I Backpack Canada » Work http://ibackpackcanada.com A backpackers travel guide to Canada Fri, 15 May 2015 19:13:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Canada Ranks #1 with Expats Living Abroadhttp://ibackpackcanada.com/living-abroad-canada-expats/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/living-abroad-canada-expats/#comments Tue, 01 Dec 2009 19:23:31 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=1234 Canada Ranks #1 with Expats Living Abroad is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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expats living abroad canada

Photo by Gary Scott

Catherine Faas at Holy Kaw summed it up well in her recent post. For those considering living and working abroad, you might want to have a second glance at Canada. The HSBC Expat Experience Survey recently named Canada as the best place in the world to be an expat.

The survey reported the highest overall increase in quality of life since landing in this frosty northern country. The HSBC Expat Experience polled over 3,000 expats around the world. The cherry on top? Canada was also voted number one country in quality of accommodation, with a whopping 68% of expats reporting their homes were better in Canada than in their own native country.

The survey also noted that Canada was amongst the easiest countries to make friends, pursue hobbies, and provide an overall better environment for their families. Which isn’t surprising as Canada has so much to offer.Plus Canadians are pretty cool. Maybe not like Eastern European Disco-Tech cool, but like, home grown, wheat fed, take care of your dog for the weekend cool. The hardest thing you’ll face is deciding which Canadian province or territory you’d like to live in.

Canada Ranks #1 with Expats Living Abroad is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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How to apply for a Canada Working Holiday Visahttp://ibackpackcanada.com/how-to-apply-for-canada-working-visa-permi/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/how-to-apply-for-canada-working-visa-permi/#comments Thu, 12 Nov 2009 02:17:23 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=1129 How to apply for a Canada Working Holiday Visa is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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How to apply for Canada work visaFor those considering working in Canada during their travels, the most important thing you’ll need is a Work Permit, otherwise known as a Working Holiday Visa. The process itself can be done by yourself, and you may be able to save some money in the process. However, if you want to kick back and just wait for the application to go through, there are several companies which can do that for you as well.

If you’re considering putting through the application yourself, visit the Foreign Affairs & International Trade website. They have several guides, and online applications that you’ll need to fill out in order to be considered for a working holiday visa. Make sure you have Adobe Reader, as these documents tend to be in .PDF format. There are certain restrictions & some requirements that you must meet in order to be accepted for a working visa.

Including:

  • satisfy an officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your employment;
  • show that you have enough money to maintain yourself and your family members in Canada;
  • be law abiding and have no record of criminal activity (you may be asked to provide a police clearance certificate);
  • not be a risk to the security of Canada;
  • be in good health (complete a medical examination, if required);
  • produce any additional documents requested by the officer to establish your admissibility.

The application process can take quite a while, and will require a lot of reading. An application can be rejected for the smallest of reasons, so go through the application at a slow pace and double check everything. Anyone who thought the application could be done in one sitting, I apologize, but that’s very unlikely.Global Backpackers have a Guide for applying for Canadian Working Holiday Visas, I highly recommend you read through it.

working visa permit canadaIf you’re looking to simplify this process as much as humanly possible, I suggest you look into some third party companies who handle this sort of thing on a day to day basis. I personally recommend SWAP.ca – I went through SWAP to obtain my Australian & New Zealand Working Holiday Visa. Their prices are very reasonable and it’s probably the easiest way to get a working visa. This program is aimed at students, however young adults can also use their services. They simply ask that you’re between the ages of 18 – 35. You’ll first need to register with their website, but once registered they’ll be able to answer all of your questions and get the application put through for you. They don’t guarantee you’ll be accepted, but they do this for a living, so you have a way better shot at getting accepted through them.

SWAP Working Holidays is a non-profit program that was put in place by the Canadian Federation of Students. It offers young Canadians the chance to travel the world and work along the way. They’ve been doing this for 30 years, helping thousands plan their working holidays. They can also help those from outside of Canada obtain a Canadian work visa and provide you with all the information needed in order to find a job in Canada.

Remember, these application forms can be a headache, but once completed, and should you be accepted, you’ll be able to work in Canada without much of a problem. Hundreds of thousands of foreign travelers come to Canada each year to find a job, so long as you’re patient, you could be one of them.

