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(2018 - Spring/Summer Issue)


Plans are now underway for the 2020 performance of The Passion Play in the village of Oberammergau located in the Bavarian Alps, easily reached by train from Germany’s major cities. Nearly half the village’s population of 5,000 become amateur actors and sing in the choir to tell the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. The play has only been withheld twice since 1634. It runs May 16 to October 4, 2020. While there, explore the picturesque village, visit nearby castles and monasteries, hike in the woods or take the new Garmisch-Partenkirchen gondola up to Germany’s highest mountain. passionsspiele-oberammergau.de

Luxurious and intimate, Nikki Beach Barbados has opened in the northwest part of this Caribbean island on an acre of pristine beachfront. Guests can hang out on the dock on an oversized pool bed with waves crashing around them or swim up to the octagonal bar for a signature Nikki mojito. Dine on global cuisine featuring local ingredients including fresh fish, then enjoy the top entertainment for which Nikki hotels are famous, starting with a resident DJ and in-house musicians. Heard over 50 speakers, they keep the property jamming. nikkibeach.com

Devour!, Wolfville, Nova Scotia’s most delicious film festival, has transformed into a year-round festival with 14 satellite events scheduled for food and film buffs in different locations ranging from Fogo Island to Sonoma Valley and Berlin to the Bahamas. For instance, actor Bill Pullman will host an exclusive Devour! event at his Los Angeles home. Canadian events will be held in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, B.C. and Toronto (August 29) before the signature event takes place in Wolfville, N.S., from October 24 to 28, where top chefs from across Canada will collaborate on a gala dinner held on the final Saturday. devourfest.com

American Airlines has opened its new Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Dining facilities in Terminal 4 of Los Angeles International Airport. Customers can now enjoy a full-service dining experience and relax before their long journey across the Pacific or the U.S. The newly renovated Flagship Lounge offers international and transcontinental first class and business passengers high-quality food and drink options and the space to unwind with quiet rooms and showers. The restaurant features a hot and cold buffet and a chef station with made-to-order dishes paired with premium wine, champagne and spirits. aa.com

Building on its outstanding success in 2017, Mosaïculture Gatineau 2018 is getting ready to continue the celebrations in Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau from June 24 to October 15. This year’s theme is “A Magnificent Journey” and horticultural exhibits will showcase 5.5 million plants and 45 masterpieces, such as The Tree of Birds, a flagship creation admired and referenced as one of the pinnacle pieces of the art of mosaïculture worldwide. Presented in one of the National Capital Region’s finest urban parks, this awesome event promises to attract thousands of visitors and tourists to the Gatineau and the Outaouais regions, creating a sense of belonging and pride for all residents of Gatineau and increasing the region’s recognition on the world stage.  mosaiculture.ca

Spring, summer and fall are perfect cycling seasons and the year-round trails around Edmundston, NB, are ideal. Featuring grades for hills never more than four per cent, the Petit-Témis Interprovincial Linear Park, a 134-kilometre gravel-packed trail that winds along the Madawaska River, past Temiscouata Lake and through wooded areas in between, connects the provinces of New Brunswick and Québec. On the other hand, mountain bike and fat bike enthusiasts might prefer 50 kilometres of single-track mountain bike trails, including 17 circuits for different levels, on 162 hectares along the Appalachian Mountain Range. All comply to International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) specifications. tourismedmundston.com

Just in time for the busy summer season, passengers can now travel on Eurostar’s new high-speed rail service from the heart of London to Amsterdam and Rotterdam for as little as $50 one way. Not only is travel via Eurostar’s Business Premier class far more convenient and comfortable than flying, it is also more sustainable, emitting 80 per cent less carbon per passenger than the equivalent flight. Eurostar’s state-of-the-art fleet of e320 trains features bold design and chic interiors as well as Wi-Fi connectivity and 300 hours of on-board entertainment streamed to customers’ personal devices. eurostar.com

