As an important part of our Canadian heritage, the art of storytelling has been passed on for generations. Whether it’s an Amerindian creation story or a comical French warning to not temp the Devil, the beauty of a legend lies in its capability to reach its listeners, hold their interest and cross all age barrier.
The first step to develop the art of Storytelling is to find good material. Maybe you have been staring at your city apartment walls for too long and you yearn for the inspiration that nature brings? Perhaps you wish to learn a little bit more about other cultures, traditions and ways of life?
This week, Gen’s Delights invites you to take a short road trip and introduce you to two destinations only a little over an hour’s drive away from Montreal at which you could enjoy a day trip or a brief overnight stay.
Sleep soundly surrounded by Wolves and Bears at Parc Omega
One of the main reasons I love re-visiting Parc Omega at different times of the year is that the park is always reinventing itself with the addition of fascinating facilities and activities for all ages.
Situated 1 hour and thirty minutes away from Montreal in Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours, Quebec (just 5 minutes north of Montebello), Parc Omega is a vast 12-kilometre (7.5 mi) wild life nature park complete with fields, lakes, meadows, small valleys, forests and rocky hills that form a natural habitat for its inhabitants.
Open year round to the public, what distinguishes Parc Omega from other wild life zoos is its amazing natural terrain that puts people in direct contact with some of the fabulous creatures that inhabit our Canadian landscape, such as free roaming deer, wolves, black bears, buffalo, moose, raccoons and wild boars.
Equipped with bags of carrots and a map, guests drive around the predetermined trails with their own vehicle and pass the elk, deer, wild boars and other friendly animals that come up to your window to be fed and photographed.
Bus tours with an experienced and passionate guide (such as Parc Omega’s technical Director & spokesperson Serge Lussier) are also available upon request with reservations.
This original drive-through experience will typically take around 3-4 hours. Plan another 2-3 hours to visit the Magical Garden, Rustic Farm, Lord of the Flight and Wolf Feeding show!
All activities are accessible with a single pass admission. The park also offers three walking trails, playgrounds, a discovery center with a panoramic view restaurant and various picnic tables
The latest addition to the park is a gorgeous log cabin called the “lumberjack camp” that houses a mini snack bar, a souvenir shop as well as a stunning suspended birch canoe that pays tribute to the legend of ‘La Chasse-Galerie’ also known as “The Bewitched Canoe” or “The Flying Canoe“: a popular French-Canadian tale of lumberjacks, laboring for months away from home, who make a deal with the devil to see their sweethearts for one night!Another star attraction of the park is the addition of an intricate totem pole carved by Algonquin metis Denis Charrette from a beautiful 400 years old red cedar acquired from Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands, BC, erected on the First Nations trail.
This unique piece of art was inspired by one of the oldest legend in the North America’s oral tradition: an old Algonquin legend told by the Innus.
“Tshakapesh”, seeks the mammoth-like monster “Katshituashk”, who killed his parents.
It is a majestic piece, bearer of historic roots that helps build awareness of the First Nations history as well as remind us of the Sacred Walk that started 15 000 years ago.
The title is in Algonquin: ADABIJ ATISOKEWIN MITIK’MO which means: “The tree who is telling the tale in a new way”.
For those who wish for a truly immersive overnight experience, the park offers various accommodations ranging from tipis, prospector tents, log cabins and a fully equipped house on stilts that boasts spectacular windows carved into animal shapes that render honor to the First Nations animal spirits.
Best of all the camping grounds are only a stone’s throw away from a semi private black bear and wolf enclosure whose access is only made available to the overnight guests! Daily animation from one of the park’s staff is offered at no additional cost during feeding time and if luck will have it, you may get the chance to listen to the wolf pack howling several times a day!
For more information on the Park, hours and accommodations please visit:
Parc Omega http://www.parcomega.ca/en/
Drummondville- A charming city to discover!
