Festivals and Events
Canmore’s small-town pride lives on through a busy schedule of festivals and events, which are nearly always accompanied by parades of flag-waving kids, free downtown pancake breakfasts, and an evening shindig somewhere in town.
On the middle weekend of May, it’s all about the kids at the Canmore Children’s Festival (www.canmorechildrensfestival.com), where the fun and frivolity centers on the local high school grounds off 17th Street. Expect lots of music, live theater, story-telling, and educational presentations.
ArtsPeak Arts Festival (403/678-6436, www.artspeakcanmore.com) is a mid-June celebration hosted at venues throughout town. As the name suggests expect lots of art-oriented festivities, including workshops, displays, and walking tours.
Canada Day is celebrated with a pancake breakfast, parade, various activities in Centennial Park, and 10:30 p.m. fireworks. On the first weekend of August, Canmore hosts a Folk Music Festival (www.canmorefolkfestival.com), which starts on Saturday and runs through Monday evening.
Canmore Nordic Centre hosts a variety of mountain-biking events each summer, highlighted by a late August stop on the 24 Hours of Adrenalin tour (www.24hoursofadrenalin.com) in which 1,500 racers complete as many laps as they can in a 24-hour period.
The first Sunday of September is the Canmore Highland Games (www.canmorehighlandgames.ca), a day of dancing, eating, and caber tossing, culminating in a spectacular and noisy parade of pipe bands throughout the grounds of Centennial Park. The grand finale is the ceilidh, a traditional Scottish celebration involving loud beer-drinking, foot-stomping music, which takes place under a massive tent set up in the park for the occasion.
Fall’s other major gathering is for the Festival of the Eagles (www.eaglewatch.ca), on the middle weekend of October and coinciding with the southbound migration of golden eagles.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition