold rush was over, the colony of Vancouver Island joined British Columbia.

The colony was cut off from the rest of British North America by thousands of km and a mountain range. The promise of a rail link between the Pacific coast and the rest of Canada convinced British Columbia to join Confederation in 1871.

The People
The majority of BC's inhabitants are of British origin, but the population is enriched by immigrants and descendants of immigrants of all nationalities. More than 100 000 British Colombians are descendants of the thousands of Chinese who took part in the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the late 19th century. The Japanese began to arrive in the 1890s, becoming merchants and fishermen. Today, Vancouver has North America's second-largest Chinese community. More than 60 000 of BC inhabitants are from India, and 16 000 are from Japan. British Colombians of Asian heritage have contributed tremendously to the province's economic and cultural vitality.

The Air Highway Library Guide
Books, brochures, audio visual and services from
Tourism BC and related organizations

Tourism BC promotes British Columbia and its tourism products to consumers and the tourism trade around the world through efficient and cost-effective marketing programs. Cooperative programs with the private sector, other tourism organizations, other ministries and other levels of government are encouraged. Marketing programs include media advertising, unpaid media support, travel trade initiatives, promotions, conventions, trade and consumer shows, familiarization tours and publications. Tourism BC, #802 - 865 Hornby Street, Vancouver BC V6Z 2G3
Tel: (604)660-2861, Fax: (604)660-3383

Publications Available

Packaging BC's Tourism Industry: The "how-to" manual for tourism suppliers, business operators, instructors and communities explains what a tourism package is, describes types of packages, steps required in setting up a tour operator business, etc. It is indispensable for anyone who is planning on becoming a tour operator. Available free of charge by calling (604)387-0125.

 Product Guide : The tourism Product Guide is the most comprehensive, up-to-date directory of tourism products and services in British Columbia. With a listing in the guide, your business will be accessible to travel counselors throughout the province. To add your product to the Guide contact: (604)953-5125

Partners in Tourism: This pamphlet describes the Partners in Tourism program, a joint venture between the Ministry of Small Business, Tourism and Culture and the nine regional tourism associations. New tourism operators will want a copy of this pamphlet, which describes how the program can help businesses with their marketing efforts, and includes the phone numbers and addresses of the regional associations. Available free of charge by calling (604)660-4702.

Accommodations Guide
This is the central accommodations publication issued by the Ministry, with a World-Wide circulation of more than 1,000,000. To qualify for inclusion in the Guide, an accommodation/property/business must be inspected by and registered with the Accommodations Guide. Note: Bed and Breakfast establishments with one to three rooms now qualify for inclusion in the Guide. Note: Cost: Basic rate of $80.25 (tax inclusive) for a listing Contact: (604)387-6309


Bed and Breakfast Package
This package of information on how to start a bed and breakfast establishment is available free of charge by calling (604)387-6309.

British Columbia Travel Industry Guide
This guide is a catalogue of services, tours and packages designed for retail travel agents, tour operators and travel wholesalers across Canada, in US markets and overseas. With a listing in this guide, your product becomes accessible to key decision makers in the industry -- and ultimately to the consumer. Listings are free to eligible companies offering BC travel products. To participate, please submit a written request describing your product to:

British Columbia Travel Industry Guide
Market Development Division, BC Ministry of Small Business, Tourism and Culture 802-865 Hornby St., Vancouver, BC V6Z 2G3, Tel: (604)660-4701

List of Trade and Consumer Shows
The Ministry publishes an annual list of trade and consumer shows that provide new operators with tour programs Available free of charge by calling: (604)660-4701.

Market Guidebooks
The federal government publishes a number of guides, including "Japan Tourism Market Guide," "Meeting Japanese Service Expectations," and "Doing Business in the European Tourism Market". Fax link: (613)944-4500

Marketing Programs
Media Relations: The Ministry works with the travel media to obtain editorial coverage of British Columbia's tourism products. Travel journalists on assignment may contact Media Relations directly to get help with story ideas. BC suppliers of tourism product who have a new product with an interesting "angle", should send a brochure with a description of why your product is unique to: Media Relations: Tourism BC, #802-865 Hornby St., Vancouver, BC, V6Z 2G3 Tel: (604)660-3767, Fax: (604)660-3383

Information for Overseas Tour Operators (Buyer)
The Market Development Branch of Tourism British Columbia can assist you in the development of new packages to new destinations within British Columbia, itinerary planning, package coordination and promotional material including slides, videos, posters, visual aides and literature. Tourism BC can provide local industry contacts, assist in arranging site inspections, familiarization trips and coordination with destination marketing organizations (e.g. Tourism Vancouver, Tourism Victoria, the Whistler Resort Association, etc). Tourism British Columbia provides a complete range of services for international buyers, including a wide variety of sales support and information. The Ministry has support staff in the United Kingdom, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, London and the USA.

Regional Guides
For more information on specific areas,
contact BC's Regional Tourism Association.
Tourism Association of Vancouver Island
Okanagan Similkameen Tourism Association
High Country Tourism Association
(Kamloops area)
North by Northwest Tourism Association
(Smithers to the Rockies)
Rocky Mountain Visitors Association
Kootenay Country Tourist Association
Cariboo Tourism Association
Peace River Alaska Highway Tourist Association
Vancouver Coast & Mountains Tourist Association
(604) 739-9011


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