WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - May 9, 2010) - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada hosted the international tourism industry today during a luncheon hosted by Parks Canada at Rendez-vous Canada, Canada's premier annual tourism marketplace.
"It doesn't matter where you go in this country: you will find a national park or a national historic site that will help you grasp the incredible grandeur and deep heritage of this country," said minister Prentice. "With over 200 places to experience Canada's natural and historic heritage, Parks Canada offers a tremendous array of possibilities for Canadians to camp, canoe, hike, discover their ancestors, in other words, live their dream vacations, spend time with family and friends, or personally connect to the very essence of Canada."
Canada is currently celebrating two milestone anniversaries:
The birth of Canada's world-renowned national parks system 125 years ago, (1885); and
The 100th anniversary of the creation of the Dominion Parks Branch, the first national park service in the world and now Parks Canada (1911).
"Parks Canada is a major partner within the Canadian tourism industry," said the Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, and Member of Parliament for Fundy Royal. "This year and next, travelers have even more reason to visit Canada's most special places as we celebrate the 125th birthday of national parks and the Centennial of Parks Canada, the world's first national park service."
In honour of these anniversaries, Parks Canada will be offering exciting new initiatives and a variety of anniversary-themed activities at Canada's national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas (NMCAs).
Parks Canada is also celebrating with young Canadians by offering Canada's 32 Greatest Summer Jobs. Through a nationwide competition, the Agency has hired 32 university and college students to work in Parks Canada's field units this summer to produce video reports on their experiences in the national parks, national historic sites and NMCAs. The best films will also be screened at the Banff Mountain Film Festival in November.
This year, Parks Canada is opening the gates and welcoming visitors into their national parks, national historic sites and National Marine Conservation Areas for free on Parks Day, July 17.
The government is also continuing the fee freeze in all national parks and national historic sites for individual travelers, and beginning its two-year fee freeze at 2009 rates for the travel trade.
For additional information on Parks Canada's celebrations and 125 great things to do at Parks Canada, please see the accompanying backgrounders at www.parkscanada.gc.ca under Media Room.