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If you find yourself in Canmore this holiday season, you’re in for a treat. Thanks to the hard working folks at Canmore Business and Tourism, downtown Canmore will be the site of lively celebration and activities happening from now until Christmas.
It’s called “Christmas in Canmore”, a month long celebration throughout the downtown Canmore area. Businesses will have extended hours and the streets will be filled with fun and excitement.
For youngsters there will be a kids’ Christmas Village on Main Street across from the Bow Valley Credit Union. It will be open Thursdays and Fridays from 4pm to 7pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 5pm.
Starting on Dec. 6, shoppers can take advantage of “Moonlight Madness” shopping. Most business in the downtown core will extend their closing time until 10pm and decorate their storefronts with festive displays as they compete to have their block judged the most spectacular.
To keep downtown pedestrian friendly during the celebration, Main Street will be closed to traffic from 6pm to 10:30pm daily.
Also beginning on Dec.6 is the annual Festival of Trees during which 22 elaborately decorate Christmas trees will be on display. Come for opening night and enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and story time for the little ones.
Kids will want to make their way downtown on December 7th from 10am to 3pm for the Santa’s Workshop event featuring all sorts of fun activities and, of course, visits with Santa himself.
On the evening of Dec. 7, the Canmore Civic Centre will host the Spirits of Christmas Gala featuring a silent auction, live jazz, cocktails and appetizers.
For complete details on Christmas in Canmore events, visit the festival’s page at Tourism Canmore.
If you’re visiting the Bow Valley this holiday season, consider accommodation at the Econolodge Canmore, the city’s #1choice for clean, modern and affordable hotel rooms.
Canmore’s ideal location in the Canadian Rockies make it a fantastic place to enjoy hiking, biking, sightseeing, wildlife viewing – all within a short drive of Calgary’s legendary entertainment - but nothing gets visitors and locals pumped like the arrival of the snowfall and the opening of the ski hills. With 4 major ski resorts within a short drive, Canmore is one of North America’s best ski hubs for skiers and boarders of all abilities. If you’ve never been, just picture riding world class terrain under a bright blue sky.
Sunshine Village, within the Banff National Park lies just 30km west of Canmore, and is one of the premiere ski areas in Canada. Sunshine has the potential to receive over 30 feet of snow in a normal season, and their high altitude ensures that the snow stays fluffy and dry until spring. With over 3,500 vertical feet of rideable terrain, there’s plenty to keep you busy all day long. There’s even a run that spans the border between Alberta and British Columbia, creating a very unique trans-provincial ski run!
Lake Louise is located just an hour drive from our Canmore hotel, and is one of Canada’s crown jewels for skiing and snowboarding. The mountain boasts over 4,000 acres of rideable terrain, spread across a vertical of almost 5,500 feet! They’ve just opened and are already in the midst of a powder warning! There’s been 30cm in the last 24 hours with lots more on the way!
For great riding closer to our Canmore hotel, be sure to check out Banff Mount Norquay. Currently open on the weekends, and then open 7 days a week beginning at the end of November. Norquay offers great terrain at competitive prices. Not only that, but they also offer the only night-skiing in the Banff area (5-10pm beginning in January), making this a great place to hit after a day of exploring.
Another nearby favourite is Nakiska, which played host to the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic Games alpine events. Park of the beautiful Kananaskis Provincial Park, Nakiska has everything you need to get skiing or riding – whether you’re a seasons vet or a complete newbie.
If you’ve got a mix of skiers/boarders and non-skiers/boarders in your travel group, you needn’t worry! The local Canmore area has enough beautiful sightseeting and activities to keep everyone entertained. Now, stop reading and get out there! See you on the slopes.
Need a unique gift for that special someone? Want to get a jump on holiday shopping? Want to get the holidays kick started early? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, you won’t want to miss the Canmore Christmas Artisans Market on November 23, 24 & 25th. This great family-friendly event features over 85 of the most talented crafters from all over theBow Valley region. The event takes place at the CanmoreCollegiate High School, and the $3 admission (kids are free) all goes to support the Canmore Preschool.
What can you expect? The market features a wide array of crafts for everyone on your list. Whether you’re looking for home décor, art, seasonal crafts, art, or even delicious treats you won’t be disappointed at the market. Make an impression by picking up beautiful hand blown or stained glass works from local artisans.