Nunavut is home to many unique species native to the region, such as polar bear, caribou, muskox, walrus, seals and whales, including bowhead, beluga and narwhal. Every spring and summer, millions of migratory birds return to their Arctic breeding grounds to join ravens, snowy owls and ptarmigan who make their home in Nunavut year-round. Spanning nearly two million square kilometres, the territory features striking landscapes, sculpted over millennia by glacial erosion, that include rugged mountains, powerful glaciers, freshwater lakes and surging rivers, all of which support the rich Arctic wildlife. Destination Nunavut brings “The Spirit of the Arctic” to its website to inspire the imagination of adventure seekers and inform all about the amazing opportunities and experiences that await them. destinationnunavut.ca

Searching for a spectacular summer road trip adventure this summer? The Northwest Territories offer plenty of options, including parks and campgrounds with spectacular views; 46 named waterfalls, eight of which are readily accessible by road; opportunities to paddle on the Hanbury, Anderson, Yellowknife, Taltson or other remove wilderness rivers; and free vehicle ferry service across rivers on its highway system during the open-water season. End-of-the-road seekers might want to venture along the Inuvik to Tuk Highway, which ends at the Arctic Ocean, or drive along Highway 1 from the Alberta/NWT border to Wrigley, Highway 4 to Tibbett Lake, Highway 5 to Wood Buffalo National Park or Highway 6 from Hay River to Fort Resolution, passing an abandoned mining town along the way. spectacularnwt.com

Montréal is getting ready to host the 39th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and welcome all to a season of music in the streets of its vibrant downtown core. Featuring 150 concerts performed by living legends and rising talents from across the globe, this world-class event is scheduled to take place from June 28 to July 7. Distinguished musical guests include Seal, Jann Arden, Herbie Hancock, Boz Scaggs, Snarky Puppy, Daniel Caesar and many more. montrealjazzfest.com

Nine European countries have joined Liberation Route Europe to renew their commitment to peace as the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II approaches. In 2019 and 2020, each country will host commemorations and activities under the Europe Remembers 1944-1945 banner to mark the liberation of Europe and the end of the war. “With this campaign, we aim to create the awareness that freedom should never be taken for granted,” said Rémi Praud, managing director of the Liberation Route Europe Foundation. “The project will also inspire visitors to learn about history and encourage them to get on the road and come face-to-face with it.” Europe Remembers is expected to draw close to 25 million visitors. europeremembers.com

The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s world-renowned river cruise has set sail for another season. Certified volunteer docents lead the 90-minute tour aboard Chicago’s First Lady Cruises, sharing their passion and knowledge of more than 50 significant buildings along the route. Chicago is considered the birthplace of the skyscraper. Enjoy open-air seating on one of six luxurious vessels complete with a state-of-the-art sound system, temperature-controlled interior salon, full-service bar and marble washrooms. Additional summer cruises include the weekend photography cruise and Sunday to Friday twilight cruises. The new Chicago Architecture Center is scheduled to open later this summer above First Lady’s dock. CruiseChicago.com

Celebrated Nova Scotia fiddlers Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy invite you to the second annual Greenbridge Celtic Folk Festival August 24 and 25 in Keene, Ontario, just outside Peterborough. The fiddlers will be joined by many Cape Breton friends over at the Buddy MacMaster stage and a few Irish imports at Rory’s Pub Stage. Main stage music will celebrate the pair’s Scottish, Irish, Cape Breton and folk roots. Camping is available on-site. Instructional workshops include square dancing, fiddling and Gaelic. The couple has also promised a few good jam sessions so bring your instruments if you care to join in. greenbridgecelticfolkfest.com

The Bethel Woods Center for The Arts is sponsoring a series of fall festivals at the site of 1969’s famous Woodstock festival. On Sundays between September 2 and 30, the 20th annual Harvest Festival celebrates local products and green initiatives from nearly 100 vendors. Enjoy the unique blend of a farmers’ market, works by artisans and crafters, fresh food, corn and hay mazes, horse and buggy rides and performances by regional musicians on the Festival Stage. The Wine Festival on Saturday, October 6 showcases New York state’s top wines. On October 13, the annual CRAFT: Beer, Spirits & Food Festival returns with more beer, spirits, cider and mead from craft beverage makers across the region. Guests will enjoy food trucks, food vendors and artisans with a backdrop of live music. BethelWoodsCenter.org

