Banff went Bomba(stic)

By Rick MacDonnell, SnowSeekers Inc.

For the Cuban-Canadian Latin-jazz group, Bomba, being a part of the Olympic Torch Relay ceremonies in Banff is a validation of their status as Canadian citizens.

"This really means something to us Cubans," said Aldo Aguirre, one of six Bomba members. "Coming to this country and achieving success is one thing, but to be embraced and accepted like this is a big deal. We're all honoured to be here."

Having toured for over 10 years in places like Korea, Italy, Cuba, the UK, and the United States, Bomba knows what its like to leave Western Canada (they're based in Calgary) and return to find it all the more beautiful.

"Coming back after a long absence allows you to see a lot of things you take for granted," said guitarist, Rubim De Toledo. "The tradition that's rooted in Western Canada, the natural beauty, and of course, all of the fantastic winter sports here. I can tell you from experience that when people from all over the world think of winter and sports together, they think of Canada."

Listening to the guys of Bomba talk about their adopted home is to hear everything that's great about this province.

"When we're gone, we miss the calm, the quiet, the less-than-hectic lifestyle," Aguirre said. "Western Canada is ... just so empty. But in a great way. There is so much room to breath here and enjoy how gorgeous this province is. There's nothing better than the chilled-out mountain lifestyle where time just doesn't seem to go anywhere."

Sounds like a Canadian to me.

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at

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