Find that something special for her by browsing a large variety of locally produced jewellery, silk products, sweet treats, chocolates, and handmade soaps and paper. Get him what he really wants with a selection of hand crafted knives, leather goods, and wood sculptures. Spruce up your home with handcrafted furniture, professional photography, paintings and woodworks. Don’t forget to treat yourself with the lovely hats, scarves, gloves, and handcrafted bags.
The Canmore Christmas Artisans Market has been running for 18 years, and continues to be a favourite holiday event amongs visitors and locals alike. Last year, the event experienced a record breaking attendance of 4,000 visitors during the three day event, and 2013 is gearing up for similar numbers. So come on in from the cold, grab a warm beverage, and prepare to experience the works from some of the most creative minds in the Bow Valley.
If you’re staying in one of our Canmore hotel rooms, we’re located just a 4 minute drive from the Christmas Market, making an excursion during your stay both easy and fun!
November means music in Canmore as hundreds of students from all over Alberta and British Columbia gather here annually to play, learn and perform at the Vic Lewis Band Festival.
This year the festival runs Nov. 1-3 and is expected to attract nearly 900 students. During the two days and two nights of this event, junior high and high school bands will perform for adjudicators, take part in workshops, enjoy faculty recitals and give public performances of their musical talents.
It's a gathering that not only attracts music-loving visitors to Canmore, but is also a source of civic pride for the entire area. So if you’re planning on attending the Vic Lewis Band Festival next month, here’s a little bit of background on the event.
Festival honours musical pioneer
This is the 16th year for the Vic Lewis Band Festival, which was named to honour the Canmore pioneer who brought band music to Bow Valley students in the 1940s. Vic Lewis earned a place in local history and in the hearts of music lovers of the Bow Valley for his contributions to the area's vibrant music community, introducing generations of youngsters to concert band, wind ensemble and jazz band music.
Decades after Lewis first started teaching, his legacy continues with the annual festival that brings together students, local musicians and business sponsors. Lewis passed away in 1999.
Event attracts expert music educators
Each year, a variety of talented and knowledgeable music educators attend the festival to share their years of expertise with the students. Among the past guest directors have been such notable musicians as Dr. Robert Taylor, Director of Wind Bands at the University of British Columbia; Wayne Jeffrey, Director of Ensembles at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia and Scott Brown, jazz trombonist at Seattle Schools in Seattle Washington.
With such talent on hand, it's no surprise that students come away from this festival with a deeper understanding of music and more enthusiasm for playing and performing.
Festival has a strong reputation
This event has earned a name as one of the top non-competitive music festivals in Alberta. Its focus is on letting students hone their skills with some of the top musical educators and band directors in Western Canada, and showing off those skills in public performances.
Most festival events take place at Canmore Collegiate High and the Canmore Recreation Centre. The evening gala public performances take place at Canmore's 280-seat Cornerstone Theatre.
If you're coming to town for the Vic Lewis Band Festival, you'll be only minutes away from all student and performance venues at the comfortable and affordable Econolodge Canmore, with its spacious rooms, free continental breakfast and fitness centre.
October 19th marks the opening of the 2013 edition of Frozen Thunder at Canmore Nordic Centre. This two-kilometer ski trail is constructed entirely from machine-made snow, which is stored over the summer and spread over the trail in the fall to give skiers an early jump on the upcoming ski season despite balmy early fall temperatures.
In addition to giving the Canadian Nordic team a massive training advantage over their international competition, the Frozen Thunder track offers eager recreational Nordic skiers the chance to shake off the rust before the snowy season hits. It also allows skiers to augment their training with other outdoor sports that aren’t comfortable in the depths of winter. After you ski Frozen Thunder, you can, for example, head out for a run along the river or hit the trails on your mountain bike.
The Canmore Nordic Centre is the only skiing facility in North America that stores snow over the summer for an early-season trail like this. The facility is also home to the largest snow making system of any Nordic centre in the world, making Canmore a destination for skiers from across the continent during this part of the year.
Despite enduring a hot summer, the stored snow from last winter loses surprisingly little of its volume from melting. A carefully constructed layer of saw dust insulations means that less than 25 percent of the snow melts by the time the Frozen Thunder trail is ready to be constructed.
Frozen Thunder is open for public skiing before 9:00 am and after 12:00 pm on weekdays and all day on weekends. Day passes must be purchased at the Day Lodge for access.
For athletes or casual skiers seeking hotel accommodation in Canmore for Frozen Thunder, the EconoLodge Canmore is one of the best values in town. We are located just 12 minutes from Canmore Nordic Centre with comfortable rooms, free breakfast and competitive rates. See you on the trail!