How to apply for a Canada Working Holiday Visa is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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Environmental Jobs in Canadahttp://ibackpackcanada.com/environmental-jobs-in-canada/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/environmental-jobs-in-canada/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2009 16:17:14 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=323 Environmental Jobs in Canada is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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Many people consider Canada a leader in Environmental preservation, although this is normally quite true statistically speaking, there is still lots of Eco-work out there for those willing to help.

Eco Canada has a great job board dedicated to Environmental Jobs. There are countless different areas one can apply for, anything from Lab Technicians and Biologists to Financial Analysts and Secretary’s. If you have the qualifications and want to work in a rewarding area, be sure to check them out.

Another great job board worth looking into is GoodWork. They have more positions, particularly because a lot of the jobs don’t require as many prerequisites as Eco Canada does. Plenty of part time, casual and seasonal work. So if you only plan on staying a while, these jobs might be in your interest.

For those looking at picking fruit and working on a farm, check out WWOOF – Willing Workers on Organic Farms – No experience necessary for these jobs. This is a worldwide organization that helps “willing workers” find jobs on (you guessed it) organic farms. This program is very big in New Zealand and Australia. A one year registration will cost you $45. Once signed up you can browse by province, area, farms, fruits, seasons, etc, and find a place worthy of working. WWOOFing however, is not a paying gig. You are volunteering and in return for your help, you will receive food and accommodation and a locals view on life in that area. It’s not uncommon to luck out and find a farm with all the cool farm toys you can imagine. Quads, bikes, a boat, etc, and more often than not the owners are happy to give you a personal tour of the area. One great thing about WWOOFing is you do NOT need a working visa.conservation

One of my favourite Environmental Job boards is WorkCabin – – They have a massive site and probably the most comprehensive list of Eco friendly jobs in Canada. Volunteer work and paying jobs can be found here. Some for the experienced environmentalist, others for those just beginning work in this field. Keep an eye out for “Field Assistant” jobs, there’s nothing like making a forest or river your pseudo office for a while.

Ducks Unlimited – is a great organization to take part in. They have countless offices across Canada, and if you’re lucky enough to score a job with them, you’re sure to enjoy it. However, jobs are quite hard to come by with Ducks Unlimited. They do have several volunteer preservation programs, many of which depend on the area you are in. If you’re interested in Ducks Unlimited, check the Local Yellow Pages, and find out if they are in need of assistance. While backpacking across Canada you may see their ads on TV, Billboards, and if your lucky they may have an arrangement setup with the local hostel.

Red Leaf is a great organization which provides international volunteers a chance to participate in Environmental Conservation, Animal Care, Children’s Programs, and Community Support. Definitely worth checking out, keep in mind there is a fee to participate, still, they’re doing lots of good work with several projects and could by all means use your help.

If you’re still having trouble finding the work you want after checking all of these sites out, start checking local newspapers in the classifieds section for jobs. Work in the environmental field can be very rewarding, it may not pay the best, nor be the most glamorous job, but it does leave you with a feeling that you’re doing something worthwhile.

Environmental Jobs in Canada is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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Busk A Move – A Guide to Buskinghttp://ibackpackcanada.com/guide-to-busking/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/guide-to-busking/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2009 17:42:09 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=255 Busk A Move – A Guide to Busking is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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Although busking can sometimes seem like begging, particularly if the busker is terrible at whatBusking Guide he/she does, it normally is far from. It can be a great way to spend an afternoon in a city where there might not be much worth doing. So why not try and make enough to cover your accommodation, or at least a few drinks.

The first step to busking is to have “a thing you do”, that thing could be to juggle, play guitar, sing, play spoons or eat glass. Whatever it is, it may be enough to make it in the cutthroat industry that is busking. But before you grab a piece of cement and commence your busking attempts, lets go through the basics.

Location, Location, Location.

Like any small business, the location you setup “shop” can have a strong impact on how many people see you, which in turn, determines how much you’re going to make. Keep in mind, certain places to busk are illegal, or certainly frowned upon. (Setting up shop outside an abortion clinic=bad. Setting up shop in a downtown city square=good) Avoid being too close to other buskers, they may be better at the “thing they do” and could possibly steal your potential clients. Or, if they are slightly deranged, they may feel you’re stepping on their turf, which may end in a Busk Off, and if you’re new to to the game, you’ll probably lose.

