Town of Banff and Area

SURPRISE CORNER

Filming Surprise Corner
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In 2013, The Fairmont Banff Springs hotel celebrated 125 years of hospitality and luxury service in Banff National Park. This grand old Scottish baronial-style hotel has seen many incarnations over the years and continues to stand proudly, nestled in the beautiful Rocky Mountain landscape that surrounds it. From the mysterious legends of haunted halls to its royal legacy and storied heritage, The Fairmont Banff Springs offers its guests not just a room, but an authentic experience steeped in rich Canadian history. So special a landmark, the hotel itself is part of the Canadian Tourism Commission’s exclusive Signature Experience Collection®, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This iconic property, resplendent in its stone facade of locally sourced rock from Mount Rundle, stands sentinel over a spectacular and challenging golf course and is an endless source of inspiration for story tellers. The hotel offers a fabulous backdrop for filming and Surprise Corner offers one of the best views of the iconic landmark. There is a spacious viewing platform with plenty of room for equipment and crew to set up.

THE RUNDLE TERRACE AT THE FAIRMONT BANFF SPRINGS HOTEL

Filming Rundle Terrace
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The view from the Rundle Terrace at The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel looks towards the Fairholme Range of mountains and is flanked by Cascade Mountain to the left and Rundle Mountain to the right. Banff National Park’s one and only Stanley Thompson Golf Course is cradled beneath them all in the valley below. The terrace itself provides plenty of room for stage set up and all manner of media equipment. The nearby & private drive way to the side of the location also allows for satellite trucks to base themselves nearby for live broadcasts. 

THE TOP OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS BANFF GONDOLA

Filming Banff Gondola
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Take the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain where the original mineral hot springs were discovered, leading to the creation of Banff National Park. From here the views across the valleys to the soaring peaks of the Rocky Mountains are spectacular. The entire town of Banff is also visible from up here. The gondola ride takes 8 minutes and the top is 700 metres from the car park below.

There is an extensive platform and walkway at the top with plenty of space for crews to set up and film. There is also a cafeteria-style restaurant at the top for crews who may require catering services during filming. Public restrooms are also on site.

THE GREEN SPOT ON MOUNT NORQUAY

Filming The Green Spot
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With a broad, sweeping view across the town of Banff and towards iconic Mount Rundle and the Bow River, the “green spot” (as it is popularly known by local residents), is located on Mount Norquay and provides great views of the area and a beautiful backdrop for filming. From this south-facing vantage point, the meandering Bow River and Vermillion Lakes are also visible.
 
There is space for support and satellite vehicles to pull up close to the green spot on the Mount Norquay access road.

MYTHICAL MINNEWANKA

Filming Lake Minnewanka
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At 28 kilometers long, Lake Minnewanka is the longest lake in Banff National Park and the perfect location for a scenic boat cruise. As the only lake in Banff that permits motorized boating, Minnewanka offers a unique opportunity for film crews to capture the surrounding scenery from the water.

Known to the First Nations as the “Lake of the Water Spirits”, Lake Minnewanka is also at the centre of local folklore. From Minnewanka Landing, the abandoned town now submerged under the lake, to ancient archaeological findings, you’ll be enthralled to learn that there’s more to this place than just water and mountains.

Hop aboard the Banff Lake Cruise and film this legendary and hallowed lake, surrounded by Canada’s famous Rocky Mountain scenery and regale your viewers with tales of the Minnewanka Merman and the significance of these legendary waterways to Canada’s First Nations.

TUNNEL MOUNTAIN

Filming Tunnel
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A short 4.3 km hike to the top of Tunnel Mountain provides access to great panoramic views of the town of Banff and beyond towards the Bourgeau Range of mountains in the far distance. The mountain itself, also known as the Sleeping Buffalo due to its resemblance of a resting bison from a distance, was once scheduled to have a tunnel run through it in order to accommodate the railway. Another route for the train tracks was discovered but the name Tunnel Mountain stuck anyway and to this day, there is in fact no tunnel associated with the mountain.

