When I first met Karen Schwartz—a mom of two and founder of Toronto's Kulture Klub—I was super impressed! Karen, who used to work for the famed teen travel company Westcoast Connection, had always been passionate about travel and loved nothing more than exploring new cities, navigating unfamiliar cultures, and immersing herself in the energy and excitement of being a tourist.
I could totally relate!
After finishing university back in 2005, I spent six weeks traveling through Spain and Morocco (with a side-trip to Istanbul, Turkey) and I still believe those were some of the most exciting and days of my life. When my husband and I took a three-week honeymoon to Greece and Spain in the spring of 2008—I felt the same thrill and adrenaline rush again. For me, there is nothing quite like travel.
Which is why I think I'm so taken with Karen's idea. The premise of the Kulture Klub is to encourage Torontonians to immerse themselves in the vibrant culture that exists right here in the city. You don't have to get on a plane to try new and exciting foods, learn exotic languages, and experience the joy of doing something you've never done before. Just book a sitter, grab your partner or a friend, and join Karen for one of her exciting cultural experiences.
Many of us are guilty of staying within the confines of own neighbourhoods, going to the same restaurants over and over again, and missing out on the vibrancy and culture that this city has to offer. "I spent my whole life in Toronto, and before starting the Kulture Klub I think I had only ever been to Little India twice," Karen admits. The Kulture Klub is her way of connecting others to the city's unique neighbourhoods, restaurants, and cultures—while indulging her own love of travel.
The Kulture Klub organizes amazing private events including corporate dinners, retirement parties, bridal showers, baby showers, girls' nights out...you name it! And, they also organize themed-events that are open to the public.
Currently, the Kulture Klub is kicking off its Local Latin Escape program designed to help Torontonians Blast the Winter Blahs! Three countries (Spain, Mexico, and Cuba) on three different nights (January 30, February 26, and March 28)...all involving amazing food and drink, coupled with a taste of local culture, entertainment, and language. (You don't have to sign up for all three to participate. The cost of each is approximately $75 to $85 +HST, and includes food, drink, and entertainment)
So, if you're doing your best to stay happy despite the icky winter weather, or if you're wishing you had a flight booked somewhere exotic but it's just not happening this year, or if you just got back from vacation and are already wishing you could escape again—The Kulture Klub might be the perfect solution for you!