OWL Rafting, a three-generation family resort located near Ottawa, offers the ultimate Canadian adventure. Experience the dynamic waters of Canada’s legendary Ottawa River in a guided raft as you splash and roll through one of the world’s great whitewater routes. Each river trip finishes with a delicious BBQ meal on-board the pontoon boat returning to the OWL resort where you’re welcome to relax on a sandy beach or in a sauna or spend more time on the water paddling a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Later, relive the thrills as you watch a video replay of your day and finish your night fireside under the big open sky. owlrafting.ca

Apparently, you don’t have to be rich and famous to experience a lavish lifestyle in New Zealand. For instance, you and nine friends or family members can share the cost and lounge on the very private Slipper Island for a day for just $1,800 NZD (about CAD$1,665), including water taxi. Featuring four villas, two five-star glamping tents and white sandy beaches, Slipper Island Resort is located three kilometres east of the Coromandel Peninsula on New Zealand’s North Island. Or, for an unparalleled level of luxury, convenience and seclusion, stay at the Blanket Bay Villa situated in Glenorchy in the Otago region on the South Island, where rates start at $6,900 NZD per night (approximately CAD$6,378). slipperislandresort.com; blanketbay.com

Eric McCormack, of TV’s Will & Grace, will return to the Stratford Festival October 30 to perform the lead role in a concert version of The Fantasticks. The world’s longest-running musical from 1960 is still a hit with songs like “Try to Remember” and “Soon it’s Gonna Rain.” This year’s Stratford Festival Forum also includes an afternoon of pop music on August 25 with Brent Carver and the Art of Time Ensemble as well as a July 13 performance by Barenaked Ladies’ co-founder Steven Page featuring works by Leonard Cohen, Randy Newman, Elvis Costello and more. stratfordfestival.ca

Culinary adventures are a wonderful way to explore a destination, especially when fine food and refreshments are sprinkled with good storytelling and little-known or long forgotten historical facts you would never come across otherwise. Under the leadership of Kevin Durkee, former owner of Cheesewerks, the Culinary Adventure Co. offers such tours peppered with interesting and entertaining insights into a variety of neighbourhoods located in Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa, Halifax, Charlottetown and Winnipeg. For instance, in Toronto, you can tour the St. Lawrence Market, the Riverside/Leslieville district or Chinatown & Kensington. Prices start at $69/person plus taxes; gratuities are optional. VIP and dinner tours can also be booked privately for special events. culinaryadventureco.com

Holland has a new website full of ideas for visitors. Every Friday morning from now until September 29, vendors at the cheese market in Alkmaar, 30 minutes north of Amsterdam, line up 2,200 whole rounds, or 30,000 kilos of cheese for sale as part of a tradition six centuries old. South of Amsterdam, visit the four regions of Holland’s Cheese Valley, including world-famous Gouda. Continue to Kinderdijk to discover 19 splendid windmills and learn how the Dutch have controlled water for more than 1,000 years. The area is also on a terrific cycling route. If you’re planning a fall visit, make it during Heritage Days, September 8 and 9, when about 4,000 historical buildings and sites are open to the public free of charge. Holland.com

Club Med plans to introduce 15 new all-inclusive resorts by the end of 2020 and renovate others. A recent reno is adults-only Club Med Turkoise, nestled on award-winning Grace Bay Beach in Turks and Caicos. Enjoy new deluxe rooms with balconies, a redesigned dining space with wine cellar, the new wellness area and technology updates. Meanwhile, the expanded Club Med Cancun Yucatan is set to reopen in July. Book one of the 60 new family rooms in the Aguamarina area, featuring 30 Family Club rooms and 30 Family Deluxe rooms and enjoy the new oceanfront pool. Family rooms feature two sleeping areas so parents and children can have their own rooms. Guests can tour the resort and their rooms prior to arrival via Google Street View. clubmed.ca

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