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Canadian Rockies

Photography Festival

2015guide

By Afton Aikens

Photography lovers will have lots to see and do in February with the Exposure Photography Festival, February 1 to 28 across Alberta.

Exposure was created in 2004 by the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, located in Banff, to encourage people to examine, question and appreciate photography. There will be many opportunities for that this year—in the Canadian Rockies alone there are nearly 20 events and exhibitions.

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Canadian Rockies’ Best New Restaurant 2014: Tavern 1883

Photo courtesy Tavern 1883

Photo courtesy Tavern 1883

By Afton Aikens

It was a year of casual restaurant openings in the Canadian Rockies, and Tavern 1883’s award winning house-ground burgers (beef, elk, lamb, tuna and quinoa) got us hooked. Built from an early 1900s home, the Tavern has a charming mountain cabin atmosphere and a fun, welcoming vibe with live music twice a week and a DJ on weekends.

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Support for the Return of Bison to Banff National Park

MP Blake Richards with Marie-Eve Marchand of Bison Belong and Bill Luxton of the Eleanor Luxton Historical Foundation in background.

MP Blake Richards with Marie-Eve Marchand of Bison Belong and Bill Luxton of the Eleanor Luxton Historical Foundation (background).

By Afton Aikens

Visitors to Banff National Park in 2015 may see a wider array of wildlife adorning the landscape. On January 23, Blake Richards, Member of Parliament for Alberta’s Wild Rose district, received nearly 3,000 signed postcards supporting the reintroduction of wild plains bison to the park.

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Take a Snow Day in Banff

By Afton Aikens

Banff is famous for its world-class skiing, but those who’ve been here know the community’s appetite for all things winter is just as remarkable. When in Banff, you don’t hide indoors from the snow—you run outside and dive in (not necessarily literally).

SnowDays is an annual festival that runs from January 10 to February 8 this year, and offers tons of opportunities for you to have a ball in a winter wonderland.

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Active Winter Wear

By Jack Newton

It’s a common conundrum. How do you stay warm on the ski lift, yet avoid becoming overheated during the vigorous descent? Winter enthusiasts have long struggled to keep comfortable during activities that are both sedentary and energetic.

Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

You can always pull another layer from your pack to wear when you get chilly, and remove that outer shell if you’re starting to sweat. But better outdoor clothing manufacturers now offer outerwear that allows you to maintain comfort whether you’re at rest or firing on all cylinders.

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Old-Fashioned Mountain Activities: Part 4

By Afton Aikens

The final part of this four-week post series will introduce you to cross-country skiing, brought to Canada at the turn of the 20th century by Scandinavian immigrants. At first, skeptical locals thought snowshoeing to be a more practical means of winter transportation. But with the advent of ski lodges, things began to change.

Photo: Travel Alberta

Photo: Travel Alberta

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Old-Fashioned Mountain Activities: Part 3

By Afton Aikens

The third part of this four-week post series will introduce you to the horse-drawn carriage ride—the perfect addition to a winter getaway.

Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

Magical Sleigh Rides

Historically, sleighs offered a practical (and preferred) way for ordinary people to get around after the snow fell. But today, it’s all about the magic of snuggling in a sleigh and listening to the rhythm of the horses’ hooves as snowflakes scatter the sky.

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Where Staff Party: Indoor Climbing

By Jack Newton

Our editorial staff at Where Canadian Rockies have been writing about the 11,000-square foot climbing gym at Canmore’s Elevation Place since the facility opened two years ago. Everyone at the magazine was eager to try the wall (up to 45 feet high), and the occasion of our 2014 staff Christmas party gave us the opportunity.

Climbing at Elevation Place in Canmore

Climbing at Elevation Place in Canmore

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Old-Fashioned Mountain Activities: Part 2

By Afton Aikens

The second part of this four-week post series will introduce you to snowshoeing, a fun, low-impact and low-cost old-fashioned winter activity. Snowshoeing requires little planning, simple gear and no experience. Luckily, here in the Rockies there’s no shortage of powder to sink those snowshoes into! Join a local operator on a guided tour, or rent snowshoes and be your own guide.

Snowshoe_Bow_Summit_Icefields_Parkway_Globetrotter_1_Horizontal

Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism

An Authentic Sense of Winter

“Snowshoeing is the fastest growing sport in North America,” says Mark Zanetti, sales manager at Discover Banff Tours. “People from all walks of life try it out and to their surprise find it not difficult at all. We tell guests that if you can walk, you can snowshoe!”

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Old-Fashioned Mountain Activities: Part 1

By Afton Aikens & Lisa Stephens

Marvel at snow-capped peaks from the cozy comfort of a horse-drawn carriage, hot chocolate in hand. Or strap on snowshoes and venture deep into a valley glistening in winter glory. However you prefer to play, ’tis the season to explore Canada’s Rockies in all their snowy splendour.

This four-week post series will introduce you to dog sledding, snowshoeing, sleigh riding and cross-country skiing. Once essential modes of winter travel, these activities now entice people looking for good old-fashioned mountain fun in the great outdoors.

Photo: Cold Fire Creek Dog Sledding

Photo: Cold Fire Creek Dog Sledding

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Favourite Activities for Sports Fans

Photo: Bjorn Nielsen

Photo: Bjorn Nielsen

By Afton Aikens & Jack Newton

Watching a live hockey game makes for great après-ski. See the elite National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames demonstrate their speed and finesse. Hockey tours depart Banff and Canmore late afternoon. Or, take in a local Canmore Eagles game. “We have a very competitive team this year,” says John Ross of the club. New this year, toast this impressive Alberta Junior Hockey League team with a beer!

For the sports fan looking to watch in comfort, renovated Tony Roma’s Lounge in downtown Banff boasts two 75” HDTVs (and four other big screens) that show every NHL and NFL match. Game day food and drink specials (usually Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday), a fireplace, leather seats and friendly bartenders contribute to the viewing experience.

4 Rejuvenating Canadian Rockies Spas

Photo: iStock

Photo: iStock

By Where Staff

Spa Treatments

The Stay Active Rx deep-tissue massage at the Fairmont Banff Springs’ Willow Stream Spa targets sore muscles with a warm Indonesian ginger-oil blend and uses cooling elements to soothe inflammation. Soak in the relaxing mineral pools before and after for ultimate restoration.

The 60-minute Tropical Escape Wrap is a Rimrock Resort Hotel Spa  favourite. Certified therapists (your choice of male or female) exfoliate with a salt scrub, then hydrate with a papaya and pineapple infused wrap. Warm waters applied by the six-showerhead Vichy bar further soothe winter-stressed skin. Add a mini facial or a scalp massage with warm conditioning argan oil.

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