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E X P E R I E N C E Flin Flon Celebrates 80th Anniversary The annual Trout Festival and a special commemorative geocache coin mark this northern locale’s special birthday

From Athapapuskow to Zed A regional camping guide

More Than Polar Bears

From belugas to birds, northern Manitoba is full of wildlife viewing opportunities


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Issue 1 | 2013

“Flin Flon is a community that offers a number of the amenities that you would find in a larger centre, yet it embodies the things that you would expect to find in a smaller community in safe neighbourhoods, friendly people and a more relaxed pace of life.” – Mike Dubreuil, Recreation Manager, City of Flin Flon See page 8

Cover photo courtesy of Karen MacKinnon, The Reminder, Flin Flon Contents photo courtesy of Travel Manitoba


Flin Flon Celebrates 80th Anniversary The annual Trout Festival and a special commemorative geocache coin mark this northern locale’s special birthday


More Than Polar Bears

16 20 26

Journey to Churchill


Reelin’ in the Rewards

From belugas to birds, caribou and lush communities of native flora, northern Manitoba is full of wildlife viewing opportunities

Setting a new international standard for polar bear and northern species exhibits

From Athapapuskow to Zed A regional guide to camping in northern Manitoba

Food Challenges & Northern Inspiration Northern Manitoba residents face many challenges at the grocery store but they’re creating innovative, community-led solutions

A recent study identifies fishing, hunting and outdoor tourism as major contributors to Manitoba’s economy



A Message from the Ministers


A Message from the Editor


Experience NorMan


NorMan News


Northern Community Profiles


Lodges, Accommodations and Services Listing


Index to Advertisers

30 34 36 38 41 44 46

Bakers Narrows Lodge Reborn Iconic business rises from the ashes

Northern Beauty There is no shortage of gorgeous views and remarkable places to see in northern Manitoba

Birders Answer the Call Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas seeks volunteer ‘citizen-scientists’

Statues of the North To honour, inform and inspire

Hot on the Trail Things are heating up for Manitoba’s own ice road truckers

The Real Deal Parks Canada places in northern Manitoba offer an authentic experience that runs the gamut from 18th century history to outdoor adventure

The Rock Art Trail Unique and beautiful inukshuks have been mysteriously appearing on the sides of northern highways

ON THE COVER Flin Flon turns 80 this year and plans to celebrate this noteworthy anniversary with the Trout Festival, an event held every summer for the past 62 years.




E X P E R I E N C E Flin Flon Celebrates 80th Anniversary The annual Trout Festival and a special commemorative geocache coin mark this northern locale’s special birthday

Please see page 8 From Athapapuskow to Zed A regional camping guide

More Than Polar Bears

From belugas to birds, northern Manitoba is full of wildlife viewing opportunities

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 


Published on behalf of NorMan Regional Development Corporation

Box 700, Snow Lake, MB  R0B 1M0

Photo by Ryan Brook

Published by

Greetings from the Ministers As travellers across the province and around the world continue to look for unique vacation adventures, they are wise to consider the splendid offerings of Manitoba’s majestic north country. A veritable feast of natural wonders, northern Manitoba provides a memorable setting for holiday memories. Enjoy a whale-watching excursion, see polar bears in their natural habitat or get an awesome view of the extraordinary northern lights. Northern Manitobans are renowned for their hospitality and community spirit, adding to a vacation experience like none other. Our government is proud to support the tourism industry, recognizing its tremendous value to our diversified provincial economy. This growing sector gives us countless opportunities to celebrate our province and her people, while also providing significant employment and business development opportunities. We look forward to working with members of Manitoba’s tourism, ecotourism and mining industries to further develop and strengthen our travel and investment opportunities in this amazing region. Flor Marcelino, Minister Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism Steve Ashton, Minister Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 701 Henry Ave., Winnipeg, MB  R3E 1T9 Toll-free phone: 1-866-953-2189 Phone: 204-953-2189  Fax: 204-953-2184 Toll-free fax: 1-877-565-8557 President Jeff Lester Vice-President & Publisher Sean Davis

Editorial Director Jill Harris

Managing Editor Kristy Rydz

Art Director Myles O’Reilly

Graphic Designers Jessica Landry John Lyttle Gayl Punzalan Account Executives Quinn Bogusky Aaron Brown Adam Krysowaty Danny Macaluso Louise Peterson

Accounting Nikki Manalo Distribution Jennifer Holmes © Copyright 2013, NorMan Regional Development Corporation. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of NorMan Regional Development Corporation. Publication Mail Agreement #40606022 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: 701 Henry Ave., Winnipeg, MB  R3E 1T9 Printed in Canada. Please recycle where facilities exist.


Photo by Judith Cheeseman /

While I appreciate living in a province where the four seasons are obviously evident, summer is hands-down my favourite time of year. Manitoba summers are second to none. From great fishing, to sitting around a blazing campfire to just staring up at a sky full of bright, twinkling stars, there’s so much to appreciate. Northern Manitoba, in particular, has a lot to offer, especially during the long, hot days of summer. With that in mind, this issue of Manitoba’s Northern Experience aims to give you some off-the-beaten-path ideas for how to explore, enjoy and get the most out of the region this season. When the mercury starts to rise, you know festival season can’t be far behind. Our cover story (page 8) celebrates Flin Flon’s 80th anniversary and encourages readers to take part in the city’s annual Trout Festival, especially in such a momentous year. Focusing on the beauty of nature, we’re offering up some of the very best tours to observe northern wildlife in their habitats (page 12). And take a peek at some beautiful photographs of treasured sites in and around provincial parks in our photo spread on page 38.

Summer activities like camping, fishing and hunting aren’t only fun, they’re major contributors to the province’s economy. Check out the submission from the Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters Association, on page 20, to see how. We also profile conventional tourism opportunities, with a look at Parks Canada sites in the area (page 44), as well as more unique offerings, like the rock art popping up on Highway 39 (page 46) within our covers. From how to get involved in the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas (page 40), to the success story of Bakers Narrows Lodge (page 30), to where to find historic monuments and their significance (page 38), we’ve put together an issue designed to inspire you to make this summer your best yet. Regardless of your hobbies or timeline, consider including northern Manitoba in your plans this season. You won’t be sorry. Thanks for reading, Kristy Rydz, Managing Editor

Wapusk Parc national National Park Wapusk

Your adventure starts here! L’aventure commence ici! Parks Canada Visitor Centre, Churchill

Centre d’accueil de Parcs Canada, Churchill

Local experts Life-sized polar bear den Films, displays

Spécialistes de la région Tanière d’ours polaire grandeur nature Films, expositions


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8/26/10 1:35:30 PM Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 


Photo by Katy Winterflood

Summer Days Ahead


Focus on Tourism and Economic Development Welcome to

Manitoba’s Northern Experience magazine, your gateway to the real northern experience. The magazine has a dual focus on tourism and economic development. It is designed to offer a snapshot of not only things to see and do in the north, but also of developments in Manitoba’s largest region. The NorMan region encompasses close to two-thirds of Manitoba’s land mass, making it easily the largest and most diverse in the province. The region’s range of activities and opportunities reflect that size and diversity. Common throughout NorMan are people who look forward to showcasing their communities and who will greet you with a warm smile regardless of the temperature outside.

• Home to cultures that have called this area home for thousands of years, come north and discover their traditions old and new • With a rich history of explorers and fur traders, from David Thompson, Samuel Hearne and John Franklin to countless voyageurs, the region is a perfect place to do some exploring of your own • Come north winter or summer and drop a line with some of the best sport fishing on the planet – walleye, pike and trout abound • As the site of Canada’s last gold rush, the NorMan region invites you to explore our mining history • Home to Pisew Falls, Karst Springs, Wekusko Falls, Kwasitchewan Falls and many other natural wonders, experience the beauty for yourself • Owls, gulls, geese, eagles and birds too numerous to list are all regular inhabitants of the area • Constantly growing with new hotels, malls, shops and services opening often, our traditional northern hospitality with all the services you expect is the standard • Buzzing with new hydro developments, mineral exploration, people making use of non-timber forest products and an exploding tourism industry, economic growth is continuous in the north This summer, include the NorMan region in your travel plans – we can’t wait to see you!  u


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013

Lake photo by Jacek Sopotnicki / Compass photo by Ozge Karzan /

The region defined

NorMan News With much pomp and ceremony University College of the North (UCN) cut the ribbon on the new research library. Named for the late Oscar Lathlin, former MLA for The Pas, the list of speakers spoke of happy memories of the library’s namesake. Former legislative colleague, the Honourable Steve Ashton, Minister of Manitoba Infrastructure and Training, spoke of Mr. Lathlin’s commitment to education and his love of the north. Those comments were also echoed by Mr. Edwin Jebb, the Chancellor of UCN and brother-in-law to Mr. Lathlin. Announced by the province in 2009, the $15-million expansion and rejuvenation began with the construction of 24 three and four bedroom family residences. At the same time the new library was being built, a new 76-unit childcare centre was also constructed with all three facilities celebrating their grand opening today.

Photo courtesy of UCN

University College of The North officially opens Oscar Lathlin Research Library

Edwin Jebb, chancellor of University College of the North and brother-in-law to the late Oscar Lathlin, addresses the crowd at the opening of the research library UCN President and ViceChancellor, Konrad Jonasson, spoke about the ongoing commitment to new and existing students and the opportunities that are now available. “These facilities are a bricks and mortar representation of how

we are trying to better serve our students by breaking down the barriers related to housing and child care availability,” he said. “The establishment of a research library will ensure that our academic programming is supported.”

Photo by Koi88 /

Summer festivals in season It’s festival season in the NorMan region! Mark your calendars with these event dates: • The Sam Waller Museum in The Pas is offering art lovers Night Life/Wild Life, an exhibition of the work of local artists. The show will open in the Sam Waller Gallery on June 10 and run until Sept. 27. • Nickel Days are happening in Thompson from June 20-23. The festival theme is “Celebrating Our Youth” and there is a full schedule of events planned. The National King Miner contest takes place at noon in the CA Nesbitt Arena on June 22. That evening, Kim Mitchell will be headlining the festivities at the arena, which begin at 8:30 p.m. • In Norway House this summer, take in Treaty and York Boat Days from Aug. 5 – 11.

• Set in the beautiful lake district of the Boreal Shield, the Flin Flon Trout Festival invites visitors to enjoy the great outdoors. From June 27 – July 1, competitive canoe races, the Voyageur Canoe event, fishing derby and Canada Day all coincide to celebrate the town of Flin Flon’s 80th birthday. • The Trout Challenge in Cranberry Portage takes place on the August long weekend. Running Aug. 3 and 4, teams of fishermen will compete to bring home the biggest trout and first prize.

• On Sept. 7, The Pas Agricultural Society will be hosting a motor sports fair at The Pas Exhibition Grounds.

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013  |  2013 



Manitobans are encouraged to help select Manitoba’s official provincial fish, as was announced by Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister, Gord Mackintosh, to mark the opening of the fishing season in southern Manitoba in mid-May. “Selecting a provincial fish recognizes the important role of fishing to our province, culturally and economically,” said Mackintosh. “Manitobans have some of the best fishing opportunities in the world, with access to more than 30 species of sport fish in diverse habitats across the province and the opportunity to see more than 60 other species in their native habitats. I want Manitobans to consider the value of our conservation efforts by providing them an opportunity to make a case for the fish they believe best represents our fishing heritage.” Manitobans are invited to go online and nominate a fish at  The nomination process will allow Manitobans to select a fish species and encourages them to share personal stories and explain why their fish of choice should be the provincial fish.  Nominations will be reviewed by a committee of volunteers who share a passion for fishing in the province.  The committee will recommend the top two species to government for a final decision. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 1, 2014. The committee will also award 20 complimentary fishing licences for next year’s season to those who submit the most compelling personal stories and the top three will also be posted online and in Manitoba’s angling guide. Manitoba has the third most diverse freshwater fish population of all provinces and the minister said more than 80 of Manitoba’s native fish will be considered as candidates. Once selected, the provincial fish will be proposed for official adoption as an amendment to the Coat of Arms, Emblems and the Manitoba Tartan Act, Mackintosh says.

Updates from Hudbay’s Lalor project Progress is being made at Hudbay’s Lalor mine project, as revealed in the company’s latest quarterly update. Hudbay has invested approximately $338 million  of its  $794 million  capital construction budget for the Lalor project to  March 31, 2013  and has entered into an additional $84 million in commitments for the project. During the first quarter of 2013, Hudbay hoisted 81,800 tonnes of ore from the ventilation shaft at Lalor at a copper grade of 0.57 per cent and zinc grade of 9.94 per cent. During the same period, underground project development continued to


Northern Experience  Issue 1  |  2013

Photo by Tom Brakefield  /

Manitoba’s rich fishery heritage to be honoured with official provincial fish

The minister also says the new official fish will become prominent in tourism advertising and fishing publications to remind Manitobans and visitors of the thrilling fishing opportunities that are theirs to pursue in the province.

advance. The company’s primary focus is to complete the 910-metre shaft station in the second quarter of 2013 and to continue to ramp to the 955 metre level, which the company expects to reach by the end of the third quarter of 2013. Hudbay is developing ore and waste handling systems as well as the dewatering areas on the 910 and 955 metre levels. As of April 26, 2013, the main production shaft was sunk to approximately 710 metres and is approximately 72 per cent complete. Hudbay expects shaft sinking to be completed in late 2013. Upon completion of sinking, the installation of the steel sets and guides as well as the headframe changeover will begin. Ore production is expected to transition from the ventilation shaft to the main production shaft by the fourth quarter of 2014, subject to receipt of required regulatory permits. For the full update, please visit Hudbay’s website:  u

Correction In Issue 1, 2012 of Manitoba’s Northern Experience, the caption for a photo in the story Jobs Available in the North (page 18) was incorrect. It should read: Cultural ceremony during the Careers Tour visit to the Wuskwatim Cultural Centre, Manitoba Hydro Wuskwatim dam site We regret the error. 

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Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 


ss the lake

Flinty, the friendly prospector, stands seven metres tall and has been greeting visitors to Flin Flon since 1962 8 

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013

All images courtesy of Travel Manitoba

on from acro

Fl A view of Flin


Flin Flon Celebrates 80th Anniversary The annual Trout Festival and a special commemorative geocache coin mark this northern locale’s special birthday BY LISA KOPOCHINSKI

What a difference

80 years makes. When the city of Flin Flon was officially incorporated in 1933, Richard Bedford Bennett was prime minister and the Great Depression was affecting many Canadians. An estimated 30 per cent of the labour force was out of work, and in the rural areas of the prairies, the situation was even direr with approximately two-thirds of the population receiving government relief. Flin Flon was actually founded six years earlier, in 1927, by Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting (now HudBay Minerals Inc.) due to its large copper and zinc ore resources, but the city grew considerably during

the 1930s when many farmers abandoned their homesteads in favour of coming to work in the mines. Located north of the 55th parallel of latitude – the same as Belfast, Copenhagen and Moscow – Flin Flon is part of the Precambrian belt basin that was formed 1.9 billion years ago by aquatic volcanic eruptions, which left the area with an abundance of zinc, copper, silver and gold deposits.

