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 Banff Alberta Canada Events


"Ice Magic” International Ice Sculpture Competition & Exhibition
Usually held in mid-January thru mid-March
Admission Free
Held in various locations in Lake Louise, this is an unusual and delightful exhibition to see. Ice carvers from around the world compete to create sculptures that will appeal to all ages.

Banff/Lake Louise Winter Festival
Usually held around the last week of January
Admission Charged for some events
This event is fun for everyone and includes an art walk and cultural events, the Town Party, a Family Winter Carnival, silly and serious winter athletic contests, and nightly bar and social activities. The Winter Festival has been a tradition in Banff since 1917.

Winterfest - Canmore
Held in mid-January
On the Pond from 9am to 4pm
Admission Free
“Grab a Slab!” Everyone is invited to participate in the annual ice sculpture event on the 10th Street Pond. Bring your own files and chisels, and any other equipment you may need to satisfy your creative side.


The Kananaskis Ski Marathon – Canmore
Usually held near the end of February
Location: Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, start/finish at Pocaterra Parking Lot. To get there, drive south on Hwy #40 from the junction with Hwy #1 for 56 km.
This is a "loppet", a cross-country ski race open to the public, emphasizing participation, personal challenge, camaraderie, sportsmanship, and fun. The competition takes place in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, one of Alberta's finest cross-country ski trail systems, about a ninety-minute drive west of Calgary in Kananaskis Country. All competitors -- over 400 of them --are treated to beverages, hot soup, and plenty of home-made cookies -- that's why the loppet is called "the Cookie Race"!


Arc'teryx Canmore Ice Climbing Festival
Usually held in early March
Admission Charged
Ice Climbing enthusiasts look forward to a little ice time in Canmore, AB during the "Arc'teryx Canmore Ice Climbing Festival". The event brings together beginner and skilled ice climbers to enjoy the sport of ice climbing in a fun, festive atmosphere. People new to the sport have the opportunity to try ice climbing on an artificial ice wall, try out the latest equipment from core manufacturers, and watch and learn from some of the top climbers in the sport.


Slush Cup – Banff
Held during the entire month of May
Skiers and snowboarders seek fame and fortune by attempting to sail over a precipitous pool of ice water. The Slush Cup has been a Sunshine tradition for several years and a not-to-be-missed show. This event marks the last ski event of the season.

Festival of Music and Wine - Jasper
Usually held over a weekend in May
Jasper will be bringing the music to the mountains during the annual "Jasper Festival of Music and Wine”. Internationally renowned artists move from the concert halls to the mountaintops to perform in unique venues around Jasper. The performances are followed by informative wine tasting.

Banff/Calgary Road Race
403- 294-7440
This annual road race features over 1,500 athletes running in a team relay format from Banff to Fort Calgary.

Wildlife Festival of Birds & Bears - Golden B.C.
Several days of events of high quality which offer interpretive, educational, entertaining and interactive activities including trips in the lushest part of the renowned Columbia River Wetlands, where many bird species are found and where bears thrive in the generous surrounding wilderness.

Canmore Children's Festival
This 2-day event is a celebration of children. It's an opportunity to unleash your inner child for two days of fun, laughter and merriment. Storytellers, theatre, comedy, magic, puppets, crafts and games await discovery.


Usually held in mid-June
This exciting weekend festival will celebrates artistic spirit by featuring performing artists, artists and artisans, an art walk, a literary festival, film screenings, and street performers.

Quilt Festival
Usually held in mid-June
Hours: 10am - 7pm on Saturday and 10am - 5pm on Sunday.
Admission Charged
This exhibition celebrates the Mountain Cabin Quilters' Guild of Canmore. The quilts are displayed at the Seniors' Association Drop-In Centre.

Race the Rockies 18 Hour Challenge
Looking for a perfect springboard into longer multi-day races or just 18 hours of adrenalin? Teams of 3 (mixed gender) and solo categories paddle, trek, orienteer, and mountain bike a spectacular 100 km course through the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Race the Rockies 18 Hour Challenge is one of the few adventure races in the world that allows solo athletes to race throughout the night.


Canada Day Parade and Celebration
Held on Canada Day, July 1
One thing you can count on for fun is Canada Day, with festivities celebrating the special joy of being Canadian. Locals line up early for the pancake breakfast that starts at 7:30 AM. Main Street is jammed with people who come from all over southern Alberta to view the parade. There are spectacular fireworks at nightfall.

Race the Rockies
Held early July – early August
Get ready for “Race the Rockies 30 Day Challenge”. Solo athletes and teams of two will paddle, trek and mountain bike a challenging 3340 km race course through one of the most beautiful and remote places on earth.

Banff Arts Festival
Usually held mid–July through mid–August
Don't miss the Banff Arts Festival, a four week period of intensive programming during the summer season. From the new Canadian Opera FILUMENA to the genius of great masters such as Shakespeare and Mozart, to extraordinary break-troughs by young artists on the verge of discovery, this sizzling summer festival is filled with more than 60 events that will make you fall head over heels in love with the arts!


Canmore Folk Music Festival
Alberta's oldest folk music festival offers a weekend filled with afternoon workshops, craft and food booths, an extensive family area and a stellar line-up of evening concerts all taking place in Canmore's Centennial Park.

