Banff and Canadian Rockies's Festivals & Events Listing

There are lots of festivals and celebrations in the Canadian Rockies, almost one in every month, but the summer is definitely Festival Time! Here is a rundown of the best festivals around the year. Take part and have fun!

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Canmore's Winter Festival

late January

Cross-country ski marathon races and cross-cultural concerts help you keep warm! The festival opens with the Three Sisters Resorts Rocky Mountain Ski Marathon and end with one of the largest sled dog sprint races in North America. Festival includes concerts, art exhibitions, ice sculptures, slide shows, hockey games, literary contests, curling bonspiels, figure skating shows.

Toshiba/Ken Read Ski Invitational

mid April

13th year of the Toshiba Ski Invitational at Lake Louise, hosted by Crazy Canuck Ken Read and former Canadian ski team members, who will race head-to-head in an exciting elimination parallel slalom in support of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Skiers at Skiing Louise can spectate and support this worthy cause.

Western Heritage Jubilee

late April

4th Annual Banff/Lake Louise Cowboy Jubilee is a "tribute to Canada's western heritage". Western artisansdisplay their humorous stories of the West, and kick up your heels at the Saturday Night Cowboy Concert.

Banff-Calgary Road Race

early May

This race covers approximately 142km, with up to 120 teams, as a fundraiser for Theatre Calgary. Contact Brenda Barootes at Theatre Calgary (403)294-7440.

Sunshine Village Slush Cup

mid May

Skiers, snowboarders entertain and seek fame by attempting to jump over a precipitous pool of ice water. A Sunshine tradition for several years and not-to-miss spectacle. Marks the last ski event of the season (403)762-6500.

Canmore Children's Festival

Late May

Variety of children's entertainers and performers at Canmore Collegiate High School 1800 8th Ave. 403-678-1878.

Kananaskis Whitewater Festival

Late May

Watch (or participate in) events like hole-riding, ball racing, and throwbag toss. Admission free. Camping fee per person per night. Join everyone for the Saturday night meal & Sunday breakfast. Canoe Meadows on Kanaksis River, 6 km S on Hwy #30. 403-863-7177.

Bragg Creek Festival

end May

Music Festival with daily artist workshops, held at the Braff Creek Centre on White Avenue, Bragg Creek,. 409-949-4114 or 949-4277

Banff Arts Festival

June though August

Held at the Banff Centre, for the 67th anniversary of presenting some of the most progressive, exciting art being made in the world. From epic Canadian theatre to new opera, visual arts using new technology, Jazz music and dance, film screenings and symposia. Banff Centre room packages for festival events are available. Call 1-800-413-8368 (North America) or 403-762-6301.

Canadian Rockies Cowboy Festival

Early June

Country music and cowboy poetry festival at the David Thompson Resort, 45 km west of Nordegg on Hwy 11. Daily or weekend passes. Accomodation includes hotel,. Motel, camping, trailers. 888-810-2103.

ArtsPeak Canmore Arts Festival

Early June

Enjoy a weekend of art exhibits, musical performances and tours of artists' studios. Throughout Canmore. 403-996-0220.

Canmore International Jazz Festival

Early June

At Stan Rogers Stage in Centennial Park (7th Street and 6 Ave) 403-678-1295

Jasper - Banff Relay

Early June

This 300km race involving 120 pre-registered teams is an annual event is sponsored by Canadian Airlines International. Contact Eve Campbell at (403)497-4680 or write to 10700 104 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 4S2.

Cammore artsPeak Arts Festival

mid June

A weekend long multi-venue festival celbrating local and visiting artists. Downtown Canmore

Banff National Park Bike Fest

mid June

A road race featuring 7 races through the streets of Banff. 403-762-8421

Cowboy Poetry Gathering

mid June

Celebrate Western heritage with cobwoy music and poetry, with artisans, ranch horsemanship, evening dances, and cowboy church. Pincher Creek and District Agricultural Firgrounds. 403-627-4702

Banff World Television Festival

mid June

At the Banff Springs Hotel and The Banff Centre, the 20th annual conference hosts hundreds of producers, directors, writers and actors from around the world. Films are screened continuously throughout the week and are open to the public. Admission fee (over $100 per day) separates the pros from the wannabes at this schmoozefest. 403-678-1216.

Touring Tin, Show and Shine

mid June

Participating members from Western Canada and United States show their antique vehicles with gleaming chrome and souped up engines at the Banff Recreational Centre (762-1235) or .

Banff Day

late June

An open house at the Whyte Museum celebrating the history of Banff. Telephone: (403)762-2291.

Canadian Rockies Bluegrass Festival

late June

Bluegrass music, workshops and band scrampbles (with random pairings of musicians) at the David Thompson Resort, 45 km west of Nordegg on Hwy 11. Daily or weekend passes. Accomodation includes hotel,. Motel, camping, trailers. 888-810-2103.

One Hot Summer

late June

A free event for all Banff/Lake Louise staff that provides a comprehensive introduction to our community including the services and opportunities avaible to them. Free food, fantastic prizes, lots of give-aways and live entertainment!At the YWCA Community Resource Centre (403)760-3200.

