Churchill Wild enhances environmental stewardship programs with installation of VBINE Vertical Access Wind Turbines at northern eco-lodges

April 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, From The Lodge, In The News

VBINE ENERGY Vertical Access Wind Turbine - VAWT

VBINE ENERGY Vertical Access Wind Turbine - VAWT

Churchill Wild has always been devoted to minimizing their environmental footprint at their remote northern eco-lodges.

Now they’re enhancing their environmental stewardship programs even further with the installation of Vertical Access Wind Turbines (VAWTs) manufactured by VBINE ENERGY in Winkler, Manitoba.

The combined power generated by the VAWTs and the solar panels currently in place at their eco-lodges will virtually eliminate the need to use fossil fuels at Seal River Heritage Lodge, Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, North Knife Lake Lodge and Dymond Lake Lodge.

Generators will still be in place for backup power, but the combination of the current solar-panel system combined with VAWTs is expected to provide for almost, if not all, their power needs in the future.

“The beauty of it is that we have a battery storage system,” said Mike Reimer of Churchill Wild. “The power generated from the VAWTs and the solar panels is stored in the batteries and we draw off of them. And they’re eco-friendly and economical. There’s less noise pollution, less of a carbon footprint and we’ll be paying substantially less than the $1-$1.30 per kilowatt it costs for diesel generated power.”

The VAWTs were invented by Barry Ireland about six years ago and refined by an engineering team. Their showcase installations include the Dr. David Suzuki Public School in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, but the rugged VAWTs were also designed to work in remote northern locations.

“They were originally designed to work on smokestacks and silos,” said Ireland. “We had to build them so that the center wouldn’t rotate. We also had remote communication towers in mind when we built them. Many of those towers are powered by diesel and the VAWTs cut costs by quite a bit. That also means they will be popular with many northern lodges and outfitters.”

VBINE is currently working with Canadian Solar on a combination wind/solar solution that will work for northern communities.

“VAWTs are generating a large amount of interest because of the significant cost savings that can be realized,” said Ireland. “And the fact that the big windmills won’t work in the north. They ice up, they have too much vibration and they won’t go into the permafrost. The VAWTs are the only ones that will work up north.”

VAWTs mount easily on existing buildings; they’re only two meters in width; they’re quiet and they’re suitable for grid tie-in or battery storage. And because of the vertical design, VAWTs can take wind from any direction. They start generating power at wind speeds of 1.2 meters per second and run 24/7 generating 5 kilowatts of power with a 25 mph wind. They have a permanent magnet generator with two long-life bearings, no drive shaft and no slips springs or brushes. The lifespan of the VAWTs is estimated at 30 years with very little maintenance. Their sleek design also minimizes interference with wildlife.

Hudson Bay CAT Train in Blizzard

CAT Train in a pending Hudson Bay blizzard

The first of the Churchill Wild VAWTs were hauled up to Seal River Heritage Lodge last week via CAT train (caterpillar pulling a freight sled) across the Hudson Bay sea ice, which is still about six feet thick.

Hauling tons of freight across the Hudson Bay ice in -20 degree weather is actually better than doing it at 0 degrees. The ice can get sticky and wet in warm weather, making for dangerous conditions. While there is generally no immediate danger from polar bears, which are still further out on the ice filling up on seals before the ice melts, the weather can still cause problems.

“The wind chills can get to as low as -40,” said Reimer. “And there’s always the possibility of blizzards, flooding sea ice and slush holes. CATS have actually gone through the ice on a couple of occasions.”

The trip takes about 15 hours from Dymond Lake Lodge to Seal River Heritage Lodge and Churchill Wild utilizes one of their two CAT track-type tractors, 1956 and 1972 models built by Caterpillar.  But how fast does that CAT really go?

“About two miles an hour downhill with a tailwind,”  said Reimer.

