Christmas celebrations in Banff start on December 1st 2012 with an exciting range of family activities including carnival games, Christmas crafts, face painting, performance by Bow Valley Chorus (2-3pm), and photos with Santa, all taking place between 1-4pm in Cascade Plaza.
Also, outside along Banff Ave there will be free horse drawn wagon rides between Banff Ave Square and the Whyte Museum from 1-4pm.
In the Bison Courtyard from 11.30-3.30pm there will be ice carving demonstrations and there will be an opportunity to show your own ice carving carving talents at the “Little Chippers” stations. Also, join one of of santa’s elves for outdoor aerobics!
The main event of the day is the Santa Claus Parade of Lights which starts at 5.30pm and runs from Elk St to Buffalo St via Banff Ave. The parade will include festive floats and Christmas lights and will no doubt be the highlight of the day for all the children.
If you would like to combine your Christmas in the Rockies weekend with some skiing or snowboarding, you should check out the Banff ski packages which combine hotels in Banff with lift tickets at a discounted rate.
The Banff Wine & Food Festival succeeded in attracting more than 2000 people to the Grand Tasting Hall in the conference centre at the Banff Springs Hotel on May 2nd, and those in attendance were treated to a glorious sunny day, excellent cuisine and a good selection of wines, beers and spirits.
After picking up our sampling glass and tasting coupons, the aroma of Indian spices guided us directly to the stall where Fuze’s Executive Chef Gary Dayanandan was preparing exquisite Chili Prawns and, for dessert, a superb Sticky Toffee Pudding. The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel was represented by five of its restaurants, each of which produced an impressive and intricate dish, such as Organic Chinook Salmon with a Chipotle Glaze, Seared Scallop with Lemon Orzo Pasta Risotto, and Maple Braised Pork Belly.
The Bison Restaurant and Lounge offered a festival special of Pulled Bison on a Mini Brioche, and also gave a sampling of their excellent Swiss Cheese Fondue, one of 3 new fondues offered in the restaurant. Meanwhile burger lovers were well looked after by the Eddie Burger & Bar, whose mini bison burger gave us a good reason to sample the full size version at a later date.
There were a lot more wine and drink stalls than food stalls, and choosing between them was a little bit more difficult, which made us think that it would have been interesting if wine pairings had been offered by the restaurants along with the food samples. The wide selection meant that most grapes and many regions could be sampled and our particular favorite was the 2006 Cashmere by Cline Cellars, a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre.
All in all, it was the Banff restaurants that really shone at this event, and Banff’s reputation for first class dining was certainly reinforced. We are already looking forward to next year’s festival!
The following restaurants were present in the Grand Tasting Hall:
Bison Restaurant & Lounge
Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts
Eddie Burger & Bar
Fuze Finer Dining
Maple Leaf Grill & Lounge
Masala Authentic Indian Cuisine
St James Gate Olde Irish Pub
The Elk & Oarsman Restaurant & Pub
Sunshine Mountain Lodge
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
If you are planning to treat your mother, wife, grandmother, or daughter in Banff this Mother’s Day May 10th, you may wish to consider an invitation to brunch:
Fuze is offering a Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet from 10.30am to 2pm featuring eggs benedict, omelettes made to order, smoked salmon, tempura crab sushi rolls, various salads, top sirloin of roast beef, barbecue pork ribs, poached salmon, sticky toffee pudding, plus much more for $27 per person, and $15 per child 12 & under, including tax & gratuity.
Tel: 403 760 0853
The Juniper Hotel & Bistro are giving free flowers to Mom at their brunch buffet, which takes place from 10am to 2pm and costs $34pp, $15 for children 6-12 yrs, and free for children 5 & under. The menu includes bison whiskey sausage, french toast with berries and whipped cream, carving station with honey roasted ham, plus a crepe station. The full menu looks delicious and can be seen here.