Setup Shop

Finding somewhere with good lighting will cause more people to see you, which in turn may fill your hat a little quicker. It also keeps people from tripping over you and your stuff.  You don’t want some Yuppie to kick your guitar case causing all your hard work to spill down a drain. Trust me. Once you’ve got your spot picked out, you’ll need a container, a hat, your guitar case, or something that you can keep your earnings in. As lame as it may sound, tossing in a couple of your own dollars into your case can benefit you. Some people will think “Someone else thought he/she didn’t suck, I think I might do the same. After all, I dig this song.” But having too much can have the opposite effect. “What a bunch of suckers giving their money away, look at him, he’s got enough to feed himself for two days. And what’s with this song? Sucks to the mega…”

Play for the masses

Just because you’re a huge fan of slipknot, or some other rhetorical screamo band, does not mean other people are. So stick with the classics and play what everyone really wants to hear. “Wonderwall”, “Knockin’ On Heavens Doors”, perhaps some ACDC. If you’re doing a decent rendition of the song, some people may stop. Once you have 3 or 4 people stopped and listening, you officially have them eating out of your hand. Now reel them in further, and finish them.

Pay up!Busk How To

A good finishing move can determine whether you’re going to get some guys coffee change, or his lunch money. Go for the lunch money. He may have been planning on having a steak for lunch. So once you’ve finished the song that seduced those people in, be sure to tell one or two of them a little about yourself. Speaking to the masses while busking lets people sneak off, because they figure “someone else is listening too”. Single one or two of them out, aim for the ones that look like they’d be having that steak. Speak loud enough to those people that others can hear your plight. “I actually just do this on my days off when I’m not working at the Childrens Hospital”. Don’t turn into a chatty Kathy though, or a sob, if you lose their attention, you lose their money. On to the next song.

Plan a decent playlist

On occasions where people are actually listening to you, you don’t want to be scratching your head thinking “What could I play next?” – Have it written on your hand, a piece of paper, or on the back of your guitar. Find a consistent flow between songs. You may have heard of the 80/20 rule in business. The same applies here. Have 80% of your songs geared towards the majority (ie covers from the last 25 years that people will recognize immediately) – Then fill the remaining 20% with songs you enjoy playing or hearing. If you get a crowd on your 20%, stick with it. It might bring in some money.

Be grateful, not dead

If someone tosses in a couple quarters, don’t snap on them. It may have been all they had. I once saw a busker lose it on someone for throwing in less than he expected, and he lost it. He scared away all his potential clients. Needless to say he may have been one of those deranged buskers, or maybe he was just itching for a drug fix. Either way, he was rude. Be polite. Even if you look like a bum, or smell like one, if you’ve got a kind heart and a gracious smile, people may show compassion and be willing to give. A polite “Thank you sir” or “Thank you ma’am” is all it takes. You are providing your clients with a product, and that product is music (or whatever you do) along with a Warm Fuzzy Feeling. Without a “thank you” you are only giving away the thing you do. People will give again if they get the warm fuzzies. You may not ever see that money, but fellow buskers may. Share the love.

There isn’t much of a science to busking, just get out there, make some noise, be friendly. Talk to locals if possible, or other buskers. Ask them for tips. Ask them what the best corners are or which stores won’t chase you away with a broom. Remember to have fun with it. As soon as it starts feeling like work, then it might be time to quit. After all, you’re traveling to avoid that, n’est pas?

Busk A Move – A Guide to Busking is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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10 Things to Do In The Canadian Rocky Mountainshttp://ibackpackcanada.com/things-to-do-in-rocky-mountains/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/things-to-do-in-rocky-mountains/#comments Tue, 26 May 2009 17:58:00 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=14 10 Things to Do In The Canadian Rocky Mountains is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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rocky mountain things to doSo you hightailed it to the Rocky Mountains, and now that you’re here you suddenly realize you don’t even know where to start. The options are pretty endless, but sometimes a nudge in the right direction is all one needs. Whether you’re after something scenic, something thrilling, or something familiar, The Rocky Mountains will be more than happy to quench your thirst.

1. Work In The Rocky Mountains

For those of you coming from overseas seeking work in Canada. The mountains are where the majority go. Typical jobs include Liftee, Cook, Customer Service Rep, Ski/Snowboard Instructor, Ski Patrol, Bartender, and Maid. Whether you’re from New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, Korea, Japan or China, you’re likely to find someone who came from the same country as you.

