Archived News

Archived News

Documentary Takes People to Virtually Experience Backcountry Lodge!

Mar. 13, 2018 –  Zoya Lynch and her family got hooked on Golden’s backcountry lifestyle in the early 1990s.

Her parents took a leap of faith and invested in the Amiskwi lodge in the back of the Blaeberry Valley.

As long time residents of Calgary, and with four young children, becoming a part of the backcountry lodge was quite the change for the family.

Now, Lynch and her sister Izzy are producing a short documentary to show how the little lodge in the backcountry changed their lives. They also received a $40,000 grant from STORYHIVE to create a virtual reality 360 degree immersive look at a typical backcountry winter trip.

The sisters have been working with Lululemon film creative Andrea Wing to create the virtual reality experience part of the two pieces they are creating.

In 1994, the Lynch family had an opportunity to invest and build the Amiskwi Lodge, and they quickly jumped on it.

“We ended up having this really cool side life in the mountains. It really shaped our lives now in a big way,” Lynch said, adding that her sister is now a professional skier and she is a professional adventure photographer. “Our path now has definitely been shaped by that split decision of my parents to take on the Amiskwi Lodge.”

The family’s story will be told in a video documentary that is less than 10 minutes long.

Happy BC Family Day!

Feb. 11, 2018 –  On the second Monday of February, British Columbians celebrate Family Day, taking extra time to enjoy activities with their loved ones. In 2018, Family Day falls on Monday, February 12.

Happy BC Family Day! On behalf of Premier John Horgan and the Government of British Columbia, I wish you an enjoyable Family Day weekend with loved ones.

BC Family Day is a celebration of family life, and a reminder of the importance of spending time with family.

I’m very pleased that my Ministry has funded family-friendly events and activities throughout the province, which you and your loved ones can enjoy for free. I hope you will take this opportunity to discover areas of British Columbia that are new to you, or to rediscover familiar places.

Assiniboine Lodge; Pure and Simple 90 Years Later

Jan. 19, 2018 –  This year marks the 90th Anniversary of Assiniboine Lodge! It is a very special time for the iconic mountain pioneers and the many guests who remain such an integral part of Assiniboine’s history.

In the late 1800’s the Canadian Rockies began being accessed by train. The Canadian Pacific Railway brought settlers, surveyors, explorers and adventurers to our majestic western wilderness. The railroad began building fancy hotels and “bungalow camps” in the mountains. Soon after professional Swiss mountain guides began arriving. In the years before 1928 there was little skiing in the Banff area.

In March of 1928 the Marqui degli Albizzi, an Italian nobleman, adventurer, and sports director at the Lake Placid Club, Erling Strom, a Norwegian ski instructor, and four clients arrived at the Banff train station. This group of intrepid adventurers skied into Assiniboine Provincial Park and immediately fell in love with the area. Strom declared that “this was the most beautiful valley that one could imagine.” It was where he wanted to spend the rest of his life. And so, he did!

With the help of the CPR, Assiniboine Lodge was built in 1928. It was the first backcountry ski lodge in the Canadian Rockies – and the birthplace of ski touring in North America!

Residents Encouraged to #ExploreBC this Season

Dec. 22, 2017 – As the holidays arrive, the Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture is encouraging everyone to join with family and friends to enjoy British Columbia and support a flurry of community activities.

“The holidays are a magical time in communities throughout the province. From festive theatre productions and culinary delights, to local markets and outdoor recreation, there is so much to see and do. It’s the time of year to connect with community and spend time with the people we love,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Getting out into the community is also a great way to support seasonal tourism operators, who are working hard to provide for their employees and families.”

“There’s nothing better than sharing the gift of experiences with family and friends,” said Marsha Walden, president and CEO of Destination BC. “Whether you’re visiting a local market, fishing, wine touring, skiing or even cycling, share the beauty of the province with people you love this holiday season.”

British Columbia is recognized globally as a top year-round destination. Year-to-date figures show a 3.1% increase in international visitor arrivals over the same time period last year (January to September). That represents more than 4.7 million total overnight international visitors to Canada who arrived in BC during the first nine months of this year. The industry projects that there will be more than 101,000 new jobs in the tourism and hospitality sector by 2020 – that’s 10% of all expected job openings in BC.

