Canadian Winters Provide Unique Opportunity for Transformative Incentive Experiences
Transformational travel which connects and incorporates concepts of wellness, sustainability, community, and personal fulfillment is gaining momentum in the global incentive market. According to the Transformational Travel Council and Skift’s Transformative Travel report, for high-performing attendees, this drive for connection, fulfillment, and self-improvement may begin to trump other areas of experience.
So how does an organization embrace the transformative aspects of incentive travel? It’s easy - they opt to reward their team In Canada with a variety of unique boutique winter experiences.
“Incentive programs by their very nature are immersive, engaging experiences,” says Chantal Sturk-Nadeau, executive director of Destination Canada’s Business Events team who notes Canada is seeing incentive programming shift into more transformational experiences. Out-of-the-box incentive organizers are taking over luxury wilderness camps for true team-bonding experiences, and they’re focusing on authentically local activities they can’t replicate anywhere else. Sturk-Nadeau notes, “Transformational experiences — not just the opportunity to say ‘I went there,’ or ‘I did this,’ but the opportunity to have one’s perception shift, to look at the world with new eyes, is becoming a defining factor of a well-designed incentive experience.” Time to turn on the Northern Lights.
Aurora Viewing in Canada
Viewing the Northern Lights natural phenomenon in person is just the experience of a lifetime top performers will remember long after they return home. Fly-in to a secluded wilderness lodge, stay in teepee village or a prospector’s tent camp or a luxe resort for a range of Northern Lights viewing adventures.
When it comes to popular bucket list items, seeing the Northern Lights is right up there with skydiving and bungee jumping. Everyone has seen images of bright, vibrant colors filling the dark night sky, but these images don’t even come close to experiencing the real thing. And if you want to motivate your team and experience the real thing, the Northwest Territories is the place to do it.
Home to sacred mountains, world famous rivers, the Northwest Territories are also home to Aurora Village, and their V.I.TeePee aurora viewing experience where your peak performers enjoy a locally sourced dinner while marvelling at the wonders of the Aurora, reveling in tales of local legends and lore and keep warm and cozy in their private teepee.
Travel just beyond Whitehorse in Canada’s Yukon Territory to watch the Northern Lights at their brightest in winter’s utter darkness. Unique viewing sites include a comfortable prospector-style wall tent once used by gold seekers and trappers, or ultra modern glass sided chalets, of the Northern Lights Resort and Spa.
Hugging the coast of Hudson’s Bay, Churchill bills itself as “one of the top three places on the planet” to see the Lights. Scientists and aurora watchers from around the globe flock to the town of 850, famed for polar bears and beluga watching in summer, to study the aurora in February and March during prime aurora season.
Total nighttime darkness and scant light pollution make Banff National Park ideal for viewing the Lights. Jasper National Park is North America’s largest dark sky preserve, making it a remote, but ideal location to see the dancing stars from September to mid May.
Heli-Skiing Canada’s Backcountry Mountains
For something a bit more adrenaline-fuelled, nothing beats dropping into waist-deep powder for the ride of your life, and Canada, with it’s high-end, high-altitude mountain lodges is one of the best places on the planet to heli-ski.
Here, days begin with sunrise, and end when your group has had their fill of champagne power so light it feels like they are skiing on air. “Groups spend their days conquering the mountains and their nights reliving their ski adventures,” says Sturk-Nadeau noting that accommodations in Canada’s back-country range from comfortable, cozy cabins for just a few to luxe lodges, complete with gourmet meals, spa treatments, and more.
Mushing a sled dog team through a snow-covered Canadian landscape is the ride of a lifetime of a different sort, and one that, according to Sturk-Nadeau, “is popular with incentive winners.”
Whether you drive your own team or sit snuggled in the warmth of your sled bag, you’ll be travelling the tracks of Canada’s earliest explorers through silent forests draped in snow, over wide-open ranges and beneath frozen mountain peaks. This is pure Canadiana – straight out of a postcard — and an experience you can incorporate into incentive programs in Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Whistler, Tremblant Resort, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon.
Churchill, on Canada’s Hudson Bay is ranked one of the world’s best places to see polar bears in the wild, but that’s only half of the thrills you’ll have on a Polar Safari. Dine out beneath the Northern Lights, listen to the song of Belugas, run with your pack dog sledding or explore boreal forests, open tundra and ice-packed Hudson’s Bay. A rustic travel experience (no luxe lodges, here) an incentive event in Churchill promises immersive community connections and once-in-a-lifetime wildlife viewing experiences that will linger long after your group returns home.
Looking for even more Canadian winter incentive ideas?