The jobs don’t pay much. Expect slightly above minimum wage, usually $10 an hour. But the perks to the job are that you get a free lift ticket for the season, which means free snowboarding, skiing, and all around fun on the mountain. Normally staff dorms are provided at a discounted rate as well. Did I mention the staff priced drinks and food? You’re unlikely to leave the job richer than when you came in. But that’s the cost of living a life on the mountains. The quality of life is worth every dollar you didn’t make.

If you’re planning on working, be sure to apply by October, all the applications are done online through each mountains website. So have your CV/Resume and Cover Letter ready. Interviews can be arranged by webcam or telephone.

Mountain bike rocky mountains

2. Mountain Biking

After all the snow has melted (sometimes before that), the mountains are populated by a new breed of being, looking for the same speed and adrenaline their colder counterparts experience in the snow. By summer time the mountains have turned into a Mountain Bikers Playground. Work can still be found during this season, but it isn’t quite as busy as the snowy season. Rentals are easily found on or near the mountain. I highly recommend checking out Whistler, it’s pretty world renown in the Mountain Bike Scene. Whether you’re a complete Newb to Mountain Biking or an expert you’ll definitely find something worthy of riding there. Another Mountain Bike Mecca worth mentioning is Rossland’s Seven Summits Trail (30.4 km). Very mind blowing! Look for a local information booth or check with your hostel or hotel for tips on where to find the best trails.

3. Snowboarding and Skiing

Black MountainI would love to be able to list all of the mountains in The Rockies that you can ski or board on, but honestly, it’d be way too much work. Skiing is available from November to April. The majority of people head to Banff, Whistler, or Jasper. Don’t complete dismiss the “no-name” mountains though. Some of the smaller lesser known mountains can be your own personal playground, ripe for the taking. I haven’t come across a Ski Resort that doesn’t do ski, snowboard, and equipment rentals. So no need to worry if you couldn’t fit your Burton into your backpack. For a little extra thrill, check out the night riding. Or head to the Terrain Park to check out the pros. Just remember to play safe, and always be aware of the dangers out there.

4. Zip-lining


cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by 12fh

If you’re feeling like getting some high-flying thrills, or need a good James Bond Style exit from somewhere stat, then clearly Zip-Lining is one of the best ways to do this. There’s a handful of different zip-line courses in the Whistler and Blackcomb area worthy of checking out. I suggest you check out Ziptrek Eagle Eco Tour. It has 5 zip-lines and includes a 2200ft massive line that drops an insane 20 stories. The icing on the cake is that you end it all arriving right in Whistler Village. Zip-lining is offered both in Summer and Winter. A 3 hour trek with them will set you back roughly $120 for adults.

5. Bungee Jump

OMG! It was such a rush!Bungee jumping is an experience everyone should experience. There really isn’t anything like throwing yourself off a ridiculous height for no reason besides a thrill. It’s a blast. Thankfully the Rocky Mountains have a very cool bungee jump located just 15 minutes outside of Whistler Village (highway 99). You fall a solid 160ft (53m) into a massive gorge, above a shallow river. Finding the Bungee Jump can be tricky if you’re driving. It’s in a dense piece of bush that covers any chances you have of seeing it until you’re on the edge of the gorge. I found the only way you can tell you’re in the right place is by sticking your head out the window to listen for screams. Whistler Bungee is the highest bungee jump in B.C and it’s open year-round.

6. Kayak or Canoe

things to do in rocky mountainsThe Rocky Mountains are home to hundreds of different lakes and rivers, each with its own unique landscape. What better way to enjoy it than by grabbing a kayak or canoe and taking it all in from the middle of a pristine lake. Renting a kayak or canoe is an easy process, and relatively cheap. Pack some food, a couple drinks, and head to your nearest rental shop to sign up. Rental shops can be found in towns near many large lakes, and some are located on the lake, or very close by . If you’re looking for some great photos of a beautiful lake, head to Lake Louise. The ice blue water overlooking the mountains is sure to drop your jaw by an inch or two. Rentals can be done right at the lake, starting at roughly $30 for an hour, or a full day rental for a bit more. If you grab a canoe and fill it with people, it can make for a pretty cheap day, and is worth every dollar. Be sure to pack something warm, even on a hot summer day the breeze coming off the mountains can be a chill, especially if you “accidentally” dump your canoe.