Flin Flon’s namesake The town’s unusual name comes from the novel The Sunless City, whose lead fictional character was Josiah Flintabbatey

“Dignitaries will be on hand and we’re inviting the entire community to come out and celebrate with us. Special recognition will be made for all the 80-year-old residents who are celebrating a birthday this year with us.” Teddy Trout and his friend Mighty Bubble at the 2012 Annual Trout Festival

– Tim Babcock, Flin Flon City Councillor and Trout Festival President Northern Experience  Issue 1  |  2013 


Flonatin. Mining prospector, Tom Creighton, was a fan of the 1905 book and decided to name this locale Flin Flon in honour of Flonatin. “Flinty” has been so popular that a seven-metretall fiberglass statue of the friendly prospector has been greeting visitors to the town since 1962. In fact, a big birthday celebration was held last year when Flin Flon’s namesake turned 50. “Flinty is a huge part of our community and our identity,” said Tim Babcock, a city councillor who grew up in Flin Flon. “He’s famous throughout northern Manitoba and beyond. He tells the story of our community in a fun and imaginative way.” As one of two border communities in the country (Flin Flon has approximately 230 people living on the Saskatchewan side and about 5,300 on the Manitoba side), it ranks as the province’s 11th largest community. Flin Flon remains a rich mining centre – with HudBay Minerals Inc. still an important employer. It is also a strong travel destination for those who love the great outdoors and fishing at its finest. And what better way to celebrate this noteworthy anniversary than with the Trout Festival, an annual event held every summer for the past 62 years. The festival takes place June 27 to July 1, but “the City of Flin Flon and the Trout Festival kicked off 2013 with a family fun day on Ross Lake in February,” said Babcock, who is also the festival’s president. “We cleared off a good section of the ice and flooded two rinks – one for hockey and one for skating. We also had a bonfire and warm-up tents and the Flin Flon Bombers were on hand to

Photo courtesy of Tim Babcock


Tim Babcock, Flin Flon City Councillor and Trout Festival President skate with the kids. A local chainsaw artist did demonstrations all afternoon even though it was bitterly cold!” And come June 28, the city will also host a birthday party in conjunction with the Trout Festival. “There will be a free barbecue and family entertainment in the brand new Pioneer Square on Main Street [the town square with a stage and clock],” Babcock noted. “Dignitaries will be on hand and we’re inviting the entire community to come out and celebrate with us. Special recognition will be made for all the 80-year-old residents who are celebrating a birthday this year with us.” The annual Trout Festival has attracted thousands of current and former residents over the decades. Each year, nearly 1,000 people come out to celebrate. “Not bad for a town of 5,000,” Babcock said. “A lot has changed over

the years. The Gold Rush Canoe derby has been replaced by an afternoon of family-friendly canoe races. There will be a family dance on June 27 to start the festivities. Main Street will be blocked off on June 28 and 29 and the street will be lined with vendors, carnival rides and children’s entertainment. Friday night is the birthday party and Saturday night is the fish fry. The fish fry is what keeps the festival going financially. It is pretty much the only thing we charge for all weekend. Leading up to the festival, we will be also running a weekend family fishing derby, as well as a photo scavenger hunt. And, on July 1, we will have a big pancake breakfast followed by a parade and Canada Day festivities in neighboring Creighton, Sask.” The lively celebration proves that despite questions of the town’s longevity, it’s still going strong. “Flin Flon is a city where the common thought has long been that because it is a mining town, the community would not last long. Yet here we are, proudly celebrating our 80th birthday and looking forward to celebrating our 100th,” added Mike Dubreuil, the City of Flin Flon’s recreation manager.

Commemorative coin This anniversary is also being celebrated with a special geocache coin that has been minted by the local chamber of commerce. “It’s not complete yet, but the design will consist of a miner and hockey player holding up the number 80,” said Bunny Burke, a lifelong resident who is on the chamber’s geocache committee.

Eric Robinson MLA for Kewatinook



Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013

A competition was held whereby the chamber asked residents to submit ideas, suggestions and drawings. The committee used these submissions as a starting point and further massaged the design. “We want the coin to be very colourful,” Burke explained. “It will be red, white, blue, green and copper coloured. There will be Flin Flon’s natural surroundings on the coin such as the trees and skyline. On the reverse side, it will read Canada and include an indication of where Flin Flon is, so if the coin ends up overseas, people will know it’s from Canada.” This is the second geocache coin produced for Flin Flon, Burke notes. “We had a kick-off for it last year and had a geocache competition. It was well-received, so we decided to do a second one,” she said. For those unfamiliar with geocaching, it is a treasure or scavenger hunt of sorts. There are specific locations or “caches” where geocoins are hidden. Geocachers look for the latitude and longitude online or on their navigation systems where the coins – which are registered online – have been hidden. A popular hobby in Flin Flon, one couple took a Flin Flon geocache coin to China last year, while other residents took the coin to the Dominican Republic. “As well, someone hid a geocache coin in the wheel of the huge locomotion at the Flin Flon Station Museum,” Burke said. “They can be hidden in many different kinds of locations. Some of our geocachers have 1,500 coins. The idea is to leave a coin and take a coin.”

This year will mark the 63rd annual Flin Flon Trout Festival – a family event that kids of all ages love

Many changes over the decades Although Flin Flon has changed over the years in that the population is aging and has shrunk (it peaked at approximately 15,000 during the 1980s), Babcock says it still holds significance, especially to residents. “This community has given a lot to me in terms of shaping me into the person I am today and I’m thankful that I can give something back,” he said. “I’m very passionate about our city and the people that live here and work very hard to keep this town moving forward.” For instance, last year he cut the ribbon at a brand new $350,000 skate park facility that was the work of a volunteer committee. And in 2011, Pioneer Square was opened, again due to the work of a volunteer committee.

“Ten or 20 years ago, that never would have happened,” Babcock said. “People come here to work and expect to stay for a few years, but they end up falling in love with the town and its surroundings and stay here into retirement.” Dubreuil concurred: “Flin Flon is a community that offers a number of the amenities that you would find in a larger centre, yet it embodies the things that you would expect to find in a smaller community in safe neighbourhoods, friendly people and a more relaxed pace of life.” But living in an isolated small town can be tough. “You get a little stir-crazy during the winter,” Babcock said. “But no matter how cold the winter is, there is always springtime ahead. It’s the people that keep the community going and make it worth doing what we do.”  u

Congratulations to Flin Flon on 80 years!

Flin Flon

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Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 


More Than Polar Bears

A confident bull caribou poses for a photo


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013


White whales: a pod of belugas surface in Hudson Bay

Northern Manitoba abounds

with wildlife. However, due to the remote nature of much of the province’s north country, access is often limited. For this reason, when we think of wildlife tourism and northern Manitoba, perhaps Churchill springs to mind most readily, and for good reason. Internationally referred to as the “polar bear capital of the world,” Churchill provides locals and tourists alike with a unique opportunity to witness these threatened megafauna up close and in a variety of subarctic settings.

Spring’s Wings bird tour Though the iconic polar bear commands a special place in the hearts of Canadians and may be responsible for luring in the majority of northern Manitoba’s ecotourists, Churchill’s biodiverse landscapes boast many other species worth the trip. “Birds are the main attraction from early June into July,” noted Rudolf Koes, an instructor at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC)’s Spring’s Wings bird tour. As a former biology, geography and general science teacher at the centre, Koes has been leading bird watching tours in Churchill annually since 1980. According to Koes, there are several species present in Churchill that are seldom seen in southern Manitoba, such as: Willow Ptarmigan; Pacific and Red-Throated Loon; Sabine’s Gull and Little Gull; Arctic Tern; Parasitic Jaeger; Smith’s Longspur; as well as long-tailed duck, common eider, three separate species of scoter and more. Due to the fact that Churchill is located along the transition zone of three different biomes – tundra, boreal forest and the marine environment of the Hudson Bay coast – there are even opportunities to see southern bird species that have wandered slightly off track, north of their typical territories. Koes suggests heading up in the second week of June in order to see the greatest variety of migratory and breeding birds. “The total bird species list will be over 100,” remarked Koes, adding, “we also see belugas, seals, arctic hare, and may see red fox, polar bear, caribou and some other mammals.” Aside from the Spring’s Wings course led by Koes, Eagle-Eye Tours offers a 12-day experience that takes participants to Riding Mountain National Park and elsewhere in southwestern Manitoba for some prairie-birding before jet-setting north to Churchill to take in a range of avian species and mammals. Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 


Photos courtesy of Ryan Brook

From belugas to birds, caribou and lush communities of native flora, northern Manitoba is full of wildlife viewing opportunities

Photos courtesy of Ryan Brook

A red fox yawns atop a rock formation near Churchill blanketed in various species of lichen

Northern majesty, ethical ecotourism For wildlife biologist and photographer Ryan Brook, the opportunities for viewing and interacting with the wildlife of northern Manitoba are “unparalleled in terms of the diversity of wildlife and the frequency with which it is seen. “To go along the Hudson Bay coast and see two thousand belugas with some so close you could almost touch them is amazing beyond words. To be literally surrounded by a thousand caribou that pass right around you so close that you can hear their hooves click every step they take; this experience maxes out every sense you have and every brain cell you own,” he explained. Brook has researched humanwildlife interactions as well as instructed field-based university courses out of the CNSC’s state-ofthe-art facilities for the last 20 years.

From having a lone caribou approach, lie down and nap within 10 metres of him or a beluga whale gently coax him in his kayak through the surface waters of the Hudson Bay, in his time Brook has had close encounters with northern wildlife that defy belief. Regarding northern Manitoba’s tourism industry, Brook encourages prospective travellers wanting to explore Manitoba’s north to do their homework; select local, ethical, smallscale tours when possible and assess the relative merits of different companies with a critical eye. “I suspect if it weren’t for the high profile of polar bears brought on by the [polar] bear tourism, we would perhaps not have Wapusk National Park, which protects many animals and landscapes including polar bears and many other species,” Brook noted. “As more and more travellers are wanting more ethical and less invasive/impactful travel, many tourism opportunities are claiming to be “eco-” tours and “green” and lots

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Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013

of messaging suggests strong code of conduct and best practices, but in truth there is a lot of variation.” In Brook’s opinion, Sea North Tours is an organization operating beluga whale viewing outings out of Churchill that is “extremely professional and fully certified [. . .] and they have good policies and safety procedures.” An additional tour receiving glowing reviews from Brook is Nature 1st Tours, “which does walking tours using local knowledgeable guides [that] create unique experiences.”

Churchill Northern Studies Centre “In terms of what you can do here, there really is no comparison,” said Mike Goodyear, CNSC’s executive director. Goodyear described a single day around the solstice in mid-June where he once observed belugas in the bay, polar bears along a stretch of tidal flats, caribou foraging on the tundra, migratory birds singing in the forest in the evening and even glints of aurora borealis in the midnight sun. The CNSC provides a range of edifying programs to both the public and university students. According to Goodyear, the CNSC’s target audience is interested in more than just wildlife viewing. At the centre, tourists stay and interact with researchers and are able to experience an authentic research-oriented environment. For instance, the five-day Belugas in the Bay program is lead by a retired fisheries biologist and offers participants an





A sitting polar bear has its interest piqued by nearby attention received from a passing group immersive experience with themed lectures as well as beluga viewing opportunities via jet boat, zodiac and kayak. “Our beluga whale instructor is Pierre Richard, who has over three decades of research experience on Arctic cetaceans (whales, porpoises and dolphins) and other wildlife with [the Department of] Fisheries and Oceans,” noted Goodyear. “That’s a feature of all of our learning vacations: they’re all lead by experts like Rudolf Koes. He’s one of Manitoba’s expert birders; he literally wrote the book on Manitoba birds.” Goodyear encourages both tourists and residents of the province to appreciate all there is to offer. “Obviously we’d love people to come up here and take one of our programs. That aside, my best advice, especially to Manitobans, is just do it. Come. Too many people take for granted that we have this environment; that we have a marine coast,” he said. “You can come and see these things in your backyard.”  u

NATURE Half or full-day walk/drive tours of Churchill Region

Take only pictures, leave only footprints.

I st

Box 1136, Churchill Manitoba R0B 0E0 Phone 204-675-2147

Tours & Transportation


Our student community is a reflection of the best northern values. We’re tolerant and inclusive. There’s plenty of room for everyone. You’ll find people who share your values here friends for life. For more information about UCN, visit or call 866-627-8500 (The Pas) or 866-677-6450 (Thompson). Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 



CHURCHILL Setting a new international standard for polar bear and northern species exhibits BY LAURA CURTIS, A S S I N I B O I N E PA R K CO N S E R VA N C Y

Imagine a world-class Arctic exhibit like no other

Photos courtesy of Dan Harper

or the opportunity to encounter polar bears nose-to-nose as they gather along the water’s edge. Imagine an incredible journey to Manitoba’s north — one that will stimulate your senses, challenge your thinking and allow you to experience animals in an entirely new way. When Journey to Churchill opens at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in summer 2014, the signature exhibit will be comprised of a fascinating 10-acre route that will take visitors into the heart of Manitoba’s polar bear country.

Hudson, the polar bear, is the first identified inhabitant of the Journey to Churchill exhibit 16 

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013

Journey to Churchill is the only project of its kind ever undertaken in Canada aimed at issues related to climate change, polar bears and other northern species. The signature exhibit will be the flagship component of the redeveloped Assiniboine Park Zoo and will set a new international standard for polar bear exhibits worldwide. Visitors will experience a variety of landscapes and animal viewing areas while interpretive signage, interactive displays and audio-visual components will reinforce the key messages of biodiversity, climate change and conservation.

“This is going to be an amazing focal point in the exhibit. Though physically separated, the polar bears and seals will be able to see and smell each other, creating a dynamic and enriching environment for the animals and a spectacular display for our visitors.” – Tim Sinclair-Smith, Director, Zoological Operations, Assiniboine Park Zoo “Journey to Churchill will be so much more than your typical zoo experience,” said Tim Sinclair-Smith, director of Zoological Operations at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. “This is going to be a highly immersive exhibit environment where visitors will feel like they’re actually there with the animals, experiencing polar bears and northern species in a whole new way.” Rooted in real places from forests, tundra and ice to the northern town of Churchill – the polar bear capital of the world – Journey to Churchill will be home to caribou, musk ox, snowy owls, Arctic fox and – of course – seals

The Sea Ice Passage section of the Journey to Churchill exhibit will allow visitors to observe polar bears and seals swimming beneath the water’s surface

The Aurora Borealis Theatre will not only feature the northern lights above but also an encircling wall projecting a 360-degree horizon Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 


The Wapusk Lowlands portion of the Journey to Churchill exhibit will have no visible barriers between animals and polar bears. Visitors will explore three distinctive zones – Wapusk Lowlands, Gateway to the Arctic and the Churchill Coast – and learn about Manitoba’s north and how northern animals and communities are being impacted by climate change. The journey will begin as visitors encounter the Wapusk Lowlands and the vast expanse of the tundra. With no visible barriers between animal species, Arctic fox can been viewed in the grasslands while musk ox graze on a hill above, and higher still, visitors will catch their first glimpse of the

polar bear. The snowy owl habitat will boast over 375 square metres of open space, plenty of room for these magnificent birds to stretch to their full wingspan in flight, treating visitors to a truly spectacular display. The Gateway to the Arctic will be a primary viewing point for polar bears and seals. In the domed Aurora Borealis Theatre, with the play of the northern lights above and the encircling wall projecting a 360-degree horizon, visitors will feel as if they are standing in the middle of a vast expanse of Arctic landscape. A short film

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Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013

featuring the Arctic will tell the story of the people, plants and animals that live in the northern reaches of our great country. As visitors move through the 21-metre long Sea Ice Passage, polar bears and seals can be seen swimming overhead from below the surface of the water. “This is going to be an amazing focal point in the exhibit,” said Sinclair-Smith. “Though physically separated, the polar bears and seals will be able to see and smell each other, creating a dynamic and enriching environment for the animals and a spectacular display for our visitors.” By their very nature, parks are places where families and friends can come together to have fun, celebrate important occasions or just relax and take time out. The Churchill Coast brings all of these elements together in the culmination of Journey to Churchill. This is the ultimate destination, the spectacular climax, that will stun visitors with its beauty, creativity and the unique opportunity to encounter polar bears nose-to-nose as they gather along the water’s edge, waiting for the ice to form. With a façade resembling the town of Churchill, visitors will feel as though they have been transported to the northern frontier. The landscape will include bear dens that can shelter a bear on a hot summer’s day or house a mother bear with her new cubs. When Journey to Churchill opens, the 150-seat Tundra Grill restaurant will offer the exclusive experience of watching polar bears while you dine through a 150-feet wide wall of ninefeet high windows. Each pane of glass weighs approximately 700 pounds and is two-and-a-half inches thick in order to handle lively polar bears. For the time being, it’s a view of the large and impressive Journey to Churchill construction site. The adjacent Polar Playground is uniquely designed to engage children in a polar-themed wonderland of active participation. As the first completed component of Journey to Churchill, the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre (IPBCC) opened in January 2012 at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. The IPBCC

is a state-of-the-art facility focused on research and education that will ensure Manitoba remains a centre of global influence in polar bear and northern species conservation. “The IPBCC is changing the way the Assiniboine Park Zoo is able to contribute to and participate in the worldwide research community,” said Sinclair-Smith. “This facility also allows us to elevate the public’s awareness of critical climate change and environmental issues.” The centre is designed to transition orphaned polar bear cubs rescued by Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship in northern Manitoba to eventual placement in pre-approved Manitoba-standard facilities. In addition, the centre supports and facilitates research efforts that contribute to environmental and wildlife education and the conservation of polar bears and other northern species. The IPBCC is also supported through partnerships with the San Diego Zoo Global, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and the North Carolina

