Banff Events and Festivals

(Banff, Alberta - AB, Canada)

Although Banff is only a fairly small town, there are many local community events and festivals aimed at tourists year round. Canada Day on July 1st is always a major celebration in Banff, with other notable events and seasonal festivals including the Ice Magic, International Ice Sculpture Competition from January to March; the Banff Summer Arts Festival in July and August; the Canadian Rocky Half Mountain Marathon each September; and the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festivals in November.

One of the most important events in the townsite is Banff Day, which takes place at the end of June and celebrates the area's rich history and heritage.

National Public Holidays

  • 1st January - New Year's Day
  • Third Monday in February - Family Day (Alberta)
  • Monday closest to 17th March - St. Patrick's Day (Newfoundland)
  • March or April - Good Friday and Easter Monday
  • Monday closest to 23rd April - St. George's Day (Newfoundland)
  • Monday before 24th May - Victoria Day
  • 24th June - Fete Nationale / St. Jean Baptiste Day (Quebec)
  • 1st July - Canada Day (known as Memorial Day in Newfoundland)
  • Monday closest to 13th July - Orangeman's Day (Newfoundland)
  • First Monday in August - Civic Holiday
  • Third Monday in August - Discovery Day (Yukon)
  • First Monday in September - Labor Day
  • Second Monday in October - Thanksgiving
  • 11th November - Remembrance Day
  • 25th December - Christmas Day
  • 26th December - Boxing Day

Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • Ice Magic, International Ice Sculpture Competition and Exhibition - January to March, attracting experienced teams of ice sculptors from all over the world, with huge blocks of ice transformed into breathtaking works of art along the shore of Lake Louise. This has become one of Banff's premier events and draws large crowds of spectators, with a number of workshops available


  • The Kananaskis Ski Marathon - end February, held at Canmore, an exciting cross-country ski race, with over 50 competitors


  • Arc'teryx Canmore Ice Climbing Festival - early March, a fun festival, suitable for novices and experienced ice climbers


  • Western Heritage Jubilee - late April, Banff / Lake Louise Cowboy Jubilee celebration, with entertainment, displays and the Saturday Night Cowboy Concert
  • Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour - April, enjoy a wealth of award-winning films
  • Banff Summer Arts Festival - April, exciting arts festival from this fascinating area of Canada


  • Banff to Calgary Road Race - early May, fundraising event for the Theater Calgary, with over 100 teams covering 88 miles / 142 km
  • Children's Festival - mid-May, family fun with juggling, storytelling, puppets, dance events and a variety of light entertainment


  • Jasper - Banff Relay - early June, sponsored by Canadian Airlines International, more than 100 groups race over a distance of 186 miles / 300 km race
  • BanfFêtelevision Festival - mid-June, celebrities attend the annual conference featuring an array of films, held at the Banff Springs Hotel and the Banff Center
  • Banff Day - late June, the Whyte Museum opens it doors and celebrates the rich history of the Banff townsite
  • Touring Tin's Annual Show and Shine - late June, many vintage and antique cars travel to Banff's recreation center


  • Canada Day - July 1st, general festivities celebrating national pride, with many concerts, fireworks displays, food stalls and cavalry displays
  • Banff Summer Arts Festival - mid-July to mid-August, Banff's largest event, dating back to the 1930s, held each summer at the Banff Center, showcasing works by the area's finest artists, with many outdoor activities such as theater shows, aboriginal art, dance and jazz performances, lectures, art exhibitions and film screenings


  • Banff International String Quartet Competition - late August to early September, a popular youth international music competition, held at the Banff Center


  • Canadian Rocky Half Mountain Marathon - mid-September, mini marathon event, 4.9 miles / 8 km and 2.5 miles / 4 km, with around 1,000 competitors


  • Taste of Banff / Lake Louise - early October, held at Banff's High School Athletic Field, where visitors can taste some of the premium cuisine
  • The Annual International Banff Springs Wine and Food Festival - late October, an extremely enjoyable food and wine festival


  • Banff Mountain Film Festival - early November, held every year since the 1970s, this three-day festival features an adventure trade show and mountain films at the Banff Center
  • Banff Mountain Book Festival - early November, an established event, attracting both writers and readers, with seminars, readings and talks about mountain adventure books
  • Banff Winterstart 5-Miler Night Run - mid-November, a popular fundraising event for the Banff Mountain Ski Academy
  • Santa Claus Parade - late November, a fun parade welcoming Santa Claus to the Banff townsite


  • Santa On Skis - 25th December, visitors can see Santa Claus at the Banff Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village, and Lake Louise Ski area
  • New Year's Eve : Sylvester Night - 31st December / 1st January, celebrate the New Year festivities at Policeman's Creek Pond and in Centennial Park, with a wealth of entertainment including sleigh rides and an impressive fireworks display
  • Banff First Night - 31st December / 1st January, fun for the whole family, over 1,000 spectators will welcome in the new year in Banff with numerous spectacular activities