Read the Canmore Mountain Lodge Rocky Mountain Hotel Blog
When most people think of the Rockies, they picture beautiful snowcapped mountain peaks, long, sloping ski runs and the slice of powder beneath their snowboards. With the ski and snowboard season stealing much of the Rockies’ glory, it’s easy to forget that these mountains are also home to some of the best mountain biking trails Alberta and Western Canada have to offer. Now, if you’re like many of us bike enthusiasts this spring, you couldn’t wait for the days of sunshine to shine down and melt the last of the snow to make way for dirt runs and rugged mountain courses. That’s right, it’s time to dust off the bike, strap on your helmet and hit the trails.
No cycling enthusiast can afford to miss the 17th annual 24 Hours of Adrenalin™ Race, taking place right here in Canmore. For over 20 years, 24 Hours of Adrenalin has been the event of the summer for hardcore cyclists as well as those who are only just discovering their passion on two wheels. First organized in 1994 with the intent of creating a weekend of family-friendly outdoor fun, physical challenges and gathering together like-minded people from all walks of life, the 24 Hours of Adrenalin has grown from a mere 100 participants to over 1,500 entrants each year and upwards of 5,000 spectators.
The race takes place on July 20th, 2013 in the heart of Kananaskis Country, at the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park. Originally constructed to host the biathlon and cross-country events for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, the Canmore Nordic Centre has since played host to such prestigious mountain biking events as the Canada Cup and the International Cycling Union races, as well as being open to the public for recreational cycling. A mere 4km from Canmore and an easy half hour drive from Calgary, it’s easy to find your way to the event. On top of watching teams race to the finish, the 24 Hours of Adrenalin race also features great events within the event, such the 24 Minutes of Adrenalin race for children, live music, beer garden, fun contests, and a world-famous corn-roast. Register online 2013 24 Hours of Adrenalin™ Mountain Bike Race.
Canadians are a generally humble bunch; we tend to display our national pride in quiet and tasteful terms. But once a year, on the anniversary of our country’s confederation, Canadians get loud and proud, celebrating the glory of our great nation in colourful and creative ways.
This Canada Day, July 1, the town of Canmore will host its annual Canada Day
parade featuring elaborate floats and lively performances from local entertainers, businesses and community groups. Spectators can look forward to live music, prizes, food and more.
The fun begins bright and early with a public pancake breakfast at 8am. The parade then begins at noon
, starting its route at Fairholme Drive and 15th Street before turning down Main Street and finishing at the corner of Main and Railway Avenue. From there, spectators can mosey over to Centennial Park
for more celebrations.
Thousands of spectators are expected for this year’s parade, which will mark Canada’s 146th birthday. Kids, especially, are in for a treat with face painting, bouncy castles, clowns and other exciting attractions. After dark, the festivities climax with a brilliant fireworks display in Millennium Park
For a glimpse at what’s in store, take a look at this video from the 2012 Canmore Canada Day Parade:
Whether you’re a casual jogger or a hardcore marathoner, the Trail Striders ladies only trail running weekend
on June 8th and 9th offers the opportunity to make new friends through fitness in the beautiful backcountry of Canmore.
Trail Striders might be founded upon a shared quest for personal fitness, but the service offers much more to those who participate in its “running vacations”. Friendship, inspiration and a deep sense of accomplishment are what drive runners to partake in the Trail Striders weekend running events which feature training, workshops and plenty of relaxation time at organized wine tastings and tapas dinners.
According to TransRockies Inc.,
who organizes the Trail Striders events, the ladies only trail running weekend in Canmore will focus on “relaxation, restoration, health, balance and education”. Participants can select a 5k, 10k or 15k course according to their goals and ability. Trainers will there to guide and encourage runners as well as to coach them on technique, nutrition, proper gear and all the elements of being a successful trail runner.
In the evening, participants will be treated to gourmet tapas from Canmore’s Iron Goat restaurant
and wine from local vintner The Cellar Door
. Workshops will include a lesson on using visualization techniques for training, along with instruction on skills like pacing, climbing and descending.
Start Your Spring on the Right Foot: Rocky Mountain Soap Company Women’s Run. It’s that time of year again, where thermometers begin their inevitable climb back up out of the negatives and the snow on the ground starts its slow melt. While many will spend their remaining frosty days ripping up the mountains for one last ride, the inevitable cannot be denied: Spring is here! With the ski and snowboard season winding down for another year, it’s time that many must find another outlet to channel their fitness goals and keep motivating all those pesky New Year’s resolutions that by April seem like a distant memory.
