Corporate retreat options in B.C. for your next team building exercise

Corporate retreat | BCBusiness
Time on the biathlon shooting range is one activity offered by Whistler Sport Legacies.

At a time of year when cocooning beckons, get out there and build some corporate spirit

“What does not kill you makes you stronger.” —Unofficial motto of the corporate team-building retreat

The word “retreat” may not seem to represent the proper attitude for a corporate team-building exercise. But the options on the next pages should keep your team moving forward:

The Amazing Chase
Who: Canadian Outback Adventures & Events, 1-800-565-8735,
What: Canadian Outback Adventures & Events offers many team-building options, but one of their most popular is “The Amazing Chase,” modelled after the Amazing Race TV show (Canadian Outback has a lot of TV-themed events). Participants are set loose to find “roadblock” and “detour” tasks similar to the ones encountered on the show. “You often see people running around the Lower Mainland with their ‘Amazing Chase’ capes,” says Canadian Outback’s Philip Keen.
Where: All over the world
Strength Factor: Problem solving, stress testing, trying not to get into embarrassing squabbles like the contestants on the show always do. No million-dollar prize though.

Winter Wonders
Who: Pinnacle Pursuits, 604-876-7535,
What: Vancouver-based Pinnacle has been working in the field of what president Jonathan Willcocks calls “experiential training” for over 17 years. Most of their basic activities—rope challenges, geo-caching, team competitions, Survivor-style events and more—can be transformed into snow-bound “Winter Wonders” versions. Throw in some traditional maple taffy-making too. “We’ll create thematic events based around what clients are looking for,” Willcocks says, “customizing a package for them.”
Where: Brew Creek Centre near Whistler, Loon Lake Lodge & Retreat Centre in Maple Ridge, among other locations in the Lower Mainland and Victoria.
Strength Factor: Some winter wonderland team-building, followed perhaps by a little après-team-building by the fire.

The Olympic Experience
Who: Whistler Sport Legacies, 604-964-0040,
What: Whistler offers some pretty fine sports facilities. Who paid for this stuff anyway? Well, might as well take advantage. Corporate events can make use of the Blackcomb Mountain Whistler Sliding Centre and its bobsleigh and skeleton track. At the Whistler Olympic Park 25 kilometres away, there’s the biathlon shooting range, cross-country, snowshoeing, tobogganing and even ski jumping. Your group can also be treated to a speech by an Olympic athlete, authentic team jerseys, medals and ceremonies. The food’s great, and the venues, Olympic. There are some pretty decent hotels in town too.
Where: Whistler
Strength Factor: Steal a bit of Canadian Olympic glory for your group, but remember: you can’t all be Sidney Crosby.

Photo Safari
Who: Coast Mountain Photography, 604-938-1478,
What: Team members—each with a camera—receive a custom-designed list of photo challenges. After a brief tutorial, teams disperse to specified locations and routes to complete the list. Photos are collected and presented back to your group the same day in the form of slide shows. (Whatever you do, don’t cut the head off a bear. They don’t like it.) Coast Mountain claims the Photo Challenge is the least expensive—and greenest—team-building event around.
Where: Whistler, the Lower Mainland and other locations around British Columbia
Strength Factor: This event should ensure that your group does not end up with nothing to show for the retreat but a bunch of selfies.

Now We’re Cooking
Who: Kitchen Riddles, 1-855-569-1569,
What: If corporate retreats are intended to provide recipes for success, look no further than Kitchen Riddles. They offer team instruction from expert chefs in a top-of-the-line professional kitchen, and no dishes to do afterwards. And your team won’t go hungry—unless of course the whole experience reveals that your staff can’t so much as boil an egg.
Where: 118–5589 Byrne Road, Burnaby
Strength Factor: Got to know how to follow a recipe but be creative too. Business (and cooking) 101.