With its blend of unspoiled, wide-open spaces and exclusive small-group activities, Canada offers one-of-a-kind incentive experiences that will reward, engage and dazzle your VIPs. Whether immersed in nature or on the streets of a bustling city, they find endless ways to enjoy culture, from channeling their inner cowboys in Calgary to dogsledding beneath the exquisite Northern Lights to immersing themselves in Montréal's circus mystique. Here are just some memorable ways for incentive winners to connect with diverse heritage in Canada.
Learn about Indigenous culture in Western Canada
Enhance your incentive through cultural sharing First Nations feast blessing at the Squamish Lil'Wat Cultural Centre where guests will have the opportunity to experience an authentic Canadian First Nations feast blessing. This contemporary gallery in Whistler, British Columbia provides the perfect setting for intimate or large groups. Nestled in an old-growth forest on the shared territories of two nations that came together to celebrate their heritage, the SLCC showcases ancient Indigenous culture through song, art, dance and storytelling. Savor wild salmon cooked to perfection on traditional cedar planks before participating in a craft workshop.
In Banff, Alberta, you can arrange a medicine walk with an Indigenous elder, learning about their traditional territory and connection to the land. Explore the natural world of plant medicine with a Cree guide in the lush boreal forest with Mahikan Trails, where guests will learn to identify plants, trees and bushes with curative powers and how to make simple medicines, such as a fire cider to ease flu and cold symptoms.
Ride the Rocky Mountaineer Train Vancouver to Banff
On a spectacular voyage through Canada's famed Rocky Mountains, guests will see glacier-capped peaks, jaw-dropping vistas and crystalline lakes — hop aboard the Rocky Mountaineer. Groups of 16 or more can revel in sites accessible only by rail from luxurious lounges and private dome cars. Choose from four unforgettable itineraries including First Passage to the West or Journey Through the Clouds, and sample menus that incorporate local Pacific salmon and prime Alberta beef.
Saddle up for cowboy culture in Calgary, Alberta
Dating back to the 19th century, Calgary has been associated with ranching and cowboy culture — and there is no bigger celebration of this than the annual Calgary Stampede. A 10-day festival, rodeo, fair and much more, "The Stampede," as it's known, a one-of-a-kind experience for incentive groups looking to immerse themselves in a Wild West extravaganza. The event offers a range of corporate packages and customizable experiences to ensure incentive winners feel like VICs — very important cowboys.
There are plenty of other western experiences outside the Stampede grounds, enjoying warm, western hospitality while channelling your inner cowhand amongst the gorgeous Rocky Mountains at an iconic roundhouse at Mount View Barbecue, during a lively evening at Brewster Dance Barns in Lake Louise or Boundary Ranch in the beautiful Kananaskis Valley. Whether your guests enjoy a horse-drawn wagon or dogsled ride, take part in a rodeo or learn a line dance, they'll cherish this exhilarating adventure.
Soak up history and artistry in Québec
In Montréal, incentive winners can wander the Old Port's cobblestone streets, or take in an orchestral sound and light show at the Basilica du Notre Dame. Arrange an exclusive acrobatic performance at the renowned stone train station, Gare Dalhousie, where Cirque du Soleil first began. Alternatively, buy out the whole venue and let Cirque Éloize customize a spectacular event just for your team.
Canada offers a vast range of incentive experiences, for those passionate about wellness, cuisine, culture and more. Click here
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Experience the wonders of Québec City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and cradle of French civilization in North America, suggests Paul Papineau, director of marketing and product development with Zeste Meetings & Incentives.
"You can truly feel the history at every turn in Québec City, where there's a wonderful sense of civility and courtesy," says Papineau, who suggests whitewater rafting on the Jacques-Cartier River, enjoying Carnaval, a festival dedicated to winter, spending an unforgettable night at the Hôtel de Glace or discovering the city's iconic Fairmont Le Château Frontenac.
Host teambuilding events at the Voltigeurs de Québec Armoury, a national historic site in the heart of the Old City, or arrange a VIP banquet and opera performance at the ornate Chapelle de l'Amérique francophone.
Drink in the spectacular sights of the Charlevoix region east of Québec City, where the majestic St. Lawrence River and the sky above it seem to blend into each other, he adds.
"The Charlevoix and Tadoussac landscapes are awe-inspiring and soothing at the same time; they provide a sense of wellness that lingers in memory long after you leave," says Papineau.
"This area is truly unique in Canada and around the world, and a road trip might be the best way to explore it, with incentive participants travelling in their own vehicles."
Take in the glow of the Northwest Territories
Fulfill a bucket-list adventure for your VIP team as they witness the aurora borealis illuminating Canada's night sky with awe-inspiring color and light. A guided dogsledding trek beneath the Northern Lights includes an Indigenous smudging ceremony, private teepee dining experience and show-stopping finale with a fireworks display at Aurora Village.
Learn about the history of the Klondike Gold Rush in the Yukon's storied Dawson City, where your team will feel transported back through time. A guided walking tour through the boardwalks takes guests to Discovery Claim, where the Gold Rush began. Host a dinner cruise aboard the Klondike Spirit paddlewheeler, where guests can see the historic Moosehide Village, and top off the adventure with a sour-toe cocktail (if you have never heard of it, look it up) and raucous cancan show in Canada's oldest gambling hall, hosted by Diamond Tooth Gertie.
Immerse yourself in the culture of Atlantic Canada
Made famous by the Broadway hit Come From Away, Newfoundland and Labrador's harborside delights will appeal to incentive groups, thanks to the adventures that await those who embrace its land, sea and history. In St. John's, top performers can gather at The Rooms to explore curated interactive exhibits that celebrate seafarers, Inuit culture and the Newfoundland spirit. The venue is located above the city's vibrant Jellybean Row, which features homes as colorful as the Newfoundlanders who live in this hidden gem on the edge of the Atlantic. Here on "The Rock," guests will enjoy spotting impressive nature and wildlife ranging from towering icebergs to humpback whales, porpoises and puffins. Host a traditional boil-up supper, and dine on the easternmost tip of North America at Cape Spear National Historic Site.
Across the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in downtown Halifax, your team can experience a Fortress Takeover at the historic Fort George, atop Citadel Hill.
"The Halifax Citadel is a gateway to a bygone era," explains Marina Atwell, president and owner of Velocity Event & Destination Management.
"Guests can be led by candlelight through tunnels of this magnificent fortress, and hear eerie, true accounts of unexplained events in their actual locations. The stories of this special place sparks the imaginations of guests as they're able to picture what life was like for the soldiers stationed here in the late 1800s."
After sampling award-winning local rums, guests can enjoy a French Acadian lobster feast followed by live entertainment.
Whatever the interests of your incentive group, Canada's diverse cultural experiences are sure to speak to them, delivering a truly memorable trip that will stick with your attendees long after they return home.
Canada offers a vast range of incentive experiences, for those passionate about wellness, gastronomy, adventure and more. Learn more about Canada's Signature Incentive Experience Collection here.
Create a truly memorable incentive program by tapping into the expertise and creativity of the Destination Canada's Business Events team. Learn how your Canada experts can help tailor a program to your group's specific interests and needs by visiting businesseventscanada.ca.
Content sponsored by Destination Canada Business Events