From coast to coast to coast, Canada has an abundance of exceptional adventure experiences available for incentive groups in search of something new and unforgettable. Weaving these experiences into your incentive group program will ensure participants walk away from their incentive trip not only feeling rewarded, but carrying memories that last a lifetime. Here are seven destinations that will get the pulses of adventurous travelers racing.
Reach new heights in Banff and Lake Louise
The stunning scenery of Banff and Lake Louise is well-known worldwide – glistening lakes, snow-capped peaks and lush forests are just a few of the natural wonders that the region has to offer. But this area of Alberta, located in Canada’s first national park and a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, is more than pretty pictures. “It offers year-round adventurous activities suited to all fitness and adventure levels,” says Kira Lu, director of business events for Banff & Lake Louise Tourism.
For adrenaline fans, Mount Norquay Via Ferrata gives participants a chance to conquer their fear of heights by navigating suspension bridges and ladders with help of an experienced guide throughout the tours, ranging from 2.5 to 8 hours. The views are stunning.
If groups want to stay closer to the ground, they can take part in dogsledding, the original mode of transportation in the Rockies, all year round —on snow in the winter or on land via cart in summer.
“This is a must-do activity for any traveler, but especially for dog lovers or those wanting to experience something classically Canadian,” Lu notes. “The incredible connection to nature and each other is what people do not forget once they travel here, this is our purpose.”
Mountain excursions in Whistler
Incentive groups visiting Whistler in British Columbia can also enjoy mountain fun and feel like they are on top of the world. Options include reaching some of the area’s highest peaks by helicopter accompanied by a glass of champagne on the mountaintop, or gliding down a track at 80 miles per hour in a bobsled as part of a team-building exercise at the Whistler Sliding Centre.
Northern lights in Canada’s North
In Canada’s Northwest Territories, groups will find once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will earn them bragging rights. Because of the region’s low light pollution levels, wide-open spaces and remoteness, it’s a fantastic place to witness the magic of the Northern Lights. There are also opportunities to build igloos or sleep in one overnight, booked with an Inuit-owned company like Atii Tourism. Or you view icebergs formed more than 10,000 years ago on the northeastern coastline of Baffin Island in Nunavut — one of the best places in the world to see them — on day trips or multi-day tours, many leaving from Pond Inlet.
Get a closer look at icebergs and other ice formations with a dive safari. Set your incentive group up with a specialized tour company like Arctic Kingdom that can take them on an underwater adventure alongside an Arctic dive master. Under the midnight sun of the summer, they may see narwhals, whales, seals, birdlife and polar bears, off the coast of Baffin Island. It’s a meaningful experience that helps visitors understand the ecological frailty of the region and what makes it so special.
Go wild in Churchill
If wildlife viewing is of special interest to your incentive group, then Churchill, Manitoba, is the place to go. It is home to one of the highest concentrations of polar bears in the world. Guests can see bears with a coastal boat tour of Hudson Bay with Lazy Bear Expeditions, or take a guided safari on foot with Churchill Wild. To catch glimpses of the distinctively curious beluga whales, you can kayak among them or see them in the water while group members lie on a floating mat (called "aquagliding").
Incentive participants can also stay on dry land and hike to a shipwreck or tour the historic Prince of Wales Fort, dating back to 1731 at the height of the fur trade. Also include opportunities to learn more about the Indigenous people of the north with a visit to the Itsanitaq Museum and the Canadian Museum For Human Rights in Winnipeg, the starting point of journeys to the north.
As Melanie Swenarchuk, senior manager, market development, Travel Manitoba, points out, “Group planners should consider Manitoba. It is remote, rugged and luxurious when it comes to sense of time, space, authentic experiences. In Churchill alone, you can truly check off bucket list items — polar bears, beluga whales and Northern Lights — all in one trip.”
Big city adventure
Toronto, Canada’s largest city, has a vibrant urban pulse that is a great draw for incentive groups seeking culinary and cultural riches. But it can also be a great destination for adventure seekers.
Visitors can’t help but notice the CN Tower, an iconic landmark since 1976. Sure, you can view it from Lake Ontario by boat or from street level, but the best way to experience it is by signing up for the thrilling EdgeWalk at the top of the tower. It’s the world’s highest full-circle, hands-free walk where guests can walk one step at a time along the five-foot edge, 116 stories up. It’s a popular option for groups who can prove they actually did it with video and photo proof available.
Get out on the water in the Maritimes
Further east, the laidback vibe and warm hospitality of the Maritimes make for a perfect backdrop for incentive groups who will receive a friendly welcome during their adventure-focused trips. Nova Scotia, known as Canada’s Ocean Playground, offers so much, from surfing along the south shore to tidal bore rafting, which provides a wild whitewater experience, thanks to the rushing waves caused by the world’s highest tides of the Bay of Fundy. Kayak along the dramatic cliffs of Cape Chignecto overlooking the sea and paddle to the Three Sisters, a famous rock formation that, according to Mi’kmaw legend, is a trio of mischievous siblings who were turned to stone.
For groups that don’t mind getting a bit dirty in the most fun way, head to Prince Edward Island for a four-hour adventure boat that includes heading out to a deserted island to dig bar clams (a giant version of the tasty mollusks), plus a look at crab and mussel harvesting.
Adventure experiences in Canada are as varied as its landscapes and people, and well-suited to group travel with a wide range of activities for every age and skill level. You’ll find plenty of thrills for incentive gatherings there.
Canada offers a vast range of incentive experiences, for those passionate about wellness, gastronomy, culture 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 interests and needs by visiting businesseventscanada.ca.
Content sponsored by Destination Canada Business Events