Here is a captivating collection of Fresh Story Ideas from British Columbia

Posted: Friday, July 01, 2005
Finding Fresh Story Ideas Just Got a Whole Lot Easier: Tourism British Columbia is proud to unveil its new Travel Media Website, designed with writers, editors, photographers and other media types in mind. The new Travel Media site provides the same unique story ideas, concise, up-to-the-minute information and assistance in finding just the right image to accompany editorial you have come to expect from Tourism BC, but with better navigation and a fresh new look. Not to mention, it's an effective tool which can link you to our Travel Media Relations Team. Re-structuring of the site worked hand-in-hand with Tourism BC's re-development of its consumer site ? which also reflects a more contemporary style, while providing consumers with improved planning options for travel and enhanced site navigation of more than 2,000 pages of useful travel information. Think it's time to get to know that new face in the crowd. Visit http://www2.hellobc.com/travelmedia/ or www.HelloBC.com

Canadian Mountain Holidays Founder Lives the Adventure: With summer fast approaching, Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) promises a unique hiking exploration like no other ? when the adventure operator's founder, Hans Gmoser, will lead the pack during four days of heli-hiking through BC's stunning mountain landscape. Long considered by many to be the architect behind both heli-hiking and heli-skiing, Gmoser plans to come out of retirement this season to lead an awe-inspiring (not to mention new) guided excursion. This year, he and his family, will offer this rare nugget of exploration to enthusiasts wishing to take on the challenge of hiking the province's scenic Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region, July 9 - 13. Why now, one might ask? Popular demand wills it so. New generations of hikers long for the opportunity to accompany the visionary on an exhilarating adventure through memorable terrain. As a result, guests will revel in scenery peppered with mountain vistas, glaciers and lakes ? all accessible only by helicopter. And in fitting form, Gmoser will lead the hike out of the Cariboo Lodge, considered the birthplace of CMH heli-hiking. Noted as one of Canada's oldest adventure travel companies and the world's largest operator of helicopter-assisted hiking and skiing, CMH has developed 12 heli-ski operations throughout the Columbia Mountains of British Columbia (five of which operate heli-hiking programs). This experience, coupled with Gmoser's unsurpassed knowledge of the mountains and extraordinary story-telling skills, promises to make every excursion both challenging and enlightening. With each day's end, guests will return to the lodge's comfortable setting for a gourmet meal and an optional massage ? perfect for working out the day's kinks. Not to mention ideal for readying yourself for the next day's challenges. And all accompanied by the man who started it all. www.canadianmountainholidays.com

Captivating Ports-of-Call Lure Seafarers Aboard New Cruise Vacations: The metropolitan sights of Vancouver. Old-world elegance in Victoria. Prince Rupert's rich First Nations' heritage. The natural beauty of Nanaimo's landscape. Sound like a short-list of summer destinations when visiting the vast breadth of British Columbia's countryside? More like the destinations that await while aboard a Celebrity Cruise. Now through October, viewing more of the province's captivating shoreline will become a reality as several communities along the mainland coast and Vancouver Island will open and even expand their dock facilities to accommodate vast passenger ships to their ports. Considered quite a change from the cruises of old, which featured Vancouver strictly as a gateway to Alaska's expanse, these new cruises promise to illuminate more of the province's varied landscape to travelers from around the world. So what to do while visiting each port? Try taking in Vancouver's Sights and Shops Tour ? a four-hour blend of parks, nature and commerce, complete with visits to the city's eclectic neighbourhoods and picturesque waterfronts. Or how about a taste of local heritage during the Tsimshian Feast Ceremony in Prince Rupert? Here, at the Museum of Northern British Columbia, participants can view works of art and ceremonial regalia before continuing on to the 'Wiiwaabm Ts'msyeen (Tsimshian Big House) to treat the senses to traditional dancing and performance, ancient stories and songs, and even a taste of indigenous foods. And to mark this latest offering for seafarers, Celebrity will operate a new series of three- to six-night cruises with visits to one or more of these select ports. Aboard the Mercury vessel, which will carry upwards of 2,000 passengers per sailing, guests will witness first-hand the province's innate diversity when visiting Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo and Prince Rupert. Which port is calling? www.cruisebc.ca For more information go to www.celebrity.com and look under Plan Your Cruise, Shore Excursions, Destinations, Alaska, for listings of BC cruise itineraries.