So if you’re not taking advantage of the remaining weeks of mountain powder, why not start your bikini season prep by checking out the Rocky Mountain Soap Company’s Women’s Run & Walk
in Canmore. Founded in 2008, the Women’s Run has become a springtime staple for many a local gal and their families alike. Starting out with a meager 600 participants, it now boasts over 2, 000 entrants per year and is still growing! Supporting the Mary A. Tidlund Charitable Foundation’s program, Pink and Green Ribbon Health Campaign
, the money raised by participants all goes to support breast cancer as well as the local initiatives to clean up the environment. To date, the Women’s Run has raised over $25,000 for this very important cause.
Running (no pun intended) the weekend of Saturday May 11th and Sunday May 12th, both days feature a variety of different events for both the seasoned and novice athlete, with the big Half Marathon Event kicking things off with a bang at 9am on Saturday. As well as the main event, the Rocky Mountain Women’s Run also features both 10km and 5km walk/run courses, with the promise of something for everyone at any fitness and activity level. Online registration is now closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t throw on your trainers and come out to support this year’s participants as they stride with pride through Canmore’s scenic terrain. Have a little one? There’s even a stroller-friendly jogging course for all the parents out there too.
Check out a great video on the Pink & Green Ribbon Health Campaign and its partnership with Rocky Mountain Soap Company’s Women’s Run & Walk.
For connoisseurs and casual consumers alike, the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival
offers a fantastic opportunity to sample some of the finest wine, scotch, spirits, beer and cuisine in the province. Hosted at the Fairmont Springs in picturesque Banff , Alberta (just 20 minutes from our Canmore EconoLodge), the event takes place over the weekend of May 10th and features a wide variety of locally and internationally produced wines to be sampled alongside delectable cuisine provided by Banff's top restaurants.
In addition to the featured wines, you can delight your palate with a selection of single malt and blended scotches, boutique liqueurs and craft brewed ales and lagers. It's all on display in the festival's Grand Tasting Hall, where guests can explore the latest trends in upscale food and drink while mingling with experts to learn about the process of producing high quality wine and spirits.
For some added excitement, you can cast your vote in the Grand Sample Search which recognizes the top cuisine samples at the festival. All the culinary delights at the fest are sourced from local restaurants, so be sure to support your pick and help our world-class Alberta businesses thrive.
Purchase your festival tickets
before April 9th and you will be entered to win some stellar prizes, in addition to all of the door prizes up for grabs at the tasting hall. And the fun doesn't end after the tastings: there are a variety of dinner and nightlife events
that will extend the fun late into the night during festival weekend.
We urge visitors to check out one of the most fascinating coal mining ghost towns in Banff National Park, Alberta. Only minutes away from the Econolodge Canmore Mountain Lodge, Bankhead was a thriving mine site and residential area which opened in 1903 and closed twenty glorious years later in 1922. Three hundred underground coal miners traveled daily from their unique town of 1500 to haul out coal for the steam locomotives of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Their output was an amazing 600 tons a day! Closure of the mine was sudden and announced without a reason, although the low quality of the coal and strikes at the site were known to have affected its profitability.
While entrances to the mine shafts were closed off, plenty of the foundations and original remnants can be seen. Well-groomed self-guiding trails are accompanied by signs, displays, and interpretive information that allow walkers and hikers to identify the buildings and features they encounter, and obtain a first-class understanding of what mining in Lower Bankhead was all about. Visitors can walk atop 300 kilometers of the visible tunnels. Photographers will appreciate the many authentic displays and factual information about geology and mining visible through the windows of the transformer building, the lone remaining intact building. Besides buildings, camera bugs will be fascinated by other objects left behind such as one of the coal trains they are free to climb aboard.
Nothing remains of a once-flourishing town but ruins, accounts and memories. A planned company town, Bankhead was stylish and modern with features far ahead of other turn-of-the century towns, features which neither Banff nor Canmore had. Unique to this model town were a municipal water supply, a sewage system, indoor plumbing, and electrical lighting in many homes and on the streets.
Fortunately, not all needs to be left to one’s imagination. Rather than destroy all of its unwanted buildings, a Calgary contractor moved 38 of the original 100 or so houses 6 miles in 40 days to Banff. Bankhead Railway Station is now relocated on Tunnel Mountain Road, and has a map of the town site on its front door. Other buildings in 1926 were moved to Canmore.
Old timer ex-residents have recounted histories of the towns after they moved to those cities. They would have been children during the glorious twenty years of Bankhead. Besides their stories, dozens of photographs of then and now can be found in Ben Gadd’s excellent book, Bankhead: The Twenty Year Town. Mr. Gadd relates many amazing details of the town and home life, and gives explanations of the uniqueness of this mine’s techniques. He also makes readers want to investigate how the CPR was able to achieve what today would be unthinkable: creating a coal mining operation and town in a National Park.