To learn more about how VBINE ENERGY VAWTs can benefit your operations and goals for a greener future, please visit http://www.VBINE.com, call their head office at (204) 325-0228 or e-mail info@vbine.com

Churchill Wild polar bears to appear on CBC’s The Nature of Things in Polar Bears: A Summer Odyssey

March 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, In The News, Polar Bear Photography

Polar bear being filmed at Seal River
Filming polar bears at Seal River. Photo Credit: Nick Garbutt

Special to Churchill Wild
by +George Williams

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to visit the polar bears at Seal River Heritage Lodge or Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, you’ll want to make sure to watch the world premiere of Polar Bears: A Summer Odyssey on Sunday, April 8 at 7 p.m. on CBC TV’s The Nature of Things with David Suzuki. You’ll see some of our Churchill Wild polar bears!

The wildlife documentary, much of which was filmed over a 12-month period in the vicinity of Churchill Wild’s polar bear lodges, tells the story of a young male polar bear who must survive his first summer alone on land without his mother, after the ice breaks up early on Western Hudson Bay and prevents him from hunting seals. The youngster’s struggle to survive is back-grounded and influenced by one of the most important environmental stories in history: climate change.

Directed by Adam Ravetch of Arctic Bear Productions and produced by Arcadia Content in association with CBC’s Science and Natural History Documentary Unit, Polar Bears: A Summer Odyssey features stunning images shot with eight different types of cameras including: a polar bear collar-cam; a remote control truck-cam; a mini heli-cam and several underwater cameras.

Big polar bear on tundra at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge

One. Big. Polar Bear! Nanuk.

“Filming in 3D was much more work,” said Ravetch. “But we wanted immersive images so the audience could experience what it’s really like to be up close at ground level with polar bears. It required multiple cameras operating at the same time to produce the special 3D effects and three of us including Stereographer Indy Saini and Camera Engineering Specialist Stewart Meyer to get the distances between the objects and between the lenses just right. Stewart also developed a smaller mobile camera system that could produce some very rare images.”

Churchill Wild’s Mike Reimer and polar bear guides Terry Elliot and Andy MacPherson were also essential in getting the ultimate polar bear shots.

“It’s a huge challenge to film in 3D in the arctic,” said Ravetch. “The guides have to have experience specifically with polar bears. They concentrate on safety so we can focus on camera angles and getting the shots we need. Being up close with the bears is quite spectacular for a filmmaker, but safety is paramount. The last thing we want is for a person or a bear to get hurt. You’re not in a cage or a vehicle, you’re at ground level with the polar bears. I’ve always worked at ground level, but there are very few places where you can photograph polar bears like this. Seal River and Nanuk are among the best places on the planet for this type of wildlife photography.”

Polar bear sees reflection on Hudson Bay.

Reflection of a polar bear. Hudson Bay.

Ravetch is no stranger the arctic. He and Sarah Robertson co-directed Arctic Tale for National Geographic. Ravetch also directed some amazing in-field sequences swimming with polar bears and walruses for the IMAX production To The Arctic and was cinematographer for one of the segments on the BBC series Frozen Planet, to name just a few of his many illustrious wildlife and nature film credits.

Ravetch sometimes camps out for 4-6 weeks at a time while making his films in the arctic, which makes for a very serious and sometimes dangerous adventure (see full interview here), but Churchill Wild was lucky to have him and his crew as guests at Seal River Heritage Lodge and Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge during various segments of the filming process in 2010 and 2011.

“I woke up to Jeanne’s (Reimer) omelettes every morning,” said Ravetch. “Churchill Wild offers people the very unique experience of getting up close on the ground with the polar bears. Within a day of a arriving at the Lodge people can see polar bears on the tundra. But they still have a warm safe bed at the Lodge to come back to, and of course the delicious food.”

Thanks Adam! And just to clarify for future guests, Churchill Wild doesn’t actually “own” any polar bears.

They simply get close to them.

Polar bear at sunset near Seal River Heritage Lodge.

Nature at its finest.

