What was your childhood nickname?
How long have you been a tour guide?
I have been a guide since the summer of 1997.
Why did you become a tour guide?
Having been the Director of Marketing for the Festival du Voyageur, I had the opportunity to familiarize myself with the tourism industry. As I developed tour programs for the Festival, it was clear that there was a need for Manitoba tour packagers. When I went on maternity leave in 1996, I took a couple of contracts organizing tours for groups and corporations. I decided to be a stay-at-home mom and pursue this career path from home. That was the start-up of Ô TOURS, and I haven’t looked back since. I now have a dozen guides and drivers working for me, but I enjoy getting out myself and guiding groups when I can.
What did you do in a past life/what do you do when you’re not moonlighting as a tour guide?
I worked for the federal government for seven years before joining the Festival du Voyageur and working my way up to the Director of Marketing position. Then, I became a mom and a tour operator and guide.
What is your favourite…
City landmark? I have a few, but must say the Esplanade Riel and Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
Local restaurant? Chez Sophie, Promenade Café and Wine
Local sports team? The Winnipeg Goldeyes
Local musician? My kids – they’re not professionals, but I love to see them enjoy playing instruments long after the lessons have stopped.
What is your most memorable moment as a tour guide?
I have a few. Once, an American senior was drawn to tears upon listening to a fiddle tune at the Festival du Voyageur, as it was a tune his French grandmother used to sing but that he had forgotten. We had an unforgettable trip sled dog riding up in Churchill at night, with the northern lights dancing above us. Another enduring memory was kayaking with beluga whales in Churchill. … Okay, so it wasn’t exactly with a tour; I was with my 16-year-old son, whom I took to Churchill with me. But for that moment, my son thought that Mom was AWESOME!