January 15, 2024 Mountain Living

Mountain Scoop: Here’s what’s happening this month in the Bow Valley

By Kate Barker

With snowflakes falling and chilly temperatures, most communities are hunkered down waiting for warmer days. But you didn’t move to the mountains because you hate winter. Both Banff and Canmore come alive during the colder months, and there are so many ways to celebrate the season. Here’s what’s going on in the Bow Valley.

1. SnowDays Events in Banff

There’s no better way to celebrate the snow than by carving it into giant snow sculptures! Watch the artists at work and then admire their masterpieces as they decorate the town of Banff for the entirety of the SnowDays event. Take the shuttle to Lake Louise to admire the ice sculptures on the lake. Check it out after dark to see the glittering world come to life under a whole different light.

Bring the kiddos to the Play Zone and watch them bike, climb, slide, and play. This area is designed just for kids, and it’s a totally free way to get them excited about the snow. One of the highlights of SnowDays is the skijoring event. Watch a breathtaking exhibition of horseback riders and trick skiers on Banff’s main street. This event is free, but it’s popular, so make sure to get there early!

When: Jan 19 – Feb 4
Details: banfflakelouise.com

2. Community Events at artsPlace Canmore

In Canmore, artsPlace is a community hub of local events that bring everyone together, and this winter is no exception. They offer live music, comedy, film screenings, and exhibitions. They have salsa socials, where members of the community can learn some skills before partying with a DJ and showing off some moves. Everyone is welcome, and no experience or partner is needed.

They’ve also become the local spot for Open Mic nights. Play your original songs or your favourite covers. Bring your own instruments or play the grand piano. Hang out with your friends in the cozy, café-style seating and enjoy some local voices. Admission is by donation at the door. Open mic nights happen monthly.

When: Jan 20 (salsa); Jan 12, Feb 17 (open mic)
Details: artsplacecanmore.com

3. Exhibition Opening at the Whyte Museum

Take in a wonderful evening at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies with the opening of Arto Djerdjerian: Ya Ha Tinda – The Ranch and Hans P Berkhout: A Natural Solitude. Enjoy the photography of Arto Djerdjerian, who captures an intimate view of everyday life at the Ya Ha Tinda Ranch, including the horses, the landscapes, and the gritty details of ranch life. This is a unique insight into a place that is rarely photographed.

Hans P. Berkhout showcases his black-and-white film photography of nature. With a focus on large scale photography, Berkhout showcases this labour of love in the fine details of each photograph, which includes a dedication to execute and develop these images.

The opening of this photography exhibition will feature a charcuterie-style grazing table and spirits for purchase. Come enjoy this totally free event!

When: Jan 26
Details: whyte.org

4. Mountain Madness Relay Race

Living in the mountains means whole-heartedly embracing winter sports, no matter what they are. In this annual relay race, teams of five start with a downhill ski from the top of Mt. Norquay, followed by ice skating, running, snowshoeing, and classic cross-country skiing. This legendary race is just for locals, and it’s a great time to have fun with your friends, or cheer on your favourite team.

The event is more than just winter athletics. It’s also a competition for the wackiest team name and best costume! So find some friends, dress your best, and get ready to have a blast this winter!

When: Feb 9
Details: banff.ca

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