The world has chosen Western Canada. Why would you?

Read the Winning Western Canada Story

Imagination and Wonder:
From the outer regions of cyberspace a question beckons. What is it about Western Canada that drives you wild? I ponder and then reply. Could it be the radiance of the celestial blue heavens as they slowly soften into the velvet sapphire hue of the quiet evening? Or per chance it is the night sky abundant with stars that are burnished and glowing as they connect with my soul and remind me of the magic of living. Possibly it is the deep green silhouette of the majestic pines against the horizon that extends as far as the eye can dream, sparking and lighting the imagination and wonder. Maybe it is the remarkable presence of the mountains fiercely hugging the earth as the top of their peaks gently touch the clouds assuring me that time is eternal in all things. Perhaps the perfect answer is the magnificence of Western Canada stirs my heart with an untamed desire of yearning and passion for life.

Congratulations to Carrie D., our Western Canada story sweepstakes winner!

Read a Sampling of Western Canada Stories Submitted

Over the past few months I have been experiencing these dreams about visiting the wilderness and seeing wildlife. You know, confrontations with bears, moose. These dreams all had one thing in common--beautiful scenery. I would wake up and wonder, where the hell was I? In my last dream, I told myself that we were in British Columbia and pictured a map. I woke up in one of those half-sleep stupors with only one thought in my head, YOU NEED TO GO HERE. I have never been to the west coast of North America. Ever since this series of dreams I have been interested in visiting the Pacific Northwest. I think it is fate. Or at least I am meant to be attacked by a grizzly bear? Either way I'm up for an adventure and would jump for an opportunity to visit this beautiful part of the world.

"Western Canada" - 35 year ago, I imagined log cabins, campfires and tents, fierce woodland creatures (Girl Scout stuff. As a city kid, I didn't know the glories of mountains, the clarity of the water in lakes and streams, the bracing air -- all like nourishment to the spirit, and the beautiful hotels that greeted us with such warmth. Never saw a bear, but I quailed in silly fear at a mountain sheep with fearsome horns - although the sheep seemed as placid as a lamb. Seeing Banff Strings, Lake Louise, Jasper, the winding roads that led to them, opened my heart. What was indelible as well was sharing this experience with the most wonderful man I've ever known and love still. With him, I would like to share the adventures of Western Canada, Vancouver, Victoria, the coastal sights and the mountains, taking us back to a country we love.

It's breath taking views, the crisp sensation of the air filling my lungs as I hike the majestic mountains, rounding a bend to set my eyes upon an "awe" inspiring, beautiful blue lake nestled in between the mountain peaks! The raw adventure of the sound of a bear outside my tent, shhhhhhhh Sinking into one of the many hot springs, ahhhh soothing my muscles, preparing me for another day of adventures! Yes, YES! Beautiful, magnificent Canada in all its splendor, calling me back to explore her bounty once again!

Oh, how I dream of going on vacation with my husband to Western Canada. He grew up in the Pacific Northwest (of the US) and has been miserable with the "monotonously sunny and warm" weather in Phoenix, Arizona where we have been living for the last seven years. As parents of a one year old and another baby on the way I have no idea when we will be able to afford a vacation like this. Our future brings visions of poopy diapers, sleepless nights, and banana covered hair for years to come. This vacation would be the cool breeze in hell that we have been pining over for years. I am certain that we would make the most of this amazing trip by seeing everything there is to see in Vancouver and Whistler. We would explore the great outdoors, appreciate local culture, taste great food (I think we’ve had cereal for dinner a few too many nights in a row), and of course the excellent weather in Western Canada. Did I mention the fact that we would have huge smiles plastered to our faces since all day and night that you could use for marketing materials (we are pretty cute, I think)? Where did that handsome man I married disappear to? Oh, yeah, he wants to escape to Western Canada! Please take me with you!!!!