The Banff Centre is the preeminent venue for arts education and intellectual engagement in the Bow Valley. This month, the centre is hosting a number of talks and performances from world-class speakers and musicians, a treat for anyone who finds themselves in the Banff or Canmore area over the coming weeks.
On September 14, the Leading Idea Speaker Series welcomes legendary Canadian playwright Tomson Highway and Maori author Witi Ihimaera for an evening of dialogue and storytelling exploring issues of aboriginal identity. The talk is part of the centre’s ongoing series of readings and spoken word performances from indigenous writers. Admission is by donation.
Harry Potter fans take note: on September 18, distinguished mathematician and public intellectual Gunther Uhlmann will give a public talk on the mathematical mysteries of Harry Potter’s cloak. It sounds like a dry topic, but you can bet the Uhlmann will bring to it his trademark wit and charisma. Admission is by donation.
On the afternoon of Saturday, September 21 the Banff Centre’s outdoor stage will host singer-songwriters Serena Ryder and Adam Cohen (son of poet and musician Leonard Cohen) for a Performance in the Park. Tickets are $35.
On September 28, prolific Canadian film and stage actor Christopher Plummer presents an evening of Shakespeare in Word and Music at the Eric Harvie Theatre. Plummer will recite excerpts from the bard’s most famous plays to the accompaniment of orchestral music. Tickets are $75.
For guests of the Econolodge Canmore, the Banff Centre is just a 20-minute drive away. If you’re seeking comfortable and affordable accommodations in the Banff-Canmore area, look no further than our spacious rooms and suites.
Earlier this month, we told you about Canmore’s thriving visual arts community. Now, we’d like to give you the down low on our city’s music scene, which is just as lively. If you’re in town and jonesing for some great live music, you can’t go wrong with wandering into one of these local venues:
By day, Communitea Café is the perfect place to sip a fair trade coffee, munch on an organic scone and read a novel. By night, this hip, artistically inclined cafe transforms into Canmore’s premier live music venue, hosting intimate shows from internationally-renowned acts. You won’t find any hard rock bands here, mostly acts on the more mellow side—you know, the kind of music you can still talk over (although you probably wouldn’t want to).
Sept. 6 & 7 – Kim Churchill
Sept. 14 – David Myles
Sept. 24 – Lee Harvey Osmond
Oct. 2 – Current Swell
Nov. 20 - Hollerado
The Drake is the kind of good old fashioned night spot where you can swig a pitcher with your pals, play some pool and rock out. In addition to regular DJ nights, the Drake hosts live rock bands on a weekly basis, many of which hail from right here in the Bow Valley.
Aug. 30 & 31 – Mourning Wood
Sept. 3 & 4 – Matt Beatty and the Hot Tamales
Established in 1890, the Canmore Hotel is Alberta’s second oldest hotel currently in operation. It’s also the city’s oldest watering hole, a relic from a time when hotels and pubs were, by law, one and the same. The Canmore Hotel Pub has always been the haunt of local musicians and it shows no signs of slowing down, hosting local live music nearly every weekend.
Aug. 30 & 31 – J.K. and the Static
Sept. 6 & 7 – “Rock Bottom” 80s Party feat. Chico Bravo and Roofie Steele
If you have any questions about local nightlife and events, feel free to contact the Econolodge Canmore. And stay tuned to our blog for the latest info on fun and festivities happening in and around Canmore.
Although Canmore is known primarily for its natural beauty and world-class winter sports, our town also boasts a thriving artistic community. From sculptors to street performers, Canmore’s cadre of creative types is as diverse as it is productive, generating an impressive volume of work that speaks to the spirit of life in the Rockies.
From September 27th to 29th, visitors can get a first-hand look at a wide variety of local art at the 9th annual artsPeak Festival, hosted by the Canadian Mountain Arts Foundation.
This weekend-long celebration of the arts features exhibits, live entertainment, interactive workshops and fun for the whole family.
The event kicks off on the evening of Friday the 27th with an artStage showcase performance featuring improv theatre, poetry readings, and a concert by local folk-rock band Elk Run & Riot.
For those looking to get their hands dirty making some art of their own, the festival’s workshops include face painting, improv, art for kids, origami, poetry, and watercolour painting. All workshops are free, but advance registration is recommended as they are expected to fill up quickly.
