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Archive for November, 2009

Churchill Wild polar bears featured on CNN video! Producer Jessica Ellis visits Seal River Heritage Lodge!

Click the image above to see raw CNN video footage of the Polar Bears.

Click the image above to see raw CNN video footage of the polar bear trip taken by CNN producer Jessica Ellis and photographer Ferre Dollar to Seal River Heritage Lodge. It was quite the adventure!

It’s been a busy media week for the polar bear’s at Churchill Wild’s Seal River Heritage Lodge! Earlier this week we were featured in Newsweek in an article entitled The Polar Express and today we were featured in polar bear video on the CNN Web site in the “Most Popular” and “Don’t Miss” video sections!

CNN producer Jessica Ellis and photographer Ferre Dollar were recent visitor’s to Seal River Heritage Lodge on the Hudson Bay Coast and they were surrounded by polar bears – and photographers.

A short clip of their polar bear trekking trip also appeared on CNN (TV) today on the Rick Sanchez show! The video was part of a behind the scenes piece put together for CNN International’s Backstory (which aired Wednesday).

Click the image above to see the raw video footage of Jessica and Ferre flying through the snow from Churchill, Manitoba enroute to the remote Hudson Bay Coast. And there was a polar bear in the vicinity when they got off the plane – so they had to take a different route to the Lodge!

Make sure to watch sections 2:14 – 2:26, when the team was surrounded by polar bears, and the piece at 3:47 of the video, when a bear comes to the Lodge door. And of course, there are more polar bears.

This raw video footage, entitled Face to Face with the Polar Bears, shows just how much fun it can be to walk on the arctic tundra and visit with the polar bears up close and personal.

An additional clip of this arctic adventure is slated to air on CNN during the week of December 7. It will also feature Churchill Wild owner Mike Reimer, professional photographer Dennis Fast and polar bear guide extraordinaire Andy MacPherson – all talking about what it’s like to hang out with the polar bears at Seal River Heritage Lodge.

Jessica and Ferre told us they had a fantastic time! We owe them a big warm polar bear hug!

Thank you CNN!

Wish to see Polar Bears in Churchill comes true thanks to Make-A-Wish Foundation and Churchill Wild

This is from Azzurra Riley’s Blog.  She is a 10-year-old old girl who came to Churchill Wild‘s Seal River Lodge through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Guests are greeted by both staff and Polar Bears

Guests are greeted by both staff and Polar Bears

CHIEF ARCTIC EXPLORER

The 7-hour journey begins tomorrow at 5 a.m. where we make our way to LAX for our flight to Winnipeg. After an overnight in Winnipeg we catch a short flight to Churchill, Canada (population 900). The next morning we will take a turbo beaver plane to Seal River Lodge, which is located in the wilderness of the Northern Manitoba Tundra. Seal River is a natural habitat for wildlife, in particular the Polar Bears.

POLAR BEAR CAPITOL OF THE WORLD

We now find ourselves in Churchill, Manitoba a small town 800 miles north of Winnipeg, in the frozen sub-arctic tundra. Its latitude is 57 degrees north. This small community has one main street, no traffic lights, bill boards, only one paved road, and no cell phone towers. We got off the 26-passenger plane, where we were greeted by Rose who works for Seal River in Churchill. Rose organizes guests, as wall as supplies for the lodge. She took us to Helen Webber’s home where we would be staying while in Churchill.

After we met Helen, saw our rooms and got cleaned up, we visited Brenda at the Northern Images arts shops. This particular store is part of a co-op program across northern Canada that allows the northern and local goods to be showcased. Brenda explained to us the native ways of life such as trapping, and living in the North. She then showed us many of the clothing items that are still used today. Some of these items include seal skin coats for the children, Caribou fur outer shoes, and a special infant-carrying jacket.

Eye to eye with the mighty Polar Bear

Eye to eye with the mighty Polar Bear

After we met with Brenda we walked down the street to dinner at the Northern Nights Hotel and Restaurant. Being a remote town in the middle of nowhere, everything is flown in, delivered by train, caught or picked off the land. Most of the meat up here is fish, Snow Geese, or Caribou which can all be found right outside. All the restaurant menus depend on what is available at the time of year.

The next day we got up and had breakfast with Helen, who was renamed the “President of Churchill” by my father. Being an established chef with lots of cookbooks, Helen’s breakfast was amazing. Afterwards, Rose came to pick us up to go to the tundra buggy docking station. We went over safety instructions and then headed off to see some Polar Bears!

Early the next morning we were driven to the airport. We quickly boarded the small 8-passenger turbo beaver and flew for about 28 minutes. While flying we spotted both Caribou and Polar Bears. We then landed on the short gravel runway and were at Seal River Lodge. Just as we were taking off our coats and boots, we were greeted by an unexpected visitor; a huge Polar Bear!! It came right up against one of the windows in the main living room, not even two feet from where I was standing!!! The guides were telling us that he usually came around when the plane flew in and was given the name Bob and the role of the greeting committee.

After the excitement we waited for the other people to arrive, had lunch, and then it was out into the wild. We hiked for two hours and saw five bears as well as ptarmigans (birds), snow buntings (birds), a snowy owl, and an arctic hare.

ARCTIC EXPLORER HOME AT LAST

We have gone from -20 degrees to +85. I had so much fun but I’m happy to be home. Although I am upset to be away from the cute but not too cuddly Polar Bears. I learnt so much about all the animals, the natives and the culture of the north. It was great to learn so much from the locals too. One thing I love about Churchill and Seal River is that the people are so consciences of their environment and go out of their way to be very eco friendly. It’s all about the animals. I know we could learn one or two things from them!