Enroute to or from Bankhead, travelers can enjoy walking, hiking, or biking along the longest lake in the Canadian Rocky Mountain parks, Lake Minnewanka. Boat tours are also available. Sharp-eyed visitors may even catch a glimpse of some of the animal life in the area: elk, mule deer, mountain sheep, and bears!
Looking for a great weekend in Canmore? Be sure to come by and see the Canmore Trade Fair
on May 11-12. This is not only a great family event, but also your chance to meet over 120 businesses in the Canmore area and lear about the great products and services this region has to offer. To keep things exciting, this year Canmore's largest trade fair will feature all-new contests including pie eating, Mystery Slueth Contest, and Diaper Derby (read: Baby Races). Other events for 2013 include quilting, egg decorating, lego building, and a number of culinary arts competitions including baking, trail mix, and pies!
This year's event has expanded to include a seconday space in the Canmore Golf and Curling Club Rink.
Admission is by either a donation to the Bow Valley Food Bank, or $2.00 for adults, and $1.00 (all proceeds will go with the Bow Valley Food Bank).
Winter enthusiasts love the abundance and variety of experiences in which they can indulge in Canmore. Canmore’s powder snow has drawn visitors since time immemorial. Whether you’re extremely active and unable to resist the lures of the nearby Olympic trails, or you wish a more contemplative retreat into the awe-inspiring outdoors, Canmore offers experiences unmatched in nature’s world of beauty.
Fearless skiers who have exhausted themselves on the slopes and camera-laden bushgoers weary from traveling Canmore’s myriad of awe-inspiring trails may have returned to their lodgings to relax after the day’s excitement. Tired, they may need reminding of another golden experience in the community, namely, a visit or tour of the local world-class art galleries.
Despite its size, Canmore has a high concentration of artists who either migrated here with their skills and traditions, or are talented locals with imaginations stimulated by the area’s exquisite surroundings. Both groups remained and reached the point where they could not resist developing their abilities. Public demand encouraged them to display their works of perfection. They responded to the need for keepsakes for an audience impressed with Canmore’s environment. Visitors want to remember and showcase the beauty of their vacations in their homes, or in the homes of friends.
Artist facilities in Canmore await your visit or tour to share their imaginative and fascinating creations. Through them you will be able to take home facsimiles of your memorable outdoor experiences. Blog readers are invited to sample the long list and websites of artists’ studios, public galleries, and commercial galleries.
Aboriginal artist, Jason Carter, features paintings, soapstone carvings, and musical acts in his Carter-Ryan Gallery and Live Art Venue on Main Street. Also on Main Street is The Avens Gallery, which, features glass sculptures as well as paintings. Close by on Main Street is Elevation Gallery which concentrates on the contemporary styles of some 20 visual artists. Jewellery and printmaking will also entice visitors to Elevation.
Space here limits, but does not exhaust, the list of galleries off Main Street. Be sure to visit the Edge Gallery not only for its exhibitions of original works but also for its specialty of professionally framing artistic treasures. The community-run Canmore Library Gallery adds different dimensions to your tour of facilities: they represent all media and organize school shows as well as their private shows. Customers seeking silk fabric and handpainted silk, as well as acrylics, pastels and more must not miss Dana Roman Studio. Virginia Ann Hemingson Art Gallery welcomes visitors in search of both vibrant and warm colours. Pottery can be enjoyed in the making at Of Cabbages & Kings Pottery Studio. Their studio works are available for purchase.
Galleries above are only part of the artist experience available to Canmore’s visitors. If you are reading this list in the comfortable surroundings of the Canmore Mountain Lodge and planning a visit, also check in with the tourist bureau to discover more opportunities which go on throughout the year. Some include the Christmas party and fair in December, and paint outs and picnicking with fellow artists during warmer conditions. Inquire about figure drawing and other drawing classes. And, don’t miss Canmore’s upcoming annual arts festival, which in 2013 is being held June 14, 15, and 16.
We know that visitors may have selected Canmore as their vacation destination for its powder snow, trails, trees, landscape scenes and sunsets. We hope you are now inspired to seek out and visit Canmore’s galleries, studios and artists. We also hope you will consider obtaining some of their wonderful creations and keepsakes to enjoy at home!
Canmore’s Annual Winter Carnival, from February 1-18, 2013 is now underway. One might think that a long-standing event such as the Winter Carnival would eventually run out of steam and be forced to downsize and downgrade. The Question: Is it possible for this festival to retain its appeal and standards? The Answer: A resounding yes!