Located in the Centre-du-Québec region of Quebec, the charming city of Drummondville is situated east of Montreal on the Saint-François River. Drummondville has gained a stellar reputation as being Quebec’s Capital of Expression and Traditions, with attractions focusing mainly on past and current traditions and culture.
Mondial des Cultures: July 1st to August 15th 2017
The World of Cultures Festival (Formerly the World Folklore Festival) has kicked off its 36th edition in the heart of Woodyatt Park in Drummondville.
Over eleven days, over 400 artists and 13 international ensembles will be performing daily dances and musical numbers until July 15th 2017.
Since it’s inauguration in 1982 by the folk ensemble Mackinaw, that drew inspiration from a similar Folk festival in France, the festival has been a Canadian epicenter for dozens of renowned artists and folk ensembles from around the world who come each year to participate in this festival which annually attracts over 300,000 visits per year !
Attendees can shop for unique items and try a myriad of delicious ethnic foods ranging from New Brunswick lobster rolls with a side of potato chips to Bison sausages and Eastern European Smoked meat!
The festival is one of the four largest Folk festivals in the world and is very family friendly with a dedicated family and kids zone that includes a giant castle and Zorb ball pool!
Some of the 2017 local headliners include Dominique Hudson, Karim Ouellet, La Chicane and Thomas Hellman
To learn more about the Festival please visit their official page:
Village Québécois d’Antan – The invisible village!
Located just across the Saint-François River you will find the Village Québécois d’Antan, a dedicated historical and tourist village that depicts the life of Quebecers during the 19th century.
If by day the village is a popular attraction for those wishing to seek the historical ways of the living, by night visitors can now be witness to a village that no one has ever seen.
The Village’s latest night attraction- The Invisible Village Odyssey, combines immersive experiences and mobile technology in 15 zones that definitely taps into the fantastical world of legends and ghost stories by featuring the legendary and mythical heroes of Quebec.
The 15 spectacular zonactions (animations) were created to physically and virtually transport visitors to another universe through projections, lighting and holograms by using the latest generation lasers and architectural mapping.
Thanks to this new Luminous technology, and after downloading a free application, young and old can enjoy interactions with friendly ghosts with the help of their own mobile devices.
Meet Louis Cyr – The world strongest man, Run with 20th century Quebec athlete Alexis le Trotteur against a steam engine and discover other legendary characters of québécois folklore.
For more information on the Village please visit their website HERE
With so much to do in Drummondville, it would be wise to plan to stay overnight.
For families seeking a centralized hotel, the new Grand Times Hotel, towering 12 stories high and offering a stunning bird’s eye view of the city, offers both comfort and close access to several amenities and services.
Connected directly to the brand new Centrexpo fair center, the hotel features 140 spacious rooms, suites, several cutting edge technology equipped conference rooms, a gym, pool and a stunning lobby decorated in a sleek contemporary design that will sure to please your eye upon entry.
The staff were extremely accommodating and I especially enjoyed the little surprises like the neatly wrapped Lindt chocolates on my pillow!
For prices and date availability, please visit :
For a hearty meal in the heart of the city, I would highly recommend the restaurant bistro LA MUSE on Heriot Street in the heart of the old commercial district of Drummondville.
Serving delicious meals day and night within their brick-walled space with an outdoor patio, the owners Julie Arel et Daniel Paulin have really anticipated their customers every needs and have paid impeccable attention to details to ensure their guests leave with a full stomach and a smile.
Everything from the aquarium decorations, to the delicious home cooked sauces to the variety of hand lotions and amenities placed in the restrooms indicates that the owners have customer service and satisfaction at heart.
I loved the playful side of the welcome star margarita with Popsicle, meant to be shared- or not!Their fresh mango and curry salmon tartar was an appealing appetizer leading in to the AMAZING rose sauce seafood pasta as a main.
With quite generous portions, I had to remind myself to save some space for dessert: an orange flavored crème brulee with profiteroles YUM!
LA MUSE : 188 Heriot, Drummondville, QC J2C 1J8
For more information on the restaurant and it’s decadent menu please visit their website : http://www.restolamuse.com/fr/