BLBCA Joins Arc’teryx to Help Launch Hut Magic

Dec. 5, 2017 – Throughout the month of November, the BLBCA was invited by Arc’teryx to help with the launch of Hut Magic , a new in-store VR experience that explores the magic of remote ski hut living. VR filming was shot at Burnie Glacier Chalet, a BLBCA member.

Executive Director, Brad Harrison, attended events in Vancouver, Toronto and Los Angeles as part of the Hut Magic launch.

Harrison shared first-hand backcountry experiences, expert knowledge and images of Super, Natural British Columbia before answering questions on all things hut-related. Why should one go to a BLBCA member hut? Where are they? How do you get there? What kind of activities happen there?

Check out the 360 Hut Magic video below or stop by any Arc’teryx store for the full VR experience. 

An Excellent Two Days at Tourism Events

Oct. 24, 2017 – The BLBCA recently attended two prominent tourism events in the province.

On Wednesday, Oct. 11th, the Aboriginal Tourism BC (AtBC) hosted a Stakeholder Forum and co-hosted a networking reception with Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC) at the Musqueam Cultural Pavilion in Vancouver, BC.

The following day the TIABC Summit 2017 was held at Westin Wall Centre in Richmond, BC. There were several key gatherings throughout the day. The TIABC and AtBC held annual general meetings. That was followed by the TIAC Town Hall with Destination Canada, AtBC and TIABC.

The day also featured keynote speaker, Honourable Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. NDP Tourism Critic Gord Johns, Conservative Tourism Critic Blake Richards and Liberal MP John Aldag discussed and debated national tourism issues as part of the ‘MPs on the Hotseat.’ Destination BC also provided an update on their Destination and Industry Development programs.

Minister Encourages British Columbians to #ExploreBC this Thanksgiving Weekend

Oct. 6, 2017 – As part of the $1.1-million provincial investment to assist tourism in wildfire-affected areas, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture is encouraging British Columbians to lend their support by visiting these areas over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

“Thanksgiving is a prime opportunity for British Columbians to head out with friends and family to #exploreBC,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “British Columbia boasts an amazing array of tourist experiences. This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to #exploreBC – and especially the areas hit by this summer’s terrible wildfires. Supporting our local economies has never been more important. Many of the hotels, restaurants and attractions in regions impacted by the fires will appreciate your support.”

“B.C.’s tourism sector is strong and looking ahead to continued success in a high-growth global industry,” said Marsha Walden, CEO of Destination BC. “Though tourism businesses faced incredible challenges from Mother Nature this past summer, we know that fall is an ideal time to travel around British Columbia. Many places that are busy in summer are more relaxed in fall. There is so much to see and do. Our marketing is encouraging all British Columbians to get out and explore their beautiful province.”

Cell Phones Partially to Blame for Steady Rise in BC Rescues

Sept. 11, 2017 – More Interior residents are getting lost in the woods because they’re relying on their cell phones.

The British Columbia Search and Rescue Association released a graph this week that, despite more efforts made at education, shows a steady rise in the number of BC rescues required year to year.

The graph goes back to the early 1990’s when there were between 400 and 600 SAR volunteer deployments in B.C. The number rose to around 700 per year by end of the century.

Since then, the number of rescues required in the B.C. backcountry has reached more than 1,600.

AdventureSmart Provincial Coordinator Sandra Riches admits it’s disappointing.

“It’s somewhat surprising and frustrating,” she says. “We’ve been educating British Columbians for up to 14 years. I know we are making a difference but I would love to see a decrease in those numbers.”

Riches says a growing population and easier access to the backcountry have contributed to the increase, but says our love affair with our cell phones is getting more and more people in trouble.

“They definitely are getting way too reliant on those phones,” she says. “Most of us can’t live without them. People are now relying on them as their communication device, their navigation device and their light source.”

Globe & Mail: Family in High Places

Aug. 7, 2017 – A little fitness, a good pair of boots and a sense of adventure are all you need to hike British Columbia’s mammoth Selkirk Mountains, David Ebner writes. Or are they? An off-trail excursion with his mother puts that thinking to the test.

The mountain slope is steep. If we were skiing, this would be a double black diamond, an ideal challenge on a descent buried in snow, as it is through the long winter. Instead, the month is August and we are hiking, the sun high in the mid-afternoon on a beautiful day, the Selkirk Mountains all around us. The Durrand Glacier backcountry chalet, where we set out from, is in the distance.

