Great Canadians know great Canadian escapes

VANCOUVER, April 29 /CNW/ - A host of Olympians from Canada's 2010 Olympic Winter Games including skier Alexandre Bilodeau, figure skater Joannie Rochette and hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser have banded together with such figures as vocalist Keshia Chante, Glee's Cory Monteith and Chef Michael Smith as Canada's local tourism ambassadors.

Each shares their ultimate "gold medal getaway" on the Canadian Tourism Commission's (CTC) site to help Canadians find deals and inspire them to explore their country this summer. All Canadians are invited to find inspiration and vote on their top "gold medal getaway" for a chance to win a flight package and create a winning getaway of their own.

"The campaign focuses on the unexpected - encouraging Canadians to seek out new and exotic experiences they didn't know existed," said Michele McKenzie, the CTC's president and CEO. "Canada's Games have offered us the opportunity to identify with our country in a deeper and more meaningful way. Who better to inspire Canadians to get out there and explore than our iconic 2010 Olympic heroes?"

"Tourism is vitally important to our economy and we are pleased by the success of the CTC's domestic marketing campaign to date," said the Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism). "Through the LOCALS KNOW initiative, the CTC is helping to inspire Canadians to explore new areas of this beautiful country and moreover, helping to boost local economies by keeping our hard-earned dollars at home. We look forward to even greater success during 2010."

Here are just a few "gold medal getaways" from our team of inspiring Canadians including their favourite places to stay, places to eat and things to do:

Alexandre Bilodeau, 2010 Olympic Gold Medalist, Freestyle Skiing - Men's Moguls: "My Gold Medal Itinerary would be in Victoria, British Columbia. I visited when I was young and the ocean was amazing. I went there recently for training and went cycling, road biking, surfing and played hockey all in the same place, which is great."

Cory Monteith, Actor, Glee (TV series): "Vancouver is my idea of a Gold Medal Experience. Late in the snowboarding season (in April), if the weather is just right, you can snowboard in a T-shirt at Cypress in the morning, only a half hour from downtown. You can then be on Kits Beach by the early afternoon. And finishing up the day with awesome sushi at The Eatery never hurt anyone!"

Clara Hughes, Olympic Medal-Winning Speed Skater and Cyclist: "My absolute favourite place in Canada is the north. The most epic and satisfying trip I've ever done was a bike tour of the Dempster Highway through the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, starting close to Dawson City and all the way up to Inuvik. I wish all Canadians could see that part of Canada because it is so beautiful."

Jon Montgomery, 2010 Olympic Gold Medallist, Skeleton: "My Gold Medal Itinerary is to go home to Russell, Manitoba. We love going to Riding Mountain National Park which is about an hour away from Russell and my folks have a cabin there."

To view more "gold medal getaways":

Create your own "Gold Medal" getaways!

The Canadian Tourism Commission is giving Canadians a chance to win big. From April 28 to June 20, 2010, Canadians can visit and vote for their favourite Great Canadian "Gold Medal Getaway" for a chance to win a grand prize of eight round-trip flights to any Canadian destination*.


LOCALS KNOW, a national, integrated advertising campaign (print, magazine, TV and online), was launched by the CTC and Canada's tourism industry on June 1, 2009. It was recognized by as one of the top ten travel campaigns in the world. The CTC has invested $10 million per year in 2009 and 2010 to support the domestic tourism industry and stimulate Canada's economy. The campaign has been made possible thanks to special stimulus funding from the Government of Canada.

About the CTC

The CTC is Canada's national tourism marketing organization. Our vision is inspiring the world to explore Canada. With our partners in the tourism industry and the governments of Canada, the provinces and the territories, we advertise and market Canada in 12 countries around the world, conduct industry research and studies, and promote product and industry development. For regular updates on CTC initiatives, subscribe to CTC News, available through RSS feeds and by e-mail.

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    DATE OF FEED:   Thursday April 29, 2010
    TIME OF FEED:   1100 - 1130 ET
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    TIME OF POSTING:   11:00 am ET
    DATE OF POSTING:   Thursday April 29, 2010

* Prize: eight round-trip flights to any Canadian WestJet destination for one lucky winner. The Canadian travel industry has united to offer fantastic summer vacation deals, including 1000s of great local day trips. For great deals and to find out more, visit

SOURCE Canadian Tourism Commission

For further information: For further information: Keka DasGupta, Director, DDB Public Relations, Tel (416) 972-7727,; Kelly Laver, Corporate Communications Coordinator, Canadian Tourism Commission, Tel (604) 638-8439,

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