Stories

I made Lazy Mike work pretty hard when he gave me a crash course in playing the harmonica. I met up with him at The Queens, a legendary Vancouver Island venue with a hardwood dance floor and walls, that if they could talk, would sing the blues.

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The beat of rhythmic drums rise and fall to the swaying pitches of three singers’ voices, which ring through the longhouse-inspired building. This Welcoming Song kicks off the tour that begins the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre’s most recent attraction: a Tuesday night barbeque preceded by a tour of its award-winning building.

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The 16th Annual Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival has just passed, and as a first-timer to this festival, I can easily say, I’m impressed.

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Shawn Bell, director of community services for the Town of Vermilion, has a dilemma on his hands. Not just himself, but also the people organizing this year’s Canada Day celebrations in the town about an hour east of Edmonton on the Yellowhead Highway.

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The East Coulee Spring Fest is one of Alberta's best-kept secret festivals. Held in a valley of beautiful nature inspirations, the musicians who come to the stage have unique talents to make this a weekend to remember.

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The pounding of the cedar log drum sets the rhythmic beat for the young dancers as they circle around an open fire. They’re sharing legends about their First Nations culture through traditional native dance.

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When singer-songwriter Linda McRae heard of the Tongue on the Post music festival, she immediately thought of the childhood dare. “I love it.”

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It’s easy to feel connected to nature when you’re standing amid lush, green hillsides covered in blooming alpine wildflowers in a rainbow of colours.

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Vermilion hosts Art in the Park in conjunction with Alberta Cultural Days on Oct. 1. 

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Heading to the provinces’ wilderness side, I’ll be packing my canoe and hiking gear because ArtsWells is a festival located smack dab in the centre of all things outdoors.

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North America’s most iconic bird species is congregating by the thousands in B.C.’s lower Fraser Valley and this November biologists, photographers and tourists will be keeping an “eagle eye” on the action.

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There really is a place that brings winter fantasies alive. It’s called Banff and it does winter really, really well. 

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At the annual SnowDays in Banff, you can crawl in for puppy kisses.  But don’t stop there, everywhere you turn in Banff National Park there are free or reasonably priced activities. 

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The Drumheller Valley is home to dinosaurs, a prolific coal mining history, art galleries, festivals and the Canadian Badlands Passion Play. All great reasons to pop in for a weekend getaway, and The Heartwood Inn and Spa is the perfect hub for your adventures.

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The corner of northern Alberta that is the sprawling Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is known for its sands. Mostly, it’s the oil sands that has tongues a wagging, but there are cleaner dunes north of Fort McMurray that deserve their own bit of attention.

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Highway 93, heading south alongside impossibly turquoise mountain rivers, is one of my favourite Canadian highways - especially this time of year.

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Some of this year’s performers include Lyle Lovett and his Large Band, Buddy Guy, Graham Nash and Big Little Lions, a new school folk duo, featuring Paul Otten and Juno Award winner Helen Austin. 

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Joel Klinger sights down the length of the new skateboard deck he’s just finishing, freshly sanded and embossed. “There’s musical resonance in everything,” he says. “It’s called tap tone. It’s understanding the material properties of the wood, the Fibonacci sequence. I find it beautiful.”

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The annual Extreme Mudfest will be just that — extreme. So, if you’re looking to get a little mud on the tires, don’t miss this one of a kind event.  

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Throughout the year, Fort Steele is known for bringing history to life. But on Halloween this real-life ghost town pulls out all the stops to bring back the dead for one of the largest Halloween celebrations around.  

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Every August, close to 5,000 people descend down the rolling hills leading to Burnaby’s picturesque Deer Lake Park. With tall, green pines forming natural sound barriers and food carts providing sustenance, festival-goers go there to hear the bluesy lineup of the annual Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival.

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Let’s clarify something right away. The Headbangers in this article are not the professional WWE wrestlers, nor are they long-haired musicians tossing their locks to the music.  

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There is something to be said about the acoustics of a music festival held in the embrace of the towering Rocky Mountains.

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Mark your calendars. The world-famous Canmore Nordic Centre will play host to a prestigious world championship final in March – a first-time event in North America.

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Canada’s second largest ski area comes alive in the summertime, trading in the snow-white, powdery slopes, for lush green meadows and blankets of flowers that cover the alpine in a quilt of colour. 