A PURE Adventure

November 1, 2011 by  
Filed under From The Lodge

By Mike Reimer

Why? For how long?? Don’t we all cringe when your partner floats that question?

In this case it’s me (Mike) dodging the query from Jeanne as I packed up in the middle of Polar Bear season to head to PURE in Marrakech, Morocco.

PURE Life Experiences is where “the world’s finest creators of travel experiences meet” and this is Churchill Wild’s second year. The event is invite only and there is an extensive screening process to be approved.

This prestigious experiential/luxury travel show brings together all the best in adventure travel products on the planet for 4 days of intense marketing discussions, networking, and possibly just a little bit of fun. (But mostly hard work, honest!)

Leaving behind a lodge full of happy guests surrounded by polar bears is really not that big a deal when you have a rock solid, dependable, professional staff staying back to “hold down the fort” managed by Jeanne, the Arctic Queen.

Bear season has been fantastic this year – one of the best, in fact. We have had daily polar bear sightings and spectacular photo ops highlighted by great Northern Lights. Also both red and Arctic foxes, Gyrfalcons, and Snowy Owls are being observed. As much fun as PURE will be, I can’t wait to get back to the lodge.

See you soon.

(PURE Life Experiences runs from November 1 – 4, 2011)

Rebecca and Fraser: A Polar Bear Wedding Announcement

September 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, In The News

Rebecca and Fraser are getting married!  It’s true.  Our daughter and her lifelong friend Fraser Issac have decided to throw their hats into the ring and tie the knot!

rebecca-n-fraser

Rebecca and Fraser

Rebecca and Fraser will be married on October 8, 2011.  The ceremony begins at 3 p.m. on our yard in Kleefeld, Manitoba.  They have decided to take a chance on Mother Nature and have planned for an outdoor wedding, so we are hoping for a beautiful fall day.  There should be an amazing backdrop for the event with all of the leaves changing colour. The trees will be gorgeous and the leaves that fall will provide us with an enchanting kaleidoscope carpet!

Let’s back up a few years and I will tell you how this all came to be.

Seven years ago, the Reimer Family decided to make the fateful move to Kleefeld, Manitoba from our long time home in Churchill.  It was a heart wrenching move, as Churchill was the childhood home for five out of the six members of our family.

Our move came about fairly quickly, without a lot of time to find just the right home, so we moved into a tiny house on Hanover Road until we could find what we needed for our family.  The family next door was the first to visit us and welcome us to our new home. And they had kids!

We became fast friends.  Their eldest, a boy named Fraser, just happened to be the same age as our oldest daughter, Rebecca.  Their daughter, Anja, a bubbly, friendly girl, soon spent many hours with our daughters.  Fraser made it his mission to welcome the new girl in his grade and the two fast became a pair.

Rebecca and Fraser “hung out” for all of Grade 9 and most of Grade 10, back when Rebecca was still taller than him!  By the end of Grade 10 their social circles were changing, we had moved to a new home down the road and their paths did not cross as much for a few years.

Fast forward three years and we found our daughter in college and living in Winnipeg with relatives and Fraser working in the city in between his university terms.  They seemed to find time to start “hanging out” again and before we knew it, they had made it official and started dating.  That was a year and half ago, and we are so pleased to have Fraser joining our family.  He is literally the “boy next door”, but now MUCH taller than Rebecca, working on a college engineering degree and growing into a man of strong integrity who we have been proud to welcome into our lives.

As previously mentioned, Rebecca is our oldest daughter and just recently turned 21.  She has grown up with Polar Bears at Seal River and fishing at North Knife Lake.  She has been charged by a Polar Bear (fortunately when on the right side of the fence!), caught Manitoba Master angler fish and had a photo published in National Geographic Traveler. She has also spent countless hours snowmobiling with her family and friends, successfully hunted caribou and moose with her dad, been back up driver on Seal River ATV tours.  She’s proven she can take on anything that’s thrown at her.  Rebecca is thrilled to have found someone to share her love of the outdoors and adventure with. Fraser has embraced the north, but has also shown her the magic and beauty of the south.

peek-a-boo polar bear

Rebecca's picture appeared in National Geographic Traveler Magazine in a story about Churchill Wild's Seal River Heritage Lodge

We expect to see both of them making cameo appearances at the lodges over the next several years – if we can’t hook ‘em into some full time work!

