|The Cutting Edge|
|By Travel Manitoba | October 3 2011 (2 Comments)|
What does pumpkin bisque, fescue prairie, prescribed burns, picnic shelters and Baba's have in common?
They were all experiences that were part of Travel Manitoba's new Cutting Edge Experiential Tourism Training Program. Held in the Riding Mountain are October 17-20, a diverse group of 23 of Manitoba's tourism industry partners came together and learned what experiential tourism is and what it could mean for their community.
Led by Dr. Nancy Arsenault of the Tourism Cafe and Celes Davar of Earth Rhythms we embarked on an intense three and half days of in-class learning and hands-on experiences. We got right into the learning the first evening with introductions and activities.
Day two saw us heading out to Lake Audy where we were joined by Angela Spooner, Peter Sinkins and Reade Tereck of Parks Canada. Peter, a botanist, showed us how to identify native fescue prairie species which we put to use when we did a species count in a square meter section of the bison enclosure. Reade, the resident fire ranger, explained the intricacies that go into a prescribed burn and the benefits of these burns on native species. We were even able to put these into action when we started out own mini grass fire with "pings". Angela, who looks after the bison herd, then tied in how the bison depend on the area and how the efforts of her counterparts are helping to keep the area bison-habitable. We wrapped up the road trip with a great lunch of bison stew, biscuits, greens and berry crumble prepared and served by local chef Nadia Kuhl of Harvest Sun Catering. We ended our first day of learning with local chefs Tyler Kaktins of Sparrows Bakery in Clear Lake and Vaughn Barkman of Siesta Cafe in Wasagaming leading us through making pumpkin bisque in four easy steps.
The third day was an intense in-class day that covered many topics that make up experiential tourism and tied them together with what we have been talking about in class and seeing on-site during the experiences. That night we trucked on down highway 10 to Dauphin where we met our Baba's. These friendly women helped us to make our own paska bread that we got to bring home with us. Then we learned how to polka with musical support from the Ukrainian band and dined on a great smorgasbord of Ukrainian food. As we left, we were presented certificates naming us honorary Dauphin Ukrainians.
Thursday was a shorter, but no less intense day where we tied together the learning from the past few days, began developing an action plan and had one last experience. Dean Gunnarson, the World's Greatest Escape Artist, stopped in to talk to us about gems that are right in our backyards and how to use them to their fullest advantage. We saw Dean perform a couple of tricks and then got to do one ourselves, proving there is a little bit of magic in each of us.
Some topics that were covered during the in-class portions of the program were:
We're already in the process of finalizing things for the next Cutting Edge program that is being held in Winnipeg January 16-19. Registration information will be out in early November via the TI Web and the Tourism Daily News.
"Overall, I was not only surprised by the amount of information I gathered and the usefulness of it but also surprised by how really simple experiential travel product can be and still be of great value to our visitors, our operators and our communities. Value added for sure!" - quote from Corrina on the program.
Be sure to check out some of the great photos of the experiences on our Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/#!/TobaThinkTeam.
|Categories: culinary | experiential tourism | outdoor adventure | parkland | partnerships/collaboration | tourism industry initiatives|
|Tags: experiential | culinary | education | training|
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