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Follow along the parade and witness first hand the essence of proud Caribbean culture as it marches through downtown Edmonton's main strip towards Sir Winston Churchill Square, home to the Cariwest Caribbean Village.

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Alright, ladies. Let’s admit it. We’ve all had that daydream. You know, the one where you’re Kate Bosworth in the movie  Blue Crush , and you’re on your surfboard, living the dream and flawlessly carving a perfect turquoise barrel with the ultimate beach soundtrack playing in your ear?

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“Breathe in . . . breathe out!” As we crest a small rise, I can hear my Mother’s voice from 30 years ago commanding me to take healthy lungs-full of the fresh mountain air. Naturally, I do as I’m told, enjoying the spicy scent of cedar and pine that wafts across the mountain.  

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JASPER, AB - Ever since Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, it can be argued we’ve lost touch with darkness; we usually experience it when sleeping, with our eyes closed. Now in its second year, a new Jasper festival wants to change that by shining light on the natural beauty of the night sky.

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Just outside of Red Deer is a special kind of music festival that for the past six years has been developing a reputation for being one of the most popular family-friendly all-genre musical events in Alberta.

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Chef Ned Bell cycled more than 8,000 kilometres across Canada, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, to rally support among his peers for the health of our oceans. And you can see him at in the Comox Valley this spring.

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Chuckwagon racing is back in Bonnyville, Alberta and better than ever. The town once boasted a very active racing scene but hadn’t hosted an event since the 1970s. 

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  John Devitt Over five days in August the World Professional Chuckwagon Association will hold its World Finals in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.  Starting Wednesday, August 15 th and running straight through to Sunday, August 19 th , 2012, for a newly added fifth day, the ‘Battle of the Rockies’ will certainly be a mad dash to the finish for competitors from around the world.

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After visiting countless Calgary Stampede rodeos, I vowed never to get on top of a bull. That all changed when I visited the 2012 Cochrane SummerFest on a hot July day.

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Slipping through the narrow emerald waters between Otter Island and the mainland peninsula in Desolation Sound, our guide turned our tour’s attention to the zunga that was coming into view.

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Artists create masterpieces that can take days to create, and sometimes within days of completing one, the wind or rain could erase it all. 

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Like the idea of summer and jazzy music by the sea? Head to the TD Victoria International JazzFest for a top-notch lineup and ocean adventures. 

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This year marks an extended culinary indulgence for Cornucopia. After 17 years, the all things food and drink festival is revamped and longer spanning two weekends.

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It’s smack dab in the middle of summer, you’ve got the kids in the car and you’re vacation bound. Instead of spending a boring night in a motel, why not make a stop in lovely Oyen, Alberta on July 25 for the 14 th Annual White Lightning Dodge Pro Cowboy Crunch.

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The Clayoquot Oyster Festival will bring you out of your shell with fun evening galas and contests, while giving you a chance to try great fresh seafood and learn about Clayoquot Sound’s thriving oyster industry.

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Whistler’s epic spring closer, the World Ski & Snowboard Festival celebrates its 21st year as one of the best spring festivals on the planet from April 8-17, 2016.

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For many of us, Christmas comes and goes in a blur — but for skiers and winter-loving folk in Alberta, Jasper in January is a festive time that keeps on giving. 

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What would possibly make a beautiful young lady decide she needs to step out of a plane and stand on the wing while the plane dips and dives above a crowded airport?

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The Edmonton International Street Performers Festival was the first of its kind in North America. It is known worldwide for its amazing artists and generous audiences. Since 1984, almost four million people have played in the streets and shared a laugh with us at StreetFest. That's a lot of smiles and chuckles.

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The Edmonton International Street Performers Festival is proud to present the successful Comedy Cares program. Proving that laughter has the power to heal, Festival cast members use their perse talents to bring smiles, chuckles and giggles to patients, family and staff in local hospitals and long-term care facilities during the festival and year round.

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It takes a community to run a carnival. A carnival whose rides, food trucks, lights and all on-site attractions are powered 100 per cent by biodiesel fuel.

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 Even though it was amateur night and anyone was welcome to entertain the packed local hangout in Lac La Biche, I wasn’t about to step up to the mic to exercise my vocals on this night in La Bone’s Sports Pub.

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Medicine Hat may be known for its natural gas, but I discovered it also has a wonderful reputation for a fuel of a different kind - caffeine.  

