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CANADA: A Nordic Ski Festival in Edmonton, Hotels Go Pet Friendly, the Calgary Zoo Celebrates Valentine’s Day and More

NATIONAL: Hilton’s Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites have announced that 100% of its hotels across the U.S. and Canada are now pet friendly. The collaboration was made possible by Hilton’s partnership with Mars Petcare and its Better Cities for Pets initiative. Across the more than 1,000 locations that will now allow guests to bring their furry friends, there is also an online service where attendees can chat with experts about their pet-related concerns regarding their hotel stays. It was also revealed that by the end of April 2022, Tru by Hilton, Hampton by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn and Embassy Suites by Hilton will also be completely pet friendly in the U.S. and Canada.

CALGARY: The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is bringing back its "Show Your Love" event through the month of February with special activities and discounts in efforts to put some love in the air. Each day at 10:30 a.m., zoo guests will be able to watch as the king penguin colony parades the zoo grounds in the daily Penguin Walk, presented by RE/MAX. Other park perks this month include concession and retail discounts, symbolic animal adoptions and more. Daily admission tickets can be purchased on the Calgary Zoo’s website.

EDMONTON: The annual Canadian Birkebeiner Ski Festival is returning to Edmonton as an in-person event after two years of cancellations and a virtual edition in 2021. The Nordic ski festival is taking place Feb. 11-13 and includes events such as the 500-meter family ski and a 55-kilometer race where participants wear a 12-pound backpack or weighted vest. Organizers are expecting about 1,200 racers this year, and more than 900 people have already signed up to attend.

OTTAWA: From Feb. 9 to June 12, the National Gallery of Canada is featuring “Canada and Impressionism: New Horizons,” which will highlight more than 100 works by 36 artists who have spent an extensive amount of time traveling to Europe in the 19th century to perfect their craft. Guests are encouraged to book tickets to the exhibition in advance via the National Gallery of Canada’s website.

TORONTO: Patrons looking to spend Valentine’s Day at home can now preorder 10tation’s Valentine’s Day menu, complete with a selection of add-ons, that will be delivered straight to lovers’ doors. The $169 menu serves two and features polenta fries with roasted garlic aioli to start and a main course consisting of cast-iron seared dry-aged strip loin, roasted branzino and potato torte. The meal is finished off with a decadent dessert–a chocolate tart layered with hazelnut praline, flourless chocolate cake, raspberry preserves and ganache.

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