Remember winter when you were eight years old? From the crunch of a freshly-packed snowball to the weight of your boots pulling a wooden sleigh up a towering hill that you couldn’t wait to rush down, you embraced it with authentic wonder and couldn’t wait to come out and play. This winter, the Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization (OHTO) is hoping to draw visitors from Toronto, Ottawa and surrounding areas by capturing what locals between Haliburton County and the Ottawa Valley already know: that, even though you eventually grow up into a “big person”, out here, every day feels like a snow day.
To celebrate the best in nostalgic, frosty-weather fun from across the region, the OHTO will be launching a #RememberWinter campaign on January 19. The initiative will see Carly Freeman, the OHTO’s Social Media Ambassador and fearless defender of winter, hitting the road once again and getting into plenty of shenanigans as she discovers the coldest, silliest and most playful experiences guaranteed to take visitors back in time to an age where mittens came on a string. “I grew up in Madoc, where one of my favourite winter activities was tobogganing at O’Hara Mill Homestead and Conservation Area,” says Freeman. “There’s nothing like it when you grow up or live in the city, so I’m excited to step back into my big old winter boots, channel my inner eight-year-old and show everyone just how special the season is here. I hope I can keep up!”
In addition to Freeman’s road trip, the OHTO will be featuring kid-like winter experiences on its website, ontarioshighlands.ca, including ice skating at Bonnie View Inn and learning to fly from the peak of Ontario’s tallest public ski mountain at Calabogie Peaks.
In order to engage travelers in a way that feels personal, the organization has also created a hashtag, #RememberWinter, and is asking visitors and locals alike to share photos that show them embodying winter fun for a chance to win weekly prizes and a grand prize of a Canada Goose jacket. Entries can be submitted at ontarioshighlands.ca or facebook.com/ontarioshighlands (click the “Winter Photo Contest” tab).
“The idea of encouraging people to let the fond memories of their winter youth spark a visit to Ontario’s Highlands came naturally,” says Marc Whitehead, Senior Strategist with Karo Group, OHTO’s new marketing agency of record that authored the #RememberWinter campaign. “The region not only features so many things we loved to do when we were kids, it also boasts a friendly attitude that helps visitors feel young at heart, and leave their grown up worries behind.”
The campaign runs until March 16. Business owners in the region who are interested in showcasing a fun winter experience, or sharing their own nostalgic winter stories and photos, are encouraged to contact the OHTO at 855-629-OHTO and use #RememberWinter on their social channels throughout the season.