I am on a mission to find cool souvenirs. I know... most souvenirs are soooooo un-cool, but this just makes me even more ambitious. Like our six year-old daughter says, "I like a good challenge!"
So, let's brainstorm for a minute - what does the average traveller want in a souvenir...
Okay, we have to try to get away from those tacky t-shirts and think more in the direction of fun. Let's throw some ideas around...
1. Red Olympic Mitts
These famous red mitts can be seen every where! As a result - I have heard that they are very hard to get your hands on!!
2. Rocky Mountain Soap Company's
Do you get Vacation Withdrawl? My wife does. She starts dreading the stresses of home about 2 days before we have even left our holiday destination. Why not take a little bit of the relaxation you felt here in the Rockies home with you?
A gift collection is the perfect choice for those who have busy lives back home. This treat brings together some nice essential items like a bar of soap, some body butter and some bath salts. Some collections even have a lip care product for those cold and dry winters. All of the products are made with resources straight from nature.
You can find locations in Banff (Banff Ave) and Canmore (Main St) as well as Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Victoria. Don't have any room left in the suitcase? You can shop online from their website and have it shipped to you!
3. Canadian Pacific Vintage Art
Vintage art has a way of pulling you back into a simpler time and place, and these do just that. Canadian Pacific Vintage peices are simple yet elegant, and the bold colours are striking. No wonder you see them in the best hotels.
4. Jewels of Nature
It has been called the rainbow captured in a glacier, Glacier Pearles, with their aqua-green pearly iridescence and sheen of various pinks, yellows and blues, have fascinated people from all over the world. Although this treasure does not come from a glacier at all, but rather the abolone shell, its colour will remind you of the glacial ice you left behind. And better yet, you can wear it without it melting! You can find these at a number of souvenir/gift shops throughout the Rockies. There is always a variety of styles to pick from such as pendants, broaches, pins, bracelets etc. Our daughter really liked the dragonfly and of course the butterfly that she can even admire in the cold winter months. Visitors enjoy the moose, grizzly or polar bear!
5. Symbol of the North
The inukshuk or inuksuk (pl. Inuksuit) has served as a marker or landmark for the Inuit in a land beautifully barren and white. It has now become a symbol of the Inuit culture and is very popular in Canada. So popular in fact that it is part of the 2010 Winter Olympics logo to welcome the world to Vancouver and Canada... or is it?
6. Historic Hudson Bay Company
Multi Stripe Point Blanket
This blanket can bee seen in museums, historic sites and history books - not to mention Canadian bedrooms!
A favourite Canadain winter souvenir has got to be the "historic" Hudson's Bay Company Multi-Stripe Point Blanket by Hbc. Starting from $275.00 CDN - this is by no means a steal - but boy is it toasty warm on a cold winter's night - and it looks good too.
The history of this blanket goes way back to the times of the fur trade in Canada. This was one of the Hudson's Bay Company's staple products that has stood the test of time. To read more about the history of the HBC Point Blanket, click HBC Heritage.
If you don't want to spend so much - get the same general idea with the Hudson's Bay Company Multi-Stripe Caribou Throw by Hbc starting from $150.00.
For the little ones on your list, you can even get the baby version - which is for us - so little and so funny!
You can purchase this blanket online at (also known as "The Bay" here in Canada) and share in some of Canada's past.
Visit this page again to see what my next cool souvenirs will be...