Western Canada is like a wild ride in a time machine. Endless mountains-big and beautiful beautiful-suddenly transport you back in time to the days of early explorers. You see the vistas the way they did. Unspoiled. An eternal landscape, like light from the Big Bang, reminds you that as you look out across the vast wilderness, you are looking back in time. You leave today's routines for real adventure in frontier towns dotted by old-world B&B's with old world charm and accents. Crumpets and tea like the old days. Giant mushrooms in Vilna seem prehistoric as do bogs near Winnipeg. The Fairmont Chateau on Lake Louise combines old and new, tradition and innovation. Close by is the future. One look at Vancouver tells you that. A graceful, modern skyline. The SkyTrain, the SeaBus. Bike paths everywhere suggest fossil fuels are so yesterday. Instead you experience a fusion of cultures, food, languages that say, "this is what tomorrow looks like". And, all so civilized. Friendly people in a place that works. No grudges to bear, no macho bravura. Just a civil people with civil tongues with the longest welcome mat in the Western Hemisphere. But Western Canada is meant to be experienced up close and personal in my very own time machine. Time to pack my bags, bring my notepad and canvas and get to this magical place that, until now, I've only imagined.

As a New Yorker and frequent rider of the mass transit system, I help lost tourists on the subway by pointing them in the right direction. As someone who enjoys traveling and exploring other cities, I understand the frustration of being lost, and I typically help seemingly clueless individuals. On my evening commute a few months ago, I was soaked from the freezing rain, and noticed a young woman with a backpack struggling to a – find her hostel, and b – pick up her large (now wet) traveler’s backpack that had fallen to the floor. Sympathizing, I stepped out of the line of commuters pushing through the turnstile, and offered a hand. She graciously thanked me, and after we discussed the best route to her destination, she told me she was visiting NYC from Vancouver for the first time. She unzipped her backpack and pulled out a keychain, ornamented with a small stuffed moose wearing a red/white sweater of the Canadian Flag. She offered the charm to me as a ‘thank you’ and said “New York is nice, but I love Vancouver and I hope you can visit it someday”. When I came home that evening, my partner asked “Why are you soaking wet and carrying a keychain with a stuffed moose?” I just laughed and said, “Because I’m going to Vancouver”. Since that evening, I have been researching Vancouver and the surrounding areas, and I would be honored to have the chance to explore this fantastic region through the Globus family.

Well, the better question would be, "Why does Western Canada want ME to visit IT?" Answer: I've traveled widely and I've made my friends positively green with envy with tales and photos of the beautiful places I've seen. Western Canada feels left out :-( It wants me to regale my friends with reports of its bounty of natural wonders. It wants me to spread the word about the fun I’d have posing with the totem poles near Brockton Point; feeding the squirrels and raccoons amidst the redwood groves in the oasis of Stanley Park; riding the ferry to visit the market on Granville Island; coming face to face with dolphins, beluga whales, and sea otters at the Aquarium; or maybe just people-watching as I stroll along the seawall with its backdrop of majestic mountains and the waves splashing against its pristine shores. B.C. wants me brag to everyone I know about the thrill of riding a gondola between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains; the breathtaking beauty of its alpine trails; walking on a glacier—and maybe even spotting a bear! Then, when I have my friends utterly seething with jealousy, Western Canada wants me to rave about its fabulous restaurants; its museums and art galleries; and how I rejuvenated in a world-class spa in between a round of golf and evening at the theater. So remember … this is not about me. But I will gladly make the sacrifice of going on this trip-of-a-lifetime to Vancouver and Whistler--as a gift to Western Canada. B.C. deserves it – and so do I. ;-)

The contest says you will send us to Whistler and Vancouver We would enjoy them both plus want to maneuver From city and town and all around We’ve been to Hoover, but never Vancouver We’ve seen the beauty of the States, now it’s time to see Johnstone Strait At the Grand Canyon we’ve felt the breeze; but please, please send us to Lake Louise It’s raining and raining here, we think we need to build an ark But we’d rather go explore Jasper National Park There’s nothing wrong with our NASCAR jockeys, but we’d love to see the Canadian Rockies While at home we are EMTs and we fight fires But on vacation we long to see Bugaboo Provincial Park and the spires It’s been a long winter and we are wary We would like to see the Grain Elevators on Alberta’s Prairie Or take the Rocky Mountaineer rail so we can hike a lovely trail Canoeing on Bowron Lake, then to Radium Hot Springs to cure that ache Although western Canada is a long way from Grand Bend Pick us, pick us so our story can end.