Immediate future plans involve living in an apartment in Winnipeg while Fraser finishes the last year and a half of his education. From there, the possibilities are wide open!

You can read their engagement story and see their smiling faces on www.FraserandRebecca.com.  Thanks for reading and sharing in our lives!

Please head over to our Facebook page, “like us” and send your comments to Rebecca & Fraser.

Jeanne & Mike

Could President Obama and family walk with Churchill polar bears? Yes. They could.

April 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Polar Bear Tours

Polar Bear Viewing Observatory Dining Room on Hudson Bay

New polar bear viewing observatory/dining room at Seal River Lodge on the Hudson Bay Coast

When Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer’s daughters Kate and Emily invited U.S. President Barack Obama’s daughters Sasha and Malia to visit the polar bears in Churchill a few years ago it got us thinking. They probably considered visiting Churchill, but it’s unlikely they knew they could actually walk on the tundra with polar bears, or swim in Hudson Bay with beluga whales.

Churchill Wild eco-lodge owners Mike and Jeanne Reimer say the Obama and Doer families would be more than welcome to do just that at their Seal River Heritage Lodge 40 miles north of Churchill on the Hudson Bay coast.

“It’s the only place in Canada where you can actually go out and walk with the polar bears in their natural environment,” said Mike Reimer, who has been stomping the terra with the polar bears for over 30 years. “We would absolutely love to have the Obama and Doer families visit our polar bear eco-lodges and take part in all the activities we have to offer.”

Polar bear outside new Seal River Lodge dining room Summer 2010

Polar bear intently watching Hudson Bay outside Seal River Lodge

That of course, would include walking with polar bears on the coast of Hudson Bay and snorkeling with beluga whales in Hudson Bay, not to mention eating gourmet meals straight from the award-winning cookbook series Blueberries and Polar Bears, which were co-written by Jeanne Reimer’s mother Helen Webber of Webber’s Lodges.

Helen is married to Webber’s Lodges owner and former Churchill mayor Doug Webber. She is certainly no stranger to hosting dignitaries at the Webber’s home in Churchill and preparing spectacular feasts for them, including Ambassador Doer when he was Premier of Manitoba,

Helen’s dinner parties in Churchill are legendary, the last of which was held for the top international executives of the Canadian Tourism Commission, who later flew out to see the polar bears at Seal River Lodge. The dinner, and the trip to Seal River Lodge, received rave reviews.

Gourmet Dinner at Churchill Wild

Gourmet Goose Dinner at Churchill Wild

First Lady Michelle Obama, who is promoting healthy eating as her platform while in the White House, would likely enjoy herself immensely in Churchill Wild’s family-run tundra kitchen, which prides itself on utilizing the freshest ingredients available from the surrounding landscapes.

Mrs. Obama launched her Let’s Move initiative to battle childhood obesity and improve the quality of food in U.S. schools in February, 2010 and on March 16, 2011 she reached an agreement with Crown Publishing Group to author a cookbook in which she will talk about the garden she established on the South Lawn of the White House. Due out in 2012, Mrs. Obama’s new cookbook will also explore how improved access to fresh, locally grown food can promote healthier eating habits for families and communities. You can watch the video about the White House Garden here.

“Last year we built the new dining room,” said Reimer. “Right now we’re hauling in a new gourmet kitchen. It was designed by Len Friesen and it will be the first of its kind in the arctic. We’re planning on having a Celebrity Chef Contest at some point with a combination of original creations and recipes from the Blueberries and Polar Bears cookbooks that will feature seal, caribou, moose, goose, arctic char, northern pike, lake trout, local plant garnishes, wild blueberries, cranberries and strawberries. In between cooking sessions we’ll be out on the tundra with the polar bears or swimming with whales. We would love for Mrs. Obama to participate!”

