Canada Tour 2006
In the summer of 2006, the Purduettes had the opportunity to expand their fan base on an international level with their first international tour to Canada.
We began our journey at 4:30 am to load the busses and head for the airport. We flew out of Chicago, connected in Minneapolis, and landed in Edmonton, Alberta, where we went through customs. After a quick tour of Edmonton we were given the evening to relax or check out Edmonton’s great nightlife. The next day brought our first international performance at the Edmonton Mall. Nicknamed the “Eighth World Wonder” the mall had an indoor skating rink, water park, and even a pirate ship!
Our next stop on the trip was the beautiful mountain town of Banff. On our tour of Banff we were able to learn about the wildlife and geology of the area, take a lunch cruise of Lake Minnewonka, and learn about the prominent Canadian figures that helped develop this mountain town. On our first night in Banff we even got to enjoy a dinner theatre, and although we were not the main entertainment we still thrilled the staff and guests alike with some spontaneous songs during dinner. Before we departed Banff we took some time to relax in the famous Banff Hot Springs followed by some singing for the other guests of the springs. We ended our time in Banff with a gondola ride to the top of the mountain and soaked in the fabulous view.
After Banff, we headed off to the historic town of Calgary. Upon arrival we were all given white cowboy hats, Calgary’s symbol of hospitality. Dinner at the Ranchman’s really got us in the Calgary spirit with live music and a mechanical bull! The next day we toured the historic buildings of Calgary and even saw the Olympic Stadium. Calgary was the host of the 1988 Olympics and Olympic Park is still used today to train winter athletes. We ate lunch at the Calgary Tower, a 500-foot tall structure with a rotating dining room at the top. We followed lunch with another spectacular performance on the observation deck of the tower. The next day we headed out for a more exclusive tour of Olympic Park. Some of the ladies even took the chance to practice some luge starts.
Heading back to the airport we boarded Canada Air for our next location, Vancouver! Located just two hours out of Seattle, Vancouver is a metropolitan city that borders both the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Our first day in Vancouver, we loaded the bus and drove to Grouse Mountain where we had our first Vancouver performance. It was incredible because we had to load all of our properties into a Sky Lift for our show at the top of the mountain. The ride was 6 minutes long and we traveled 4,100 feet to the very top. After another stellar performance we spent the rest of the day on top of the mountain. We got to see some grizzly bears, walk across an enormous suspension bridge, and even watch a lumberjack show. On the way back to the hotel we took a drive along the ocean shore, which gave us a great opportunity to see a different part of Canada.
Our last whole day in Canada started with some rain and ended with some tears…happy ones, of course! We set out this morning on a canoe adventure with some natives of the First Nations tribes in Canada. We learned a lot about the native history of the area and got to spend some time out on the water learning how to paddle together! We also took a short hike through the park and learned about how natives used various plants for spiritual and medicinal purposes. After an afternoon to ourselves, we loaded the bus to go to the Vancouver Whitecaps soccer game where we sang both the American and Canadian national anthems as well as the Whitecaps’ fight song. After the game, we went to a lovely farewell dinner at the Dockside restaurant, which had a gorgeous view of the Vancouver harbor and skyline. We shared many memories, laughter, tears, and of course music. We are proud to have made history as the first international members of the Purduettes!