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Chasing Waterfalls in Manitoba

Are you the person who steps out their front door every morning wishing for an adventure? Do you often think about seeing more of Canada’s beautiful wilderness? Thompson is a unique travel spot in Canada, hosting 3 of Manitoba’s Star Attractions! Well on it’s way to becoming the Wolf Capital of the World, it is home of the world’s largest wolf mural, 30 wolf statues, and is in the process of developing a Wolf Centre of Excellence.

Wolf. Amanda Jacobs.

Thompson also has, hidden away in boreal forest, Pisew Falls. These waterfalls are a favourite stop for travelers heading north, but are also close enough for those already in Thompson to venture to see. From Pisew Falls you can also partake in a 22km return hike to the Kewasitchewan Falls; Manitoba’s tallest waterfall.

Pisew Falls. Travel Manitoba.

You will be hiking along the Grass River, walking in the footsteps, or alongside the paddle strokes of Aboriginal Cree nation who used this route constantly to move around from the Hudson Bay to the Saskatchewan River and western Canada’s interior. They later introduced the waterway to fur traders from the Hudson Bay in the 1700’s and it became a hugely competitive route between them and the North West Company.

This wilderness is still teeming with wildlife as the forest provides shelter for many birds and animals, including wolves. As you hike among spruce, pine, tamarack and poplar trees you can see the river for most of the trail. It is another one of Manitoba’s hidden treasures and well worth the trip.

Do you crave to learn more about this beautiful planet we live on? Spirit Way is also hosting a Wolf & Carnivore Conference this coming October. Visit our conference page for more details and don’t miss out on the exclusive day tour to Churchill with Frontier’s North! Only 5 spots left. 

References:
https://www.travelmanitoba.com/listings/pisew-falls-kwasitchewan-falls/6838/
https://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/parks/popular_parks/northeast/pisew.html 

The Art of the North

Every artist dips their brush into their own soul, and paints their own nature into their pictures. ~ Henry Ward Beecher

The year of 2017 has brought the world many gifts, especially in the form of art. Thompson Spirit Way has dedicated its life to raising awareness for our wolf population and creating a wolf economy in Thompson. We are even having a Wolf & Carnivore Conference this October! However, we are also strong advocates for all things art, particularly stunning wildlife art.

The Pangeaseed Sea Walls project that took place in Churchill, Manitoba this summer blew us away. Exquisite art murals paint the Polar Bear Capital of the World to raise awareness for the persistent ocean environmental issues. Kal Barteski, Winnipeg artist and founder of the Polar Bear Foundation, stated, “We want to generate consciousness through the power of art (Bizarre Beyond Belief, 2017).”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. This project adheres to the quote: “creativity takes courage” by Henzi Matisse. It takes courage to bare your soul, your talent, and it also takes courage to use that voice to speak out on important issues.

In Wolverhampton, UK they debuted an incredible Wolves in Wolves project; consisting of 30 unique wolf statues painted from the souls of 29 artists. How could we not celebrate this with our sister city! Our own local artist, Jasyn Lucas, painted 2 of the wolf statues in Wolverhampton.

Sacred Grandfathers. Wolf Sculpture. Jasyn Lucas. Wolverhampton.

Jasyn’s painting of Sacred Grandfathers, for the Wolves in Wolves project was inspired by teachings which go back thousands of years. The animals painted on the sculpture signify: truth, courage, love, humility, wisdom, respect, and honesty.

Those traits are important to living out in the wilderness, having love and respect for the amazing animals and nature around us. We wanted to give you a chance to see it for yourself so we created the Manitoba Wild Contest for 2018. Open to European residents only, you will travel from London, UK to Manitoba, Canada. Entries end on September 30, 2017.

Follow the Spirit Way trail in Thompson and see our 16 scenic points of interest, including a ten-story wolf mural! Continue on to tour Churchill with Frontier’s North and catch a glimpse of the Sea Walls exhibit around town. Finally, walk (yes, walk) with polar bears with Churchill Wild at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. A journey to northern Canada to see everything from wolves, polar bears, dancing northern lights, to exquisite paintings with stories to tell.

Wolf Mural. Thompson, Manitoba.

Over 30 wolf statues guard the Spirit Way path and as you make your way along you’re sure to find the wolf spirit in you. This walkway is a Manitoba Star Attraction with its 2.5 km walking trail holding hidden treasures of historical, cultural, and artistic perspectives. It plays a key part in telling our story here in Thompson. 

Works Cited

Bizarre Beyond Belief. (2017, July 7). PangeaSeed – Sea Walls. Retrieved from Bizarre Beyond Belief: https://bizarrebeyondbelief.com/2017/07/07/pangeaseed-seawalls-churchill-manitoba/

Becoming a Certified Polar Bear Whisperer

Photographer Ian Johnson. Seal River Heritage Lodge

You’ve heard about the Wolf and Carnivore Conference we are hosting on October 18, but did you also know about our special feature taking place on October 20? The Polar Bear Workshop, presented by Russian researcher Nikita Ovsyanikov, is an all-day practical and theoretical seminar to best demonstrate managing polar bear encounters. A great opportunity for people working or travelling in areas with polar bear populations; this is the first time its been offered in Canada.

Not every confrontation with a polar bear comes with a mediator or a jury to decide the outcome. Polar bears are lethal predators; however, they are animals with behavioural patterns that can be understood and managed. When you encounter a polar bear it’s not solely about your own safety, but also the safety of the bear. Ovsyanikov will establish rules on preventing negative encounters between humans and bears. Additionally, he will provide steps on handling conflict with a bear in a non-lethal manner should you be surprised or confronted.

The workshop is not designed to allow for closer, unsafe interactions with polar bears, but rather establish safe ways to observe and coexist when living in such a big predator’s habitat. Ovsyanikov’s system is based on his analysis from over 2,000 personal encounters with polar bears. His hands-on, or rather hands-off, research allowed him to understand what drives a polar bear in its natural environment. What provokes a bear to attack? How do you deter a bear with the intent to kill you without harming the animal in the process? These are some of the questions Ovsyanikov will be addressing and providing solutions for during the workshop.

Photographer Brandi Hayberg. Frontiers North Adventures

There will be two parts of the workshop: individual safety and safe infrastructure. Individual safety includes: theory on understanding factors that cause conflict and basics of polar bear behavior and practical training on how to perform safety rules. The second part, safe infrastructure, includes theory and specific planning considering geography, ecology, polar bear density and activity in the area.

At the end of the seminar, people will receive a Certificate of Attendance. The maximum number of attendees is 16 people. The seminar will be held the day after the Wolf and Carnivore Conference on October 20; registration ends October 1.