But seriously, fabulous food and cooking contests aside, what about safety and secret service and fighter planes?

Polar bear in fireweed at Seal River Lodge on the Hudson Bay Coast near Churchill

Polar bear in fireweed. Photo Credit: Dennis Fast

“We’ve never had a polar bear problem in the 30 years that we’ve operated our lodges,” said Reimer. “It’s a unique, once in a lifetime experience and our guests love being able to get up close and personal with the polar bears. It’s one of the few places on earth where you can actually go out and walk with the bears, and there are numerous safety measures in place. I’m not sure what the bears would think of secret service agents and jet fighters. They probably wouldn’t even notice.”

While he was Premier of Manitoba, Ambassador Doer persuaded numerous high-profile people to visit Churchill, including Janet Napolitano, who is now President Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security; David Wilkins, the former U.S. ambassador to Canada; and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  Last fall, famous visitors to Churchill included George Stroumboulopoulos, Chantal Kreviazuk, Raine Maida and Martha Stewart.

Still, try to imagine the Turbo Beaver taking off from Churchill for Seal River Lodge accompanied by fighter jets. Or the curious looks on the polar bears’ faces when the secret service agents arrive with the Obama family. And what kind of boat would be required if the Obama and Doer families decided to go swimming with the beluga whales? Would the Zodiaks suffice?

“It would something very special for us,” said Reimer. “We would like to extend a heartfelt open invitation to both the Obama and the Doer families to visit Seal River Lodge any time. It would be an incredible honor.”

 

 

How to Gift Wrap a Polar Bear

January 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, In The News

Happy Birthday!

Imagine what it would be like to get a polar bear for your birthday! Is that even possible? And if so, how would you gift wrap it? And how would you give it to the person?

The answer to question one is… not quite, but close!

The answer to question two comes from Reach for the Rainbow and Churchill Wild.

The answer to question three will have to wait until the end of this story.

Reach for the Rainbow, a non-profit organization which has pioneered the integration of children and youth with disabilities into the mainstream of society at summer camp programs throughout Ontario, provided the gift wrapping via its 24th annual Crystal Ball Fundraising Gala this past November in Toronto.

Churchill Wild provided the polar bears, in the form of a trip for two to their Polar Bear Photo Safari at Seal River Heritage Lodge, as one of 13 featured live auction items at the gala. The top prize was a BMW which went for over $130,000.

“It is due to the generosity and support of donors such as Churchill Wild that Reach for the Rainbow can deliver the integrated opportunities we do, to close to 700 children with disabilities across Ontario each year,” said Jennifer Jeynes, Reach for the Rainbow’s Manager of Communications & Public Relations.

“The amazing team at Churchill Wild have really stepped up to aid the charity, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be associated with such a wonderful company which provides the ultimate experience of adventure and exploration!” Churchill Wild’s Polar Bear Photo Safari gives professional, amateur and hobbyist photographers the chance to walk with polar bears for incredible on the ground opportunities.

Churchill Wild’s Director of Marketing & Communications Rick Kemp worked with disabled children for eight years and identified Reach for the Rainbow’s Crystal Ball Gala as an ideal event to support. His enthusiasm and the worthiness of Reach for the Rainbow’s goals made it was an easy sell to Churchill Wild owner’s Mike and Jeanne Reimer.

“Churchill Wild is a family business,” said Mike. “And when it comes to family, it’s really all about the kids.”

The winning bidder for the Polar Bear Photo Safari has been a guest of Fuel Advertising at the Crystal Ball Fundraising Gala for the last few years. Every year she buys her Christmas gifts at different charity events.  This year was a little different – she wanted something unique and very special.