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For the past 25 years, attendees of Vancouver’s Honda Celebration of Light have been wowed with some of the best pyrotechnic shows the world has ever seen.

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The Huckleberry Festival at Castle Mountain Resort is many different things to many different people, and that’s what makes it so special. 

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Flames lick the rib tails as they fall onto the grill, sizzling. The coleslaw isn’t going to prep itself, so while the meat sears I dive in. It’s my first ever shot at being a line cook but I’m in good hands with Anthony MacPhee, the owner and chef of Anthony’s Classic Grill in Vermilion.

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Nanaimo’s Feastival is a two-day celebration that celebrates both tasty ends of food spectrum - savoury and sweet.

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Mark your calendars. On the weekend of June 27 -29, Fernie, B.C. plays host to an action-packed weekend of mountain bike races including the Fernie 3, a three-day stage event and the second annual Fernie Roll & Sole Trail Fest.  

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Fernie is a town that knows how to entertain its visitors and show them a good time on and off the slopes. Fernival is one such upcoming event April 12 to 14.  In just under five years, the event has evolved into one of the largest annual musical festivals in the Canadian Rockies in a town known for its vibrant mountain culture.

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Jazz music usually evokes images of smoky nightclubs on big city streets rather than sunny skies and prairie hospitality, but great things often things happen in unlikely places.

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What do a Purple Pirate, dance, symphony, blues, whisky, craft beer, dogs, and Lion Bear Fox all have in common? They’re all a part of the amazing Festival Nanaimo

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It takes the keen eye of an artist or a photographer to appreciate the fine details of a landscape — the way the light shimmers on a lake, the mist hangs over a narrow mountain ridge or the reflection of blazing golden larches on a crystal clear lake.  

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Aurum Lodge is located a mere 30 minutes east of Banff National Park, but it is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the national park. Aurum is the Latin word for “gold” and the eco-friendly inn truly is a rare treasure – one of the few accommodations that allow guests to experience the unspoiled wilderness that is called Bighorn Country.

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This year, plan to attend Okotoks’ HarvestFest, which is held on Thanksgiving long weekend.

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They know how to kick back and have good, clean fun and get-in-the-muck fun at the Hylo/Venice Harvest Days southwest of Lac La Biche.  Any time you add a pig to the mix, there’s got to be some muck.

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Our cultural diversity makes this country unique and it’s also a reason to celebrate, which the town of Hinton does on a grand scale with the Fohn Festival.

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With years of experience under its belt, the Edmonton Folk Fest is steeped in tradition with a large fan base of regular concert goers that go year after year. This might be intimidating for the first time attendee, but have no fear ... FestivalSeekers is here to give you a few pointers that will make the weekend go by a little easier and turn you into a Folk Fest pro.

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Up and down the Sunshine Coast there are sights you’re guaranteed to see: Contorted arbutus trees clinging precariously to shoreline cliffs, families enjoying the beach any time of year, and purple banners waving outside of studios, galleries – even yurts. 

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Barbecue and rock ‘n’ roll (and for that matter, country music) have always seemed to go hand in hand, which is the key to the success of the Porkapalooza Concert of Hope series.

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Once again, I’m rifling through drawers and closets in search of misplaced mittens, sweaters and toques. In the background, a weather report calls for 20 to 30 centimetres. It's time to go to Jasper for Jasper in January!

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KAMLOOPS - The first suggestion Jessy Jacobs has for pow wow newbies is a profound statement about one of the premier cultural and competitive events for First Nations in British Columbia and Western Canada.

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Information on how to become a volunteer, a billet host, a dream maker, or a member of the Opera NUOVA's Board of Directors.

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The selection of wood for Minard’s guitar-making are as eclectic and diverse as the acts that have come through the Sunshine Coast Music Festival over its 34 years. Each is unique and all sound amazing to festival-goers’ ears. 

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I have a confession to make. I hesitated, but Im going to let you in on an Alberta secret. It isnt about some far-flung destination that youve never ventured to, or a treasure trove of natural wonders. Its about a place you likely know well, and youve likely ventured to at least once in your life. 

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As the longtime announcer at the Bonnyville Pro Rodeo and Chuckwagon Races, the sights and spectacle is forever ingrained in his mind.

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Cars and rock ‘n roll go together like peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Which is why St. Albert’s Rock ‘N August car and music festival is a perfect partnership and a humongous hit year after incredible year.