VERMILLION LAKES

Filming Vermillion
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The Vermilion Lakes are a series of lakes located immediately west of the town of Banff. The three lakes are in the Bow River valley at the foot of Mount Norquay. They are located between the Trans-Canada Highway and the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks, with impressive Mount Rundle in the background. There are a series of floating docks along the edge of the lakes and support vehicles and satellite trucks can easily pull up alongside the lakes on the Vermillion Lakes Road which runs the length of the shoreline.

This location provides film crews with easy access to iconic wilderness, kayak and canoeing scenes all within minutes from the town of Banff.

CENTRAL PARK

Filming Central Park
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Central Park, in the heart of the town of Banff, occupies an expanse of land alongside the Bow River and the historic log building that houses Banff National Park Museum. The Louis Trondo Gazebo can provide a handy home base for film crews who wish to take advantage of the many vistas and angles offered at this site, or as a stage for live broadcasts.

The gazebo has a 30 foot diameter octagonal layout, opening onto the Central Park lawns. Public washrooms and parking spaces for crew vehicles and satellite trucks are also close by.

HOODOOS VIEWPOINT

Filming Hoodoos
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Hoodoos are composed of sedimentary rock covered by harder rock that is does not erode easily. Once the softer sedimentary rock erodes, rock needles or tower-like natural spires are left standing.
 
There is a viewpoint off Tunnel Mountain Road where Banff’s hoodoos can be seen, as well as the meandering turquoise waters of the Bow River beyond. Vehicles have easy access to this area and it can provide a quiet backdrop for both live remote filming or taped segments.

BANFF AVENUE

Filming Banff Ave
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Banff’s famous main street was purposely designed in the late 19th century to incorporate the magnificent Cascade Mountain as the focal point. This bustling avenue of boutiques, outfitters and restaurants always provides a welcome juxtaposition of infrastructure amidst wilderness; animation amidst serenity. The scene is easily filmed from the sidewalks or median that runs its length. Most businesses along Banff Avenue welcome crews to film the storefronts and interiors with a little advanced notice. Any filming in the town of Banff that may require interruption to the regular flow of both pedestrian and vehicular traffic, requires a special permit from the Town of Banff.

THE CLIFFHOUSE AT MOUNT NORQUAY

Filming Clifhouse
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The CliffHouse was first built in the early 1950s and is a big part of the Mount Norquay Ski Resort history, now reborn. You can ride up the North American Chair, and deliver camera, sound and lighting equipment, to enjoy a picture perfect perspective high above the town of Banff and Bow Valley. Catering and restroom amenities are present and the site can be made available for exclusive film use upon request.

There is an extensive platform and rooftop area from which you can capture the true grandeur of the surrounding peaks for miles and miles. This is a site that takes a little extra effort to reach, but the best places usually are!

THE SHAW AMPHITHEATRE AT THE BANFF CENTRE

Filming Shaw Amphiteatre
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Opened in July 2011, the Shaw Amphitheatre is capable of seating audiences of over 1,600. The spectacular venue boasts expansive views of the Bourgeau and Sulphur mountain ranges, and features the latest in lighting, sound, and digital technology.
The Shaw Amphitheatre offers an unparalleled performance venue for music, opera, dance and more. This location and stage is a perfect venue for large broadcast projects requiring state-of-the-art outdoor staging facilities. Audiences will experience what is surely one of the beautiful outdoor performance venues in the world.

The Banff Centre is also home to several indoor theatres including the 959-seat Eric Harvie Theatre from where the popular New York daytime talk show, Live with Kelly!, was broadcast for four days in April 2012.

BOW RIVER

Filming Bow River
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There are many scenic spots along the Bow River which winds through the heart of Banff. Riverside filming has proven very useful to crews as a picturesque and convenient interview location. The combination of the water with surrounding mountain ranges offers many different angles from which to film a succession of quick live remotes from one spot – every which way you point the camera, you’ll find a new and unique view, all within easy reach of the amenities of the town.
In summer the river plays hosts to passersby in canoes and kayaks, while in winter when the river freezes, skaters take to the ice to enjoy a truly Canadian pastime.