Zoo, formalized by Memorandums of Understanding signed with each institution. This facilitates the organizations working together to share information, collaborate on research projects and educate the public on issues related to the conservation of polar bears. Visitors to the zoo can experience the IPBCC in the multimedia-rich interpretive gallery – learning from interviews, interactive games, touchable objects and interpretive signage about polar bears, researchers and climate change. Currently making his temporary home at the IPBCC, Hudson, the polar bear, is the first identified inhabitant of the Journey to Churchill exhibit. Arriving from the Toronto Zoo in January 2013, Hudson has been seen by more than 60,000 visitors since his public introduction on Feb. 14. A jovial polar bear cub, Hudson can often be found playing around in his enclosure, delighting visitors with his hilarious antics. As Hudson nears the age of maturity, the hope is that he will be paired with a female in the future and

contribute to the Species Survival Plan (SSP) breeding program. Assiniboine Park Zoo has a long history of conservation initiatives and participation in the SSP and currently has several species that are part of this program. “We are hugely focusing here on endangered species and species at risk, both within Journey to Churchill and throughout the entire zoo,” said Sinclair-Smith. “While we want people to have a fun experience during their visit, we hope they’ll learn about what they can do to inspire and make change in their day-to-day lives to improve the environment.”  u

Journey to Churchill is scheduled to open in summer of 2014 at the Assiniboine Park Zoo and will be the flagship component of the redeveloped zoo. To learn more, watch the video at Laura Curtis is the manager, Brand & Communications for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy. R EM OT E L OG IS T IC A L S OL U T ION S

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Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 


From ATHAPAPUSKOW  t A regional guide to camping in northern Manitoba

Northern Manitoba lakes offer some of the best fishing in the province 20 

Northern Experience  Issue 1  |  2013

to ZED


Camping in northern Manitoba offers an inexpensive way for folks of all ages to enjoy everything this beautiful area has to offer: fantastic fishing, swimming, recreational boating, paddling, golfing, hiking, biking, sightseeing and scenery second to none. Deciding which area to visit is the tough part. While we don’t promise that this regional guide includes every possible campsite or activity, we have made every effort to provide you with an overview to make your choice a little easier. For more information, check out and

Athapapuskow Lake Bakers Narrows Campground Located 20 kilometres south of Flin Flon on Provincial Trunk Highway (PTH) 10, Bakers Narrows Campground provides public access to Athapapuskow Lake, which has excellent boating and fishing. There are three beaches, Bakers Narrows Campground one on the north side of PTH 10 and two near the campground on the south side. The campground features waterfront yurts as well as basic and electrical campsites, which include showers, modern washrooms, playgrounds, picnic areas, a boat launch, swimming at the beach areas and a picnic shelter. A short trail leads to a viewing tower with full 360-degree views of the lake and narrows while providing an opportunity to learn about the area’s history through interpretive signs.

Clearwater Lake Provincial Park Photos courtesy of Travel Manitoba Illustrations by Natalya Aleksakhina & Aleksangel /

Start your morning off right with a dip in the sparkling water of Clearwater Lake, where the water is so clear that the bottom is visible at 11 metres. There’s also prime fishing, boating, hiking and Clearwater Lake camping. The park is also home to some of the best wind surfing conditions in the province – not to mention a nature lover’s paradise: much of Clearwater Lake Provincial Park’s 595 square km area is made up of coniferous forests yielding a rich variety of berries and wildflowers. While there, don’t miss “the caves” – huge slabs of rock broken off the dolomite cliffs, accessible by a self-guiding trail. In nearby The Pas,

Northern Experience  Issue 1  |  2013 


campers can visit the Sam Waller Museum, which boasts a permanent collection of more than 70,000 items.

Cranberry Portage • Cranberry Portage Park • Viking Lodge Cranberry Portage is situated on strip of land about 1.5 kilometres in width separating Athapapuscow Lake on the west and First Cranberry Lake on the east. The provincial park, just west of the town centre along the shore of lake, includes a government dock for launching boats, a public beach, a six-hole golf course, a horseshoe pitch and a field with two baseball diamonds. In summer, the park is the focus of community activities, including an annual fishing derby. Viking Lodge is located at the mouth of the Grass River Provincial Park Recreation Water Route. There are 50 miles of lakes and rivers, before reaching the first portage, with designated camping and picnic areas along the way. Or just stay put and fish for walleye, lake trout and northern pike.

Flin Flon Flin Flon Tourist Bureau and Campground Welcoming visitors to the border town of Flin Flon is an eight-metre high statue of Professor Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin, designed by Al Capp, creator of the L’il Abner comic strip. Enjoy a panoramic view of the community by taking a stroll on Flinty’s Boardwalk, which spans half the town.

The complete loop is about 4.3 kilometres, but there are shorter loop options. Or take a hike through the ancient boreal forest to photograph the unique Limestone Crevasses, near Denare Beach, Sask.

Grass River Provincial Park • Iskwasum Campground • Reed Lake Campground • Simonhouse Lake (Gyles) Campground Situated 74 kilometres north of The Pas, with an area of 2,279 square kilometres, Grass River Provincial Park is characterized by rivers and lakes of the Grass River system, including the headwaters of the historic Grass River canoe route. It is also the contact zone between the boreal forest and the Manitoba lowlands. All campgrounds in Grass River have only unserviced Grass River campsites, although each has a gravity-flow, solar-heated shower. Each campground has a boat launch, dock and a fish-cleaning shed. Gyles Campground, on Simonhouse




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Retail space is available at the Otineka Mall

1565 Notre Dame Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3E 0R1 Phone: 204-885-2513 Fax: 204-885-2511


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013

for more information to rent space call Ginger Sinclair, Otineka Mall Manager Phone: 204-627-7230 Fax: 204-623-2770 Box 10310 Opaskwayak, MB R0B 2J0 Email: Website:

Lake, features a long natural sand beach. Large private campsites, horseshoe pits, a volleyball court and playground make this a favourite family campground. Iskwasum Landing campground is located on the scenic Grass River between Iskwasum and Loucks Lakes. Excellent walleye fishing and quiet camping are the main attractions. Reed Lake campground, nestled on the south shore of Reed Lake, is renowned for lake trout and northern pike fishing. There are also designated backcountry sites along canoe routes and on popular remote lakes. If you’re prepared for a moderately strenuous 3.2-kilo­ metre hike complete with several short, boggy crossings, then hiking Grass River Provincial Park’s Karst Spring Trail will pay you back with views of an underwater spring that emerges from a limestone rock face. Allow two hours for walking and observation.

Leaf Rapids boasts Manitoba’s most northerly nine-hole golf course and it’s free to the public

Churchill River Lodge & Campground Enjoy the lush boreal forest and mixed wood around your site or swim, canoe or boat in the bay. There’s also a fishcleaning station, tackle shop and easy access to boat rentals. If you’re up for a drive (in more ways than one), Leaf Rapids is only 11 kilometres away and boasts Manitoba’s most northerly nine-hole golf course. Better yet, the golf course is free to the public!

Photo by KZenon /

Leaf Rapids

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2013-01-25 11:20 AM Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013  23

Campfire Recipes Fresh Caught Fish in Foil

Brown Bears

Sinfully Simple S’mores

• Fresh caught fish, cleaned

• 1/2 c sugar

• Bag of marshmallows

• Butter

• 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

• Seasoning (your choice)

• 4 tbsp butter (melted)

• Chocolate bars or peanut butter cups

• Season and baste outside of fish with butter.

• 1 package bread dough

• Graham crackers

Mix sugar and cinnamon together until well blended. Melt butter in shallow pan. Take the biscuits and roll in hands to form long, thin pieces. Coil the dough around a stick, then cook over a campfire until evenly browned. Roll the cooked dough in the melted butter and then in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Toast marshmallows over a campfire. Place one on a graham cracker with a piece of chocolate or peanut butter cup. Take a second graham cracker and mash it on top to complete the s’mores.

Wrap the whole thing up in aluminum foil, tucking the ends to keep the juices in Place fish in campfire coals. Fish will be ready in about 20 minutes. Note: Cooked fish meat turns flaky and white; if it’s translucent, wrap it up again and put it back in the coals for a few more minutes.

Warning: Toasted marshmallows will have a very hot centre.

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Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013

10-04-09 3:20 PM

Lynn Lake • Burge Lake Provincial Park • Lynn Lake Campground Burge Lake is a small, scenic campground with eight (no charge) walk-up, non-electrical sites; all sites are suitable for tents and some can accommodate large motor homes. The campground is just minutes away from the clear, clean waters of Burge Lake, with great pickerel and pike fishing and a beautiful sandy beach perfect for swimming and boating. Rainy day? Check out the Lynn Lake Mining Town Museum.

Paint Lake Provincial Park • Paint Lake Campground • Lakeview Campground Located 32 kilometres south of Thompson on Highway 6, the enticing waters and rugged Precambrian Shield make Paint Lake, with its countless islands, the centerpiece of Paint Lake Provincial Park. Serviced beaches include Sunset Beach and Dawn Beach. Water activities are a must, from swimming to boating and water skiing. Paint Lake Campground offers 76 campsites with basic and electrical services, as well as facilities and services for visitors with physical disabilities. There are also two playgrounds in the campground and on the beach, a horseshoe pitch and volleyball court.

Rocky Lake • Kum-Bac-Kabins • Rocky Lake Cabins Located approximately 50 kilometres north of The Pas, the supply of northern pike, walleye and small mouth bass in Rocky Lake make this a must-visit spot for avid fishermen. The nearby town of Wanless hosts a pike derby every August.

Waterfall Country Located on the Grass River between Wabowden and Thompson, Pisew Falls has a vertical drop of 13 metres. The falls can be viewed from an observation platform and a short half-kilometre hike leads to the Rotary Bridge, which crosses the Grass River just below the falls. The bridge provides access to a trail, which leads to the top of the falls. Kwastichewan Falls is the highest waterfall in Manitoba and is accessible via a 22-kilometre return hiking trail from Pisew Falls. This is a gorgeous spot to witness Manitoba’s tallest falls. Get ready to work hard! If you set your mind on a seriously challenging all-day, round-trip hike from Pisew to Kwasitchewan, you will want to bring a good supply of water and trail food. Backcountry campsites are available at the far end of the trail loop.

Wekusko Falls Provincial Park Situated 16 km south of Snow Lake, Wekusko Falls is a series of cascades and chutes on the Grass River, where the river drops nearly 12 metres before emptying into Wekusko Lake. The mediumWekusko Falls sized campground has serviced campsites offering nightly and seasonal camping opportunities, as well as a small number of walk-up sites. Recreational activities in the park include picnicking and swimming. Walking trails link the two suspension bridges that cross the Grass River over the falls. A boat launch and dock provide access for fishing and boating on the lake. The park also serves as a staging and stopping point for the Grass River canoe route.

Zed Lake Zed Lake Provincial Park If free camping without crowds appeals to you, consider this small, quiet campground with 10 walk-up, non-electrical sites, situated amongst the natural eskers in the area. All sites are suitable for tents and some can accommodate large motor homes. Zed Lake offers swimming, boating and excellent lake trout, pickerel and pike fishing with a boat launch and a fish-cleaning shed.  u

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 




Photo courtesy of Myles Hodge

Cross Lake chickens in their coop

& Northern Inspiration S U B M I T T E D BY F O O D M AT T E R S M A N I TO B A

Walking into a

northern grocery store, you’re likely to see a buzz of activity. In many communities there is only one place to buy food, making the grocery store a shopping hub. The busyness isn’t the only thing that catches your attention, however. You may notice a sour smell in the air from a shipment of milk dumped down the sink, expired before it reached the shelf. Or perhaps, as you pick up a $12 bell pepper, you will notice the signs in the produce section that apologize for the standard bruises and mold. With the difficulties of transporting foods across vast distances, it is easy to understand why most of the store’s space is filled with heavily processed, long-lasting products. The high price of healthy foods in the north has very real consequences for northerners. Studies have suggested that three-quarters of remote community residents are considered to be “food insecure.” Often the foods that are affordable are rich in calories and poor in nutrition, resulting in rising rates of diabetes and other chronic diseases. This creates challenges for people coping with chronic disease and takes people from their homes for costly treatment and medical services.


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013

But if we look only at the challenges, we miss an important part of the picture. There is also a story to be told of the tremendous resourcefulness and knowledge of northern Manitobans. Through Manitoba’s Northern Healthy Foods Initiative, Food Matters Manitoba has had the opportunity to criss-cross the north, working with 13 communities stretched from Lac Brochet to Grand Rapids – each community displaying enthusiasm and determination to sow seeds for a healthy future. While it is important to remember the serious challenges that northern Manitobans face in accessing affordable foods, we can also look to the north for inspiration. That’s what Cross Lake residents did. After seeing a video of Island Lake residents raising chickens, seven families in Cross Lake decided to raise chickens themselves and established the Cross Lake Chicken Club. Soon after, chickens were on their way up to Cross Lake for the first time in a generation, with each family receiving 50 chicks for their backyard coops. As first-time chicken raisers, many did not know what to expect, but it did not take long for families to grow to love their chickens, often going to great lengths to care for

Photos courtesy of Chloe Donatelli Background by Andrey Kuzmin /

A young girl learns how to process geese

A goose caught at camp is singed on the fire

Northern Manitoba residents face many challenges at the grocery store but they’re creating innovative, community-led solutions

their birds. This past January, one chicken raiser woke to discover that the power was out. Immediately, he thought of his chickens and the electric heater in their coop. For over 12 hours he worked to get his generator up and running to keep the chickens from freezing. In return, the birds are laying 18 to 24 eggs a day, the majority of which he shares with neighbours and other community members. Several hundred kilometres to the northwest, gardens are taking root in the Northlands First Nation (Lac Brochet), located near the Manitoba-Nunavut border. Healthy food is especially expensive for communities as remote as Northlands. It is little wonder that people are interested in growing their own fresh and healthy foods. When Marie Tssessaze, the community’s Aboriginal diabetes initiative worker, put out a call on Facebook for interested gardeners, several families immediately stepped forward. This spring, community members will work together to prepare gardens that will produce an abundant harvest of fresh vegetables come fall. Despite the short growing season, Northlands demonstrates gardening is possible, even in the far north.

Before it comes time to plant gardens, Fox Lake Cree Nation will be gathering for their annual goose camp. One of many events across the north that celebrates traditional Aboriginal food skills, the goose camp is a chance for the community to hunt, process, eat and celebrate the return of the geese together. Children from local schools take part in processing the geese, taking turns out in the blind, plucking feathers and helping to prepare the birds. While being taught to slaughter her first goose this year, one 15-year-old girl commented to a friend, “I can’t wait until we are older and we can teach all the little kids these skills!” The Cross Lake Chicken Club, Northlands’ community gardens and the Fox Lake Goose Camp aren’t going to feed their communities year-round. People must still go to the store and face high prices for healthy, nutritious foods. Those prices remain a major barrier that prevents people from accessing enough healthy foods. But while there is a long way to go, a growing number of northern Manitobans are responding to the challenge with ingenuity, resourcefulness and hard work to ensure healthy food is available across the north.  u Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 


Reelin’ in the Rewards A recent study identifies fishing, hunting and outdoor tourism as major contributors to Manitoba’s economy BY PA U L T U R E N N E , M A N I TO B A LO D G E S A N D O U T F I T T E R S A S S O C I AT I O N

It’s no secret

to anyone who lives in northern Manitoba that fishing and hunting are important parts of the area’s economy, but a recent study has shed some light on just how important those activities are. Fishing, hunting and outdoor tourism, according to a study released in February 2012, contribute a combined $470 million – nearly half a billion dollars – to the Manitoba economy every year. The sector is also responsible for about 7,500 jobs in the province, including in northern and remote areas, where the industry represents one of the most viable economic opportunities available. The economic impact study, An Economic Evaluation of Manitoba’s Hunting and Fishing Industry, was commissioned by Travel Manitoba and conducted by the firm Kisquared. It took into account the expenditures of Manitobans and visitors alike, on things like hunting and fishing equipment and clothing; the purchase, maintenance and operating costs for vehicles used for the sports, like boats, trailers and quads; transportation and accommodation for hunting and fishing trips; the services of lodges, guides and outfitters; food and souvenirs purchased on trips; licenses; game meat processing and taxidermy and everything else associated with these pursuits.