“I wanted a spectacular once-in-a-lifetime gift,” she said. “My husband is an avid photographer, he’s always had an interest in it. I think he will be blown away with this because it’s something he would not have discovered himself. He’ll be very surprised!”

Especially when he reads this, on February 4, 2011:

Happy Birthday Bob!Love, Nicole


Black and White Adventure Offers Canadian Wildlife In Living Colour

January 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, In The News

Black and White Adventure - Black bears, Polar Bears, Killer Whales and Beluga Whales

Black and White Adventure

Presented by Canada’s Churchill Wild and Clayoquot Wilderness Resort

For the very  first time, wildlife adventurers and photographers will have the opportunity to get up close and personal to Canadian black bears and polar bears, humpback whales and beluga whales, during a spectacular summer trip in 2011.

The Black & White Adventure has been created by two of Canada’s top wilderness resort operators, Churchill Wild and Clayoquot Wilderness Resort.  Both specialize in wildly incredible nature holidays with top notch amenities, and discovered that once guests experienced one species of bear and whales, they crave the opportunity to view, photograph and learn more about other species. The only package in the world to offer this intense wilderness combination, this adventure takes guests from the UNESCO protected biosphere reserve and rainforests of Clayoquot Sound to the rich and vibrant northern wilderness of Churchill Manitoba’s Hudson Bay Coast, with opportunities to stay in Vancouver and Whistler, BC,  in one mind blowing trip.

This photographer’s dream experience is being offered during 13 different dates, July and August 2011, ranging from 10 – 14 nights.  Rates for the package start at CDN$12,795 per person, based on double occupancy. Included are overnight accommodations, meals, guided activities and local transportation including seaplane transfers to/from Vancouver and Clayoquot Wilderness Resort and aerial and ground transfers at Churchill Wild, and ground transfers to Vancouver and Whistler.   Not included are flights to Winnipeg or Vancouver and between Vancouver and Winnipeg.

At Manitoba’s Churchill Wild, (www.churchillwild.com) guests have on the ground and in the bay access to polar bears and beluga whales as well as spectacular northern flora and fauna, and birding during the summer months.  Churchill Wild is the only company on earth that offers fly in eco-lodges in remote Arctic locations that have been strategically built to follow the path of the polar bear during its seasonal migrations. Sensitive to the fragile environment that surrounds the eco-lodges, guests enjoy Arctic luxury accommodations and gourmet meals, with a light environmental touch which is one of the reasons most of the wilderness excursions are done on foot or by boat.

“For 15 years, we’ve specialized in light-footprint, personalized eco-tours into Canada’s North,” said Mike Reimer, co-creator of Churchill Wild. “There’s something pretty awesome about coming face-to-face with a polar bear or nose to nose to a beluga whale for the first time and making that genuine connection with nature. We’re proud to partner with Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, a well-respected and like-minded company to offer such a wide ranging experience that celebrates whales and bears.”

The Canadian eco-safari experiences of Clayoquot Wilderness Resort (www.wildretreat.com)  first began 13 years ago, just off the coast of Vancouver Island near Tofino, BC.  The resort has popularized the term “glamping”  for glamourous camping, with its award winning blend of upscale tent accommodations, with fireplaces and ensuite washrooms, antique furniture matched with Persian carpets, Healing Grounds spa, exceptional dining and adventure opportunities tucked deep within what National Geographic has termed an “upside down rainforest”.

“We have built our business on providing guests with the type of experiences they can not get any where else in the world,” says John Caton, managing director of Clayoquot Wilderness Resort. “When people see their first black bear they are hooked and want to know more, including how they relate to the Polar Bear of our northern areas.  Knowing the quality of experiences offered at Churchill Wild, it was a natural fit to see how we could offer this expanded experience to guests.”

People are encouraged to call either Churchill Wild (1-866-846-9453) or Clayoquot Wilderness Resort ( 1-888-333-5405) and speak to one of the resorts’ travel experts to learn more about the Black & White Adventure package, and arrange for the type of personalized experience that is the specialty of each company.  Additional information may be found at www.wildretreat.com or www.churchillwild.com.