Emergency Resources for BC’s Tourism Industry

July 11, 2017 – As you know, there are some areas of the province currently dealing with wildfires, impacting visitors and businesses, and potentially influencing those who may be planning a trip to our province.

Stay Safe, Stay Informed. During times of stress and uncertainty, it is important to share information from official sources only. There are a variety of resources available to help you prepare for emergencies, gather up-to-date information and help visitors plan their travel.

Planning a Campfire this Canada Day?

June 29, 2017 –  Campfires and Canada Day are a go. The BC Wildfire Service announced this week that a partial campfire ban will go into effect in parts of the Cariboo region on June 29, but outside of that corner of the province, it’s game on for the time being.

The service noted that wildfire danger ratings are climbing across B.C. and is reminding those tooling off into the backcountry to take precautions if they intend to burn.

  • Campfires must not be larger than 0.5 metres high or 0.5 metres wide.
  • Never light a campfire or keep it burning in windy conditions.
  • Ensure any fire is built around a “fireguard,” a fuel-free area where all flammable materials are removed right down to the soil.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • Have a shovel or at least eight litres of water available to properly extinguish your campfire.
  • Make sure that the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

Anyone who lights a campfire is legally responsible for making sure it doesn’t escape and can face penalties ranging between $1,150 and $10,000. If convicted in court, a guilty party can be fined up to $100,000 or be sentenced to one year in jail.

BLBCA Holds Annual General Meeting

June 9, 2017 – The BLBCA held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) this past week on June 7th – 8th, in Kamloops, BC. Members of the Association gathered for two days packed with industry-related information, updates from both the staff and BOD.

The Association welcomed a number of distinguished guest presenters to the AGM. Some BLBCA members also presented and sharing their thoughts on a number of key and current industry issues.

There’s always time for a little fun, with the first day concluding with outdoor activities for attendees, including a local mountain bike ride to the Kamloops Bike Ranch and a hike through Peterson Creek.

These activities were followed by dinner, where attendees could chat openly and discuss key industry info & learnings amongst themselves and with many of the presenters.

The BLBCA is always exploring options to further expand the AGM. To discuss opportunities further or for all general inquiries on the BLBCA’s Annual General Meeting, please refer to the contacts at the bottom of this page.

2017 Bike to Work & School Week

May 29, 2017 – Bike to Work & School Week is May 29 to June 4!

Bike to Work Week started 23 years ago in Victoria! From humble beginnings it has grown to include more than 52 communities and 37,000 participants BC-wide in 2016 and it continues to grow.

Bike to School Week is a free and fun week-long celebration of biking to school taking place May 29 – June 2, 2017. Bike to School Week is a chance for Schools throughout BC to encourage and celebrate students and their families cycling to school. There are several ways in which you can get involved.

Celebrate Tourism Week

May 21, 2017 – The Backcountry Lodges of British Columbia Association is joining communities, cities and regions around British Columbia to recognize National Tourism Week—May 28 to June 3, 2017. 

BC’s tourism industry experienced record setting numbers last year, and the trend is continuing as businesses and destinations across BC have already enjoyed a busy first quarter and are anticipating more record results this summer. Operators and communities around BC are sharing their Tourism Week celebrations on social media using the hashtag #BCTourismMatters

Celebrating CAA Contributions

May 10, 2017 – The Canadian Avalanche Association recently honoured Service Award Recipients and a nominee for Honorary Membership at their Spring Meetings and AGM 2017, held in Penticton from May 1-5, 2017.

BLBCA Executive Director, Brad Harrison received a 2017 Service Award for his dedication to InfoEx subscribers and leadership of the InfoEx Advisory Group.

Each year, the CAA honours members who have made a significant contribution to avalanche safety in Canada. Service Awards and Honorary Membership are ways to celebrate these contributions.

Scott Flavelle also received a Service Award during the event, while Mike Boissonneault was nominated for Honorary Membership.

Tourism Matters on Election Day

Voting concept - Ballot box with Canadian province flag on background - British Columbia

May 2, 2017 – BLBCA members believe that it is important that citizens exercise their democratic right to vote. Provincial elections offer residents a chance to participate in the process of selecting your local government. 