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013

The report identified millions upon millions being spent in our province by anglers and hunters and their families. And who can blame them? Manitoba is home to some of the world’s finest fishing for species like walleye and northern pike and is also known as the best place in Canada to hunt black bear. These things are well known to those who live, work and play in northern Manitoba, where license plates from across North America can be seen at boat launches, airports and lodges or parked outside community restaurants, stores and service stations. The study also confirmed that those most responsible for bringing these hunters and anglers to the north, whether from across North America and the world or simply from Winnipeg for the weekend, are small business owners whose operations take place almost exclusively in Manitoba. In fact, the study found that lodge operators and outfitters spend 95 per cent of their business expenditures within the province. So, not only are they contributing to the economy of northern Manitoba by bringing visitors here to experience the area’s beauty and bounty, but they’re contributing even more to the province by re-circulating their revenues within the community. That goes for the staff of these operations too. The study found that 97 per cent of employees who work for

Fishing is just one of many northern Manitoba recreational activities that boost the province’s economy

lodges and outfitters are Manitoba residents and that more than one-quarter of employees (27 per cent) are Aboriginal. The industry has faced its challenges over the years, including rising fuel costs, travel restrictions and parity between the U.S. and Canadian dollar. But Manitoba, and especially northern Manitoba, will always draw on the strength of unbeatable natural beauty, world-class fishing and hunting opportunities and experienced, reputable operators who have made it their life’s work to ensure that outdoor enthusiasts from across the world experience the best that the north has to offer. We live in an increasingly wired world, where technology is not only transforming the economy but everyday life as we know it. But a computer will never be able to replicate the strike of a fierce master angler pike, the rush of hearing

a rutting bull moose respond to a hunter’s call or the cry of a loon on a glass-still lake at sunset. Those things will always be a part of Manitoba’s north and there will always be people drawn to those experiences. While there is no way to ever place a value on the experience of going fishing or hunting as a family, with a group of lifelong friends or with a novice who’s experiencing the outdoors for the first-ever time, the Kisquared study confirmed that these pursuits are a valuable resource to the province. Manitoba’s lodges and outfitters are happy and proud to make these contributions and will continue to do so for as long as the fish keep biting.  u Paul Turenne is the executive director of the Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters Association. Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 


Photo courtesy of Travel Manitoba

Manitoba, and especially northern Manitoba, will always draw on the strength of unbeatable natural beauty, world-class fishing and hunting opportunities and experienced, reputable operators who have made it their life’s work to ensure that outdoor enthusiasts from across the world experience the best that the north has to offer.

Bakers Narrows Lodge Reborn Iconic business rises from the ashes BY JIM CHLIBOYKO

For a brick-and-mortar

business, it can be a challenge to get back up on one’s feet after something as destructive as a major fire. That is what the proprietors of the Bakers Narrows Lodge are finding out, after overcoming such a disaster just a little over a year ago. It was in the early morning hours of Feb. 4, 2012, when local fire crews attended to a fire at the handsome main building of the family-owned lodge, located adjacent to Bakers Narrows Provincial Park and a half-mile away from the Flin Flon Municipal Airport, a few kilometres southeast of Flin Flon. The structure was one of the older buildings on the property and effectively served as the facility’s centrepiece. “It was 2,500 square feet and the entire structure was burned to the ground,” said Peg Baynton, who owns and runs Bakers Narrows Lodge with her husband, Rod, their two sons, Brett and Brock, and Brock’s wife, Gen. Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt in the fire. But the lodge’s restaurant/café facilities and store were destroyed, among other amenities, like the laundry room. It was also where the Bayntons dealt with gasoline purchases and the all-important fishing licences. The fire did not affect the other 15 separate, two-bedroom cabins. The lodge attracts many different kinds of clients and isn’t just limited to groups of fishing buddies. The Bayntons host weddings, corporate and church retreats, as well as celebrations for birthdays and anniversaries at the facility. “The lodge was built in the 1970s, but even in the late 1960s, the edifice that we had lost was there. Even prior to that, there were cabins and a store here in the 1950s,” Baynton said. But the rebuild allowed them to effectively expand, by putting different facilities in other structures and improving, for example, their commercial kitchen and rebuilding the dining area.


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013

One of 15 two-bedroom cabins available to be rented from Bakers Narrows Lodge

Photos courtesy of Bakers Narrows Lodge Background by Dimdimich /

The newly renovated clubhouse now includes a commercial kitchen

The lodge is often chosen as the perfect backdrop for weddings Northern Experience  Issue 1  |  2013 


“We are better able to cater for our bigger events, whether weddings, anniversaries or corporate events. We’ve got lots of things lined up. The season is shaping up nicely.” – Peg Baynton, Owner, Bakers Narrows Lodge

Fishing, and other recreational activities in the area, means big business for the lodge

“We rebuilt our laundry [area] and put it in a separate structure. We also built washrooms and change rooms for the hot tub,” Baynton explained. “Going forward, we are still debating what to do at the highway. We might put in a small structure, or it might be seasonal, for the licences and the gas bar.” The lodge’s home lake is Lake Athapapuskow, which holds several records for big fish. The lake had the world record for lake trout for over 40 years (62 pounds, 8 ounces or just over 28 kilograms) and holds the record for burbot at 22 pounds, 8 ounces (just over 10 kilograms). The lake also has northern pike, walleye, perch, whitefish, brook trout, smallmouth bass and tullibee, among others. A total of 34 master angler fish were caught by lodge guests in the lake in 2012, with 38 caught in 2011. In 2012, the biggest lake trout caught by a lodge guest was 43 inches long, the biggest walleye was


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013

31.25 inches and the largest northern pike was 43 inches. A Manitoba provincial record for brook trout was also caught in the surrounding waters of the lodge and would have been a world record at 16 pounds and 29-inches long, if it hadn’t been released, according to lodge literature. But despite the rebuild of 2012 and a decent amount of activity over last summer (including nine weddings), business still seemed a little off to the Bayntons, post-fire. Around the time of the anniversary of the fire this past winter, the Bayntons decided to remind people, through the press, that they were still there. Articles ran on several websites and in the Winnipeg Free Press, among other places. The Bayntons weren’t new to the world of business when they bought the lodge from a local man named Gene Kostuchuk just over ten years ago, but they were new to Manitoba. They had operated a furniture store in Lloydminster, the border town that is partly in Saskatchewan and partly in Alberta, until early 2002. After they purchased the lodge, the whole family moved to Flin Flon. “We had been looking for lodges in B.C., through to the most western edges of Ontario,” Baynton said. “We looked in Saskatchewan and Alberta, too. We found this one, which wasn’t even for sale at the time. It was in a

“It was 2,500 square feet and the entire structure was burned to the ground.” – Peg Baynton, Owner, Bakers Narrows Lodge

poor state when we bought it and we put in a lot of sweat equity and capital, which makes it one of the premiere lodges in Manitoba.” But even with prior business experience under their belt, there were still some things the Bayntons needed to learn about running a lodge and otherwise entering the hospitality industry. “The ice did not go off the lake that first year by the May long weekend; it’s been an interesting learning curve. We were really green, but we’d always been in business,” Baynton said, noting that they had another thing going for them – local support. “The [Flin Flon] residents made us feel welcome,” she added. Of course, the weather during the non-existent spring of 2013 has been uncooperative all over North America so far and might just remind the Bayntons of that first iced-over

long weekend back when the lodge was still new to them. But it’s also the first full year after the fire, and Baynton, for one, seems eager to get going. “We are better able to cater for our bigger events, whether weddings, anniversaries or corporate events,” she said. “We’ve got lots of things lined up. The season is shaping up nicely.”  u

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Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 




There is no shortage of gorgeous views and remarkable places to see in northern Manitoba All photos courtesy of Stan Milosevic/

The Clearwater Lake Caves can be found in Clearwater Lake Provincial Park. The deep crevices are formed from the rocks separating from shoreline cliffs


Northern Experience  Issue 1  |  2013

Karst Spring, located in the Grass River Provincial Park, was first referenced in 1917

Pisew Falls, located southwest of Thompson, are the second tallest falls in Manitoba with a 13-metre drop

The location where the Grass River drops nearly 12 metres through falls and rapids is known as Wekusko Falls

A lynx crossing Tramping Lake in Wekusko Falls Provincial Park

Little Limestone Lake develops its breathtaking turquoise colour as the calcite in the water, dissolved from the limestone bedrock, chemically reacts to the heat of the sun Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 




Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas seeks volunteer ‘citizen-scientists’ B Y R O B E R T J . H O LT

If you’ve got a passion for birds, Bonnie Chartier wants to hear from you. Chartier is the assistant coordinator for the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas, which since 2010, has been working to document every species of bird which breeds in this province, where they can be found and roughly how many there are. While the bird populations of most other provinces have already been atlased, this project represents a first in Manitoba.


Northern Experience  Issue 1  |  2013

In order to collect information across such a wide area, the atlas relies on ‘citizen scientists’: ordinary people with an interest in birds and the ability to confidently identify them by sight or sound. Hikers, hunters, fishers, paddlers, outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes – whatever brings you to the north, you can contribute to the atlas. So far, over 900 volunteers have signed up to submit data on the atlas’ website, some logging hundreds and even thousands of hours worth of records.

“Last year we found Nesting LongTailed Jaegers, we found BlackHeaded Grosbeaks … there are species like Bonaparte’s Gulls that were found nesting near The Pas, which is way south of their range.” Photo by Christian Artuso

– Bonnie Chartier, Assistant Coordinator, Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas

A Long-Tailed Jaeger in flight. The species was confirmed breeding in Manitoba for the first time by the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas last year.

“It’s been amazing,” Chartier noted, “we’ve had people from all walks of life and all parts of the province responding, from Churchill all the way down to Melita, right across east and west.” Volunteers have also come from South Dakota, Calgary and as far away as Nova Scotia. The lure of a project like this is obvious when you consider the impact it can have. Once completed, this first Manitoban bird atlas will serve as a base line to evaluate changes in bird distribution over time, which may reflect changes in climate, human settlements, industry practices and the overall health of Manitoba’s ecosystem. The work of these citizen-scientists will create an invaluable resource not only for bird enthusiasts, but for scientists, students, environmental assessors and city planners. This year, Manitoba’s atlassers will be venturing further – and in greater numbers – than ever before. “We’ve got quite a few canoe trips going this year,” Chartier explained. “We’ll be out on the South Seal River, the South Knife River, Poplar and Berens River...we’ve got people on the Owl River again this year, to see what’s happened since we were there two years ago. We’ve got a group going up along the Hudson Bay coast, the Cochrane River. Just the fact that we’re doing so many trips this year has got everybody excited.” Already, atlassers have made some very exciting discoveries. Chartier can list off a handful of the latest encounters. “Last year we found Nesting Long-Tailed Jaegers, we found Black-Headed Grosbeaks... there are species like Bonaparte’s Gulls that were found nesting near The Pas, which is way south of their range,” she said. While no one has seen a Golden Eagle (nesting) in Manitoba for over 50 years, atlassers recently found nests in Wapusk National Park. When it comes to atlassing the north, Chartier stresses the kindness and hospitality that make ‘Friendly Manitoba’ famous. “Let me tell you a little story,” she said, recounting how two canoes (stuck in York Factory last summer) travelled to Gillam in the fall, then to Winnipeg in the winter, to Lockport and from there up the winter road to Little Grand Rapids,

A group of atlassers in Pinawa, May 2010

where they’ve been waiting for this season. Quite a journey, made all the more impressive by how many people offered up their time and effort, expecting nothing in return. She tells another story, and another; stories filled with guides, outfitters, lodge and cabin owners, RCMP officers, Manitoba Hydro and rail workers, fishermen, bush pilots, airlines, professors, students – too many people and kind gestures to do justice. When she speaks, her voice is filled with genuine and heartfelt gratitude for every helping hand along the way. “There have been so many people that have helped us... and how, at the end of all this, do we say thank you? I’m not sure,” she said, adding with a laugh, “if you can do that, that would be fine with me.”  u If you would like to get involved with or learn more about the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas, visit their website at or call the Atlas Coordination Office at 1-800-214-6497. Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 


Statues of the North To honour, inform and inspire


The importance of memorable first impressions cannot be overstated. The CN Tower in downtown Toronto, the Statue of Liberty in New York City Harbor and the Eiffel Tower in Paris are prominent landmarks that conjure up their locations and were expressly built to do so­. Northern Manitoba towns and cities are no less impassioned to honour their sense of place with unique statues and landmarks that provide intriguing points of entry and community locales to reveal the character of those who call the north their home.

adventurousness of the prospector pioneer. His name is Josiah Flintabbety Flonatin, a science fiction persona whose exploits were chronicled by J.E. Preston-Muddock in his early 20th century paperback novel, The Sunless City, a copy of which was discovered by Thomas Creighton and his intrepid band of explorer/pioneers in 1915. The novel’s imagery was so powerful that when the town was founded by Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting in 1927, an abbreviated version of the name, Flin Flon, became the official town name. The statue itself was designed by leading cartoonist, Al Capp of “L’il Abner.” He was renowned for creating the image “conspicuous for two things – the smallness of his stature and largeness of his perception.”

Josiah Flintabbety Flonatin – Flin Flon Visitors to this northern town are greeted with a statue of a fictional character that sums up the spirit and

Photo by The Reminder

Tribute to Northern Aviation – Thompson


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013

While winding waterways and arduous overland portages populate the annals of how the north was traversed by hardy explorers willing to embark on uncharted voyages through inhospitable terrain, opening up the north in the mid-20th century called for a different breed of explorer, this time airborne. The stunning reproduction of a classic Canadian Norseman Mark V aircraft (shown above) and Thompson Lions Club Park was opened and dedicated in 2008, the 100th anniversary of Canadian aviation.

© Volker Beckmann

The Tribute to Northern Aviation recognizes pilots, maintenance and support staff and marks the 100th year of aviation history in 2008 with a rebuilt Norseman float plane “taking off” from the Burntwood River

Largest rock face sculpture in Canada – Thompson In the same vein as the visionaries who created Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, the idea to create a sculpture that would be emblematic of the wolf and its relationship with Thompson as well as becoming the largest rockface sculpture in Canada began in 2007. The Spirit Way nonprofit board of directors called on prominent mural artist Charlie Johnston to draw the scene of “Howling Wolves at the Moon.” After an extensive search, the committee found Campbell Monument Company from Campbell Monument Company from Belleville, Ont. to execute the cutting and carving of three wolves hewn out of 55,000 lbs of Indiana

© Volker Beckmann

The Spirit Way website ( cites the pilots who flew these workhorses, risking their lives as passengers, equipment, medivacs, mail, trappers, dogs, furs, food and supplies moved across the wide expanse of tundra and boreal forest. In the mid-’50s, Inco’s initial mine explorations and construction was the dependent on the float planes for the movement of machinery, materials and manpower. Although it cannot fly, the reproduction is permanently borne aloft on its pedestal against the setting of open sky in tribute to northern aviation pioneers who went before while forging a legacy for present day aviation.

These wolves, carved from Indiana limestone, howl at a stainless steel moon and Northern Lights limestone. The slabs were roughly carved in Ontario and then brought to Thompson. Over a period of four weeks they were lifted, pinned to the existing rockface, and the final carving and touch-ups took place undertaken by master sculptor, James Smith, and his aides. Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 


To the unions and their membership in Snow Lake, the memorial represents the struggle for better working conditions within industry and provides a place to honour and grieve for those who have passed in that process. To the people of Snow Lake, it is a reminder that the work they do is not without its dangers and, as a result, it evokes vigilance as well as sorrow. The joint collaboration between the USW #7106 union and the Town of Snow Lake saw both entities share the cost of the memorial; the union provided the wording on the face and a local artist (and a miner himself), Bob Southern, provided the line drawing of the miner that sits beside the wording and the headframe that encompasses it. The original plan was to use a locally quarried limestone slab as the memorial. It was donated by Manitoba Marble and Hudbay Minerals Inc. paid for its transportation to the carver; however, it proved unstable and therefore unsuitable once the polishing and carving process began. Coloured granite was chosen in its place. To those who have lost family or friends in the mines, the memorial is a permanent place to mourn and once a year, on April 28th, the National Day of Mourning, a formal ceremony is held at the memorial.  u

Brandon 204-725-3588

Photo courtesy of Marc Jackson

Snow Lake Miner’s Memorial – Snow Lake

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Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013

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Hot on the Trail

Things are heating up for Manitoba’s own ice road truckers For Polar Industries Ltd., a tough day at the office doesn’t even begin to describe it. That’s because, for company founder and president, Mark Kohaykewych, and his team, the “office” is found in some of Canada’s most remote areas and the commute is where the work really begins. Polar Industries is a one-stop, ice road trucking company that provides remote, logistical solutions to clients who are faced with the need to transport materials to sites that are not typically accessible. Kohaykewych started the Winnipeg-based company five years ago. The idea was sparked after several fishing trips during which Kohaykewych ventured across ice roads to get to lakes that were usually only reached by plane.