7. Hiking The Rockies

backpack rocky mountains

Canada and hiking are synonymous. Every mountain will have plenty of hiking trails to explore. Most hotels, hostels, and campgrounds with have brochures on where to find nearby trails. If sticking to the trail just isn’t your thing, maybe you should consider “Heli-hiking”. Basically a Helicopter picks you and some friends up, drops you off on, or near the mountain of your choice, and leaves you for a few days. This isn’t for everybody, but if camping in the most remote Canadian wilderness and roughing it is what you came here for, then you better make your booking. Heli-hiking can be pretty expensive so I would recommend saving, or sticking to the regular trails (which are free).

8. River Rafting

Highest season tideThe Canadian Rockies are laced with some of the most beautiful rivers found in the world. The beauty of these rivers truly reveals themselves once you start hitting the river rapids. Class 3 and Class 4 rapids can be found in several different rivers. Just outside of the Yoho National Park is the Kootenay River Runners. These guys run daily river rafting trips down The Kootenay River, and The Kicking Horse River, which is my personal favourite. Be prepared to get wet. If you’re after a little extra thrill be sure to ask them, they have one run where they beach the raft for a while and let you do some cliff jumping.

If thrill isn’t your thing, they’ve also got some casual rafting down some of the mild rivers. They give you information about the history of the river, tell you which birds to watch out for, etc. I think this is more directed to the elderly and the young kids. Not my thing, but I suppose sissies need something to do on the river too. (yea, I went there)

9. Party In The Rockies

Moe Joe's CrowdSo all this nature and beauty has been great, and you love it all, but what you need is a good place to grab a drink or twelve, and just cut loose. Well wait no longer, The Rockies have many a pub, bar, and club to visit.

If you’re in Banff, there are a handful of different drinking establishments worth checking out. Looking to shake your groove thing? Check out Auroras, cheap drinks for early birds, decent DJ’s, and a good sized dance floor to boogie down. Hoodoos is another one worth checking out, usually a younger crowd, but equally as rocking. If you’re looking for less drum & bass, and more real music, check out Wild Bills Legendary Saloon. It has a cool authentic wild west theme. If you’re just after a pint or five, and a good chat with that Aussie liftee you were flirting with all day, you’re most likely to find her at Tommys Neighbourhood Pub. Good selection of beer, and a cool place to hang out.

If you’re in Whistler Village, you’ll know how many different pubs there are around. One can easily go from Pub to Pub grabbing a beer here, shot there. It all kind of depends on the season as to how big of a party you’ll find. If you’re after a good pub, check out Amsterdam Cafe Pub, which is very much worth stopping by for a pint. If you’re after Rocking the Casbah however, check out Garfinkles, which is THE place to be to make a fool of yourself on the dance floor. If you rocked Garfinkles to the ground (or they just kicked you out) you’re next stop would have to be Moe Joe’s. Where you can continue to dance or drink your ski or snowboarding injuries away.

10. Relax in the Hot Springs

Cave and Basin Natural Hot Springs, AlbertaSo all this adventure and partying is catching up to you, and your body is aching for some relaxation. Your bones and muscles say no more, and your toes are fed up with not being able to feel themselves. What better way to sort these problems out than by jumping into a steaming hot natural hot spring.

The Radium Hot Springs are found just outside of Kootenay. During peak season it can get pretty crazy, but they’re well worth the drive. If you’re looking for a more a unique hot spring, check out the Ainsworth Hot Springs. They’re a lot more quiet, and have a cool cave/tunnel in the rock where the hot springs extends. If you’re in Banff however, check out the Cave and basin Natural Hot Springs (see above photo). Costs for hot springs can range from cheap, to stupid expensive. Hunt around, flash your HI card or Student card and you might be able to get a discount. Once you’re in though, be sure to shut off your brain and body and enjoy.

Believe it or not but I had to cut a few things out of this post, there are so many different things you can do while you’re in the Rocky Mountains, it’s going to be tough choosing which you do. But don’t hesitate too long, that’s time that could have been spent on the slopes or in those glowing hot springs. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and do something!

10 Things to Do In The Canadian Rocky Mountains is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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