Category Archives: Railway Adventures across Canada
In three hours, our train journey travels 4,000 miles from the historic rail trails of Newfoundland into the heart of Canada and across to British Columbia. En route our videos explore historical and modern cities, rainforests, wildlife, culture and cuisine. (Photo: Matthew G. Wheeler)
Thousands of years ago, what is now the province of Manitoba in Canada was covered by the world’s largest fresh water glacial lake. When the waters of Lake Agassiz dried up it left a legacy of smaller lakes and a rich fertile soil which gave birth to the prairies. Manitoba has many faces. The location for the capital city, Winnipeg, was once an aboriginal meeting place that became a major centre for fur traders and explorers. We unearth eco-treasures including Oak Hammock Marsh, Spruce Woods, the Spirit Sands, and the delicate Arctic tundra. These explorations reveal a wealth of wildlife — birds, polar bears and beluga whales — that find sanctuary in the region. At an annual event in Gimli on Lake Winnipeg we celebrate the character of Icelandic pioneers who were left stranded at Willow Point in 1875. For more information check out episode 28 in the Railways across Canada category
Alberta is the hydrological centre of North America with rivers of waters from the Columbia Icefield flowing into three different oceans and illustrated by an excursion on the Athabasca Glacier and a trip on the Jasper Tramway for a stunning view over mountain ranges. Our explorations on the outskirts of Edmonton at the Ukrainian Heritage Village and Fort Edmonton Park provide insight to the lives of the early pioneers and the City’s early days as a Hudson’s Bay Company. Elk Island is one example where man’s attempts to control parkland has been redressed; and at Jasper National Park, in the Rocky Mountain eco-system, park wardens battle irresponsible travellers who put wildlife at risk. For more information: check out episode #27 in Railway Adventures across Canada.
Straddle that horse, climb that mountain and board that train for adventure of every kind in Alberta, Canada. In high cattle country we saddle up at a working ranch, explore the postcard country for which Canada is famous, do a little climbing amidst the breathtaking summits of the Rocky Mountains and then take a softer experience and enjoy the scenery from the comfort of a train. Finally, in the foothills of Alberta there is a wealth of aboriginal history at Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo Jump and a dinosaur stomping ground with extensive skeletal and fossilized remains – both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. For more information check out episode #26 in Railway Adventures across Canada.
An hour’s drive southeast of Montreal in the Eastern Townships of Québec is Canada’s oldest spa destination and one of the very first in North America. Along with fresh air, beautiful countryside and healthy satisfying menus, it’s the clientele that makes this one unique. Men have discovered the benefits of massage, facial treatments and the opportunity to relax the body, mind and spirit in a stress-free environment. For more information visit www.ontopoftheworld.net and check out episode #25 in the Railway Adventures across Canada Category.
A flight into the interior of the St. Elias Mountain Range in Kluane National Park and Reserve reveals magnificent rivers of ice and the spectacular scenery of the Kaskawulsh Glacier. Pilot Andy Williams of Icefield Ranges Expeditions lands us on the Seward Glacier for an up close and personal view of majestic Mt. Logan, Canada’s highest mountain. This trip, into the southwest corner of Canada’s Yukon Territory, ranks as one of my all-time favourite experiences. Home to Canada’s highest mountains and biggest glaciers, Kluane encompasses the largest non-polar icefield in the world and has a diversity of plant and wild life. These factors resulted in the park being one of the first places designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. We were based in Haines Junction and while exploring the lakes and rivers in and around the park, visited an aboriginal fishing village and had a few wildlife encounters. For more information check out episode #24 in the Adventures across Canada category.
Dog sledding in Northern Ontario is a truly unique Canadian experience. You are working with one of the oldest forms of transportation used by the early Inuit and aboriginal peoples, and close to nature, enjoying the scenic beauty of Canada’s winter months. Our feature was filmed in Temagami and took us through forests, over frozen lakes and along historic native trails. Along with learning the basics of dog sledding, harnessing and caring for the dogs, we also spent a couple of nights in a bush camp. For more information check out episode #23 in the Railway Adventures across Canada category.
The view from space – revisiting BOREAS. While filming in the boreal forest, we connected with BOREAS one of a series of international projects started in 1992 in which the whole globe was divided into a patchwork of different biomes. Each one was studied to see how it interacted with the atmosphere and the potential impact on global warming. In Prince Albert National Park scientists and environmentalists worked with NASA to study the role of the boreal forest in the earth eco-system. From the smallest leaf to the tallest tree, through winter and summer, from ground to space, everything was measured and all the data integrated. This feature shows the work involved in a project of this magnitude and some of the results that were emerging. For more information check out episode #22 in the Railway Journeys across Canada category.
While filming in the boreal forest, we connected with a project started in 1992, when a national park, a logging company, aboriginal communities, environmentalists and scientists got together north of the town of Prince Albert in Saskatchewan to create a Model Forest. Their combined efforts in studying the effects of extreme climates on forestry and regeneration outside of the park with the natural life cycle inside the park, helped to identify, explore and negotiate the trade-offs involved in responsibly managing their natural resources. The ten Canadian Model Forests originally selected have since played an important role in promoting a vision and providing support for the development of collaborative approaches to sustainable forest management. They have led to the formation of the International Model Forest Network with over 60 sites in 30 countries engaged in similar projects. For more information check out episode #21 in the Railway Journeys across Canada category.
“Transformation” shows the transition of a glacial lake to a forested land. Industrious beavers build dams that create bogs where stagnant water reacts to sediment to give off methane gasses. Sphagnum moss creates a blanket over the bog and a park naturalist and snow scientist explain how plants and trees have evolved in this environment. Part six on the eco-systems in the Boreal Forest featuring Prince Albert National Park in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada. For more information check out episode #20 in the Railway Adventures across Canada category.
“Snow Science” reveals how the Boreal Forest regulates its own water supply, restores nutrients to the soil and controls its own climate. In this episode we look at the impact of snow on one of the largest terrestrial eco-systems on the planet. Filming took place over a 2-year period and, with the help of a snow scientist engaged in a research project we were able to understand the life cycle of the snow pack from heavy snowfalls on the forest canopy in the winter to spring melt-water. The project had surprising discoveries impacting global warming. Part five in a series on the eco-systems in the Boreal Forest featuring Prince Albert National Park in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada. For more information check out episode #19 in the Railway Adventures across Canada category.
Since the mid 1970s, producer/host, Anne Martin, has been bringing stories to life through the medium of television. She thrives on tracking down the unusual and her work has encompassed history, geology, heritage and a positive outlook on the world around us. Read more about Anne Martin.