Winter often gets a reputation for its harsh weather, keeping us locked indoors, and for a muted colour palette. But we think winter deserves to be celebrated! While winter weather can sometimes hurt our faces, it also lets us ski and skate and slide. We can drink hot chocolate without regret (we need it to stay warm, right?), we can cozy up to warm fires, and we can experience our mountain terrain in different ways. There’s also no better way to celebrate winter than to take part in the Canmore Winter Carnival, which runs from February 1st to the 11th. With lots going on, here are our top five things to do this year:
1. Opening Night!
Friday, February 2
Bring your kids and celebrate the opening reception of the Canmore Winter Carnival at the Canmore Civic Centre. From 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., grab a marshmallow and cozy up to a bonfire while you take in live performances and a DJ. A display of children’s art will also be on show.
2. Ice Carving Competition at the Civic Centre
Saturday, February 3
The Ice Magic festival in Lake Louise is over, but the magic lives on in Canmore! Watch carvers impressively transform blocks of ice into sculptures that fit this year’s theme of Hockey. Competition begins at 9 a.m. with judging at 3:30 p.m. Is there a sculpture that you like the most? Cast your People’s Choice vote and see who wins the award at 4:30 p.m.
3. Snowy Owl Kid N Mutt Races
Sunday, February 4
The Canmore Nordic Centre hosts world-class competitions on a regular basis, and this event is no different! Come up and cheer on teams of kids and sled dogs as they race for glory and kibble. Races are ongoing between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
While you’re up at the Nordic Centre, why not try a drop-in cross country ski lesson at Trail Sports? On weekends and holidays, the local shop located at the Nordic Centre hosts 1.5 hour group lessons (both skate and classic techniques are offered) for $45/person. No pre-booking is required, although you need to register by 10:30 a.m. Lessons begin at 11 a.m.
4. Rogers Hometown Hockey
February 10 & 11
If the good ol’ hockey game is the best game you can name, then make sure you experience a weekend-long celebration of all things community, and all things hockey! The event takes place in downtown Canmore on Main Street (8th St) and at the Canmore Civic Centre.
There will be performances by On-the-Bench and by country music star, Paul Brandt. You can also take part in family-friendly activities like the Rogers Fan Hub, the Sportsnet Virtual Photo, a McDonald’s Ball Hockey Rink featuring local Minor Hockey teams, a Playmobil Kids Zone, the Scotiabank Community Locker Room, a Dodge Stow n’ Go Challenge, a Dr. Oetker Giuseppe Pizzeria, and much more.
With community events like pancake breakfasts to fuel you up, you can be at your best for the live pre-game and NHL game broadcast between the Calgary Flames and New York Islanders, hosted by Ron MacLean and Tara Slone.
You can also catch a glimpse of hockey greats, Ryan Smyth, Brendan Morrison, and Lanny McDonald
Parking in Canmore is limited, so ROAM Transit is offering free local transit service on February 10th and 11th. For information on the transit schedule, click here.
For more information on Rogers Hometown Hockey, click here.
5. Log Sawing Competition
Sunday, February 11
Grab your plaid-print flannel and make your way down to the Log Sawing Competition. Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., watch feats of Canadian athleticism as competitors aim to be the faster sawyer.
All cheering should be done in Canadian (eh! eh! eh!)
More information on the Canmore Winter Carnival can be found here.