Wednesday, 01 March 2017 08:00

Parks Canada Pass should be a popular way to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday this year

Written by  Stephanie Labbe
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Canadians and international visitors have the unique opportunity to visit national parks across the country at no cost for the entire year of 2017.


In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, Parks Canada has created the Parks Canada Discovery Pass that is available for anyone for free.
This pass can be used at any national park in Canada for free entry in 2017.
“To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the Government of Canada invites Canadians to experience nature and learn more about our history,” says Meaghan Bradley, communications officer for Parks Canada.
Bradley says the government is pleased to offer free admission for all visitors to national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada in 2017.
“Canada’s national parks and historic sites enable Canadians to experience their rich history and heritage in a special way and will play a big part in the celebration of Canada 150,” adds Bradley.
Since Dec. 1, 2016, the Discovery Passes have been available online and since Jan. 1, at the Parks Canada entry gates and visitor centre.
All day use and front-country use will be free with the Discovery Pass for the entire year.
As well, lockage at the seven canals administered by Parks Canada on historic waterways will be free with the Pass.
Like previous years, Bradley says their many partners, such as Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) and others, will also be distributing passes for Parks Canada.
“National Parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas represent the very best that Canada has to offer and tell stories of who we are, including the history, cultures and contributions of Indigenous peoples,” adds Bradley.
“Canada’s national parks and historic sites will play a big part in the celebration of Canada 150. By visiting these national treasures in 2017, visitors will be able to experience their rich history and heritage, first hand in a special way.”
Since Dec. 1, 2016 there have been more than 2.4 million orders received for the free 2017 Discovery Pass. Since Jan. 1 when the Discovery Passes became available, Bradley says more than 35,000 passes have been picked-up in person.
The free passes will be available throughout the entire year. There’s no set number of passes that are available, so everyone can enjoy the free admission with a pass.
Visitors planning to travel to any of these national locations are still encouraged to plan ahead by consulting the Parks Canada website for the latest visitor information and make a camping reservation through Parks Canada Reservation Service, before they leave.
Parks Canada officials have been encouraging shoulder season visitation.
“By encouraging Canadians to visit their national parks and historical places, and providing them with the information and means to enjoy them, Parks Canada allows more Canadians to experience the outdoors and learn about our natural and cultural heritage,” adds Bradley.
People can order a free Parks Canada Discovery Pass online at:  http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/voyage-travel/admission.aspx.

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