Fascinated by the heavy duty trucks he saw along the way, he bought one of his own in 2007. The truck hauled 25 loads that year and Polar Industries was born. What began as a guy with one truck and a passion for the outdoors has since grown into a fleet of nearly 20 that have covered projects in northern Manitoba, northwestern Ontario, northern Saskatchewan, Alberta, northern B.C. and the Yukon. According to Kohaykewych, many of the communities to which the company travels are isolated for up to ten months of the year. In order to keep up with the heavy demands of the job, the company uses tougher-than-usual trucks, rigs and equipment.

A long journey ahead for the Polar Industries Ltd. crew

Northern Experience  Issue 1  |  2013 


Photos courtesy of Polar Industries Ltd.


One of the Polar Industries Inc. trucks makes its way down an ice road in Little Grand Rapids, Man.

“We always want to make sure we are doing our work in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. This means thinking before doing, consulting with government officials who know the area and looking at all the options to ensure we minimize our footprint.” – Mark Kohaykewych, President, Polar Industries Ltd.

“Our equipment is made to haul the physical demands that the northern roads put on us,” Kohaykewych said. But it’s not just the equipment that needs to be carefully selected. Kohaykewych explains that all of his staff – whether they are on the operations side, dispatching, doing mechanical work or behind the wheel – require a unique set of skills. “Because of the terrain, versatility and patience are the key qualities I look for in my staff,” he said. “Imagine you’re in your car, going 30 to 40 kilometres per hour down the TransCanada Highway. That’s what it feels like when you’re going down the ice roads.” But patience isn’t the only thing that Kohaykewych looks for when it comes to his staff. “Our drivers have to be more than just a driver,” he said. “They need to be experienced and know what they’re


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013

doing. They have to be able to be a mechanic and they need to be familiar with the materials they’re carrying because we’re going down some pretty ugly roads.” If that sounds daunting, try doing it with a camera crew capturing every move. Polar Industries has been documented by the History Channel’s Ice Road Truckers series for several seasons, including the upcoming one, which is expected to air in Canada this August. The series follows the team through various treacherous expeditions and Kohaykewych says that the cameras don’t stop rolling, even – and especially – when situations are tense and emotions are running high. While this may have been an added stress in the beginning, he explains that with a few seasons now under their belts, the cameras and crew are just part of the excitement. And he’s even picked up a few tricks of the trade himself.

“I’ve finally started to remember to turn the mic off when I go to the bathroom,” Kohaykewych laughed. All joking aside, Kohaykewych says that the exposure from the show has opened up several new opportunities for the company as it branches out into other areas. Aside from getting materials from point A to point B, the company is also tasked with the challenge of physically creating the roads that will get them there. “We’re pointing on a map that has no roads, looking at where we are and where we need to be and we’re constructing access points and actually carrying out construction of the roads that we travel,” he explained. In addition to this, Polar Industries boasts a slew of services including flat / step deck transportation, logistics / warehousing, oversize / over-dimension loads, dry van transportation and reefer van transportation. The company’s experience with remote logistics and construction is quickly making it a major player in the industry. So much so, Kohaykewych says, that they have also started to do consulting work with companies overseas. The company has also tapped into the growing mining industry. “We definitely see how the mining industry is booming in these provinces and in Canada as a whole,” Kohaykewych said. “We’ve taken what we’ve learned in small communities and adapted

The open road, taken in Little Grand Rapids, Man.

that into our business models accordingly. If our guys can make it out on the winter roads, all these mining towns are really no problem because of our experience.” Besides having the experience needed to make it through remote northern areas, Kohaykewych says that he and his team share a passion for the nature and beauty that they have to offer. “There’s so much in the north that hasn’t been explored,” he said. “We always want to make sure we are doing our work in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. This means thinking before doing, consulting with government officials who know the area and looking at all the options to ensure we minimize our footprint.” Kohaykewych adds that each of the company’s trucks is equipped with spill kits in the event of a fuel or oil spill and all drivers receive training on how to deal with such a situation. In addition to preserving the areas, Kohaykewych hopes his services will enable more people to experience them. “One of the unique things that we’ve started to branch out to is working alongside exploration companies providing construction services to the fishing camps. With all the beauty and pristine nature that these areas have, anyone who hasn’t had the experience of driving it is really missing out on what this country has to offer,” he said.

Mark Kohaykewych, President, Polar Industries Ltd.

“That’s the unique thing about our business: we get to take trucks into areas where no one has ever been before. It’s pretty amazing to have taken footsteps in a place that no man

has ever stepped on and know I’m the first person that’s ever been there.”  u For more information on Polar Industries Ltd., visit


A Smart Investment.

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For more information about apprenticeship in Manitoba, including rural and northern initiatives, visit our website at: or call 1-877-97-TRADE

Apprenticeship Ad Northern Experience Ad Northern Experience  1  | 2013  43 Ad size:Issue 4.75”w x 4.75”d


Real Deal

Parks Canada places in northern Manitoba offer an authentic experience that runs the gamut from 18th century history to outdoor adventure

Parks Canada is known throughout Canada as the steward of some of our country’s most precious treasures – Banff National Park and Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site being among the better known. What isn’t as well known is that northern Manitoba is a gold mine of rugged nature and human history rivalling any other region in Canada. Parks Canada has three sites clustered around the town of Churchill with exciting, new opportunities to satisfy any visitor, from the well-read history buff to the backcountry, outdoor thrill seeker. Wapusk National Park is relatively new to the Parks Canada family, having been founded in 1996. In the Cree language, the word wapusk literally means “white bear,” a fitting moniker for a park that is home to one of the world’s largest known polar bear maternity denning areas. Every year in early winter, licensed tour operators bring guests into Wapusk National Park to see polar bears using Frontiers North Adventures’ Tundra Buggies®, which are overland vehicles specially designed for tundra terrain. In February and March, visitors again can head into the park with Wat’chee Expeditions to see polar bear mothers emerging from maternity dens with their cubs in tow. It’s a rare opportunity to see these majestic and beautiful animals up close on their home turf. In 2013, Parks Canada is launching a new opportunity in the park for independent visitors to canoe the Owl River each year in the month of June. These canoe excursions are a unique blend of wilderness and history, with the chance to see a diverse array of wildlife, take in breathtaking terrain 44 

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013

ranging from forested taiga to the treeless Hudson Bay coast and view archaeological sites that illustrate the human history in the area. Running approximately 170 kilometres, the route traverses the entire breadth of Wapusk National Park and will take approximately four to seven days, depending on conditions, with canoeists camping as they go. As they journey towards the coast, the Owl River’s many swifts and class one and two rapids make it an enjoyable and exciting route. Once canoeists reach Parks Canada’s Owl River fenced camp, just five kilometres inland from the Hudson Bay coast, they can arrange for helicopter pick-up. Outdoor adventure is just the start of the Parks Canada experience in northern Manitoba. There are two national historic sites that capture the essence of the fur trade and the struggle between England and France for control of North America’s resources: Prince of Wales Fort and York Factory. Looming large at the mouth of the Churchill River on the Hudson Bay coast is Prince of Wales Fort, a vauban-style bastioned fort that was built by the Hudson’s Bay Company over a 40-year period, between 1731 and 1771, to protect its operations and cargo ships. Abandoned by the Hudson’s Bay Company after the French attack in 1782, Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site stands as a monument to the fur trade and as a solemn reminder of the globe-spanning French-English conflict of the 18th century and the two empires’ rivalry for control of the territory and resources around Hudson Bay.

Background photo by Steven Prorak /


Paddling the Owl River in Wapusk National Park An interpreter donning a period costume at Prince of Wales Fort National Historic

Located just across the river from the town of Churchill, this massive fort transports visitors back to the 18th century. Parks Canada has a special summer offer that goes even further in bringing history to life for visitors. In July, experience a “Night at the Fort” overnight camping within the fort itself offered by Parks Canada and partnering tour operators. Starting with a guided hike from Sloop Cove (a natural cove located five kilometres up river from the fort) to Prince of Wales Fort, Parks Canada interpreters in period costume and in historic character entertain with the many colourful stories about the fort and its history along the way. Visitors then spend the night under canvas, using tools, methods and materials right out of the 18th century for that authentic historic experience. Each “Night at the Fort” event has only 12 spaces for visitors, making for a very personal and engaging experience for everyone. Though not as close to Churchill as Prince of Wales Fort, York Factory National Historic Site is worth the trip. Few national historic sites in Canada have a story as long, rich or important as that of York Factory. Founded by the English as a fur trading post at the mouth of the Hayes River on Hudson Bay in 1684, York

Factory’s functional life as a Hudson’s Bay Company trading, shipping and administrative centre spanned 273 years. It was the headquarters for a territory larger than any that has ever been managed by a private entity. Welcoming thousands of immigrants to the New World, millions of dollars of goods were shipped in and out of Canada from this important site. Activities at York Factory facilitated the establishment of such strong relationships with the First Nations people from that region who continue to gather there for bi-annual celebrations. Open from mid-July to the end of August, York Factory National Historic Site can be reached via air or boat charter or by canoeing down the Hayes River. Visitors can explore the iconic depot building that stands as a visible and tangible reminder of the site’s vaunted history. Offering security from polar bears that might be in the area, the site also offers a fenced campground along with washroom facilities for visitors. Parks Canada’s places in northern Manitoba are truly unique experiences that suit the needs of just about any visitor. For more information on these exciting opportunities, or to learn more about how you can book a visit, call Parks Canada’s Churchill office at 204-675-8863 today!  u

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 


Photos courtesy of Parks Canada

These canoe excursions are a unique blend of wilderness and history, with the chance to see a diverse array of wildlife, take in breathtaking terrain ranging from forested taiga to the treeless Hudson Bay coast and view archaeological sites that illustrate the human history in the area.

The Rock Ar t 

Unique and beautiful inukshuks have been mysteriously appearing on the sides of northern highways BY S U E M AT H E S O N

Retracing the path

of the 1912 Gold Rush, Provincial Road 39 begins about 45 minutes north of the gateway community of The Pas, Man., rounds the southern coniferous hip of icy Simonhouse Lake, floats past muskeg and meadows inhabited by moose and caribou and squeezes through narrow passages blasted from the sedimentary shoulders of the Precambrian Shield. For years, bald eagles, caribou and wolves have shared this road with travellers. Now, the wildlife is sharing it with the north’s cultural life. Art is rocking the boreal forest. Resting on top of, beside or below the inscriptions of passersby painted on the shield, a new form of rock art is leading northern travellers to the newest and largest gold strike in the north. In less than a year, Provincial Road 39 has become much more than a muskeg highway. Two hundred kilometres of it is now a boreal art gallery, housing found-object sculptures and human-made markings placed on natural stone, which transmit the geological and spiritual life of the Grass River area. As the highway runs through the Grass River Corridor, inukshuks, the smallest measuring mere inches and the largest


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towering above ten feet, are displayed on outcroppings of the shield, marking the way for travellers. Derived from the Inuiktitut, the inukshuk is thought to have been used for navigation or as a reference point for hunters. Unlike the rougher cairn, made of a mound of rough stones that serve as a memorial or landmark, the inukshuk resembles the human figure – reminding its viewer of the strength found in cooperation and balance. Supporting one another, the inukshuk’s stones demonstrate the unity of life that in the north is found in the relationship of its people with the land. Placed to compete with spray-painted signatures scrawled on the shield’s outcroppings along the road, the rock sculptures invite reflection on a traditional way of life. They also prompt many questions. The first asked is – who made them? Unlike the modern graffiti found on the shield, these found art objects do not advertise their makers. Jenna, who loves Jerry, obviously painted her name on solidified lava flows, but the maker of the inukshuk perched on the ledge above her rock recording remains a tantalizing mystery. No one I asked seems to have the answer to this question. The artist creating these inukshuks has simply not been seen. Like makers of Saskatchewan’s crop circles, this builder works without witnesses. It has been suggested that the inukshuks along the road could be the children of a band of renegade artists roaming this isolated highway, hit-and-run artists driving pick-up trucks, convening at corners to create a sculpture in less than ten minutes under the cover of darkness. Equally fantastic is the theory that the originators of these inukshuks could be the Swampy Crees’ “Little People” who stand less than three feet high. Beware of these shy lightskinned creatures, for they lead unwary travellers deep into the boreal forest; those who follow the “Little People” are often never heard of again. Appearing and disappearing along the rock art trail, the inukshuks are constantly changing form and position.

One week they appear near Reed Lake, the next, they crop up by Iskwasum Park. Often all that remains of a sculpture two weeks later are its stony legs. Its torso and head have fallen into a heap of rubble. Others have remained upright since they have been built. Could they be paleolithic markers made by the boreal forest’s spirit world? Provincial Road 39 is famous for its mysterious flying lights that follow vehicles travelling after dark. When the sun sets, there is another possibility. The auroral oval found just inside the turnoff to Snow Lake offers some of the best aurora borealis viewing in the province. Within it, many inukshuks are found gracing natural igneous platforms beside the road that runs to Snow Lake, Man., a small, friendly town set in one of the most spectacular landscapes of the boreal forest that has recently become the site of the biggest gold strikes in Canada. Not many visitors to the north know that the spirits of the lights are summoned by those unwise enough to whistle during the light show. Perhaps these markers are all that remains of those who were unlucky, tempted fate and met the northern lights? Whoever or whatever their originators, these found object sculptures are well worth driving the trail to view and appreciate them. The reward of retracing the steps of 1912 Gold Rush prospectors like Tom Creighton, Dick Woosey and Kate Rice on the trail to Snow Lake is striking cultural pay dirt. For the adventurous, the first inukshuk can be found outside The Pas on Highway 10 pointing the way to Provincial Road 39, just before the road dips towards Goose Lake. Don’t expect to see any inukshuks at the junction of Highway 10 and Provincial Road 39. On the road to Thompson, Man. the next marker appears on the first outcropping of the shield after Gyles Park. Afterward, the trail becomes easier to follow. There seems to be an inukshuk around every corner. Made for the art obsessed, rock hounds and amateur geologists, the rock art trail ends in Snow Lake, going to earth next to the beach – but the inhabitants of that house could not explain how an inukshuk had mysteriously found its way to their front lawn. Anyone interested in prospecting for cultural gold must drive the rock art trail this summer. Waiting to be discovered is the heart of the northern experience on the next outcropping of the Shield that lies ahead.  u

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All photos courtesy of Sue Matheson




Slogans: “Polar Bear Capital of the World” and “Beluga Whale Capital of the World”

A variety of services and products can be found from groceries to general goods; from liquor store to banking facilities

Tundra buggy, helicopter tours are available

Town centre is connected to a local health centre

Population: 813  Getting there: 970 km north of Winnipeg by air and 1,700 km by rail

Major sites: Polar bears, beluga whales, bird watching, northern lights, Wapusk National Park, York Factory fur trade centre, Fort Prince of Wales, Cape Merry stone battery, Eskimo Museum, Rocket & Research Range, Miss Piggy airplane wreck, MV Ithaca shipwreck

Tourism Mecca


nown as the Polar Bear and Beluga Whale Capital of the World, Churchill boasts a thriving tourism industry that is associated with growth. New markets such as northern lights (January to September) and North America’s foremost bird watching location (May to July) have served to inspire the development of yearround eco-tourism opportunities. Historically, Churchill has also been on the cutting edge of research and development, commencing with the construction of the Prince of Wales Fort in 1732 and followed by the development of the rail line and the grain port at the start of the 20th century – both still in full operation today. As a result, Churchill has become an international transportation hub that could easily be complemented by a variety of manufacturing opportunities.

During the Cold War, Churchill was the ideal location for upper and lower atmospheric research, which produced an infrastructure unlike any other in northern Canada. Today, a fully functioning rocket and research facility waits for its next opportunity, and scientists and researchers from around the world gather to use the facilities at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre. Equipped with dormitories, fullservice kitchen facilities, research science labs, observatory domes, a reference library, computer lab and equipment and vehicle rentals, the centre is well positioned to handle any scientific requirement. For those looking to visit or relocate to Churchill, the community has a superior standard of living and is bursting with recreational opportunities for families. The jewel in Churchill’s crown is a 240,000-square-foot Town Centre Complex, equipped with an indoor playground, daycare facilities, a curling rink and lounge, arena, gymnasium, swimming pool, library, restaurant, video rental, 300-seat theatre, a K-12 school, the Regional Health Authority and the offices for the Town of Churchill.  u


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Major events: • Aurora Winterfest, 1st week in April • Hudson Bay Quest, late March/early April • Bay Dip, July 1st




Founded in the mid-1950s Slogan: The New Wilderness Adventure

Home to Frontier School Division and the Frontier Collegiate Institute Residence for northern students

Population: 575  Getting there: Near Hwy. 10 south of Flin Flon

Major sites: • Cottage lot developments • Community playground • Schist Lake Developers: titled lakefront lots.

