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whyte museum

Water’s Wonders: Canadian Rockies Glaciers, Rivers, Falls and Lakes

Your summer playground

By Afton Aikens

For many visitors—and locals on a staycation—the Canadian Rockies are synonymous with big mountain skiing, hiking to pristine alpine lakes and countless other outdoor pursuits like canoeing and fishing on waterways surrounded by towering peaks.

Photo: Bow Lake, Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

Photo: Bow Lake, Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

While we’re far from the coast, much of the lifestyle here revolves around water. We glide on it, we climb its frozen form, and yes, we swim in it (for a short window during summer). We photograph and admire its beauty.

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Banff Historic Keepsakes

Mary Schäffer Lantern Slide courtesy Whyte Museum

Take home a piece of Canadian Rockies heritage—purchase late-19th to early-20th century photographs that are custom printed to order by Whyte Museum archivists. Choose from 500,000 photos including iconic shots of mountains, glaciers, First Nations, pioneers and historic buildings. “See our online selection or peruse our archives in-person,” suggests marketing specialist Pam Challoner. Purchase 8″ x 10″ digital prints (or .tiff files) for non-commercial use for $15 to $20 plus shipping. By James Kallenbach

Olde Tyme Adventures

The “Gateway to the Rockies” exhibit at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies provides insights into the origins of tourism that visitors can use to enrich their present day mountain experiences.

By Meredith Bailey

The history of the Canadian Rockies reads like an epic adventure rich with hidden treasure, daring acts of bravery, forward thinking mavericks and passionate conservationists.

While in Banff, visit the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies’ new exhibition Gateway to the Rockies that showcases our region’s starring players and pivotal moments. And don’t forget that Canadian Rockies heritage remains alive and well. Indeed, today’s favourite hikes, historic buildings, interpretive tours and works of art are steeped in tradition. Armed with the knowledge of Then, take the next step and discover what you can do Now! (more…)

100 Years of the Warden Service

Warden Family, courtesy Whyte Museum

Warden Family, courtesy Whyte Museum

In partnership with the Jasper Yellowhead Museum for the 100th anniversary of the Warden Service, Banff’s Whyte Museum hosts A Way of Life, A Legacy to Protect: 100 Years of the Warden Service until November 15th. The exhibit tells the story of a warden’s life back when each headquarters was a simple log cabin from which wardens performed varied duties such as building backcountry cabins, maintaining trails and forestry telephone lines, patrolling campgrounds, caring for animals, controlling mosquitoes and operating ski patrols. The Whyte has added the Warden’s climbing expedition (part of the 1985 centennial of the creation Canada’s national park system), the essential supporting role of Warden’s families, as well as the story of Windy Lodge (No. 3 Warden Patrol Cabin) situated on the Museum’s riverside grounds.

Top 10 Cultural Activities in Banff

Cascades of Time Gardens courtesy Parks Canada

Cascades of Time Gardens courtesy Parks Canada

1 “Take the waters,” soak in the history and admire the Mt Rundle view at Banff Upper Hot Springs.

2 Grab a brochure/map and take a self-guided Banff Culture Walk, Cultural Heritage Tour of Lake Louise or Walking through Banff’s History tour. A Canmore Historic Walking Tour pamphlet is also available.

3 Join an interpretive event at the Cave & Basin, birthplace of Canada’s National Park system.

4 Pose for a photo with the bronze likeness of William Cornelius van Horne, CP Railway and hotel builder, outside The Fairmont Banff Springs.

5 Ask to hear a grizzly bear story above the stairs at the Banff Park Museum National Historic Site.

6 Wander through Cascades of Time Garden’s blooms, gazebos, bridges and stone paths.

7 Drive the Bow Valley Parkway. Look for wildlife, and discover award-winning interpretive displays.

8 Attend Banff Culture Weekend Aug 8 and 9 and see the 1953 film A River of No Return with Marilyn Monroe.

9 Discover the history of Banff pioneer families at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies.

10 Stroll 1.1 km (.7 mi) Lower Bankhead mining ghost town interpretive trail. — Grant Canning