Waterton Wildflower Festival

end June

Nine days of events celgrating the diversity of wildflowers, plants and ecosystem. Meet at Tamarack Oudoor Outfitters in Waterton Park townsite (2.5 hrs south of Calgary) 403-859-2663

Voices On the Wilderness

July and August

Weekend shows in Canmore over the summer will entertain with shows exploring the wild side of the Canadian Rockies: wolves, bird-watching, bear stories every Saturday night. Every Sunday night, there's "A Little Night Music" ...chamber music and jazz.

Canada Day

July 1

Celebrating Canada's Birthday, this event includes various ethnic and cultural entertainments, food booths, parade, fireworks and a concert in Central Park.

Canada Day Parade and Celebration

July 1

Surrounded by majestic natural history, Canmore's celebration of our national heritage relives the spirit of "Dominion Day"… children with flags, hot dogs and cotton candy, with fireworks at dusk!

Grundig UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

early July

Canmore is hosting the second World Cup mountain bike event in three years. Over 1,000 competitors will wheel into town beginning July 1st at the Canmore Nordic Centre.

Rum Runner Days

mid Junly

Celebrate deep rooted history, culture and heritage of the Crowsnest Pass and its people. . Various venues.

Canmore Folk Music Festival

early August

Alberta's oldest folk music festival (30 years), Every August on the Heritage Day long week-end thousands of visitors stake out Canmore's Centennial Park (7th Ave & 6th Street). 403-678-2524

Banff Culture Weekend

mid August

Watch artists paint, sculptors sculpt , authors read from their works. Some of the town's heritage homes are open to the public as well, Free admission to most events, as part of Doors Open Banff. 1-800-419-1298

Banff Dragonboard Festival

mid August

Chinese dragon boats race on mysical Lake Minnewanka, along with curlural activities in the Banff town.

Highland Games

end August

Canmore's Highland Games on the September long week-end. Thousands of musicians, dancers and visitors of every nationality who enjoy ethnic music, food, and fun in the highlands of the Canadian Rockies.

Canadian Rocky Mountain Marathon

mid September

Over 900 runners are expected to participate in the 1999 marathon, half-marathon and 8k races. The day is completed with other festivities under the sunny autumn sky.

Taste of Banff/LakeLouise

early October

The High School Athletic Field in Banff provides a great opportunity for the Banff/Lake Louise visitor to sample the finest mountain cuisine while enjoying the spectacular fall season.

Festival of Eagles

mid October

Serious professional bird-watchers and amateur bird celebrate the annual migration of the Golden Eagle along the "super flyway" of the Canadian Rockies. Interpreters explain the phenomenon, guides show you the way, and everyone shares the spirit of the eagle! (the weekend after thanksgiving).

PanCanadian WordFest: Banff-Calgary International Writer's Festival

mid October

From October 10-14, PanCanadian WordFest annually brings international, national and local writers to book-lovers for readings, panel discussions, youth educational programmes and special events. For information, call 403-294-7462. More Info...

Annual International Banff Springs Wine & Food Festival

late October

A relaxed and congenial opportunity to enjoy wine and food without pretence or competition. Novice wine tasters and serious connoisseur enjoy a perfect marriage of food and wine. This year the focus is on the wines and cuisine of California.(403)762-2211.

Banff Mountain Book Festival

early November

This 5th annual mountain book festival offers outdoor enthusiasts the best of mountain literary views from publishers and writers from all over the world. Held in conjunction with the Banff Festival of Mountain Films. (403)762-6125.

Banff Festival of Mountain Films

early November

One of the largest and most prestigious film festival of its kind, this event previews and honors the top mountaineering/adventures films. (403) 762-6125 Nancy de Dalt.


early November - mid December

Banff and Lake Louise offer enticing attractions and value season prices from participating hotels, restaurants, and ski areas to draw people to the mountains at the start of the Winter season.

The Vic Lewis Band Festival

mid (November

Canmore welcomes over 800 musicians to the annual festival, honouring the musician who introduced band music to Bow Valley students in the 1940's. The festival includes workshops and clinics with international clinicians and directors and concerts, featuring some of the finest school bands in Alberta.

Banff Winterstart 5-Miler Night Run

mid November

Start at the Banff Caribou Lodge and run on scenic, winding course along Banff Avenue and Tunnel Mountain Road. The fundraiser proceeds are to go to the Banff Mountain Ski Academy, a non-profit independent school dedicated to the development of world-class alpine ski racers who also strive for academic excellence. (403)228-3782.

Santa Claus Parade

late November

The Town of Banff welcomes the arrival of Santa Claus in Saturday's noontime parade down Banff Ave. Meet Santa for a photo in Central Park. (403)762-8421.

Women's World Cup Downhill Races

early December

Skiing Louise welcomes the Downhill and Super G racers for the 1999-2000 women's world cup season. Week-long festivals will take place in Banff and Lake Louise with special lift ticket prices, autograph signing parties and world cup parties.

Santa On Skis

December 25

See Santa at Banff Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village, and Lake Louise Ski area.

New Year's Eve : Sylvester Night

December 31-January 1

Join friends and family on Policeman's Creek Pond and in Centennial Park for our outdoor new year's eve celebration to end the 20th century. Skating, mask-making, entertainment, sleigh rides, hot chocolate, and…of course…fireworks at 8pm.

Banff First Night

December 31-January 1

From 7:30 to midnight. Close to 1,000 people are expected to bring in the new year in Banff with brilliant pyrotechnics, world-class music, puppets, storytelling and elk. (403)762-1144.

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