Major events: • Curling Bonspiels: ladies’, mixed, men’s • Bombardier Rally


Outdoor Playground


ake Athapapuskow and the Cranberry Lake/Simon House Lake area are on a divide, with water from the Cranberrys running east to the Grassy River chain, into the Burnt Nelson chain, and Lake Athapapuskow’s pristine waters flowing south into the Saskatchewan River. Cranberry Portage is on a route that was used by Henry Kelsey years ago and it is one of the most beautiful areas in the North. The Cranberry Portage area began to expand its tourism potential around 2004, when the premier of Manitoba announced the development of 1,000 lakeside cabin lots. Since then, two more developments have been put together, offering tourists looking for a peaceful spot in nature many exciting choices. Aside from tranquil settings and peaceful spots, Cranberry Portage offers a number of local attractions guaranteed to keep tourists coming back. In September 2012, the Northern Technical Centre opened its doors in the hangar on the Frontier Collegiate property. Cranberry Portage has 140 surveyed lots developed with roads and hydro to most of them. The area’s canoe routes, camp spots, lodges, cycling and walking trails, along with beaches offer boundless recreational opportunities. The scenery and wildlife add to one’s enjoyment. The community is also home to the World’s Largest Tipi, (which is approximately 2,800 square feet); it was erected during the National Aboriginal Artist Administrators Gathering that was held in Cranberry Portage in August 2007. u

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Mascot: Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin (Flinty) Flin Flon Tourist Park and Campground offers nonelectric and electric sites, picnic and tenting areas

Population: 5,363  Getting there: Saskatchewan/Manitoba border



Located north of the 55th parallel of latitude, the City of Flin Flon is part of the Precambrian Amisk Volcanic Belt

Major sites: Flin Flon Station Museum, Joe Brain Petting Zoo, Flinty Boardwalk, Phantom Lake Golf Club

Major events: • Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, May 25 to 27 • Trout Festival, June 28 to July 1 • Flin Flon Junior Hockey action, September to March


Visit the Shield


lin Flon’s unique placement, built upon rock at the edge of the Precambrian Shield, makes the city as scenic from all angles as it is rich in mineral deposits. Thanks to solid infrastructure and abundant recreation opportunities, the area is a wonderland for businesses and vacationers alike. Flin Flon’s population of about 5,363 makes it one of the province’s most thriving communities. Mining has traditionally been, and remains, the City of Flin Flon’s main industry. But Flin Flon’s economic success is built on more than mining. Tourism is a strong secondary industry in the area.

Canadians, and American travellers from the northern states to as far down as Texas, visit Flin Flon for abundant fishing and hunting opportunities. Recreational opportunities also abound, with an indoor swimming pool, campgrounds, curling rinks, a junior hockey team, ski club, Ski-Doo club, sailing club and many other activities available in the city. Flin Flon’s residents have access to many quality services. A 68bed hospital employs doctors, registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. In addition, the city has two dentists, a denturist, an optometrist and two chiropractors. Education options are plentiful for all age groups, with elementary schools (including French Immersion Curriculum), a high school, an alternative learning centre and a University College of the North campus. The city’s public transportation system and daily air service ensure easy access to Flin Flon and all its amenities. Flin Flon has already begun to see its economy diversify as new businesses and industries begin to take notice of the area. Unique business opportunities such as non-timber forest products that are harvested in the region provide some supplementary income to residents.


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Travellers visit Flin Flon for abundant fishing and hunting opportunities. In addition, anticipated upgrades to highways throughout the city should continue to make the city’s infrastructure desirable for those looking to invest in northern opportunities.  u

northerncommunityprofile Population: 1,281  Getting there: 730 kilometres north of Winnipeg

Jasonbook99 / Wikimedia


Named after Captain Zachary Gillam and his son, Benjamin, 17th century fur traders on Hudson’s Bay First settlement started in 1912-13

Once a migration route for Barrenland Caribou

Major events: • Winter Carnival • Nelson River Firefighters Rodeo • Canada Day Celebrations • HBQ Dog Race

Major sites: • Manitoba Hydro dam site tours • Hunting • Fishing


Relax in the Power Capital


illam, the Power Capital of Manitoba, is a small but growing community located north of the 56th parallel, approximately 300 kilometres north of Thompson. The town’s main industry is power generated by Manitoba Hydro, and Gillam has grown along with the need for hydro.

Gillam began as a small Aboriginal and Métis community, but has grown to a town of more than 1,200 people. Gillam boasts an indoor swimming pool – the Nelson River Aquatic Centre – located next to the Gillam Recreation Centre. Open for public swimming for all ages, the pool also offers swimming lessons and private bookings. The pool can comfortably accommodate 50 swimmers and also houses a waterslide and a kiddie pool. As part of Gillam’s beautification plan, several lighted walkway paths are planned for the town. The town includes a credit union, hardware store, an insurance office, a beauty shop and post office in a centrally located mall. The main town area is home to a grocery store, convenience store, garage, motor sports shop, liquor vendor/gift and flower shop, a hotel, motel and two restaurants. Gillam has its own hospital and offers regular dental, chiropractic, massage therapy and optometrist visits. The town also has a large school accommodating students from nursery through high school. There are several ways to get to Gillam. An all-weather road, PR 280, is a wonderful way to see the beautiful terrain surrounding the area. Gillam also enjoys regular air service with Calm Air and service with Via Rail. You can also travel on to Churchill, the Polar Bear Capital, from Gillam with Via Rail.  u

Gillam is known as “the Power Capital of Manitoba”

THE TOWN OF GILLAM Welcomes you to fishing, hunting and camping country. Explore the road to Gillam then relax on the train to Churchill. Town Office: 204-652-3150 Website: Location: 730 kilometres north of Winnipeg by air, 1,065 kilometres north of Winnipeg by road, 1,401 kilometres north of Winnipeg by rail.

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Slogan: The North’s Hidden Treasure Founded: 1971

First municipality in North America to ban single-use plastic shopping bags

Population: 453  Getting there: Northwestern Manitoba on Hwy. 391

Major sites: • Churchill River, Churchill River Lodge • Ancient Rock Pictographs • The most northern National Exhibition Centre in Manitoba

Major events: • Winter Carnival • Bill Anderson Memorial Fishing Derby


North’s Hidden Treasure


he townsite of Leaf Rapids is situated on a glacial esker five kilometres from the beautiful Churchill River. The location is an idyllic playground for outdoor activities. In summer, the mighty Churchill River provides hundreds of kilometres of navigable waterways. The area is a fisherman’s dream come true, because of its abundant northern pike and walleye. Several lakes in the area boast incredible lake trout fishing, and two stocked lakes offer the thrill of fishing for rainbow trout. A variety of hunting opportunities exists, including spring and fall black bear hunts, moose hunts and game bird hunting. For families, tenting facilities are available along with safe sandy beaches that offer quiet relaxation. The walking trails are a delight to the nature lover and berry picker alike. The crystal clear tranquil lakes are ideal for canoe enthusiasts. In winter, cross-country ski trails and snow machine trails criss-cross the area, providing recreation for everybody. A major attraction is the Leaf Rapids Winter Carnival in March, and scenic photo opportunities abound year round.

Recreational paradise Nine holes of golf are played on a course surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Turnbull Lake, meanwhile, lies four kilometres south of town and offers sandy beaches and crystal clear water for great family fun and entertainment.


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Northern pike and walleye are abundant

Natural resources, vegetation and wildlife Leaf Rapids lies in the northern boreal forest region, which is predominantly comprised of jackpine, spruce and tamarack, as well as a variety of low berry bushes, such as blackberry, wild strawberry, gooseberry and high bush cranberries. It extends over northern Manitoba and transitions to the treeless tundra characteristic of the Churchill area. Prominent features in this northern landscape are sandy ridges or ‘eskers,’ which often extend for miles. Welcome to beautiful Leaf Rapids.  u



Slogan: Sport Fishing Capital of Manitoba Founded: 1951

Cartoonist Lynn Johnston (For Better or Worse) lived in Lynn Lake for many years. Rock star Tom Cochrane was born in Lynn Lake. Steve Andreychuk, former WHL and NHL hockey player, was raised in Lynn Lake.

Population: 674  Getting there: 1,100 km north of Winnipeg, 311 km from Thompson

Major sites: • The murals depicting the region’s natural beauty • Mining Town Museum • Linn Tractor Display

Major events: • Great Northern Pike Fish Derby • Lynn Lake Winter Carnival • Annual Hat Party • Lynn Lake Annual Powwow • Canada Day Celebrations


True North Adventure


nwind – touch eskers of sand and gravel crafted by the powers of retreating glaciers millennia ago; be mesmerized by the incredible northern lights; breathe the fragrant purity of the northern boreal forest; taste the delicacy of fresh pan-fried walleye; listen to the enchanting sunset calls of loons. Once you arrive in Lynn Lake, there is no mistaking that you are in Canada’s true north: free, rugged and breathtaking.

Experiencing the pristine lakes and rivers surrounded by the rugged northern boreal forest provide memories to treasure for a lifetime. Majestic wilderness in an untouched setting offers solitude and an opportunity to become one as a family, and with nature. This is the Land of Little Sticks, where spruce trees have adapted to cope with the forces of nature – the forest’s final hurrah before giving way to the barren North. Lynn Lake is the regional service centre in northwest Manitoba with a hospital, paved 5,000-foot runway, K-12 school, Manitoba Hydro, provincial conservation and transportation offices, Canada Post, local and regional RCMP services, ambulance and fire protection. Serving residents, visitors and out-of-town workers alike, the selection of businesses here includes lodges, short- and longterm accommodations; restaurants and licensed establishments;

automotive services and fuel; and a variant of stores offering groceries, general merchandise, gifts and jewellery, hardware, hunting/fishing supplies, convenience and healthcare/pharmacy. Lynn Lake is your portal to true northern adventure. Whether you are looking for a relaxing day as the only fisherman on a tranquil lake or the challenge of white water canoeing, you will find it here. Annual caribou migrations to the north, abundant moose, bear and wolf populations, extreme snowmobiling, hiking along eskers and, of course, unparalleled affordable and road-accessible sport fishing; it’s all here. u

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Population: 2,319  Getting there: West-central Manitoba across Saskatchewan River from The Pas


Slogan: “Progress and Independence” Founded: 1906

Mission: To have true Aboriginal Self-Government as determined by the people, which incorporates our cultural values and traditions and is based on our own unique history

Major events: • Trappers’ Festival, third week in February • Opaskwayak Indian Days, mid-August • Home of the OCN Blizzard Jr. “A” Hockey Club

Major sites: • Kikiwak Inn • Otineka Mall • Aseneskak Casino


Building on Success


The Paskwayak Business Development Corporation (PBDC) was founded in 1987 to promote economic development for the membership of its First Nation. The organization is run as a commercial holding company and is fully owned by members of OCN.

PBDC activities include planning and implementing business initiatives and overseeing growth of businesses, including several retail and service outlets. The organization’s leadership and vision has allowed many businesses to thrive in the area, creating a social and economic environment that is well equipped to serve new business interests. The area’s retail centre is the Otineka Mall. While originally envisioned by the Otineka Development Corporation as a community grocery store, today the complex covers 13 acres and houses stores and offices throughout its three levels. The PBDC’s newest ventures include Sports Traders, Your Dollar Store with More and the Big “E” Mart. The IGA grocery store offers the only scratch bakery in town (specializing in wedding and all other occasion cakes), a fresh meat counter and wide deli and produce selections. In addition, personalized calendars and photo greeting cards can be made here. In a corner of the mall parking lot lies another PBDC success story. The OCN Shell Gas Bar opened in November 1998. When the organization took control of the struggling business, they were told it would sell no more than four million litres of gas annually. The PBDC added pumps, space and staff, and it paid off. Today, the location sells more than eight million litres each year, and the confectionery sells more than $100,000 worth of goods annually. Sports Traders is one of the newest ventures located inside the mall and specializes in team orders and new or used sporting equipment.


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lessed with a rich heritage and strong culture, and led by a strong business development organization, the Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) has become an economic leader among Manitoba First Nations.

The Kikiwak Inn has 60 guestrooms, a pool, hot tub and exercise facilities The store also takes trades and has a full-service repair depot and offers skate sharpening in the winter. Th e Big “E” Mart is located in Big Eddy and services the people in that area with groceries and snacks. Your Dollar Store with More has many items for all age groups at a very affordable price. The Pas Food Town, which has the new name Paskwayak Convenience Store, is another convenient location. The store, located on Hogan Avenue, opened in December 1997 and is another successful PBDC business. The facility offers groceries, tobacco, produce and fresh meat and has a lottery ticket outlet. It is open seven days a week and during all holidays for the convenience of its customers. For those who have business clients travelling to OCN, there is a comfortable place to stay. The three-and-a-half star Kikiwak Inn opened in 1996 and features 60 guestrooms, a pool, hot tub, exercise facilities and a full-service restaurant and lounge. The hotel also has meeting facilities, so important business decisions can be made without even leaving the building. In addition to OCN’s economic base of retail, office space and accommodations, PBDC business Northland Redi-Mix Concrete & Gravel Operations can supply material to be used for new business construction. If you’re interested in exploring the economic opportunities that lie in OCN, call Paskwayak Business Development Corporation at 204-627-7200.  u



Rich mining history with gold discovered 98 years ago

Land of opportunity with four mineral projects and $1 billion in investment

Slogan: “Your Future is Here”

Population: 800  Getting there: Central Manitoba, Provincial Road 392

Major sites: • Manitoba Star Attraction • Mining Museum • Tramping Lake Petrographs • Wekusko Falls with suspension bridges • Numerous trails

Major events: • Ladies’ and Men’s Bonspiels, February • Winter Whoot Carnival • Snow Drifters Radar Runs


The Land of Opportunity


now Lake is the land of opportunity. With a billion dollars of investment, Snow Lake is at a key point in its history. The development of the Lalor Mine, the re-opening of the Snow Lake mine, the eminent production at the Reed mine and the construction of the world’s first bioleach remediation facility provide a powerful framework for growth. Each of these mineral development projects will bring significant revenues and jobs into the community and will triple Snow Lake’s population in the next three to five years. The town is actively engaged in building on the economic opportunity. Anticipating a surge in population, the town has already constructed a new water plant is now building a state-of-the-art waste treatment plant. Three housing subdivisions are under construction and a new industrial park has been mapped out.

Lalor Mine photo by AirScapes International Inc.

