I moved away from home when I was 18 and since then have lived in several places around Western Canada. Part of what has always helped me feel comfortable in my new neighbourhood is taking the time to explore and play tourist.

From sampling local coffee shops, to taking advantage of local theatre productions and street festivals — it’s these elements that help make a community special.

For the past four years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a volunteer organization called the Doors Open Calgary Association. For one day in September, companies and businesses around the city pull back the curtain and give visitors a taste of what really happens behind the scenes. From riding the c-train through a car wash to hands-on cooking adventures and everything in between — it’s an event that takes playing tourist to another level. And it’s all free!

The Doors Open concept doesn’t just happen in Calgary, but also Vancouver, Toronto and other cities around the world. Whether you can attend an event or not, let’s all take some time this year to explore our own cities and play tourist-in-our-own-towns.

Melanie S – Melanie Lynn Communications (Coril Partner)

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