Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day across Canada

St. Patrick's Day, Guiness
This year, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations will be held across Canada as a time honoured tradition since 1824. Toronto and Montreal hold the largest and longest-running parades and festivals in Canada; as we drink green beer and wear green clothes, have we ever thought about the man behind the namesake holiday and where and how these traditions came to be?

Contrary to popular belief, Saint Patrick was actually an Irish missionary born in Wales, Great Britain. Although he spent much of his early life in Britain, during the Roman Empire no less, he was kidnapped at age 16 by Irish pirates and sold into a 6-year slavery stint in Ireland. After escaping and a short time back at home in Wales, he returned to Ireland as a bishop to expand his teachings about bringing together traditions of the old pagan and new Christian religions. Even though Patrick lived during the 4th and 5th centuries, he didn’t become known as a Saint until about the 7th century, which marked the beginning of his large and celebrated following on the anniversary of his death on March 17th.

Canada’s Irish population predominately lives in the eastern part of Canada as it was difficult for the poor immigrants to travel very far past the coast. The immigrants from Ireland were actually the founders of Irish celebrations in North America, and, thus, were born the origins of the celebrations as we know them today.

St. Patrick's Day, Guiness

Eco-friendly vegetable dye is poured into the Chicago River to turn it emerald green for St. Patrick’s Day.

A few fun facts and how some celebrate the holiday today:

– Canada is home to about 4,544,870 people claiming to have Irish blood.

– In Chicago, about 45 pounds of green vegetable dye has been dumped into the Chicago River for the past 40 years but it only lasts a few hours.

– Guinness, the iconic Irish beer, expects to sell 7.5 million pints on St. Patrick’s Day – almost twice what it sells on a standard day.

– In Rio de Janeiro, Christ the Redeemer is illuminated green.

St. Patrick's Day, Guiness

Sandman Inn & Suites Vernon Gets a Beautiful Renovation!

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Close to both Kalamalka and Okanagan Lakes and minutes from Silver Star Ski Resort, Sandman Inn & Suites Vernon has 86 beautifully renovated guest rooms simply waiting for you to enjoy.

Perfectly situated between Kelowna and Kamloops and surrounded by natural mountain splendor, Vernon is a great location for road trip stopovers, scenic interior sightseeing and business travels alike. Centrally located, this Sandman features everything from a business centre, high speed Internet, meeting and banquet facilities to a relaxing indoor pool. Whether you’re looking to visit the nearby Kalamalka and Okanagan Lakes, Silver Star Ski Resort, surrounding wineries, or you simply want a comfortable nights’ rest, conveniences like an on-site Denny’s 24 Hour Restaurant make this the ideal setting for all your needs.

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Red Bull Canada cancels Cold Rush 2015

Red Bull - Revelstoke

Photographer Credit: Bryan Ralph/Red Bull Content Pool

Due to compromised backcountry conditions, Red Bull Cold Rush will be cancelled in 2015. With safety as the major priority, the decision was made by event organizers to call off the freeski event.

“This event requires deep powder snow to be a success. Safety for athletes and delivering a premium, progressive ski contest are our ultimate goals for Red Bull Cold Rush. Unfortunately, conditions will not allow for either,” said Scott Jewett, National Event Manager.

As a world class ski event that showcases athletes in some of the most challenging natural backcountry terrain, the contest is ultimately at the mercy of nature. While Revelstoke Mountain Resort has terrific terrain and snow on resort, conditions in the remote backcountry regions unfortunately do not support the needs of the contest.

Red Bull Cold Rush is an important pillar of the Red Bull snow program that aims to offer the best and most progressive freeski action, and will return in the future when conditions permit.

Sandman Hotels ‘Sweep’ Housekeeping Awards in Alberta

2014 Housekeeping AwardThere’s a lot to be said about cleanliness in the hotel industry. It can make or break a guest’s stay and is a basic foundation for creating a relaxing and welcoming accommodation environment. At Sandman, we make sure all of our hotels adhere to only the highest standards when it comes to housekeeping practices.

Sandman Hotel Red Deer

That’s why we’re proud to congratulate Sandman Hotel & Suites Calgary South and Sandman Hotel Red Deer for receiving the prestigious ‘Housekeeping Award’ issued by the Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).

A member-driven organization that represents more than 850 hotels and motels across Alberta, the AHLA is among the foremost authorities in the tourism and hospitality industry.

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Sandman Hotel Suites Calgary South Corporate King Suite

Both hotels are beyond thrilled to receive the awards which, as the official award states, are given to ‘…a select group of properties that participate in the Approved Accommodation Program and have achieved excellence in cleanliness, comfort, and maintenance. It is a reflection of your staff and your property’s commitment to providing visitors with clean and comfortable accommodation.’

Now that’s pretty spotless news.

Dining In The Dark All For a Good Cause

Written by UrbanXperience Events and Entertainment Inc.

dining-in-the-darkRooted in Europe where the concept was born in 1993, Dining In The Dark has spread all over the world. Allow us to show you what others are raving about while at the same time helping to raise money for the Canadian National Institute For The Blind (CNIB).

Join UrbanXperience Events and Entertainment Inc. for the most unique dining Xperience! Challenge your palate and pick out the mysteries of the menu as your senses will be heightened when you dine in the dark. Enjoy a three course gourmet meal like never before….

Hosted by UrbanXperience Events and Entertainment Inc.

Saturday March 29, 2014 at Sandman Hotel & Suites Abbotsford

Tickets $65*  (ticket sales end date extended to Wednesday, March 26th)

All proceeds will go to Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)

How it works:

– The three course meal will be a complete mystery. The menu is set with no options; however, we can accommodate vegetarians if requested prior to the event night (please email info@urbanxevents.com). We have developed the menu with taste and texture in mind while keeping with familiar foods (fully cooked protein, starch, vegetables, etc.) to create the best possible Dining in the Dark Xperience!

If you have important dietary or allergy concerns, please contact us prior to purchasing your tickets for more information.

– Cocktail hour begins at 6pm. Dinner starts at 7pm. Blindfolds will not go on until dinner begins. We ask that everyone arrive no later than 6:30pm.

– The server will give you tips at the beginning of the meal to help you orient yourself.

– Wine and cocktails available throughout the event.

– At the end of dinner, we will reveal the descriptions of what you have just eaten, which will allow you to compare with your own impressions and guesses.

Dining in the dark is truly a sensory Xperience!

*cocktails not included in ticket price.