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WHISTLER, BC - Like many Vancouverites, I have known – and loved – the charismatic charm of Whistler in the winter. Here are the many ways to enjoy the great Canadian outdoors on the Canada Day weekend and all summer long.

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For someone who’s had to work hard to embrace our longest season, I couldn’t help but get excited about the upcoming Canmore Winter Carnival after talking to cross-country ski Olympic medallist Sara Renner.

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East of the Stampede, it’s about as big an ag fair as you’ll find. And yet the charm of that old, small town brand of hospitality and community celebration remains at the heart of Colonial Days.

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"Sausage on a bun with sauerkraut,” Kris Kringle requested as I sat across from him at Sandy’s Ukrainian Kitchen in Nanaimo. If you’re ever wondering what Santa Claus would order for lunch at a Ukrainian restaurant, there you have it.

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Travel back in time to Haying in the 30’s and see how farmers of yesteryear worked from sun-up to sun-down followed by a Saturday night barn dance. 

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When I think of Vancouver Island my mind wanders back to family road-trip adventures where I first gazed up at the majestic totem poles in Alert Bay. I also remember standing in awe below the massive trees in Cathedral Grove and eating fish and chips next to bobbing fishing boats in Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

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The Beaver Bike Fest and Gravity Cup will bring a wide range of pedal heads to experience Hinton's mountain biking terrain.

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Driving through the towns in the Canada’s Mormon Trail on a beautiful summer’s day with farm land stretching as far as the eye can see and the majestic mountain backdrop, it’s easy to imagine a simpler time where volunteers worked together to build whatever was needed in their community.

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We were told a Gran Fondo is just an easy ride with a bunch of like-minded cyclists. So, we signed up for the Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo and took the newbie advice from our seasoned cycling friends.

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This year the Fringe will host over 800 artists who will bring you more than 1,800 theatrical performances. With so many shows to choose from, where does one begin?  

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Sooke River Bluegrass Festival is a foot-stompin’, hand-clappin, hootin and hollerin’ time.

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JASPER, AB – When you’re “winterstruck”, you’re in love with every frosty delight that comes with western Canada’s longest season.

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Walk down 50th Street in Camrose and you’ll notice two things – the city has a lot of gutsy women and they’re well dressed.

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The Sunshine Coast is one of those idyllic places where you just want to savour every last drop of summer. That’s just one of the reasons the community of Pender Harbour, on the shores of one of the most protected harbours on the West Coast of B.C., delays the annual Pender Harbour Jazz Festival so it happens on nearly the last day of the season. 

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You want to go to Banff, but you don’t want the hustle and bustle of a city. That is, after all, why you are going to Banff. The solution? The Juniper Hotel and Bistro.

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Come March when it’s pretty much guaranteed bitter temperatures will pummel us in the Prairies, the coast is celebrating spring. It’s a glorious seasonal mash-up that means flowers are blooming but people are still skiing - and surfing in the same weekend.

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This year's event is the weekend of Aug. 30 to 31 at Kalamalka Lake, that shimmering green-watered beauty that runs between the towns of Oyama and Coldstream, close to Vernon.

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The 53rd annual Lac La Biche Pow Wow Days and Fishing Derby is going to boldly go where the festival has never gone before — the Bold Center.

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Wine tours. Festivals. Fine dining. Beaches. Watersports. Golf. Skiing. Biking. It’s impossible to name only a few of the reasons Kelowna is such a popular destination. 

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Sitting beneath the towering cottonwood trees that flank Calgary’s original Macleod Trail, it doesn’t take long to get roped in by the spirit of western hospitality.

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“ If you’re not on Island Time, you want to be,” Tracy Morgan says as she hands me a freshly-tapped pint of Longwood’s Island Time Lager. 

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It’s only eight seconds, but it can feel like an eternity for some cowboys. Canada’s border town of Lloydminster will once again play host to some of the top cowboys in Canada at this year’s Wrangler Bull Riders Canada Finals on Oct. 2 and 3. 

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http://www.pc.gc.ca/rockymountainhouse It was a smorgasbord of “Canadiana,” if there ever was one. In four fun-filled hours we ate maple taffy, went dog-sledding, listened to foot-stomping fiddle music, ate bannock...

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MoM, formerly known as Music on the Mountain is now held in Fort St. James, B.C., is no exception. This year it goes Aug. 19 to 21.