Spectacular polar bear viewing, fabulous guests and a beautiful new dining room make for wondrous summer on Hudson Bay Coast

October 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Polar Bear Tours

Polar bears were everywhere in the Summer of 2010 at Churchill Wild's Seal River Heritage Lodge.

Polar bears everywhere!

Unbelievable, wow, incredible, spectacular, best ever, life changing, beyond expectations, and the list goes on – we can never quite identify the right superlative to describe this past season at Churchill Wild!

Once again the guest book is full of great comments and wondrous praises heaped upon our hard working staff and the awesome Churchill Wild polar bear experience they provide. Thank you to all our new found friends, who traveled from all corners of the globe this year, for making the time and financial commitment to join us on the Hudson Bay coast.

It’s difficult to look back over the crazy exciting busyness of this summer season and identify the highlights – there were so many! One of the most important accomplishments was the completion of the new dining room, with its huge viewing windows looking out over the Bay, a new roof, a new tower access, new decks, and new staff quarters.

I get tired just thinking about all the work that had to be done to see that beautiful building standing there. Yvan and

New dining room, polar bear obervatory at Seal River Lodge.

New Seal River Lodge dining room completed!

crew pulled off another miracle, from planning the project last season, to ordering and shipping materials by train to Churchill in January, then spending two weeks in March dragging freight over the frozen sea to the Lodge and finally back in June with the construction crew to build like madmen so we could be ready for first guests in July. Wow! And now we start the whole process all over again – Jeanne has “assured” all of us that she is getting her new kitchen next year.

Our summer Birds, Bears, and Belugas adventure might well have been called Bears, Bears, and Bears as we enjoyed some of the finest summer polar bear action on the planet. Seal River has always been a mecca for polar bears coming off the ice in July, but this year was nothing short of incredible.

One afternoon aerial tour spotted over 100 bears within 30 kilometers of Seal River, numbers which were certainly confirmed by the daily bear action at the Lodge. And the whales continue to enthrall intrepid snorkelers with their charming attention to the strange creatures invading their watery domain. Interactive singing opportunities brought out the creative in everyone. And although it was difficult to tell which whale “whisperer” had the best tune, it was fairly obvious that our whale friends enjoy listening to a well gurgled tune.

Mike Reimer on Hudson Bay. Churchill Wild. Summer 2010.

A beautiful summer day on Hudson Bay!

This past year Churchill Wild also completed the purchase and expansion of the Canada’s newest and most exciting polar bear destination, the Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge located near Cape Tatnum. Cape Tatnum is home to the greatest concentration of summer polar bears on earth and is also near the site of a recently discovered polar bear denning area, not to mention fantastic wolf viewing, countless moose, and a bird migration beyond number. This will undoubtedly become the finest wild polar bear adventure in our ever-expanding stable of great polar bear trips, on par with the great African wildlife safaris of years gone by. Please plan to join us!

Churchill Wild can now guarantee world class polar bear viewing and ground level polar bear photo opportunities at its remote ecolodges from July through to the end of the traditional November season – another world first.

A big heartfelt thanks to all our wonderful guests for making Seal River Lodge a fabulous place to be this summer!  We couldn’t have done it without you. Now it’s time for the Great Ice Bear Tour and the Polar Bear Photo Safari.

We hope you can join us again someday soon!

Mike & Jeanne Reimer & Family

Polar Bears and Climate Change – CNN Video interviews polar bear veterans at Seal River Heritage Lodge

April 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, In The News, Polar Bear Tours

Polar Bears and Climate Change CNNIs climate change reducing the world’s polar bear population?  There’s no question the polar bear’s favored environment – the arctic sea ice – is melting, yet the polar bear population on Canada’s Hudson Bay seems to be thriving right now. Why?