I had an amazing trip!!!!!!


About Make-A-Wish® Canada

Make-A-Wish® Canada is part of the largest not-for-profit wish granting organization in the world, serving 30 countries with international affiliates on five continents (Make-A-Wish International®).

Make A Wish Foundation

You Can Help Make a Child's Dream Come True

Since inception in 1980, Make-A-Wish® has helped make over 225,000 wishes come true for children around the world. Make-A-Wish® in Canada consists of eight regional Chapters and the Canada Office, which is located in Toronto, Ontario. We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

Close Encounters of the Bear Kind – Churchill Wild Makes Dreams Come True

A Polar Bear Checks out What is Going On in the Kitchen

A Polar Bear Peeks in Through The Bars

After visiting Clyde River and then Pond Inlet further north on Baffin Island back in 2005 and 2007, hoping to see Polar Bears in the wild and being disappointed in not seeing any there, we finally tried at Churchill Wild in Northern Manitoba in October of 2009.

Not knowing whether it was going to be third time lucky or not for us this time round, our trip actually turned out to be everything that we expected and more. We got to see Polar Bears at last! Lots of them, up close and personal, and on one occasion, even one large male pushing his nose through the bars across the open window of the hallway near the kitchen in the lodge.

His breath blowing into my face – which was only about two feet away from his – while I thanked my lucky stars (afterwards that is) that I had my camcorder rolling at the moment I stood in stunned silence before this ice giant. Shivers ran down my spine, tingling in excitement at this close encounter I never dreamed would happen to me.

You just cannot get better, or closer, than that! Fantastic experiences, thank you Churchill Wild for being in existence and for making my dreams finally come true.

Mike and Julie Trayhum 2009                  

Churchill Wild chefs serve up gourmet meals for Canadian Tourism Commission on Olympic Torch weekend

Wild Tundra Cranberry Cake with Warm Butter Sauce

Wild Tundra Cranberry Cake with Warm Butter Sauce

A delegation from the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) ventured to the polar bear capital of the world – Churchill, Manitoba – to join in the festivities on the weekend the Olympic Torch arrived in this small arctic seaport town, and the Churchill Wild chefs had the honor of cooking dinner for them!

Helen Webber and Dave Schellenberg prepared dinner for a group of 15 which included delegates from the CTC, a representative from Travel Manitoba, Frontiers North owners Linda and Merv Gunter, Frontiers North GM John Gunter and his wife Lisa Joy. Below is the menu the Churchill Wild chefs prepared for the group:

Appetizers
Bacon-Wrapped Manitoba Snow Goose
Any Port in a Storm Blue Cheese Spread
Baked Brie with Wild Cranberry Ginger Chutney

Salad & Bread
Mixed Field Greens with Mustard Vinaigrette
Artesian Style “Shaggy” Bread

Entrée
Manitoba Wild Rice and Black Bean Casserole
Lemon Thyme Spinach
Potato and Bacon Au Gratin
Slow Roasted Organic Caribou Served with Double Mushroom Ragout
Individual Horseradish Bread Pudding

Dessert
Wild Tundra Cranberry Cake with Warm Butter Sauce
North Knife Lake Blueberry Cream Cheese Tart

Your Dinner tonight has been prepared fresh for you while you were out on your Tundra Buggy Adventure. Our bread is made fresh daily with fresh ground flour and all berries are hand picked on hands and knees and are local to Churchill and our Lodges.

Feel free to ask questions, indulge and enjoy!

Snow Goose Recipe – Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Snow Goose

Cranberries & Canada Geese Cookbook

Cranberries & Canada Geese Cookbook

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Snow Goose

We server this appetizer at all our lodges, and any dinners we cater. You can make these a day ahead. Keep them covered and in the refrigerator until ready to cook.  This recipe should make 12 wraps.

Ingredients:

  • 6 strips bacon
  • 6 tsp. cream cheese
  • 1 average sized snow goose breast
  • pickled sliced jalapeno peppers

Directions:

  1. Cut the bacon strips in half, so you have 12 pieces of bacon.
  2. Clean the goose breast of any silver skin or fat.
  3. Slice the breast across the grain into strips about ¼ inch by 1 ½ inches. You should have about 12 pieces.
  4. Lay four of the bacon strips down on a cutting board. Place one slice of goose across each strip of bacon.
  5. On top of the goose place one heaping teaspoon of cream cheese. On top of the cream cheese place one (or two, if you like it a bit hotter) pickled jalapeno slices.
  6. Roll the bacon around the goose, cream cheese and jalapeno. Skewer with a tooth pick to hold together.
  7. Repeat with remaining 8 slices of bacon and goose breast.
  8. Heat barbeque grill on high. When grill is hot, place wraps on grill.
  9. Cook about 5 minutes on each side and until the bacon is done the way you like it, but do not cook too long as the goose will become tough.
  10. Remove from grill and serve.

Note: When the bacon begins to cook it will drip grease and can cause flair ups on the grill.  Be careful to watch.

Variations: We have also brushed these with apricot jam, marmalade jam, and even Dijon mustard while cooking. These can be made with any type of water fowl – snow goose, duck, pheasant etc. You can also use any type of tender red meat.

Cooking Tip:Soak the toothpicks in water for a few hours before preparing these. This helps prevent them from burning on the grill.

To learn more about Webber’s Lodges Award-Winning wild game cookbooks please visit:

http://www.blueberriesandpolarbears.com