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It is rare to find a concert venue that also boasts mountains, bike paths, hiking or picnicking among alpine flowers, fine and casual dining, shopping and golf all in one. 

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I have a confession to make. Despite being a born and raised Albertan, when someone raised the idea of going to a mud bogging event, I had to Google what it was.

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Entering its third year now, the Whistler Presents concert series will see performances from a mix of local musicians, up-and-coming young artists, and long-established international favourites.

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Visitors began to pour into the field set up between three stages at the Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival, with the smell of grilled smokies drifting throughout the park.

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In Fernie, B.C., locals and visitors alike take it in their own hands by hailing “Griz” every winter. Griz Days Winter Festival 2015 will take place Feb. 27 to March 1, and is hands down, one of the best weekends of the season in Fernie.

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Downtown Summerfest is the time to belly up for a street-style grub crawl and sample the areas best restaurants. Presented by the Downtown Business Improvement Association of Prince George this not-to-be-missed event happens downtown on Sunday, July 17.

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NELSON, B.C. - If you’re looking for road-trip ideas this summer, point your vehicle in the direction of the hip little town of Nelson. This little piece of heaven is a hub of culture, music, art, adventure and freedom of expression in the heart of the Selkirk Mountains on the west end of Kootenay Lake.

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Sitting on a park bench on Willingdon Beach in Powell River, Michael Matthews is telling me about a magical night where he was drawn out to his deck when he heard the sweet sounds of violin music floating over the waters of Okeover Arm on the edge of Desolation Sound.

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'A party on the coast for the coast' is how the Otalith Festival is described by one local organizer. That’s fitting because everything that happens at this two-day celebration revolves around the ocean and coastal culture. 

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HINTON, AB - Before railroaders, surveyors and settlers staked their claim in the Athabasca Valley, a group of hardy travellers called the Overlanders blazed trails through the Rockies to the gold fields of British Columbia.

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For me, learning the history of Prince George started with putting a canoe in the water.

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Summer in the mountains of Southern Alberta can be fickle;  quite often it will take its sweet time, waiting until late July to really get started, and by September dustings of snow can be seen on the mountain tops or even the valley floors. 

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Sublime scenery and a scrumptious pie cruise are on the menu at the Waterton Food Festival, which runs May 27 to June 6. A tasty boat cruise that features a selection of pies is just one of several food-centric -- and eccentric -- events planned for the second annual festival. You’d be hard-pressed to find a food celebration like this, says the cookbook author behind the idea.

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JASPER, AB - Organizers of Jasper in January are forecasting an avalanche of family fun and 100 per cent chance of swirling activity when the winter festival blows in next week.

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Porkapalooza is a BBQ competition with tonnes of entertainment! Enjoy a food festival that explores the art and culture of BBQ. 

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As I peered over the railing to the pit in front of me, I could see one truck still churning through the mud, slowly making progress, the impossibly sticky muck sucking the tires further down with each inch.

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Read Bob McDonald's interesting views on astronomy that he shared at last year's festival.

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What makes the Gathering so spectacular is that it has retained a small, intimate vibe.

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When the Magnificent River Rats Festival first kicked off in Athabasca in 1996, a city councillor came up to Andy Woudstra (one of the founding members of the festival committee) and told him it was doomed.

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If you can roll a ceramic ball on a strip of lawn that looks like a bowling alley, you can learn to play bocce in a matter of minutes — perhaps not well, but enough to have some fun.

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This year, festival-goers will be treated to Lady Antebellum, Big & Rich and Dierks Bentley, just several of more than 20 bands on three stages.

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A community that runs together, stays together. Until the leaders pull away and leave the rest of the pack panting behind, that is.

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I’ll admit straightaway – I am not a huge country music fan. But after attending the Big Valley Jamboree two years in a row, I’ve discovered this annual event is way more than just folks twanging on a geetar about their lost dog down by the river.

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It’s fitting, albeit increasingly rare, for a roots festival to stick to its roots. Although the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival has expanded beyond its community hall beginnings, its musical soul remains.

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Sam Steele Days in Cranbrook is always a weekend full of fun and festivities. But this year, along with celebrating the historical figure that is Sam Steele and his mighty moustache, the festival will focus on the youth who will take the festival into the future.

