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The peoples of the Northwest Coast say that the world is as sharp as the edge of a knife. If you visualize that edge as a circle . . . “and if you live on the edge, that is the present moment. What’s inside is knowledge, experience, the past. What’s outside has yet to be experienced. The knife’s edge is so fine that you can live either in the past or in the future. The real trick is to live on the edge.”  — Robert Davidson, Haida-Tlingit master carver

 Travel that edge with us in 2018 as we encounter the people of the First Nations of British Columbia and experience the world-class gardens of Vancouver and Victoria. Led by respected, second-generation Indian arts trader, Mark Bahti, and renowned horticulturist and landscape artist, Greg Corman; our host is Stephen Bernier of South of the Border Tours.

We’ve included a variety of remarkable experiences from a visit to the first Chinese “scholar’s garden built outside of China and dinner in Vancouver’s Chinatown on day one to ceremonial dances and a traditional seafood feast in the Long House at U’mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay on day eight.

In between are visits to the University of British Columbia’s renowned Museum of Anthropology and Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre – home of the sacred Potlatch collection of the Kwakwak’wakw (Kwakiutl) people; stops at cutting edge art galleries and intimate conversations with First Nation Artists from amongst the Coast Salish and Kwakiutl like Mervyn Child, Tim Alfred and Stan Hunt; and, walks through VanDusen and world-famous Butchart Gardens. Not to stint the incredible, rugged scenery of British Columbia, we’ll take a high-speed catamaran from Vancouver to Victoria, sailing past the San Juan Islands on the lookout for Orcas, porpoises, seals and seabirds in the rich Salish Sea; make ports of call on Quadra Island, Port Hardy and Ft. Rupert; and, revel in an extra day at the “gateway to nature” that is Painter’s Lodge, on the shores of Campbell River and the banks of Discovery Passage where you can choose to fish for salmon fishing, brave the ocean rapids, search for grizzly bears or just relax in the woods. (Lodge adventures must be arranged in advance and are at an additional cost; more information later.)

Cost includes three nights at 4-star Westin Bayshore (Vancouver), two nights at 4-star Hotel Grand Pacific (Victoria), two nights at legendary Painter’s Lodge (Campbell River), and two nights at tribally-owned and art-filled Kwa’lilas Hotel (Port Hardy); all meals except two lunches and three dinners; land and water transportation in British Columbia (except during free time in Victoria); admissions and guide fees (except during free time in Victoria and at Painter’s Lodge). Airfare is not included, but recommendations will be made as to best choice flights from Phoenix (non-stop) and bus transportation to and from Sky Harbor Airport will be provided at no charge, based on those flights.

$4275 per person | double occupancy ($1225 single supplement) | a $500 deposit will hold your spot

For complete itinerary, email jfalls@tohonochul.org

(image by Andrewsaurusrex)