Liz Fleming, Editor-In-Chief, Cruise & Travel Lifestyles Magazine

 Happy Birthday Canada! We’re proud to salute you with this very special issue of Cruise & Travel Lifestyles!

A few years ago, while visiting the ruins of an ancient theater in Jordan, the guide asked me to help demonstrate the acoustics.

“Sing something you know well,” he said. “Maybe your national anthem?”

So I sang…and it was then that something wonderful happened.

As the first ‘Oh Canada’ left my lips, I saw another tour group walking along the walls. They turned and smiled, and as I continued with ‘Our home and native land…’, they joined in. It was a proud moment as that Canadian tour group and I sang every word – “Oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee!” – and then applauded each other wildly. The acoustics in that place never sounded better.

Canadians aren’t known for overt flag waving or bragging about our country, but we share a strong, undeniable streak of national pride. We believe deeply that ours is the best country in the world and we have ample proof to back our belief.

Certainly, there is no more beautiful or varied landscape on the planet. From rain­forests, to mountain ranges, from sea coasts to vast prairies, and from deep blue lakes and rivers to arctic ice – we have it all and there’s nothing more exciting than discovering a corner you haven’t experienced before.

Though I’ve been fortunate to explore many parts of Canada, I still have a mile-long list of places I want to visit. Every time I check one off, I feel that I’m coming a little closer to a full understanding of our country and our people.

One of the places I’d longed to see for years was the Torngat Mountains in Labrador. Like many Canadians, the places that intrigue me most are our national parks and I was lucky enough to be included in a Torngats exploration group hosted by Parks Canada.  It was life-changing, as I hope you’ll see when you read the story in this issue.

The photo that accompanies this letter shows Guy Theriault, Senior Marketing Specialist for Parks Canada, standing with me at the brink of a cliff overlooking one of the most spectacular fjords in the Torngats. Guy is a big man but I think he’d agree that we both felt dwarfed by the enormity of that landscape. The mountains, the wildlife but perhaps most importantly, the people there gave everyone in our group a unique introduction to their rugged land and to the Inuit culture. It was a huge privilege and I hope some of you will be inspired to experience it for yourselves.

In fact, I hope this issue, brimming with the passion our writers feel for so many parts of our country will convince you to make those journeys you’ve always talked about. Fly to the west coast and dip your toes in the Pacific, drive to the Maritimes for a lobster feast, or take a train through the Rockies and across the prairies. Check all those ‘must-sees’ off your list and treat yourself to experiences you couldn’t have anywhere else but in our own backyard. On this, Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s time to celebrate the best country in the world!

All the best,
Liz Fleming

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