Experience The Mountain Parks Blog
...all about the Alberta-to-British Columbia mountain parks, including life in and around the parks. Not all our news and stories are here, though, so you might want to check our news section and Bob's "tweets" —conveniently placed in the upper right of each page.
Did we let you down? Looks like we forgot to clearly indicate how and where you could submit your best photos and videos..
At least we didn't do a great job showing what you've submitted so far.
thanks to our sponsors!
As well, we've updated the 2011 Reader's Contest page with a brand new gallery.
We'll be showing the world your best memories!
This year, we introduced four categories: "Landscapes & Sunsets", "Flowers & Wildlife", "Friends & Family", and "Videos". Please make sure you give us enough details when uploading. If we don't have the requested information, we won't be able to consider your submission.
Lastly, we recommend you to be patient as we're gradually uploading all received submissions, and enjoy!!
Bob tweeted about this, so here we go, all the details about this contract:
CONTRACT OPPORTUNITY POSTING:
Alberta Parks/Kananaskis Country
Contract Opportunity for Development of Park Education Retail Store
Deadline to submit proposal: September 28, 2011
Contract commencement: October 5, 2011
Completion of deliverables by: December 21, 2011
Contract Value: $10,000
“Alberta’s provincial parks inspire people to discover, value, protect, and enjoy the natural world and all its benefits for current and future generations.” A retail store in a provincial park visitor centre can support this vision by providing opportunities to purchase (or rent) appropriate products that help individuals discover, value, protect, and enjoy parks and protected areas.
Visitor Information Centre (VIC) stores have been operating in the Kananaskis Region for over a decade at Barrier Lake VIC, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park VIC, Elbow Valley VIC, and Bow Valley VIC. Combined, these sites receive an annual visitation of nearly 250,000 people, and are staffed by six (full-time equivalent) Visitor Information Officers. There is also an emerging opportunity and interest in the creation of an Alberta Parks online store to compliment the nine physical stores throughout the province. The current retail model must be revised to meet both the in-park mandate of the stores and the future online operations. Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation is seeking a new model that will enhance our vision as stated above and will best serve the public as they visit and care for Kananaskis Country (and all provincial parks). Further, revenue generated by these stores offers an opportunity for the public to support parks through their purchases, an opportunity for parks to support internal and external public engagement and conservation initiatives, and an opportunity for local business development through the sale of local products or the involvement of local retailers in the operation of the stores.
This contract opportunity is for the development of a) business plan, b) product line, and c) operational plan for an Alberta Parks retail store in the Kananaskis Country Visitor Information Centres. Outcomes of this pilot will inform the future operations of the stores in Kananaskis Country and throughout the province, as well as provide input/analysis for future development of an online retail program to complement the physical retail operation (note: this contract is for the physical VIC stores – the online store will be developed at a later date). There is a strong potential to extend this opportunity with the pilot operation of the Kananaskis retail stores through to November 2012 with renewed deliverables and terms.
By December 21, 2011, the contractor will be expected to:
1. Review current retail operations in Kananaskis Country visitor centres.
2. Review and report on best practices in similar park stores.
3. Assess regional partnership opportunities (e.g. Tourism Canmore Kananaskis partners, existing facility operators, local retailers and non-profits, etc.)
4. Identify potential market niches unique to an “Alberta Parks” store (e.g. sale or rental of safety equipment, maps, GPS, foodstuffs, high-quality recreation and education products, products of non-profit partners, and Alberta Parks branded items), in both the region and province-wide and via online sales.
5. Prototype/design an initial suite of products unique to “Alberta Parks” stores in general, “Kananaskis Country” in particular, as well as a storefront at one or more of the VIC stores mentioned above.
6. Develop procedures for retail operations, including specific sales goals and target outcomes, inventory management, point-of-sale, training, evaluation, marketing, and so on.
7. Identify potential overlap or common needs (e.g. inventory management) between physical stores and future online retail operations.
8. Develop and present recommended options for the ongoing operation of these stores in a manner that meets the mandate of Alberta Parks, without putting strain on other visitor information services or front-line staff.
