Locals call it “the shoulder season” – that time of year when an action-packed summer gives way to falling leaves and cooler temperatures. If ever there was a time to cozy up, it’s at the end of the October.
Good news is: there’s a world-class festival taking place in Banff, and you’ve got permission to take a seat, settle in and enjoy armchair adventure at its best.
Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival comprises nine epic days each year that bring mountain culture to life right in the heart of Banff. The “mix and match” program lets you choose the events that suit you best, and also includes packages to turn your festival experience into a mountain getaway.
Here are five reasons to attend the Festival this year, happening from October 27 to November 4!
1. Rub Shoulders with Real-Life Adventurers
They’ve climbed the world’s biggest peaks, rowed across oceans, trekked to the poles and kayaked remote rivers. The speakers who take the stage at the Festival truly walk the talk and come to Banff to share real stories of adventure normally reserved for your wildest dreams. You never know, you might just spot one of these celebs at a local cafe.
2. Binge-Watch with a Thousand People
Banff might be a small town, but its name has become famous amongst mountain filmmakers, who hope to see their work showcased at the annual festival. Over 300 films - from shorts to feature-length - are entered into the competition each year, and you can enjoy the finalists in a theatre packed with mountain enthusiasts. The vibes are pretty electric, and often filmmakers are there to present their films!
3. Expand Your Reading List
Get up-close-and-personal with some of the world’s best mountain authors at the Banff Mountain Book Competition component to the Festival. This internationally-recognized literary competition selects the best of the best to present and takes you on a spellbinding journey through the pages of the most important works to emerge each year. Many events occur in small theatre settings, giving you a more intimate experience. Bring your books along - authors are usually available after events to sign them!
4. Fill Up on Fun
The Festival includes many events that are free to the public, including noon-hour panel discussions; Old Style Storytelling with local storytellers; the Mountain Art & Craft Sale, which features unique mountain-themed gifts and artwork from a variety of artists; and the Mountain Marketplace, a trade show featuring gear and apparel, outdoor organizations and companies, publishers, and author book signings. Check the Festival Schedule for details.
5. DISCOVER AUTHENTIC REGIONAL CUISINE
All that adventure and adrenaline will no doubt work up your appetite. Fortunately, Banff and Lake Louise are well-known for their world-class dining scene. You can also make the most of the festival’s dining experiences, including dine and stay packages, fixed-price menus, and more.
Spend The Weekend
Thanks to accommodation and partner offerings, you can stay at the Banff Centre or a partner hotel and enjoy free local transport to the Festival thanks to the Banff Airporter. This way, even if you’re coming from out-of-town, you can take in more of the festival. Many programs start early in the day, so you won’t be missing a beat.
Catch the World Tour
Can’t attend the festival in Banff? Keep your eye on the World Tour, which travels to over 550 locations and 40 countries!