As Snow Lake grows to become a pivotal resource centre in Manitoba, akin, but admittedly smaller, to Fort McMurray in Alberta; the opportunities to explore and mine the Snow Lake Greenstone Belt will prove attractive to investors, businesses and human capital across Canada. Over the next three to five years, the Snow Lake Greenstone Belt is poised to become the home of one of Canada’s most successful mining ventures. This exciting new potential and diversified economic opportunity will build towards a successful rolledout expansion that increases jobs, strong business community and for ongoing community development and sustainability.  u

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Population: 5,513  Getting there: 630 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg

Slogan: “The Gateway to the North” Incorporated: 1912

The first name of the town was Paskoyac

Major sites: • Sam Waller Museum • Devon Park • Via Station • One of two main campuses for University College of the North

Major events: • Northern Manitoba Trappers Festival • Opasquia Indian Days


Gateway to the North


he Pas, known as the “Gateway to the North,” is located approximately 600 kilometers northwest of Winnipeg, the capital city of Manitoba. Travel and tourism opportunities abound. The region features unspoiled land with countless lakes, endless boreal forests and diverse flora and fauna. It boasts some of the most legendary fishing lakes in North America, abundant game animals, well-preserved wilderness provincial park systems and friendly northerners. Anglers are able to pit their skills against trophy lake trout, monster northern pike and succulent walleye. The area is also rich in wildlife such as moose, black bear, wolves and other smaller fur-bearing animals, with a lesser population of deer and woodland caribou. The area provides habitat for many species of waterfowl including Canada and snow geese and has an Important Birding Area designation. Clearwater Lake, well known as one of three “true blue” lakes in the world, is located approximately 25 kilometres (15 miles) northeast of the town. This lake is one of the major attractions in the area, characterized by long white beaches, a vast variety of vegetation and species of fish, an abundance of recreational opportunities and water so clear that you can see to a depth of 11 metres (36 feet). Whether you visit in the winter or summer, you will find countless activities to capture your adventurous spirit. Snowmobiling, ice-fishing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing have become favorite pastimes during the winter months. In the summer, you can enjoy pristine lakes and miles of hiking trails under the warm summer sun or an open sky of stars! The Pas region has a healthy and diversified economic base with forestry, agriculture and transportation being the major industrial pillars of the regional economy. With a 30,000-plus person trading zone, The Pas remains a regional hub for surrounding communities providing education and medical and social services. It is also a key location for commerce and retail in the region. The rich soils of the


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Saskatchewan River Delta provide the surrounding communities with some of the most productive farmlands in Western Canada. Tolko Industries is a world-class manufacturer of high performance unbleached kraft paper. The town is also home to one of the main campuses of University College of the North and has made the town a center for learning. The Pas truly is the “Gateway to the North” because it serves as a transportation hub in northern Manitoba. The town is connected to a railway system throughout northern Manitoba that provides the only land transportation connection between the Manitoba interior and Hudson Bay, an important harbour connecting North America to Europe. The Pas also serves as the highway transportation hub in northern Manitoba. Provincial Highways 10 and 60 (via 10) serve as the major transportation arteries connecting The Pas and other communities in the northwest region of the province to southern Manitoba and the U.S.. Currently, passenger services are provided by Greyhound Bus Lines and VIA Rail. Calm Air, Missinippi Airways and Bearskin Airlines provide the region with scheduled air passenger services. Let the “Gateway to the North” be your ticket to adventure! u

Lake photo by David Cobb. Museum photo by Bobak Ha’Eri / Wikimedia. Stock images: All other photos courtesy of the Town of The Pas Department of Community Development




Founded: 1956 Incorporated: 1970

Major sites: • Millennium Trail • King Miner • Norplex Pool • Spirit Way Walkway • Thompson Golf Club • Paint Lake Provincial Park

Population: 12,839  Getting there: Hwy. 6 north, 740 kilometres north of Winnipeg

Manitoba Star Attractions: • Heritage North Museum • Pisew Falls • Spirit Way Walkway

Major events: • Nickel Days, June 20 to 23 • National Aboriginal Days, June 21 • Canada Day, July 1 • Concerts in the Park, Fridays 12:00 noon July & August • Health and Leisure Mart, Sept. 6 & 7


The Boreal City

Statue photo by Jasonbook99 / Wikimedia. Scenic photos: rights managed by Thompson Unlimited, © Larry Hall


hompson, Man. is a city of many experiences. Nestled in the boreal forest, 730 kilometres north of the province’s capital city, Winnipeg, it is the home of mystery country where Aboriginal peoples historically have lived and hunted for centuries. The beauty of its pristine rivers and lakes is evident from the air making way for endless recreational activities for all ages and all people in all seasons.

Fishing, swimming, boating, hunting, skiing and endless snowmobile trails are just some of what the area has to offer. Walk or bike the Millennium Trail, geocache for the wolves throughout the city and admire the largest lit mural in the world. Camp at McCreedy Campground, Paint Lake or Setting Lake Campgrounds and be in awe of the mysterious call of the loon. Visit our three Manitoba Star Attractions – Heritage North Museum, Spirit

Way and the picturesque Pisew Falls or, on a clear night, watch the aurora borealis (northern lights) dance across the night sky. Thompson is also a city of celebrations. Enjoy live music, traditional games, a feast and a square dance competition at National Aboriginal Days; come for Nickel Days and see the parade, King Miner Contest, fireworks, the midway and concerts; celebrate Canada Day and Folklorama or just enjoy the Concerts in the Park series. Economically, Thompson is also a land of unlimited opportunities for developers, investors and entrepreneurs with the new acquisition of three parcels of land, zoned residential to industrial, totalling nearly 152 acres.

of services and products for everyone. It is Manitoba’s largest city offering a northern experience you won’t want to miss! u


NEWLY RENOVATED! Inviting you to enjoy: • FREE Breakfast • FREE Movies • FREE High-speed Wireless Internet • Sauna, Fitness Centre, & Hot Tub • Earn Lakeview Perks® Points

Affectionately known as the Hub of the North, Thompson is a regional service centre for northern Manitoba, offering a variety


70 Thompson Drive N

ph: 204.778.8879 | 1.877.355.3500

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Lodges, Accommodations and Services Listing Churchill Adventure Walking Tours Ph: 204-675-2147 Fax: 204-675-2103 Nature hikes, birdwatching Arctic Trading Company Ph: 204-675-8804 Fax: 204-675-2164 Canadian indigenous art Aurora Inn Ph: 204-675-2071 Toll free: 1-888-840-1344 Spacious suites Bear Country Inn Ph: 204-675-8299 26 cosy rooms, courtesy van Bear’s Den B&B Ph: 204-675-2556 Blue Sky Bed & Sled Ph: 204-675-2001 Dog sledding/B&B Boreal Projects Ltd. Ph: 204-675-8866 July and August by appointment

Churchill Wild Ph: 204-377-5090 Toll free: 1-888-UGO-WILD (846-9453) Remote fly-in eco-lodge

Northern Nights Lodge Ph: 204-675-2403


Parks Canada Ph: 204-675-8863

Churchill Wilderness Encounter Ph: 204-675-2248

Pizza by the Bay Ph: 204-675-8262

Cormorant Lakeshore Guesthouse Ph: 204-357-2218 (evenings)

Dymond Lake Outfitters Toll free: 1-888-WEBBERS (932-2377) Remote fly-in fishing and hunting packages

Polar Bear B&B Ph: 204-675-2819

Eskimo Museum Ph: 204-675-2030 Great White Bear Tours Ph: 204-675-2781 Toll free: 1-866-765-8344 Gypsy’s Bakery Ph: 204-675-2322 Fax: 204-675-2413 Hudson Bay Helicopters Ph: 204-675-2576 Helicopter charters and tours Hudson Bay Port Company Ph: 204-675-8823

Calm Air International LP Ph: 204-778-6471 or 1-800-839-2256 Fax: 204-778-6954 Charters, air service in Manitoba/Nunavut

Iceberg Inn Ph: 204-675-2228 8 rooms, Sears outlet

Caskey B&B Ph: 204-675-2962

Lazy Bear Lodge & Café Ph: 204-675-2969 Toll free: 1-866-OUR-BEAR Lodging, dining and tours

Churchill Arctic Travel Ph: 204-675-2811 Toll free: 1-800-267-5128 Churchill Chamber of Commerce Ph: 204-675-2022 Toll free: 1-888-389-2327 Churchill Motel Ltd. Ph: 204-675-8853 Fax: 204-675-8228 26 rooms, shuttle service


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Kivalliq Air Ph: 204-675-2086 Toll free: 1-877-855-1500

Nanuk Entertainment Ph: 204-675-2303 North Star Tours Ltd. Ph: 204-675-2356 Northern Ph: 204-675-8891 Northern Images Ph: 204-675-2681

Polar Cinema Ph: 204-675-8452 Polar Inn & Suites Ph: 204-675-8878 Toll free: 1-877-765-2742 Sea North Tours Ph: 204-675-2195 Fax: 204-675-2198 www.seanorthtours.coms Tour boat/snorkeling Seaport Hotel Ph: 204-675-8807 Fax: 204-675-2795 21 rooms/licensed dining Tamarack Rentals Ph: 204-675-2192 Vehicle rentals The Tundra Buggy® Adventure Toll free: 1-800-663-9832 Fax: 204-667-1051 Tundra Inn Ph: 204-675-8831 Toll free: 1-800-265-8563 Fax: 204-675-2764 Vera’s B&B Ph: 204-675-2544 Wapusk Adventures & General Store Ph: 204-675-2887 Fax: 204-675-8042 Dog sledding/souvenirs and gifts Via Rail Toll free: 1-888-842-7245 Wat’chee Lodge Ltd. Ph: 204-675-2114 Winter wildlife viewing

Cranberry Portage Caribou Lodge Ph: 204-472-3351 Constables Lakeside Lodge Ph: 204-472-3241 (summer or winter) Cranberry Portage Park Ph: 204-472-3219 Northern Spirit Lodge Ph: 204-472-3285 Tonepah Lodge Ph: 204-472-3372 Viking Lodge Ph: 204-472-3337 index.htm

Flin Flon Aberdeen Lodge Ph: 204-687-0495 (summer) or 204-623-6710 (winter) Amigo’s Pizza and Tacos Ph: 204-687-6241 Bakers Narrows Lodge Ph: 1-866-603-6390 Bearskin Airlines Ph: 204-687-8941 Calm Air International LP Ph: 204-778-6471 or 1-800-839-2256 Fax: 204-778-6954 Charters, air service in Manitoba/Nunavut Chicken Chef Ph: 204-687-3779

Donut King Ph: 204-687-8522

Subway Ph: 204-687-5558

Grand Rapids

Leaf Rapids

Flin Flon Station Museum Ph: 204-687-2946

Victoria Inn Ph: 204-687-7555 Fax: 204-687-5233

ET Trucking Service Inc. Ph: 204-639-2386

Centre Auto Ph: 204-473-8116

G.R. Consumer’s Co-op Ph: 204-639-2434

Churchill River Lodge & Outfitters Ph: 204-473-2362 403-932-1237 Accommodations, boat rentals, gas

Friendship Center Restaurant Ph: 204-687-4525

Wings over Kississing Ph: 204-687-8247

Gateway Drive-In Ph: 204-687-4338


Grand Rapids Esso Ph: 204-639-2459 Open 24 hours, gas, diesel, garage, towing, restaurant, etc.

Greenstone CFDC Ph: 204-687-6967 Fax: 204-687-4456

ACE Gillam Bed & Breakfast Ph: 1-888-286-0433 204-652-2623 (Seasonal)

Grand Rapids Taxi Ph: 204-639-2338

Hong Kong Restaurant Ph: 204-687-4941 Kelsey Dining Room Ph: 204-687-7555

ACE Wilderness Guiding Service Ph: 1-888-286-0433 204-383-5628 (seasonal)

Grey Goose Bus Lines Ph: 204-639-2459 Hilltop Cabins Ph: 204-639-2380

KFC Ph: 204-687-6078

Aurora Gardens Motel Ph: 204-652-6554 Motel and restaurant

Hobbs Resort Ph: 204-639-2266

Mike’s Ice N Burger Hut Ph: 204-687-8600

Doug’s Lodge Ph: 204-652-2259

King’s Boat Repair Ph: 204-639-2279

Missinipi Airways Ph: 204-687-8000

Fox River Outfitters Ph: 204-652-6441

Manitoba Hydro Ph: 204-639-4138

Mugsys Café & Deli Ph: 204-687-7676

Gillam Air Services Ltd. Ph: 204-652-2109

Moak Lodge Campground Ph: 204-739-2669

Oreland Motel Ph: 204-687-3467

Gillam Co-op Ltd. Ph: 204-652-2661

Paradise Lodge Ph: 204-687-8175 (summer) or 204-687-3070 (winter)

Gillam Motor Inn Ph: 204-652-2670 Lucky’s tavern, licensed

Phantom Lake Golf Club Ph: 306-688-5555 Fax: 306-688-3104

Monkman Outfitters Ph: 204-444-4025

Pizza Hut Express Ph: 204-687-8522 Royal Ribs & Steakhouse and the Royal Hotel Ph: 204-687-3437

Town of Gillam Ph: 204-652-3150 Trapper’s Shack Ph: 204-652-2160 Via Rail Canada Inc. Ph: 1-888-842-7245

Misipawistik Cree Nation Ph: 204-639-2219 Fax: 204-639-2503 Northbrook Inn Ph: 204-639-2380 Pelican Landing Restaurant Ph: 204-639-2184 Pelican Landing Gasbar Ph: 204-639-2402 Town of Grand Rapids Ph: 204-639-2260 Fax: 204-639-2475

Consumer Co-op Ph: 204-473-2411 Groceries, hardware, clothing, appliances, furniture Fields Ph: 204-473-2783 Department store G’s Place Ph: 204-473-2754 Gold Cook Ol’ Man’s Restaurant Ph: 204-473-8276 Grey Goose Ph: 204-473-2754 King’s Health & Variety Ph: 204-473-8111 Lakeland Air Service Ph: 204-473-2963 Leaf Rapids Community Development Corporation (LRCDC) Ph: 204-473-2978 Social and economic development, apartment rentals, housing sales, small business loans Leaf Rapids Education Centre Ph: 204-473-2403 Leaf Rapids Health Centre Ph: 204-473-2441 Leaf Rapids National Exhibition Centre Ph: 204-473-8682

Full Lotto Service – Cosmetics – Home Health Care Carlton Greeting Cards – Toys – Boxed Chocolates Baby Care – Health and Beauty Aids Visit us online at

Otineka Mall, Opaskwayak, The Pas, MB Fax: 623-2812 Monday – Wednesday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thursday / Friday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Pharmacist – Warren Hicks: 623-5150 PRESCRIPTION ORDERS: 623-2381 AFTER-HOURS EMERGENCY: 623-6588 Compliance Pill Paks upon request

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 


Leaf Rapids Public Library Ph: 204-473-2742

Connie’s Jewellery & Gifts Ph: 204 356-2961

Leaf Rapids Town Properties (LRTP) Ph: 204-473-8118

Corner Pocket Billiards Lounge & Hall Ph: 204 356-2572

Leaf Rapids Youth Centre Ph: 204-473-8861

Crazy Horse Bar Ph: 204 356-2433

Natural Resources Ph: 204-473-8113

Gloewen Enterprises Ph: 204 356-8511 Propane distributor Guiding, cabin boat rentals

Town of Leaf Rapids Ph: 204-473-2436

Grand Slam Lodge Ph: 204 356-8648 (winter) 306 758-3188 (summer)

Wistoba Connection, LLC Ph: 608-356-0243 Ph: 202-473-8837 Vacation rental, fully furnished, fishing, family fun, wildlife, boating, golf, hunting/outfitters

Grey Owl Outfitters Ph: 204 356-8403

Yves Plumbing and Heating Ph: 204-473-8837

Halstead Motors Ph: 204 356-2703

Lynn Lake Bearskin Airlines 1 800 465-2327 Seasonal service to Lynn Lake The Bronx Ph: 204 356-2471 Housekeeping suites, cable Cat Train Tours Ph: 204 356-8845 Fax: 204 356-8845 Clarke’s Health and Variety Ph: 204 356-2572

Laurie River Lodge Ph: 1-800 426-2533 Lynn Inn Ph: 204 356-2433 Fax: 204 356-8780 25 rooms/suites, licensed Lynn Lake Air Service Ph: 204 356-8805 Lynn Lake Airport Ph: 204 356-2900 or 204 356-8552 Flight/air service information

Lynn Lake Esso Ph: 204 356-8692 Fax: 204 356-8259 Lynn Lake Fly-In Ph: 1-800 700-3807 Outpost Camps Lynn Lake Friendship Centre Ph: 204 356-2407 Lynn Lake Mining Museum Ph: 204 356-8302 Lynn Lake Video Ph: 204 356-8051 DVD, VHS video and game rentals, gift shop Northern Store Ph: 204 356-2272 Groceries, retail Nueltin Fly-in Lodge Ph: 204 356-8805

ith clean lakes speckling the landscape and pristine rivers meandering throughout the area, the Lynn Lake area is home to some of Canada’s biggest trout, pike and pickerel. And, with rolling eskers and

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013

Wilderness Gardens Outfitters Ph: 204 356-2758 Wings Over Kississing Tel: 204 356-2498 Fax: 204 356-2499 Wolverine Lodge Ph: 760 770-0810 320 732-6843

Norway House Anderson Car Wash & Store Ph: 204-359-4270 Anderson Towing Ph: 204-359-4296

Sanche Hardware Ph: 204 356-2428 Fax: 204 356-8066

Apetagon’s Ph: 204-359-6696 Gas/propane

Town of Lynn Lake/ Lynn Lake Campground Ph: 204 356-2418

Chicken Chef Ph: 204-359-6646 Fort Island Auto Group Ph: 204-359-6503 Low’s Family Foods Ph: 204-359-6689

the untamed northern boreal forest making up rest of the landscape, the majestic beauty of Nature in every glance will exceed your imagination. Local lodges offer a wide range of services and free camping is available at two road-accessible campgrounds complete with boat launches. But if you can’t wait until summer to visit, there are winter tourism operators and outfitters awaiting your patronage, along with welcoming snowmobile trails providing access to lakes and vistas throughout the area. Whatever your outdoors pleasure, Lynn Lake awaits ‘At the end of the road.’