Again this year, this exceptional town is staging another exceptional event. Visitors from afar are expected to travel and enjoy a Winter Carnival second to none. Contingents from Calgary have already reserved accommodations at the Econolodge Canmore Mountain Lodge Resort. Visitors from across Canada, the States and around the world are arriving to take part in our activities. Why? Because Canmore’s Carnival offers bonus features not available in other locations who hold winter celebrations.
Events which are becoming a tradition are well-known everywhere, and are too lengthy to list in this blog. Not to worry, descriptions down to the most minute details for times, locations, prices (most are free) and other absorbing information can be obtained from Canmore’s Visitor Information Centre in the heart of downtown (907 7th Ave). Ask any one of Canmore Mountain Lodge’s knowledgeable staff for their favourite recommendations. Since “seeing is believing”, direct your computer to Canmore’s Downtown webcams or thrill to the excitement and fun of last year’s event on one of the YouTube videos.
The more popular activities of the Carnival include Kid ‘n’ Mutt Races, Log Sawing Competitions, Ice Carving, Snow Sculpting, Curling Bonspiels, a Bonhomme Carnival, and Exposure 2013.
These fun-filled attractions appeal to all age groups and skill levels. Their focus is on providing entertainment and bringing families together during the day and the night.
Think now how Canmore can boast that its events surpass those of other winter cities. For example, does your town fair feature your mayor in real races with real dog sleds and real sled dogs? Probably not! Likewise, is your town willing and prepared to clear its main street of all traffic and ice and then transform it into cross-country ski-tracks by trucking in hundreds of meters of snow groomed over the road surface? Even in the unlikelihood of that possibility, how many community-minded businesses would welcome participants to use the track with equipment provided free by them? In Canmore, Trail Sports is that Company! What about curling? We expect less hardy clubs to fall back into their cozy indoor home rinks for bonspiels. Canmore goes beyond for fresh air, outdoor air curling on a pond. Register now or curl up next to a blazing bonfire while you knock back a few hot chocolates.
Although the carnival began a few days ago you may have been too involved in Canmore’s other world class activities in the snow to take in all it offers. Don’t worry, the carnival carries on until the 18th of this month. You still have time to sharpen your skates, wax your skis, take your kids to art and reading performances, cheer on the Canmore Eagles hockey team, or take in an ice climbing tech talk. If you feel your energy finally dwindling from your activities, re-energize by dining in our award winning Chez Francois Restaurant and Lounge. What a finale to a successful carnival!
It's a brand new year, and there's no shortage of fun things to see and do in Canmore. We've got plenty of winter fun leftover, and springtime opens the possibilities for adventure even further! If you're planning on staying at the Econolodge Canmore Mountain Lodge
, be sure to check out some of these exiting events in the Canmore area!
February, 1 – 18 /2013
Canmore Winter Carnival
The 2013 Canmore Winter Carnival is a celebration of the season and a popular community event. Over nearly three weeks you can enjoy Kid 'n' Mutt races, Log Sawing, Ice Carving, Snow Sculpting, Curling on the Pond, Bonhomme Carnival (skating, ice castle, maple syrup snow taffy and traditional waffles!) and an Outdoor Photography Screening
February, 14 – 16 /2013
Canmore 55+ Games
The Canmore Nordic Centre welcomes participants and spectators to the Alberta 55+ Games Nordic ski events. Racing will be based on trails in and around the Biathlon Stadium
March, 10 2013
Grizzly Ultra Ski Marathon Relay
Building on the success of the inaugural Grizzly Ultra trail running race, this five-leg solo and team race will test skier’s endurance on the Nordic Centre’s most scenic trails.
March, 17 /2013
Rocky Mountain Ski Challenge
Hosted by the Canmore Nordic Ski Club, the Rocky Mountain Ski Challenge is a fixture on the annual race schedule. The event features individual and team competitions
March, 23 /2013
Canmore Winter Meltdown Triathlon
An on-snow triathlon event that features running, cycling and cross country skiing. A fun and challenging way to wrap up the winter season.
March, 30 – 31 /2013
Canmore Ski Fest
Looking for a real challenge? Try cross country skiing for 24 hours!
May, 11 – 12 /2013
Rocky Mountain Women’s Run
With 5km, 10km and Mountain Half Marathon events, the Rocky Mountain Soap Women's Walk & Run attracts over 2,000 health-oriented women looking for a unique and active weekend experience with the women in their lives. All proceeds are given to the Pink and Green Ribbon Campaign, a program of the Mary A. Tidlund Charitable Foundation. Registration is now open!