Most of the major spring events take place at local alpine resorts, including a variety of snowboard competitions that are great fun for spectators. One long-running spring event is the Slush Cup, which takes place at Sunshine Village  in late May. Events include kamikaze skiers and boarders who attempt to jump an ice-cold pit of water. While winter enthusiasts are at higher elevations, swooshing down the slopes of some of North America’s latest-closing resorts, late spring sees the Banff Springs golf course  open for the season.
During the second week of June, the Banff Television Festival (403/678-9260, www.banfftvfest.com ) attracts the world’s best television directors, producers, writers, and even actors for meetings, workshops, and awards, with many show screenings open to the public.
Summer is a time of hiking and camping, so festivals are few and far between. The main event is the Banff Arts Festival (403/762-6214 or 800/413-8368, www.banffcentre.ca ), a three-week (mid-July–early Aug.) extravaganza presented by professional artists studying at the Banff Centre. They perform dance, drama, opera, and jazz for the public at locations around town.
On July 1, Banff  celebrates Canada Day with a pancake breakfast, a parade down Banff Avenue, and an afternoon of fun and frivolity in Central Park that includes live music.
Each summer the national park staff presents an extensive Park Interpretive Program at locations in town and throughout the park, including downstairs in the visitors center daily at 8:30 p.m. All programs are free and include guided hikes, nature tours, slide shows, campfire talks, and lectures. For details, consult The Mountain Guide available at the Banff Visitor Centre (403/762-1550), or look for postings on campground bulletin boards.
Fall is the park’s quietest season, but busiest in terms of festivals and events. First of the fall events, on the last Saturday in September, Melissa’s Road Race (www.melissasroadrace.ca ) attracts more than 2,000 runners (the race sells out months in advance) in 10- and 22-kilometer races. The International Banff Springs Wine and Food Festival is hosted by the Fairmont Banff Springs  at the end of October.
To encourage tourism during the quietest time of the year, Winterstart (Nov.–mid-Dec.) features cheap lodging and a host of fun events. This coincides with the opening of lifts at the park’s three winter resorts beginning in mid-November.
One of the year’s biggest events is the Banff Mountain Film Festival (Banff Centre, 403/762-6675 or 800/413-8368, www.banffcentre.ca ), held on the first weekend of November. Mountain-adventure filmmakers from around the world submit films to be judged by a select committee. Films are then shown throughout the weekend to an enthusiastic crowd of thousands.
Exhibits and seminars are also presented, and top climbers and mountaineers from around the world are invited as guest speakers. Tickets for daytime shows start at $45 (for up to 10 films). Night shows are from $38, and all-weekend passes cost around $180.
Starting in the days leading up to the film festival, then running in conjunction with it, is the Banff Mountain Book Festival, which showcases the work of publishers, writers, and photographers whose work revolves around the world’s great mountain ranges.
By mid-December lifts are operating at all local winter resorts. Santa Claus makes an appearance on Banff Avenue at noon on the last Saturday in November; if you miss him there, he usually goes skiing at each of the local resorts on Christmas Day. Events at the resorts continue throughout the long winter season, among them World Cup Downhill skiing at Lake Louise  in late November.
Banff/Lake Louise Winter Festival is a 10-day celebration at the end of January that has been a part of Banff ’s history since 1917. Look for ice sculpting on the frozen lake in front of the Chateau Lake Louise , the Lake Louise Loppet, barn dancing, and the Town Party, which takes place in the Fairmont Banff Springs .