Canada is a large and vast country. Spanning over 9,306 kilometers there is a lot to see! It takes several days of continual driving to travel across the whole country coast to coast. Travelling is now such a natural part of life, from family vacation, business trips or exploring on an adventure; we are experiencing more of the world than ever before. Sometimes, you don’t have to go far to discover some incredible places as many of these are in our own backyard. From the beautiful mountain ranges of Alberta, to the mossy forests of British Columbia to the Oceanside of New Brunswick, our nation is filled with wonder. Now with Rogers exploring has never been better. Go outside the city to see what you will discover, take your family on a hike or bring your office to the outdoors and stay connected while you do it!
I want to take you across Canada and show you some of the incredible places I was able to photograph as part of this Rogers campaign and showcase the beautiful landscapes that you can discover while staying connected using your phone.
Our first stop was Nordegg in Alberta. We would drive from Calgary to Abraham Lake located 3 hours and 30 minutes Northwest of Calgary to arrive at this location. We had a convoy of three vehicles all travelling together including Tanner and myself along with the family we would photograph. Amongst the snowy and winter conditions, we scouted for the perfect place to stop and capture the family snowshoeing. We were able to text between the vehicles and chat to find the perfect place to stop. This way we could all stay warm in our vehicles just that little extra longer. Abraham Lake is famous for its ice bubbles that appear visible beneath the frozen surface during the winter. This day of shooting was -15 C and windy, but we were all ready for it! What I loved most is that the families that were able to work with for this shoot were just everyday people who were out in nature doing what they loved the most. Capturing people in the midst of what they love is one of my favorite things!
Lake Louise in Alberta is stunning in both the summer and the winter. My wife likes to say that summer and winter compete with each other to see who is most beautiful! On this winter morning, we arrived early just as the sun was rising to enjoy ice-skating on the lake. With the majestic mountains and glacier as our backdrop, we enjoyed the beautiful wintry silence and were the only ones up early on the ice to enjoy it. We had the whole place to ourselves! This was an incredible day to escape with the family for a hike, walk along side the frozen lake and of course ice-skating!
On to British Columbia, Tanner and I would fly into Vancouver and drive over to Chilliwack where we would make our way out to the Fraser Canyon Valley. We drove up to the snowy mountains of the canyon to discover the Alexandra Bridge. Tucked away in the dense forest mountain area, we had to walk through the trees to the bridge. The snow was freshly falling and a layer of fog rested perfectly on the mountain. This bridge was beautiful to capture with its depth and detail. Even better was the sound of the train in the distance that would pass not too far away from us. The sound for some reason brought a sense of mystery and comfort. There in the middle of the Fraser Canyon, I snapped a photo with my phone and sent it off to my wife to show her the beautiful spot we had found.
Saskatchewan was another stop on our list. I grew up in Saskatchewan for the first 18 years of my life. I am very familiar with it but I had never had the opportunity to travel to Waskesui Lake. This park is located 2 hours north of Saskatoon. Upon our arrival at Waskesiu, I found the Ice Cabin and it was love at first sight! It was made of 100% ice and inside had seats where you could sit to ice fish. It also contained a wood-burning stove and was incredibly warm and cozy inside. This little house was so unique I had to share it on Snapchat. There was a couple inside who had been ice-fishing all day so I took the opportunity to interview them for my Snapchat story so others including my family back home could share on the days adventure. This little house was well worth the drive! The vast and infinite space of this Saskatchewan treasure left you feeling so small in such a huge, wide-open space.
Our next stop would be the east coast. I hadn’t been to the Maritimes in over 20 years so I was very eager to return. I could visualize it very clearly from the many months I was able to spend there when I was 18 years old. I remembered a quiet and peaceful place, lined with small fishing villages and a welcoming people. I am happy to say that it was as I had remembered it. While many of the cities had grown and developed, it was great to see the eastern lifestyle, which is filled with the touch and flare of a European culture.
In New Brunswick, we went down to discover the incredible sights of Hopewell Rocks. These formations will leave anyone amazed in their beauty and intrigue. In the winter you can walk amongst the rocks, but in the summer the tides comes in and you will have to experience them by canoe. To walk amongst them and see the morning light break through left me in wonder and sad that I lived so far away!
My itinerary for the week was set for all locations however, in typical Eastern fashion a snowstorm warning forecasted 35cm of snow fresh snow overnight. Luckily I was able to stay up to date with the storm warnings while travelling back from the days shoot. Our location for the next day was sure to be snowed out so I was able to pull together a last minute alternate location, text the family and arrange a whole new location for the next day!
Nova Scotia is home to many beautiful national parks. The drive through Cape Breton National Park was like entering a whole new world. We would drive with the beautiful ocean side on our left and the snow dusted mountains on our right. Sometimes I am completely awestruck by the diversity and beauty of our nation’s landscape. I don’t know about you, but I am so proud to be Canadian!
We were shooting at the lighthouse in Stanhope in PEI and a man pulled up in his car and rolled down his window. He had taken note of our Nova Scotia license plates and said, “I have to warn you guys...” and I was instantly nervous, thinking what have we done wrong? He continued on “…you guys are going to fall in love with this place. I came here 20 years ago and I have never looked back. I just wanted to warn you.” I let a sigh of relief out with a laugh!
To be continued…
An entrepreneur, creator, father & husband from Calgary, Scott Bakken is inspiring a generation of creatives to live their best life.