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Cochrane Tourism adds team-building activities to businesses

Businesses and organizations from inside and outside Cochrane are about to have more team-building options available in town, thanks to a new initiative sponsored by Cochrane Tourism.
Chef G fires up some Yak Momos at Aama Nepalese restaurant in Heritage Hills

Businesses and organizations from inside and outside Cochrane are about to have more team-building options available in town, thanks to a new initiative sponsored by Cochrane Tourism.

During brainstorming sessions with local corporate offices, Cochrane Tourism executive director Jo-Anne Oucharek said they focused on team-building, which is something that really hasn't flourished nearby, and the idea took flight.

“We have a lot of businesses that are looking for things to do as a team, either on the social side or to celebrate achievements, or to treat their staff, or to really work on team dynamics,” she said.

“So this year, we decided to help this group of businesses in town to showcase that you don't have to go somewhere else – you could actually do this with your team right here in Cochrane.”

Cochrane Tourism has worked closely with area businesses to come up with a list of activities specially customized to suit team-building needs.

Some of the categories available include art and culture, culinary, health and wellness, and outdoor adventures.

“So if someone was looking at our culinary experiences, we have a new cultural dining experience with Aama Nepalese Restaurant and they're going take you to Nepal right here in Cochrane and treat your team to a five-course immersive tasting experience,” she said.

A visit to Aama confirmed that it will be a multi-faceted experience.

“It will be teamwork – hands-on, lots of fun,” said Aama owner Tara Poudel over Himalayan iced teas recently.

“New flavours, new experiences, it will be like coming to Nepal while still in Cochrane.”

Poudel said team-builders coming to Aama not only will be spared from travelling thousands of kilometres, but also will save, “about ten grand,” in travel costs, she added.

And the local business owner was clear about something that may also break out during the presentations.

“There’s food, there’s culture, there’s storytelling about Nepal, and there’s dancing,” she said.

Willing participants should prepare to dance as well, and may walk out “with a couple new steps under their belt,” Poudel said.

Other featured activities from Cochrane Tourism include different kinds of river rafting trips and stand-up paddleboarding excursions.
Kelsey's Caravan does team-building on “SUPs” on the Bow River, which is something Oucharek speaks highly of from personal experience. She took her team on a Cochrane river trip last year.

“I had never done stand-up paddleboarding before, and a couple of my team hadn't either, but it was no problem,” she said. “They said, ‘You’ll be able to do this,’ and we did.

“We made it from bridge to bridge and we learned a lot, and we had fun, and it was a great outdoor experience for us.”

She added it was a way to reward the team members and thank them for all the work they do over the year.

“And no, nobody drowned,” she added with a laugh.

There's also an interpretive float on the Bow River, which is another way to learn about Cochrane and just have a relaxing view of from a different vantage point.

For those looking for a more laid-back experience, Amaryllis Crystal Portal is doing a singing bowl experience, all about slowing down and relaxing.

It's a unique form of meditation guided through the vibrations of sound with crystal bowls.
Oucharek said they are working on launching a new equine-assisted coaching session, a different kind of equine therapy, at Mission Acres Equestrian Facility.

“It's actually a team-building experience, but the horse becomes part of your team and the horse enhances all your personal and professional and leadership skills,” she said.

Interested organizations will be able to book the team-building experiences directly with the various participating businesses by first going to the Cochrane Tourism website:

Howard May

About the Author: Howard May

Howard was a journalist with the Calgary Herald and with the Abbotsford Times in BC, where he won a BC/Yukon Community Newspaper Association award for best outdoor writing.
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