Brochures: Call 204 356-2418 or visit 60 

Transwest Air Ph: 204 356-2457 Fax: 204 356-8018 Charter air service

Rte. 391 Bar & Grill Ph: 204 356-8050 Fine dining, lounge with VLTs

See for yourself why Lynn Lake is the Sportfishing Capital of Manitoba


Transit service Lynn Lake-Thompson Ph: 204 356-8307 Thrice weekly return trips to Thompson

Northern Ph: 204-359-6258 Norway House Community Council Ph: 204-359-6719 Norway House Co-op Ph: 204-359-4633 Gas bar Norway House Cree Nation Ph: 204-359-6786 Norway House Riverside Outdoor Adventures Ph: 204-359-4444 or 1-877-778-4447 Perimeter Aviation Ph: 204-359-6311 Playgreen Inn Ph: 204-359-6321 16 rooms, beverage room

Riverside Restaurant Ph: 204-359-4866 Skyward Aviation Ph: 204-359-4900 Super Video World Ph: 204-359-6089 York Boat Inn Ph: 204-359-6550 Fax: 204-359-6444 32 rooms, cable TV

Opaskwayak Cree Nation Aseneskak Casino Ph: 204-627-2250 or 1-877-627-2267 Kikiwak Inn Ph: 204-623-1800 or 1-888-545-4925 Opaskwayak Cree Nation Ph: 204-627-7100 Otineka Mall Ph: 204-627-7230

Snow Lake Angilina’s Pizza Ph: 204-358-2611 Bartlett’s Fishing Camp Ph: 204-358-2383 Bluenose Bed & Breakfast 107 Cherry Street 204-358-7305 Email Website http://web. Bluenosebb/Home.html Burntwood Lake Lodge Ph: 204-358-7114

Diamond Willow Inn and Willow House Ph: 204-358-2842

Wekusko Falls Lodge 204-358-2341 toll free 877-358-2341

Franal’s Snow Lake Service Ph: 204-358-2325

Wekusko Falls Provincial Campground Ph: 204-358-2521 1-888-482-2267

Gogal Air Service Ph: 204-358-2259 H.D. Central Express 100 Elm St. Ph: 204-358-9743 Giftware, aesthetics, and bus freight Lakeshore Bed & Breakfast Ph: 204-358-6501 Main Street Laundromat Ph: 204-358-9797 Manitoba Star Attraction Mining Museum Ph: 204-358-7867 Multicrete Concrete Hwy. 392 Tyler: 204-358-0135 Northern Mist Wild Rice Ph: 204-358-2131 Snow Lake Art Gallery Ph: 204-358-2533 Snow Lake Golf Club Ph: 204-358-2744 Snow Lake Home Building Centre Ph: 204-358-2343 Fax: 204-358-2770 Snow Lake Motor Inn Ph: 204-358-2331 Fax: 204-358-7449 11 rooms, dining, licensed

Chell’s Sled Shed 204-358-7911

Sunset Bay Bed & Breakfast 204-358-2145 or 358-0065 or 358-0071 Email:

Clovelly Lakeshore Apartments Ph: 204-358-2846

Sweet Nothings Florist & Giftware Ph: 204-358-7659

Connie’s Taxi Ph: 204-358-2933 Fax: 204-358-2004

Tawow Lodge Ph: 204-358-2485

Cornerview Family Foods Ph: 204-358-2928 Fax: 204-358-2055

Town of Snow Lake Ph: 204-358-2551

Pizza Hut Express Ph: 204-623-7888 Fax: 204-623-3055 Pyrgos Ph: 204-623-2250 Subway Ph: 204-623-7827

For further information, contact the community development officer at 204-358-7630 or

Taavi’s Grill Ph:204-623-5846

The Pas

Venus Ristorante & Pizzeria Ph: 204-623-6673 Fax: 204-623-3615

The Pas Visitor Information Centre Ph: 204-623-7268 Town of The Pas Ph: 204-627-1112

Places to Eat A&W Restaurant Ph: 204-623-2246 Burger King Ph: 204- 623-6440 Dairy Queen Ph: 204-623-6249 Dutch Drive In Ltd. Ph: 204-623-3721 Fax: 204-623 5111 Drive-in restaurant, chicken, fish, shrimp, ice cream, burgers, home style chips Fat Boy Restaurant Ph: 204-623-6322 Golden Star Chinese Food Ph: 204-623-7879 Fax: 204-623 4008 Good Thymes Restaurant & Bar Ph: 204-623-2412 Fax: 204-623 4008 KFC Ph: 204-623-2120 Fax: 204-623 3712 McDonald’s Ph: 204-687-7409 Miss The Pas Ph: 204-623-3130 Mr. Ribs Ph: 204-623-4888 Fax: 204-623-6475 New Hawaiian Ph: 204-623-3555

The Pas Billiards Ph: 204-623-3670

Wescana Inn Ph: 204-623-5446

Places to Stay Super 8 Motels Ph: 204-623-1888 or 1-800-800-8000 Fax: 204-623-4488 Indoor pool/waterslide, free breakfast, computer ports, conference room, WC access Wescana Inn Ph: 204-623-5446 Fax: 204-623-3383 Full service, dining room, lounge, VLTs, cable TV, sauna, laundry room. CAA approved. WC access La Verendrye Motel Ph: 204-623-3431 Fax: 204-623-6873 Golden Arrow Motel Ph: 204-623-5451 Fax: 204-623-5457 Rooms 39.95 single or double. “A clean, quiet place to stay” Carpenters Clearwater Lodge Ph: 204-624-5467 Fax: 204-624-5606 TV, convention/banquet facilities, games room, beach, boats, motors Evergreen Resort Ph: 204-624-5750 Fax: 204-623-4686 Cabin rental, hunting and fishing New Vickery Lodge Ph: 1-888-624-5429 Fax: 204-624-5429 Full service, drive-in, guides, store, hunting, fishing. Open May-October

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 


Watchi Bay B&B Ph:204-623-4548 M&M Outfitters Ph: 204-623-5514 River Country Outfitters Ph: 204-623-2212

Things to Do Halcrow Lake Golf & Country Club Ph: 204-627-2300 Sam Waller Museum Ph: 204-623-3802 Fax: 204-623-5506 Small admission fee; admission by donation on Wednesdays Christ Church & Devon Mission Tours Ph: 204-623–2119 Tolko Pulp & Paper Mill Ph: 204-623-8659 Tours during the summer Trappers’ Festival Headquarters Ph: 204-623-2912 Lido Theather Ph: 204-623-3861 L&M Sports Excellence Ph: 204-623-3000 White Feather Ph: 204-623-5695 Funky Threadz Ph: 204-623-6789 Lyet’s Coffee Ph: 204-623-7996 Shane’s Music Ph: 204-623-5836 Pete’s Pro Tackle Ph: 204-623-5105


Custom Helicopters Ltd. Ph: 204-677-3720

A&W Ph: 204-778-6500 Fax: 204-677-9182 Fast food, burgers, chicken

Days Inn & Suites Ph: 204-778-6000 or 1-800-DAYS-INN Fax: 204-778-6999

Adventurers North Dining Room Ph: 204-677-3662

Domino’s Pizza (204) 677-4567

Baaco Pizza Ph: 204-778-4444 Fax: 204-677-8630 Lounge, pizza/pasta Bankside Bar & Billiards Ph: 204-677-0101 Fax: 204-677-0103 Best Western 204-778-8887 Boston Pizza Ph: 204-677-0111 Fax: 204-677-4411 Burntwood Curling Club Ph: 204-677-2580 Burntwood Hotel Ph: 204-677-4551 Fax: 204-778-6219 Indoor pool/waterslide, whirlpool suites, hot tub, newly renovated, lounge Calm Air International LP Ph: 204-778-6471 or 1-800-839-2256 Fax: 204-778-6954 Charters, air service in Manitoba/Nunavut Chicken Chef Ph: 204-677-2331 Fax: 204-778-6499 Family restaurant City of Thompson Ph: 204-677-7910

Berna Dean Ph: 204-623-5426

City of Thompson Recreation Centre Ph: 204-677-7952

Watier Jewellers Ph: 204-623-2442

Cliff’s Taxi Ph: 204-677-2543

Jane’s Craft Store 204-623-1620

Cruisin’ Chicken City Centre Mall Ph: 204-778-8438

R.A.G. Ltd. 204-623-6151


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013

Corner Deli Ph: 204-677-3997 Fax: 204-778-5145

Driftwood Nickel City Taxi Ph: 204-677-6000 Enterprise Rent-A-Car 93 Commercial Place Ph: 204-778-3111 Flight Aviation Services Ph: 204-677-4920 Fax: 204-778-5917 Airport Grapes Grill & Bar Ph: 204-677-3333 Interior Inn Ph: 204-778-5535 Fax: 204-778-6658 54 rooms, queen-size beds, doubles, suites coffee, cable, Internet access, fridge/ microwave available Greyhound Canada Ph: 204-677-0360 Ph: 204-778-5037 Fax: 204-677-0370 Bus charters, regular bus service Heritage North Museum Inc. Ph: 204-677-2216 Fax: 204-677-8953 Hub of the North Ph: 204-778-5630 Fax: 204-778-7897 Full-service restaurant/lounge, Greek, lunch/dinner Hudson Bay Railway Ph: 204-778-6253 KFC Ph: 204-677-4664 Fax: 204-778-4069 Fast food, chicken Lakeview Inn & Suites Ph: 204-778-8879 Fax: 204-677-3225 Suites, pets allowed

Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre Ph: 204-677-0950 Fax: 204-677-0970 Hostel, aboriginal services, kitchen-restaurant McCreedy Campground Ph: 204-679-6315 Camping & RV storage McDonald’s Restaurants Ph: 204-778-7779 Fax: 204-778-6101 Fast food, burger chain Meridian Hotel Ph: 204-778-8387 Fax: 204-677-4087 1-800-565-2401 Free parking, rooms with or without meal plan, 41 modern rooms Millennium Trail Ph: 204-677-7952 Multi Culture Centre Ph: 204-677-3981 Fax: 204-677-3980 Mystery Country Lodge & Outposts Ph: 1-888-246-9749 Mystery Lake Motor Hotel Ph: 204-778-8331 Fax: 204-778-4193 Bar, microwaves, VCRs, laundry room, and exercise room Mystery Mountain Winter Park Ph: 204-778-8624 Ski hill, rentals, lessons, x-country, snowtubing, chalet National Car Rental 40 Station Road Ph: 204-677-2312 NC Crossroad Lanes Ph: 204-677-4415 Norplex Swimming Pool Ph: 204-677-7963 North Knife Lake Lodge 1-888-WEBBERS Remote fly-in fishing packages North Star Taxi Ph: 204-778-3333

Brian Taylor Photography

Photographer Brian Taylor captured the excitement of Canada Day in Thompson in 2012. To see more of his photographs, visit Northern Flavours Ph: 204-677-8281

Riverview Restaurant Ph: 204-677-2525

Northern Inn & Steak House Ph: 204-778-6481 Fax: 204-778-7601

Robin’s Donuts Ph: 204-677-4444

Northern Lights Bed & Breakfast Ph: 204-677-4111 Fax: 204-677-8027 7 rooms, 2 common rooms, 2 kitchens Paint Lake Provincial Park Ph: 1-888-482-2267 Campground, beach Paint Lake Resort & Marina Ph: 204-677-9303 Fax: 204-677-5573 Cabins, restaurant, bar, patio, boat launch Perimeter Aviation Ph: 204-778-5924 or 1-888-917-2555 Airport Pizza Hut Ph: 204-677-7888 Pizza, lunch buffet Popeyes Ph: 204-677-5575 Homemade burgers/fries Seasonal business Regal Beagle Ph: 204-677-4551 Fax: 204-778-6219

Santa Maria Pizza & Spaghetti House Ph: 204-778-7331 Take out, delivery Sasagiu Rapids Lodge Ph: 204-677-9351 Conference facilities, wheelchair accessible, out-post camps, guides, hunting, fishing Shinook’s Bed & Breakfast Ph: 204-677-3563 Strand Theatre Ph: 204-677-8301 Subway Ph: 204-677-2222 Fax: 204-677-2222 Fast food, subs, sandwiches, soup

Thompson Golf Club, Club House Ph: 204-677-3250 Thompson Golf Club Pro Shop Ph: 204-778-5537 Thompson Inn Ph: 204-677-2371 Fax: 204-778-8442 Cable TV, queen-size beds, a/c, Thompson Public Library 204-677-3717 Thompson Trading Post Ph: 204-677-2026 Fax: 204-675-2164 Thompson Unlimited 204-677-1900 1-866-965-3386 Thompson Zoo Ph: 204-677-7982

Suburban Hotel 204-677-5600

Tim Hortons Ph: 204-677-8467

Taco Time 50 Selkirk Ave.

Tom’s Restaurant & Pizza Place Ph: 204-677-1999

Thompson Cabs (1987) Ltd. Ph: 204-677-6262

Tourism North

Thompson Chamber of Commerce Ph: 204-677-4155 or 1-888-307-0103 Fax: 204-677-3434

Trappers Tavern Ph: 204-778-8331

Via Rail Canada Ph: 204-677-2241 or 1-888-842-7245 Train service in Manitoba Wawatay Inn Ph: 204-677-1000 Webber’s Lodges/ Dymond Lake Outfitters Ph: 204-377-5090 1-888-WEBBERS Remote fly-in fishing and hunting packages Wings Over Kississing Ph: 204-778-8225 1-888-668-3822 Wong’s Asian Bistro Ph: 204-778-8880 Wonton Place Ph: 204-778-5578 Fax: 204-778-6648 Chinese food YWCA of Thompson Ph: 204-778-6341 Fax: 204-778-5308 Women’s shelter

Vale Canada Limited Ph: 204-778-2211

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013 



Explore the rich heritage of the Town of The Pas on the banks of the historic Saskatchewan River. Experience the eclectic collection of Mr. Sam Waller.

TO ADVERTISERS Allbutt Mining Supplies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 The Asham Stompers . . . . . . . . . . Cover 2 (Inside Front Cover)

306 Fischer Avenue The Pas Manitoba Open daily 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Summer hours 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Calm Air International LP. . . . . . Cover 4 (Outside Back Cover) Canadian Tire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Historic Walking Tours available Web: Phone: 204-623-3802

Manitoba Star Attraction

Crane Steel Structures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Your Propane Specialists In Northern Manitoba

Eric Robinson, MLA for Kewatinook. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 GFL Environmental West Corporation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7


Hudbay Minerals Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Thompson Snow Lake Churchill Flin Flon The Pas

Hugh Munro Construction Ltd.. . . . Cover 3 (Inside Back Cover)

(204) 677-2304 (204) 358-2530 (204) 675-2645 (204) 687-3493 (204) 623-3493

Indianheart Creations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Keewatin Air . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Lakeview Inn & Suites. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Major Drilling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Manitoba Hydro. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Mayer Dearman Pellizzaro. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 McKeen’s Trucking Service Limited. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 MLA for the Flin Flon Constituency – Clarence Pettersen . . . . 40 MLA for The The Pas Constituency – Frank Whitehead. . . . . . . 40 Nature 1st / Adventure Walking Tours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Parks Canada. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Paskwayak Business Development Corporation Ltd. / Otineka Mall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Perimeter Aviation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Polar Industries Ltd.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Sam Waller Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Stittco Energy Ltd.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Super 8 Motel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Super Thrifty. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 The Town of Gillam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Town of Grand Rapids. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Town of Lynn Lake. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 University College of the North. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 USW Local 6166 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Wings Over Kississing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Workers Compensation Board. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 YWCA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2013

F p s c

• • • • •

H e H t


“More Than An Earth Moving Experience!” Founded in 1959, Hugh Munro Construction Ltd. provides excavation and heavy construction services. HMC operates as a heavy construction contractor specializing in: • Aggregate Processing • Base Laying • Drilling and Blasting • Equipment and Material Hauling • Fibre-optic Cable Laying • Flood Expertise and Recovery • Heavy Equipment Repair • Seal Coating • Sewer and Water • Site Excavation • Surface Treatment Hugh Munro Construction Ltd. services government entities, utility companies and commercial developers. HMC has substantial bonding capacity available for tendered projects.


HIGHWAY #207 BOX 185, R.R. #5 WINNIPEG, MB R2C 2Z2

Toll-free: 1-800-665-1920 Fax: 204-224-9212


to Partnering with Aboriginal Communities and Sharing Project ownership with our Aboriginal Partners

Northern Experience 1 2013  

Northern Experience Issue 1 2013

Northern Experience 1 2013  

Northern Experience Issue 1 2013