Trans-Rockies Challenge
Usually held in mid–August
The wheels are set to roll for one of the toughest mountain bike races in the world. 350 two-person teams grind their way over the Continental Divide through almost 600 kilometers of wilderness trails.

Jasper Heritage Rodeo
303 Pyramid Ave
(Jasper Activity Centre)
Jasper, AL T0E 1E0
780-852-4622; 780- 852-3858
Admission Charged
Performances are held nightly at 7pm. A dance Saturday night features a top Canadian Country entertainer.
This professionally sanctioned event attracts top cowboys and stock from around the world. Events include bull riding, bareback and saddle-bronco riding, steer wrestling, calf roping, barrel racing and the local favorite pack horse race.


Melissa’s Mini-Marathon
Over 2,000 runners compete in 3 km, 10 km, or 22 km races.

Highland Games – Canmore
The Celtic spirit prevails in Canmore when hundreds of participants of Highland Dance, Piping, Drumming, Running and Heavy Sports give their best performances in their quest for excellence.
Celtic merchants from across Canada offer their wares, and clan tents provide family history and genealogy information. Highland cattle and sheep dog demonstrations can be seen and the Massed Bands will stir the soul. The Beer Garden features non-stop entertainment such as Scottish Country Dancing and Irish Stepping. The evening Ceilidh is where the Celts let loose with lively entertainment and dancing. The Provincial Piping & Drumming Champions for the year are announced here.

Canada Canadian Rocky Mountain Half Marathon and 8K Race
Take part in the 8K or half marathon, or cheer on the over 1,000 racers. This is one of the most scenic courses in Canada and it's a pleasure to run on the trails and roadways of Canmore.

7-Minute Film Festival
This innovative event provides a free opportunity for filmmakers to experiment publicly with film and video in an environment fully conducive to concept-driven creative expression. For viewers, it's a free opportunity to enjoy some wonderful short films. Includes drama, animation, comedy, underground, cutting edge, and has entries that make you laugh, make you cry, make you question. What more could you ask from a film festival?


The Banff Centre Mountain Ekiden Relay
Ekiden: a Japanese word meaning running from post to post; an early Japanese form of courier. Ekidens are traditionally shorter than most relay runs, totaling only 43 km. Runners pass off a Japanese-style sash at the exchange area. The original Ekiden was staged as an all-women's event in Yokohama, Japan. The Banff Centre Mountain Ekiden Run includes up to 75 - 5 person teams and is a fund raiser for the Centre's artist scholarship fund.

Pan Canadian Wordfest
Usually held in mid - October
The PanCanadian Wordfest brings together national, international and local writers for a series of readings, panel discussions, performances, workshops and book signings.

Festival of the Eagles
Become enraptured! Join professional birdwatchers and amateur bird lovers in this October celebration of the ancient annual migration of the Golden Eagle along the high crests of the Canadian Rockies. Share in the spirit of the eagle as you listen to interpreters explain the phenomenon on a guided hike, or simply gaze upward at the birds soaring above the peaks in the perfect autumn sky.

October – November

Banff Mountain Book Festival
This annual mountain book festival offers outdoor enthusiasts the chance to enjoy the best of mountain literary views from publishers and writers from all over the world. This festival is held in conjunction with the Banff Festival of Mountain Films.


"Light Up Canmore" Christmas Season Kick-off
Celebrate the holidays in Canmore, starting with a light-up ceremony at the Northwest Mounted Police Barracks. Enjoy choirs and hot chocolate, horse-drawn wagon rides, and special shopping promotions.

Banff Mountain Film Festival
Early November
One of the largest and most prestigious film festivals of it's kind, this annual event previews and honors the top mountaineering/adventure films taken from around the world.

Banff Winterstart 5 miler night run
Mid November, race starts at 7pm
Start at the Banff Caribou Lodge and run on a scenic, winding course along Banff Avenue and Tunnel Mountain Road.

Santa Claus Parade
Usually held in late November
Join the Town of Banff as they welcome the arrival of Santa Claus. Watch Saturday's noontime parade make its way down Banff Avenue and meet Santa for a photo in Central Park.


Annual Torchlight Parade
December 31, begins at 7pm and is best viewed from Banff.

Town of Banff First Night Celebration
December 31
Hours: 7:30pm - midnight
Enjoy a family-orientated, alcohol-free celebration of the arts, which takes place in a variety of downtown Banff locations.

Community Party on the Pond
10th Street Pond, Canmore
December 31
Hours: Children's events are from 6 to 9 pm with fireworks at 9:30 pm for the little ones.
This is an alcohol-free event for the whole family, featuring music and entertainment, hot dogs and hot chocolate, skating, wandering performers, an all-night bonfire, and horse and wagon rides. The festivities (music and bonfire) will continue until midnight when the Fireworks Grand Finale takes place at Millennium Park to welcome the New Year.


Banff Center for the Arts
104 St. Julian Rd
Banff, AB, T1L 1H5
Located on Tunnel Mountain, The Banff Centre provides educational opportunities in arts, leadership development, and Mountain Culture. As well, the centre hosts public performances and events year round featuring dance, music, theatre, opera, films, books, new media, and visual arts.

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