FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA, Canada is marking its 150th birthday by celebrating all the things that make it one of the best places in the world to call home. So take some time this summer to push aside those client briefs, turn on that out-of-office reply and be inspired by the beauty of this great country.
> The Artists’ Artist: Ontario-born painter Tom Thomson’s drawings and paintings influenced the renowned Group of Seven, and an untimely death 100 years ago this month only adds to his lore. Explore the Ontario landscapes he loved to paint, including Algonquin Park and French River (pictured above). Then, visit the Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery for a peek at over 90 murals celebrating the artists’ work. www.thegroupofsevenoutdoorgallery.com
> History as Art: The 4,000-square-metre Canadian History Hall in the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau opened on July 1. The largest and most ambitious project taken on by the museum to date, the hall’s exhibitions trace the country’s history from the dawn of human habitation to the present day using art, artefacts and more. www.historymuseum.ca
> Architectural Stunner: Saskatoon will soon become home to a new modern and contemporary art museum. The Remai Modern is a highly anticipated addition to the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. The first floor of the museum will be free to the public, while upper-level galleries will include the world’s largest collection of Picasso linocuts and nearly two dozen of his ceramics. The building itself is an award-winning work of art. www.remaimodern.org
> Natural Inspiration: There would be no paintings without beautiful things to paint, and Canada’s natural offerings have long been the perfect subject. See for yourself: the almost completed Trans Canada Trail, or Great Trail, offers opportunities across the country to walk, hike, bike and paddle. And this year admission to all of Parks Canada’s national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas is free of charge. Sign up online for your pass and get out to see what all the fuss is about. www.thegreattrail.ca; www.pc.gc.ca
Heather Greenwood Davis is a lawyer and National Geographic Traveler contributing editor. Reach her at email@example.com.