Canmore Festivals

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Written by Madison Valois posted on Monday, August 10th, 2009

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Cultural Events in Canmore

There are plenty of festivals in Canmore to keep the kids busy!

There are plenty of festivals in Canmore to keep the kids busy!

CAMORE, Alberta – Most tourists coming to the Canadian Rockies seek the scenery, the wildlife and some outdoor adventures. Who could blame them?

But when you stay in Canmore, don’t be so quick to just head out of town. Chances are, there’s something exciting happening during your stay.

Here’s a partial rundown of the many annual festivals held in Canmore:

Canmore Miners’ Day Reunion: Canmore thrived as much – or even more – from coal mining than it did from the railroad itself. In fact, mining carried the town all the way into the late 70s. But when the demand for coal plummeted, so too did Canmore’s prosperity, at least until tourism came along. On July 13, 1979, the coal mines were closed. This festival takes place on the Friday-Saturday closest to the anniversary of that date. On Friday, there’s an evening reception for ex-miners and their families. On Saturday there’s a parade, the public gets a free lunch and the former miners and their families are treated to a very special picnic.

Canmore Folk Music Festival: Arlo Guthrie. Ry Cooder. Stan Rogers. The Rankin Family. These are just a few of the artists who have graced the stage at the Canmore Folk Music Festival. The oldest annual music festival in Alberta – it celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2007. It’s held in August over the long weekend of Heritage Day at Centennial Park on the Stan Rogers Stage.

Canmore Highland Games: Here’s a taste of Scotland for you. The Games feature a ceilidh, heavy lifting competitions, piping and drumming, plus highland dance events. The annual event is presented by the Three Sisters Scottish Society over the long weekend in September.

Mozart on the Mountain: The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra comes every year for a wondrous evening of beautiful music.

The Festival of Eagles: Every autumn, golden eagles migrate over Canmore and the Bow Valley and the town pulls out all the stops when it happens. You’ll find guided hikes, bird walks, interpretive displays, theatrical performances and guest speakers. There are even spotting scopes set up at Canmore Collegiate High School.

The Vic Lewis International Band Festival: Another high-class musical extravaganza. This annual November tradition gathers up to 32 concert bands, wind ensembles and jazz bands from Alberta to play for some of the most well-known band directors in North America. Previous directors have included Tim Salzman, Paul Read, Gillian Mackay and Tommy Banks. In addition, 800-plus students in junior high school and high school bands perform for adjudicators and the public, and participate in workshops. The festival takes place over two days and nights, with Canmore Collegiate High School and Canmore Recreation Centre serving as hosts. Evening gala performances are held at the Oh Canada, Eh?! Theatre.

Canmore Children’s Festival: This two day event features acrobats, magicians, jugglers, music, theater, storytelling, crafts, stilt-walking, dancing, face-painting, clowns, and anything else you can imagine to entertain the kids.

Canmore Artspeak Arts Festival: This June event aims to celebrate artists of every kind. Performance artists, artisans, an art walk, a literary festival, film screenings and street performers are just some of the attractions.

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