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Share local knowledge about your favorite spots in Canada with the chance to win cash + tuition to MatadorU. It’s Matador’s #explorecanada contest. (Contest deadline: October 31, 2012)
About the contest

Matador and the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) partnered up this year, sending journalists from the Yukon Territory to Vancouver Island to Newfoundland and everywhere in between (check out their reports here). We wanted to finish out our partnership by including your favorite places around Canada as well in our #ExploreCanada contest.

Entries to the contest are based around “spots” — from your favourite restaurants to most relaxing parks to fascinating museums — which would be helpful for others exploring Canada. We’re giving away cold hard cash and tuition to MatadorU to those who send us the best entries.


There are three (3) prize categories:

  1. Best Spot
  2. Most Spots
  3. Best List

Prizes are as follows:

  • Grand prize: US$250 + a MatadorU course of your choice (Travel Writing / Travel Photography / Travel Filmmaking) – one prize per category
  • Runner-up prize: A MatadorU course of your choice (Travel Writing / Travel Photography / Travel Filmmaking) – one prize per category
What we’re looking for

Matador editors will judge entries based on the following criteria:

  • Level of detail included in Spot description and location information
  • Quality of Spot image (you must own the rights to, or have permission for, the image(s) you submit)
  • Coherence of your List theme (if submitting a List)
What’s a Spot?

A Spot could be your favorite ski resort, bar, bagel shop, yoga studio, music venue, hiking trail, art gallery, etc. If it’s got a physical location, it’s a Spot.


What’s a List?

A List is a collection of five (5) or more related Spots. Your List might revolve around a general theme and/or geographic location (e.g., “Best music venues in Vancouver”). If you’re submitting a List, don’t forget to include your List Name in the appropriate field for each Spot submission.

How to enter

Fill out the form at the bottom of this page, making sure to include the required fields (marked by an asterisk). Remember, the more detailed your entries are, the better your chance of winning. Click the image to the right for a sample entry.

And the winners are…!

Best List: “The Weekend Warriors’ Guide to Backpacking the Canadian Rockies,” by Skiles Katharine Hornig.

“These are backpacking trips you can do in a pinch. Because they’re short, you can bring a few of camping’s little luxuries (like bacon or marshmallows.) If you have a full time job, you can hit the road at 5 on Friday and be home for dinner on Sunday. If you’re on a week-long romp through the Rockies and want to check out more than one park, this would be a good little tour…”

Best Spot: “Yer Mad,” Montreal, by Lydia Cheng.

“Yer Mad. The name just about sums it up. It’s an Irish bar, a pub, a drunken but orderly hang-out spot. I was introduced to it as a “great place” around the corner from my hostel (Hostel Alexandrie). When two Irish guys heartily endorse a bar, there’s bound to be a reason…”

Most Spots: Thanks to Sherel Purcell for submitting 13 Spots!

Congratulations also to our 3 runners-up: Jozef Kuracina, Joseph Cyr, and Tara Lowry!

[Note: This contest is brought to you in partnership with our friends at the Canadian Tourism Commission.]



  • Hann Ah

    If we have already signed up for a Matador course can we enter? Would we be reinbursed if we won?

    • Carlo Alcos

      Indeed Hannah. You would get reimbursed if you won.

  • Evan Tennant

    I would like to submit a list, but I’m sorry I don’t quite understand the submission process. Do you name the list then submit a spot then just do it again and again for all spots with the same list name? if anybody could quickly clarify it would be appreciated! thank you!

    • Carlo Alcos

      Exactly Evan. Just use the same list name for all the spots you consider to be on that list.

    • Evan Tennant

      thanks, thats what i thought. Didn’t wanna goof up though haha

  • Donna D’Amour

    Is there a word count?


  • Jocelyn McLean

    Did you really put the category as “the Great Uutdoors”? I definatly did a double take!

  • Stephen Goldberg

    I am having touble submitting my entry. The system does nothing after hitting submit and my image link diasapears. Can you make this easier?

  • Stephen Goldberg

    how can you enter a street address and phone number for a hiking trail?

  • Hal Amen

    no word max/min — short, sweet, and specific gets the job done.
    thanks donna

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