The contractor will work closely with regional and provincial Tourism, Parks and Recreation staff to ensure the store meets both the mandate and the expected outcomes of such an operation. The contractor must operate in the Kananaskis region (e.g. Canmore, Kananaskis, or Calgary), and will be supported by a regional working group with guidance from the Edmonton head office.
This contract may be applied to post-secondary education practicum or co-op terms, based on individual merit and program relevance. Rental accommodation in Kananaskis may be available in order to reduce travel costs.
Contract applicants must provide a cover letter, résumé, and references that highlight their experience and knowledge in all aspects of small-scale retail operations. They must also provide a project proposal and plan that outlines how they will achieve the contract deliverables and what portion of the funding would be applied to three components of: a) a business plan, b) the initial product line, and c) the operational plan. The successful bid will build the strongest foundation for a pilot launch of these physical retail stores by spring 2012.
Familiarity with Alberta provincial parks, conservation, environmental education, and outdoor recreation is an asset. Digital applications in .pdf format are preferred.
Submissions must be received by September 28, 2011 at 4:30pm to:
email@example.com, subject line “Retail Contract Application”
Kananaskis Retail Contract Application
Suite 201, 800 Railway Avenue, Canmore Provincial Building
Canmore, Alberta T1W 1P1
For more information, contact 403-678-5508
Parks Canada released on August 30, 2011 their "Visitor Experience Bulletin" announcing:
Lake Louise, Alberta, August 30, 2011 – Just in time to witness Banff National Park’s opulent yellow-gold larch needles, the Lake Louise Fall Festival will return for its second year from September 1 to October 10.
At a time of year when the weather is still warm and the rich colours of larch needles, pristine glaciers, alpine lakes and high mountain peaks dot the landscape, the fall experience for hikers, photographers and nature lovers in Lake Louise, Banff National Park, is truly unforgettable.
To mark the occasion, this year Parks Canada is offering free photography workshops and a Circle of Life Series aimed at exploring the park during this transitional season. The Top 5 Larch Hikes in Lake Louise brochure will also be available at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre in Lake Louise for those who want to add a local’s recommended hike to their bucket list of conquered trails.
Also continuing into September is Parks Canada’s new and wildly popular Xplorer Program, providing kids and their families the opportunity to discover cool facts about Canada’s first national park via a bevy of fun activities, events and programs in Lake Louise. After completing six activities, kids receive a souvenir and a certificate recognizing them as an official Xplorer Club for Kids member.
Don’t forget to take your camera while sightseeing this fall in Lake Louise to be able to enter Parks Canada photo contest! Submit your 2011 best fall snapshot by October 5 for a chance to win great prizes, including the opportunity for your picture to be featured in the 2012 Lake Louise Fall Festival.
Visitors to Lake Louise may also come across roving Parks Canada interpreters. Armed with animal hides, horns, antlers, rocks and other gems, interpreters are ready to answer questions about the wildlife and geology of the Lake Louise area. Program times during the Fall Fest are:
• Bears Around Lake Louise, September 10, 2 p.m
• A Bug’s Opinion of the Water Quality in Banff National Park, September 17, 1 p.m.
• It’s All About the Composition Photo Workshop, September 17 and 24, 9 a.m.
• It’s All About the Light Photo Workshop, September 25 and October 2, 9 a.m.
"...We are back from our holiday in Jasper. Although the weather wasn't perfect, we still had an amazing time. The motorcycle tour was definitely a highlight. Saw a bear and a fox during the ride. Unforgettable..."
Didn't get a chance to pick up a copy of our guide? That's no problem, you can read it online here now, along with the five previous editions, in case you didn't either.
- And the second place in the Friends & Family category goes to...
- And the second place in the Videos category of our 2012 RECESS IS BACK readers' contest goes to...
- And the second place in the Landscapes and Sunsets category of our 2012 RECESS IS BACK readers' contest goes to...
- And the second place in the Wildlife & Flowers category goes to...
- And the winners of our 2012/2013 Photos and Videos Contest are...
- 2012/2013 Photos/Videos Contest
- oTENTiks are coming to a mountain park near you!
- Submissions to our 2012/2013 Photos/Videos Contest are now over...
- Please be patient...
- Who said people don't read the ads?