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Back in day, those that dared to side-step the law in B.C.’s Kootanays, Alberta or the Yukon on Major General Sir Sam Steele’s watch were handled swiftly.

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Historically, Golden’s economy has had close ties to the logging industry and the Canadian Pacific Railway. Today, while these relationships still exist, the town’s offerings have diversified – making it a must-see destination that offers fantastic opportunities for family and adventure travel.

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Most people would rather not drive on an icy road for fear of a white-knuckling experience trying to stay in control of the car.  But then again, most people aren’t ice racers.

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There were two major topics of discussion at the Banff World Media Festival: mobile technology, and social media strategy. “Social Media Strategy: The Networked Effect and Your Business” was one of the most attended and thought-provoking panels at the festival.

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Biking, beer, hiking and more beer — sounds like our kind of festival. Hit the beautiful Sea to Sky Highway out of Vancouver and leave the bustle of the big city for Squamish and its debut beer festival.

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Sooke is the kind of place where in a single day you can picnic in a quiet cove, hike along a pod of orcas, visit an art gallery and finish the day with a gourmet meal overlooking the harbour.

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In the summertime this small town increases in population because of all the summer events held here. The Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival, Wednesday on the Wharf, and so much more.

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Home to some of the best biking in Canada, the South Okanagan is a standout destination, especially in May when the weather is perfect, the 50-plus wineries in the area are open and the summer crowds have yet to show up. Throw in a few stellar community bike events and there’s even more reason to visit.

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It was a great weekend for beer lovers in the mountain town of Squamish. On Saturday, July 11, IT hosted the first annual Squamish Beer Festival, and it was a deliciously sudsy success. 

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The second annual Dark Sky Festival had taken over the lawn of the Jasper Information Centre and turned it into a ‘Space Cadet Fair' - a day of sky-themed entertainment and educational activities, just for kids.

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If you’re looking for an authentic Alberta experience, here’s what I’d suggest; from Edmonton, take Highway 21 south, turn left at Highway 609, then right at Highway 56. Stop when you reach Stettler, and head straight for the Steel Wheel Stampede. This is the real deal folks.

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Kneeling over my grey square on the sideway – I drew … a blank. The fresh box of chalk beside my knee was screaming out ideas but I was afraid to start. What if I can’t draw? What if it looks dumb? What if it rains?... No wait, please rain!

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Sustainival's first year in Fort McMurray was the talk of the town and fun for everyone - even those hard-to-please teens.

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Flaring nostrils and galloping hooves bear down on me, as barrel racer Ashtin Anderson pushes Rocket Girl towards the gates.

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When Phyllis Arsenault goes to the Lakeland Country Fair and Open Rodeo she feels like she’s stepped into a time machine. 

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Roy Pogorzelski travelled all the way to Bavaria, Germany to get a taste of the most authentic Oktoberfest he could - and brought it back to Lethbridge.

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You’ve seen them drenched and caked in mud, grimacing from exertion, shrieking while treading through icy water, dripping in sweat while climbing a seven-metre pole surrounded by flames.

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Actor John Goodman once said, “Beer is a good friend.” So it’s safe to say that he’d find lots of good friends at Victoria’s upcoming Great Canadian Beer Festival.

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This is a story of the community that kept its heritage alive and while you reading this story, I ask you to question what lengths you’d go to keep your passion around?  Share this page on Twitter.  

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With 33 years of history, it's safe to say the Edmonton Folk Fest is a local institution. Taking place annually at Gallagher Hill, just south of the Saskatchewan River, this four day gathering has deservedly taken its place as one of the capital region's must-see attractions.

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The countdown is on. At 9 a.m. on Sept. 10, the starter’s pistol will fire signalling the start of the 4th Annual Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo. 

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I stepped from the car and was funneled inside by a pair of velvet ropes, and not thirty seconds after I had registered for the Banff World Media Festival, a stranger beside me leaned in and covertly said, “By Thursday, you’re going to know the future.”

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Usually people enter Ms. Lorea’s College of Esthetics and Nail Technology to look and feel beautiful, but I was attending that day to look my absolute worst.

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During the Banff World Media Festival, the NextMEDIA Accelerator brought together six of Canada’s most innovative startup companies. Each was given six minutes to pitch their product to the room.

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In keeping with tradition, festival organizers have faithfully branded the event as the "Folk Fest" since its inception. But as the years roll on, and new and innovative acts make their mark on Edmonton, the definition of "folk" is getting wider all the time.

