The beauty of Lake Louise in winter is undeniable.
Walk through an alley of snow-covered pines to the edge of the lake. Families skate hand-in-hand and the view stretches back to the stunning Victoria Glacier which rises over the lake like a frozen guardian.
Full of remarkable natural ice sculpture, the shore of Lake Louise is also home to the world’s most scenic ice carving competition - The Ice Magic Festival - which takes over Lake Louise from January 18 - 28.
Here are 7 reasons you’ll want to visit Ice Magic Festival this January:
1. Canada’s Most Scenic Ice Festival
With an average annual snowfall of 3.5m (140 inches), you’d be hard-pressed to find a more appropriate venue for a world-class ice carving competition. From the glistening sculptures to the iconic Lake Louise ice rink, walking through the grounds will make you feel like you’re in a snow globe. Come for the sculptures, stay for the views.
2. Free if you stay in Lake Louise
Extend the magic by staying in Banff National Park for a few extra during the festival. Admission to Ice Magic is free if you are a guest of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Deer Lodge, the Mountaineer Lodge, Baker Creek Mountain Resort, Castle Mountain Chalets, or Storm Mountain Lodge. Guests of Banff area hotels will also receive an admission discount. Please Visit our Ice Magic Festival page for more information.
3. Host of Canada Cup for 2018
A collective partnership between The Ice Magic Festival, Winterlude Festival in Ottawa, and Ice on Whyte in Edmonton, the Canada Cup of Ice Carving was created to honour the best ice sculpting in Canada. The competition draws top carvers from around the world who compete for a trophy as well as an automatic berth into the next Canada Cup Competition. Ice Magic Festival will present the 2018 event, so come see the sculptures for yourself and be sure to place a ballot in the fan voting contest.
4. Have a winter adventure
Explore the surrounding slopes, and experience the best of winter by using Lake Louise as a winter adventure base camp. Discover an extensive network of cross-country ski trails, race through the forest on a dogsled, or get in some fresh turns at the Lake Louise Ski Resort, which already has had a record snowfall! Bundle up and check out our winter adventure blog for more great ideas.
5. SnowDays in Banff
During Ice Magic Festival, the Town of Banff will also host Banff SnowDays - a display of 11 snow sculptures throughout downtown Banff. Come out and watch international sculpting teams as they create scenes that celebrate the spirit of Banff National Park. Check out SnowDays for more information.
6. One Carver, One Hour, One Block at Lake Louise Ski Resort
Join Global News personality Gord Gillies for the annual One Carver, One Hour, One Block competition at the Lake Louise Ski Resort. Carvers will face off in a battle of technique and speed, which will result in several incredible ice sculptures that come to life before your eyes. Don’t forget to bring your skis or board and get in a few laps at the Lake Louise Ski Resort after the competition.