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Festivals in Banff

First Nations Cultural Dance

With dozens of festivals throughout the year, there is plenty going on in Banff. With something different every month, you may be lucky enough that your visit coincides with one of the town's fun, active or culturally absorbing festivals. Some of Banff's most popular events include:

January to March: Ice Magic International Ice Sculpture Competition and Exhibition. This is a world renowned event that attracts ice sculptors from around the globe. Skilled artist arrive in Banff to magically transform otherwise lifeless ice blocks into dramatic, beautiful and inspiring creations of art. Understandably, the talent of the sculptors attracts significant crowds and the competition is one of Banff's key annual attractions. For those who are enticed into picking up the sculpting tools, workshops are available to teach this impressive form of art.

March: Arc'teryx Canmore Ice Climbing Festival. You will be pleased to know that this is not an event reserved for the elite. The ice climbing festival invites experienced and novice climbers alike to get involved in this addictive sport. With a focus on fun, this is a great event for ice climbing fans.

Banff Cultural Events

End of June: Banff Day. As one of Banff's more popular festivals, visitors are able to get closer to the rich history and heritage of Banff. This event sees the Whyte Museum opening its doors in celebration of the town.

1 July: Canada Day. Although this is a celebration nationwide, Banff puts on a spectacular show complete with fireworks, live music and cavalry displays. There are also many food stalls to feast at. This festival sees Banff come alive with festivities, a fitting tribute to this day of celebration.

Mid July - Mid August: Banff Summer Arts Festival. Whilst Banff is known worldwide for its location in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, it has another side to its town life which is equally worthy of celebration. With a high caliber arts scene, the Banff Summer Art's Festival is an opportunity for Banff's many artists to display their talent. Of all of Banff's festivals, this is its largest. It is held at the Banff Centre and has origins dating as far back as the 1930s. This annual showcasing of the town's artist's work is complemented by dance and jazz performances, lectures, film screenings and theatre shows. This is the perfect festival to look behind the principle draw of this town and explore Banff's rich and impressive arts culture.

Banff Mountain Book Festival

Early November: Banff Mountain Film and Book Festivals. These two festivals are a highlight in the town. The film festival is an established event that has taken place annually since the 1970s. Running for three days, mountain films are featured at the Banff Centre whilst an adventure trade show is also put on. The Banff Book Festival is perfect for book lovers whether of the reading or writing persuasion. From seminars to readings about mountain adventure works, this popular festival always catches people's attention.