Please use your voice to help inform all candidates on the importance of adventure tourism to our economy and your lifestyle. Every vote counts!

The latest BLBCA newsletter provides voting information, links to the candidates, and key info from BC’s tourism industry.

Read All About It – BLBCA Spring Newsletter

BLBCA NewsletterApril 18, 2017 – Fresh off the presses, it’s the latest edition of our BLBCA Newsletter – Spring, 2017!

Hear from a lodge owner on the unique opportunities at backcountry lodges, 4 ways to experience summer at the BLBCA, learn about the DBC’s partnership with Google, and much more!

Not receiving our newsletters? Sign-up today and ensure you don’t miss the next edition!

Or access our archives to catch-up on any news you missed from past issues.

DBC and Google Team Up in BC Wilderness Project

BLBCA-Latest News - Mar 25, 2017March 25, 2017 – The largest Trekker mapping project ever undertaken in Canada between a provincial tourism marketing organization and Google is now a reality in BC.

Through the partnership, imagery from BC’s wilderness has now been added to Google Maps. The scenery is complemented with interviews with BC locals, photography, drone footage, immersive 360° video, and featured businesses on the new BC Journeys platform.

The project began in 2016, when Destination BC and their partners were loaned two Google Street View Trekkers—a wearable backpack outfitted with 15 separate cameras that collect 360° panoramic imagery in remote outdoor locations inaccessible by car.

Over 105 days, the Google Street View Trekker traversed 983 kilometres on almost 200 treks, travelling by foot, horse, boat, floatplane, and helicopter.

Alongside Google, Destination BC sent a crew of expert content creators across the province to capture the stories and culture of British Columbians in those special places.

4 Ways to Experience BC’s Backcountry Lodges in Summer

BLBCA-LatestNews-Mar122017March 12, 2017 – It’s been an incredible winter season in BC, and before long, the snow will melt and thoughts will shift from winter to summer.

That doesn’t mean BC’s backcountry lodges should be forgotten. There are plenty of other ways to experience these alpine retreats in summer.

Mountain bike from your doorstep, standup paddleboard on alpine lakes, take a hike and stretch it out, or sneak in one more ski trip.

Learn more about BC’s backcountry lodges and find the alpine retreat that offers your favourite summer and winter activities.

Minister Bond Announces New Funding Model for Destination BC

BLBCA-LatestNews-Mar5, 2017March 5, 2017 – During an already successful conference the Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism & Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, added to the good news announcing the creation of a stable funding formula so Destination BC can continue its work of growing British Columbia’s tourism industry. Minister Bond spoke about how tourism is a key sector in the government’s BC Jobs Plan and an important economic driver in the province. During her keynote address Minister Bond highlighted how the $98 million annual investment from the province helps the sector create jobs in every region of the province. She also praised the efforts of Destination BC, TIABC, the team at Vancouver International Airport, and all tourism operators who contribute to our global reputation.

“You are a key reason why we’re experiencing such positive tourism growth,” Minister Bond told the crowd. “You’re providing the world-class tourism experience that visitors are looking for and putting BC at the top of the list for travellers from around the world.”

New funding model

Minister Bond also provided highlights of Destination BC’s new funding model, including:

  • First, the funding model will protect DBC’s annual base funding of $50 million
  • Second, it will be tied to both the broader tourism sector’s success and DBC’s performance – allowing for increases of up to 2% per year
  • Third, funding increases will be cumulative, meaning that DBC’s budget can build year-over-year
  • This means that there is an opportunity over the next six years for DBC’s annual base budget to increase by $5 million over what it is today

Every increase will be a permanent addition to Destination BC’s base budget going forward, said Minister Bond. “This is really positive news.”

Heat-Seeking Drone Search a First in BC

BLBCA-LatestNews-Feb 22, 2017February 22, 2017 – Seven lives were on the line in Kamloops, and for the first time in BC, a drone has played a vital role in a search and rescue mission.

Seven missing skiers and snowboarders were rescued by search crews in BC’s Interior after a long night out in the elements near Kamloops.

Crew members say the incident was entirely avoidable.

The last two missing skiers were located just after 4 a.m. but not before spending the night in frigid temperatures and waist deep snow in the backcountry.

For more information, please contact:

Brad Harrison
Executive Director

Ron Andrews




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