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Why We Did This

Our Inspiration

The Window Opens

Since opening the doors to Entrée Canada nearly 30 years ago, I’ve steered my company through 9/11, SARS, and the global financial crisis of 2008.

Any travel company owner who has made it through modern history knows what it’s like to watch every booking disintegrate overnight, knowing that tomorrow you will need to rebuild, reinvent, and adapt – all while bringing optimism and comfort to your staff. It’s like trying to stabilize from the front seat of a roller coaster. We’re used to crises, and we know that travel is the first thing that stops when the world is in trouble.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been the biggest shock we’ve seen to our system. Like many travel company owners, I spent the first three or four months of the pandemic contemplating what had to change in my personal life, as well as in the business. At first, coming into the office felt like boarding a runaway train. Gradually, it became an opportunity to change and evolve.

Ultimately, Covid allowed me the space and freedom to get creative and ask myself what I needed to do to thrive and survive. Then I began asking myself, What does Canada need?

A New Partnership

Considering our massive size, Canada needs to offer more than the handful of icons we are currently known for. We need to find a different way to tell our stories – a way that showcases our diversity of cultures, our people and communities, and our unique approach to life. A way that makes all of Canada accessible and easy to purchase, including our magical Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions. A way that integrates storytelling from Indigenous peoples, who have lived on this land since time immemorial.

From my musings, an idea emerged – one that I knew was worth sharing with Destination Canada, the country’s federal tourism marketing organization.

In July, five months after Covid surfaced in Canada, I had a coffee meeting with Destination Canada’s Chief Marketing Officer. We soon learned that our needs were closely aligned – we both wanted to offer travellers new, bold and enticing experiences that told the stories of Canada.

Ten months after that initial coffee meeting, Entrée Canada signed an historic agreement with Destination Canada to create the Stories of Canada™, a collection of 20 new travel itineraries covering all 13 provinces and territories. These itineraries dig deep on Canada’s landmarks, cultures and people, and aim to facilitate authentic, memorable connections between visitors and the communities where they travel.

The Indigenous Experience

Over the past 15 years, I have enjoyed partnerships and friendships with several Indigenous guides, hosts and operators, as well as the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. I have been privileged to be invited into Indigenous communities and tourism development initiatives across Northern and Western Canada. Through these experiences and friendships, I have been witness to deeply personal stories around people’s upbringing and struggles. I have learned about the atrocities perpetrated on Indigenous people, and their subsequent impact today.

I admit that it has, at times, been agonizing and frustrating to learn about Canada’s history of marginalizing Indigenous people and culture, and to see the pain and suffering these actions and policies have caused. Even more powerful, I have felt the sheer beauty in these individuals as I discovered their passions, food, dance, arts, and culture. I have been engaged in this for years and, with every new experience that I have (and develop for our guests), I am humbled by the realization that I know so little. It is a lifetime of exploration and learning.

Indigenous culture is shared through storytelling. Knowledge keepers ensure their stories are passed down, and these stories have been kept alive for centuries.

Across Canada, there are thousands of Indigenous tourism companies, guides and hosts that want to share their stories and culture with visitors. Naturally, these opportunities became an essential ingredient in the Stories of Canada™ collection.

Many years ago, while walking on a beach with a Haida friend along the shores of Haida Gwaii, I understood that sharing personal stories is part of the healing process for many people. Not for everyone, but for some. I have come to realize that one of the most powerful things I can do with my business is to enable this sharing on our platform.

The Indigenous guides and storytellers you’ll meet on our journeys have expressed their desire to take part, share, and welcome guests. For some, this requires incredible courage and vulnerability, and is an entirely new experience. For others it’s totally natural. So, while we look to generate economic impact, we also – hopefully, with the right chemistry – seek a bit of healing through sharing.

More understanding, less misconception. When it happens and you have connected, there is nothing more powerful.

Why Michael J. Fox?

In creating this collection of experiences across Canada, one of my early dreams was to have Michael J. Fox narrate our video content. From day one, he has been my only choice for the role.

For over 20 years, I have served Michael and his beautiful family as our guests. I met him and Tracy when the twins were toddlers and young Sam was around 10 years old, and I’ve been privileged to see the kids grow up and to play a role in their travels. I have also been present to the impact of Parkinson’s disease on Michael’s physical wellbeing, as difficult as that has been.

Michael is one of the most gracious, giving and generous people that I’ve ever met. He is hilarious, brilliant, and quick-minded. His golf swing needs work, but other than that it’s impossible to feel anything but love for him. I have adored him since growing up with Family Ties. And I am deeply touched, honored and forever grateful that he stepped up to contribute to this project.

Come For A Visit

All this said, I encourage you to look upon this collection as the culmination of many needs and goals. Our need to connect guests with Canadians in their communities. Our need to show the tremendous natural beauty in Canada. Our need to feature Indigenous storytelling. Destination Canada’s need of creating new travel experiences, and our audience’s need to uncover strikingly new and memorable explorations.

I sincerely hope this inspires you to visit Canada in a new way – to see our country through a different lens, and to forge a deeper connection to our land and people.


Marc Telio

Founder & President

The Collection


The Stories of Canada
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