Tel: 403 763 7205
The Keg’s Mothers’ Day Brunch Buffet is from 11.30am to 2pm and features a salad bar, eggs benedict, French toast, three mushroom roasted chicken, Canadian AAA prime rib roast, and decadent chocolate desserts for $18.95 pp, and $6.95 for children 12 & under.
Tel: 403 762 4442
The Rimrock Resort Hotel is offering a buffet from 10am to 2.00pm for $38pp, $16 for children 6-12 yrs, and free for children 5 & under.
Tel: 403 762 1865
The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel will be offering a larger and more elaborate version of their usual Sunday brunch in the Cascade and Alberta rooms from 10.30am to 2.30pm for $55pp, $15 for children 6-12 yrs and free for children 5 & under.
Tel: 403 762 6860
The Banff Park Lodge are hosting their Mother’s Day Brunch in the Chinook restaurant from 10am to 2pm for $29.95pp, $24.95 for seniors, $19.95 for children 6-12 yrs, and free for children 5 & under. Their extensive brunch menu can be seen here.
Tel: 403 760 3255
Reservations are strongly recommended for all of the above events.
If you are a Banff restaurant owner and would like us to feature your Mother’s Day Brunch special, please leave us a message in the comments below and we will be happy to include you.
The second annual Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival will take place May 1-2 2009. The main event will be in the Grand Tasting Hall at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel on Saturday May 2nd, where a selection of wine, beer, and spirits can be tasted as well as food from some of Banff’s best restaurants. Choose between an afternoon tasting session from 2-5pm and an evening session from 7-10pm. Entrance tickets cost $20 online or $25 at door (depending on availability). Sampling coupons are extra and can be purchased at the event.
In addition, on the Friday evening participating Banff restaurants will be offering special festival menus and events, such as the Wine, Charcuterie and Cheese evening at the Bison Restaurant and Lounge, the “Gold Medal” Chef’s Table Dinner at the Three Ravens Restaurant and Wine Bar, and the Wine Country Cooking Class at Fuze Finer Dining.
On Saturday night the popular Aurora Nightclub will be hosting the Festival After Party, where Absolut cocktails will be served at their Onyx Bar.
This is a fantastic event for food and wine lovers, and is a great excuse to visit Banff in the springtime, when you can still go spring skiing or take a sightseeing tour before the summer crowds arrive.
Special Banff hotel packages are also available for the event.
For more information and to purchase tickets for the Grand Tasting Hall, visit www.rockymountainwine.com.
Due to low temperatures the annual Lake Louise to Banff Loppet has been postponed for one week and will now take place on Saturday Jan 31st.
This 71km cross country ski race first debuted as far back as 1929, and has been running in its modern day format since 1979. The race includes both team (relay) and individual categories and starts at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise at 8am. Most of the course follows trails close to Highway 1A and the finishing line is in Central Park in Banff.
Further information and track conditions can be found at www.loppet.ca, where you can also view a map of the course on Google Earth.
Nov 1-9 - one of the highlights of the Banff cultural calendar. Film makers and viewers come from all over the world to share their passion for mountain culture. The 33rd annual Banff Mountain Film Festival starts on the weekend of November 1st and 2nd with several feature length films each day. The main weekend of the festival is from November 7th-9th and includes 3 evenings, and 2 full days of films inspired by the mountains and other natural places. Speakers such as Peter Habeler and Jim Donini will preceed the screenings on Nov 7th and 8th.
The Banff Mountain Film Festival is an event not to be missed, and more information can be found on the Banff Centre website.
Oct 4th 1-3pm at the Canada House Gallery. One of the main events of the Fall exhibition schedule, Canada House presents Nixie Barton and Grant Leier from Vancouver Island. Find out more about the artists and their work at the Canada House Gallery website.
Sept 26 & 27th - A rare performance from five female aboriginal musical artists, performing various types of music, all with influence from Canada’s north.
7.30pm Rolston Recital Hall, the Banff Centre, adults $16
For further details, visit the Banff Centre website.