Fields of Lavender Set the Scene for a Festive Summer Celebration: When one thinks of lavender, images of a striking violet-hued member of the flora family may be conjured. That is, of course, unless you reside in BC's Thompson Okanagan region. Here, fields of lavender fulfill more than a simple aesthetic role. In fact, in an area brimming with family-run farms and orchards, the scented blossom is noted as a life-force for the area's many residents. And come this July, a celebration of this very life-force will bring together young and old during the fifth annual Lavender Festival at the Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm. While still in its blooming stages, the July 8 - 11 festival proves a wildly popular gathering each year, with an array of activity set to entertain in a relaxed and unhurried environment. Seems a fitting scene, when one considers that lavender has long been recognized for its ability to soothe frayed nerves and release tension. Located in south-east Kelowna, this family farm promises activities abound with hands-on workshops including lavender basket weaving and the creation of lavender wreaths, an opportunity to participate in some guided tours of the lush landscape, lavender-scented massages by local practitioners Beyond Wrapture, and even food and wine pairings (featuring ? you guessed it - lavender-themed dishes) with noted vineyard Quails Gate Winery. In addition, the little ones can indulge in lavender ice cream-making, a host of games and more. All while Mom and Dad pick their own bounty before sitting down to indulge in some of the farm's own flower-flavored jelly and scones. And with a glass of lavender lemonade in hand, one can take in the day, and drink in the landscape. Or perhaps raise their glass to toast all things lavender. www.okanaganlavender.com

The Links are for the Little Ones Too: Not often can you meld rolling greens and challenging fairways with 'fun for the whole family' fare?that is, unless you make your way to Whistler this summer, where young and old are invited to tee up together and take on the links. During the warm weather months, Golf Whistler is truly embracing family time, as even the smallest of golf enthusiasts are invited to hit the fairways for free. With the organization's new Junior Golf Program - aimed at building interest in the sport for kids and their parents ? every aspiring Mike Weir or Tiger Woods-wannabe can test their mettle at an array of courses including Nicklaus North Golf Course, Whistler Golf Club, The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club and Big Sky Golf and Country Club. In an unprecedented move, all four championship golf courses in this year-round destination will be adding Junior Tees to their locales. In addition, at each of the three village-based courses, kids aged 10 ? 18 play for free throughout the season (that's one kid's green fee per paying adult - so long as Mom or Dad are swinging the nine-irons too). The program's an effort to bring entire families together amidst some of the province's most spectacular scenery ? a seemingly perfect fit for a setting that boasts an array of family-friendly activity for all, including hiking, mountain biking and more. And for those who wish to get even closer to the pin, an offering of junior golf clinics are available throughout the season. Should you wish to perfect your swing even further at other courses, GolfBC also has select tee times available for junior golfers (under the age of 16) to play free, with a paid adult round of golf (based on availability). Tee up at Furry Creek, Mayfair Lakes, The Bear and The Quail, The Okanagan Golf Club, Gallagher's Canyon and The Pinnacle, Arbutus Ridge, and Olympic View. Who knows...a green jacket may not be too far on the horizon. www.golfwhistler.com or www.golfbc.com

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Beckons with Breakfast in Bed: Imagine those first moments of early morning, arms leisurely stretching as you roll to your side, burrowing deeper into your down duvet. Now imagine this scene accompanied by a sumptuous menu dished up from your hotel's creative (not to mention artistically-inclined) Chef. Taking on the adage that breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in British Columbia are putting the emphasis on luxury overnight outings and memorable morning finales with their new Breakfast in Bed...With the Chef packages. With five Executive Chefs whipping up delectably extravagant menus, one will seriously question the virtue of rising early to meet the day. This is a culinary team that feels that one's palate is at its peak each morning ? and the taste buds are sure to come alive with Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Chef LeCrom's roasted Anjou pear with quince preserve, a Salt Spring Island goat cheese and black truffle omelette from Chef Ito at the Fairmont Empress, or Chef Rennie's Fairmont Waterfront selection of hand-dipped Verona Chocolate Belgian waffles topped with lavender-scented fresh whipped cream, drizzled with fennel and orange syrup. And if this only causes a mere rustling of the duvet, there's plenty of local flavours to tempt the palate, such as Chef Stufano's warm Birken apple-cinnamon spring rolls with wildflower honey & caramel sauce at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, or the Fairmont Vancouver Airport's Sparkling Exotic Fruit " Martini " with speared melons from Chef Planiden. Pair those with a selection of choice coffees, exotic teas and even a bottle of bubbly, and breakfast in bed at Fairmont Hotels may very well replace dinner as the time and place for decadent dining. Each Breakfast in Bed...With the Chef package includes one night's accommodation and a sumptuous breakfast for two delivered to your room the next morning (served to you in bed on a breakfast tray). Once you've indulged, you may very well banish the sheets...that is until the Chef tempts once again with another heavenly helping. www.fairmont.com

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