CNN producer Jessica Ellis took a film crew to Churchill Wild’s Seal River Heritage Lodge to get the answers from some veteran polar bear men including Churchill Wild co-owner Mike Reimer, wildlife guide Andy MacPherson and professional photographer Dennis Fast.

We think you’ll find their answers both interesting and informative. Click the image above to watch the recent CNN Video Feature about Polar Bears and Climate Change.

Churchill polar bear trip, 5-Star hospitality, result in glowing testimonial from Canadian Tourism Commission for Churchill Wild

January 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, In The News

Churchill Polar Bear cub outside the Lodge

Churchill Polar Bear cub outside Seal River Lodge

Steve Allan, Chairman of the Board of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), his wife Marjie, and five members of the CTC had a chance to experience the hospitality of  Churchill Wild, Mike and Jeanne Reimer and the Webber Family when the Olympic Torch made its way through Churchill, Manitoba on the weekend of November 6-9, 2009.

Not only were the Commission Members treated to a gourmet meal at the the Webber’s home in Churchill, they also flew to Seal River Heritage Lodge to see the polar bears, one of which happened to greet their party as they departed their plane.

The Webber family and Churchill Wild thoroughly enjoyed having their CTC guests, especially on Olympic Torch Weekend!

And as you can see from the thank-you letter below, the CTC members also had a fabulous time!

Thank You! Please visit again soon!

Canadian-Tourism-Commission-Footer

Dear Jeannie, Mike, Helen and Dave:

On behalf of my wife, Marjie, and the other five members of the Canadian Tourism Commission team, I want to thank all of you for the truly amazing experience we enjoyed in Churchill at Webber’s Bed and Breakfast and at the Seal River Lodge on November 6 through 9, 2009.

Firstly, our stay at Webber’s Bed and Breakfast was wonderful. I am sure we had the most comfortable lodging in all of Churchill and there is no doubt we had the most outstanding meals of anywhere in Churchill. Helen and Dave, the caribou dinner on Saturday night was absolutely spectacular. Marjie has been carefully studying her new cookbooks ever since we arrived home and I am looking forward to sampling more of Helen’s recipes.

Dave, I am so happy you talked us into flying over to Seal River Lodge on Sunday. The flight over was very cool and it is always an experience to be able to fly at 200 feet, to view wildlife, rivers and the environment.

To climb off the airplane and see a curious polar bear coming to investigate about 100 yards away was initially a bit unnerving, but given the knowledge and attention to safety of everyone at Seal River, we all quickly relaxed.

We really appreciated the wonderful lunch and hospitality and were very impressed with the physical facility you have developed at Seal River over the years.

All of us were impressed with the warmth, friendliness and professionalism of all of the staff at the lodge.

Then the fog rolled in.

We’ve all experienced flight delays from fog or other conditions but I can’t imagine a better place to be fogged in than at Seal River.

The welcoming spirit, warmth and hospitality of you and all the staff really came to the fore. You could not have done more for us. When you produced eight toothbrushes and contact lens solution, that was the crowning touch.

To be able to see polar bears eyeball to eyeball at the lodge was an amazing experience I will never forget. You will recall one bear sniffing around the front door on Sunday evening and looking in the window and a second bear making a similar house call on Monday morning.

Seeing those polar bears from that perspective is an experience that very few people can claim to have had.

I was also struck by the beauty of the landscape. The incredible sunrise over Hudson Bay was one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever witnessed. The different shades of light on the water, ice and snow were spectacular.

It was a privilege to have had the opportunity to meet each one of you and I hope that our paths will cross again in the future. Congratulations for the great job you are doing for Northern tourism. You offer a very special product that would be difficult to duplicate anywhere in the world.

Best regards to all and please keep in touch.

Yours very truly,

Steve Allan

Chairman of the Board

Canadian Tourism Commission


To learn more about Churchill polar bear viewing trips and our new 2010 polar bear photo safari please visit the main Churchill Wild Web site at http://www.ChurchillWild.com