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In 2009, The Works launched The Works Canadian Aboriginal Artist Program to highlight the artistic contributions that contemporary Aboriginal artists make to visual culture. Now in its third year, the program, supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, has showcased the work of established, emerging, and celebrated Aboriginal artists from across the country.

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Every one of us has looked up at the sky and wondered, what’s up there? For those who want to take that curiosity further, here are five items that will help you view the moon and stars...

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Winters in Canada are long and most music fans don’t want to wait until the weather thaws to enjoy the energy and special performances that come with a traditional Western Canadian music festival.  

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The Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts, now in its 34th year, is the longest-running writer’s festival in the country. It celebrates Canadian writers from all corners of the country, and all genres, from mystery to poetry to non-fiction are represented.  

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Before she moved to Vermilion, Carol Wasylik knew from visiting the town that it had lots of activities and plenty of community involvement. Now that she’s a resident and storeowner, it was only natural she would become one of those involved residents.

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We were cruising the Vernon Farmers Market, strolling the rows of fresh produce found this time of year in the Okanagan. Everything smelled fresh. The bunch of carrots were bought and instantly reduced to ferns.

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It’s not all about downward dog and chanting at Wanderlust Festival Whistler, held over five days beginning July 30. Although many attendees are there to find their True North, there's a whole lot more to the festival for mind, body and soul.  

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The 5th annual Wapiti Music Festival takes place in Fernie, BC, Aug. 7-8, 2015, featuring fresh Canadian indie music. It's family-friendly and easy walking or biking distance from downtown and includes crafts, activities, vendors and beverage gardens. There will be live music on Friday evening and Saturday from noon until 11 p.m. and there's a featured free concert in downtown Fernie on Aug. 6 at 7:30 p.m.

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Swift-flowing water propels our canoe along the Nechako River near Prince George B.C. As I gaze up at scree slope, leafy canopy and blue sky framing this northern B.C. water highway the swift water—and the powerful arms of Maja Jacobs propels us down the river.

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 Lac La Biche area residents gather for the Lakeland Country Fair and Roughstock Rodeo and do what small town Albertans do – have a heck of a good time.

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If you are a bike enthusiast like me, but perhaps a bit of a fair-weather biker (also like me), then biking the Kettle Valley Railway trail is something you need to put on your bucket list.

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While many have visited the Calgary Stampede rodeo, the nearby town of Strathmore is home to one of the biggest CPRA-sanctioned rodeos around.

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If you’re a mountain biker looking for a fantastic variety of uncrowded, world-class trails then it’s time you made a visit to Alberta’s best kept secret – Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. With roughly 50 kilometres of trails – and more in the works, you’ll find lots of choice.

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The Village of Waterton is still small. Main street takes 20 minutes to stroll because you stopped for 15 minutes to watch a herd of deer go by.

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Will Gadd visited the town of Golden long before he was given the title Adventurer of the Year by National Geographic.

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For nine days every winter Sun Peaks Ski Resort near Kamloops, B.C. adopts a veritable vinous vibe.

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In 1952, the Royal Canadian Air Force picked Cold Lake as its newest military installation – and today, 4 Wing Cold Lake remains one of the most significant air weapons and flight- training facilities in the world. In fact, it is Canada’s largest fighter base and the second largest RCAF base.

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Shin pads in place. Gloves firmly on. Cricket bat at the ready. Feet in the proper stance. I swing and miraculously connect with the yellow dimpled ball … and it goes about five feet.  

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The wild West Coast of Vancouver Island has plenty of traditions that run as deep as the ocean: think a stickered up VW bus, loaded up with surf boards and Jack Johnson tunes going as the surf reports roll in.

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When I asked Shara where we should meet for our interview, she said, “Why not at my house? It’s on the festival site.” It’s not an invitation many festival organizers can offer, and it just happens to be the perfect location for the Robson Valley Music Festival.

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Yuichi Takasaka has perfected the art of photographing the magical Northern Lights. He uses an arsenal of everyday household items and, of course, his beloved digital cameras.

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When Ron Pilger purchased a house in Camrose, he had no idea he was also getting a new hobby.

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After getting tossed out of a bathtub on the waters off Nanaimo's Departure Bay, all Jamie Garcia could say, with a giant smile splashed across his face, was, “Does that thing ever rip!”

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