Not only is the artsPeak Festival a great place to see the work of local artists, but it also presents an opportunity to support an essential community organization. The Canadian Mountain Arts Foundation is Canmore’s leading advocate for the arts, working to expand opportunities for artists and art lovers across the Bow Valley to create and enjoy art. Driven by a dedicated team of volunteers, the CMAF is a non-profit society that plays a key role in promoting and organizing art-related events in the community.
The artsPeak festivities take place in downtown Canmore, just a few minutes from the Econo Lodge Canmore. Book your room with us today for comfortable and affordable accommodations convenient to everything that Canmore has to offer.
Whether you’re a participant or spectator, you won’t want to miss out on this upcoming event happening on September 8th! The Canmore Rocky Mountain Half-Marathon is one of the most scenic and greenest running events in North America. The Half Marathon course takes participants along mountain streams, through wooded forests, and through a historic mine site. The entire course has fantastic rocky mountain views, and promises to be a great event for participants and spectators alike!
Not sure about running the half marathon? There is also a 10k and 5k option for participants, which routes through downtown Canmore and has great views of the Three Sisters and Ha Ling Peak.
Come out and show your support for CAUSE Canada (www.cause.ca). CAUSE is a non-profit international relief and development agency working in Guatemala, Honduras and Sierra Leone. 100% of the race proceeds are used to fund development projects overseas. This year the aim is to help reduce barriers for girls to attend school in Sierra Leone through CAUSE Kids
In addition to supporting a great cause, this race is also committed to being the “Greenest Race in Canada”. Initiatives include everything from recycling all race materials and providing water bottles that are 100% disposable to having support crew on bicycles and medals made from recycled glass. For the price on one entrance fee, you can help support two great causes!
Looking for a place for you and your cheer squad to stay before and after the race? Be sure to check out our Canmore hotel rooms. Make sure you also stop by our Chez Francois Restaurant and Lounge to satisfy the hunger you worked up!
One of Western Canada’s biggest celebrations of Scottish and Celtic Culture will occur on Sunday, September 1, 2013. Hundreds of highland dancers, pipers, drummers and heavy sportsmen will gather at Centennial Park to mark the 23rd anniversary of Canmore’s signature event. Watching them will be 6,000 to 8,000 fervent fans. Vendors will offer traditional Celtic food, supplies, highland dress, art and jewellery. Adding to the excitement will be Celtic clan tents, sheep dog demonstrations, and an evening Ceilidh featuring live performances by Hadrian’s Wall, an upbeat Canadian band who have toured their eight albums of Irish, Scottish, and Canadian music around the world.
The Canmore Highland Games will be a full day of non-stop events. Check out the event’s schedule below:
7:00 AM - Gates open to all
7:30 AM - Pancake Breakfast with live entertainment in the Big Rock Festival Tent
8:00 AM - Individual Piping & Drumming Competition
- Highland Dance Competition
- Heavy Sports Competition
- Scottish & Celtic Retail Booths open
10:00 AM - Beer Garden opens in Festival Tent & Food Concessions open
AFTERNOON & EVENING EVENTS
12:30 PM - Sheep Dog demonstrations
1:00 PM - Official Canmore Highland Games opening ceremonies
2:00 PM - Pipe Band Competition
4:30 PM - Sheep Dog demonstration
5:00 PM - Massed Pipes & Drums of the Canmore Highland Games
6:00 PM - Evening Ceilidh with live entertainment
Get your tickets early as this is almost always a sell-out event!
Always crowd favourites, the bagpipes, dancers and kilts promise to once again charm their onlookers. Sports spectators will have their breath taken away as they witness incredibly heavy events such as the caber toss, the hammer throw, and stone throwing and putting. How heavy? Would you believe that weight throws come in classes of 22 lbs., 28 lbs., and 56 lbs.? The hammer throw is also 56 lbs. Care to enter one of these contests?! All sports events occur at the south side of Centennial Park adjacent at 5 Street and 6 Avenue.
Locally designed Canmore Highland Games Tartans and Dress Tartans will be available for sale. Their colours are: green, representing the beautiful forests; blue, representing the sky and Bow River; white, the mountain snow peaks; black, the underground coal; fushia, the wildflowers; yellow, sunny Alberta.
Plan to come and enjoy Canmore’s warm hospitality, unmatched scenery, and fine Celtic entertainment. To assure your accommodation during the Games, book early at the friendly Canmore Mountain Lodge, where for budget prices you will receive perks and amenities surpassing our neighbour hotels.