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Ice Magic

Winter Ice Magic
Jason Stang

A World-Class Ice Carving Event

January 15 - 26, 2020

A perfectly magical winter experience awaits you in Lake Louise where ice serves as a fascinating medium of artistry and architectural design. Watch incredible ice carvings take shape under the precise hands of skilled artists from around the world. Marvel at the lustre of these frozen forms, as well as the iconic ice castle sparkling in front of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, throughout SnowDays.

Schedule of Events

Winter in Canada is something to celebrate! Watch the alpine town of Lake Louise come alive during the 12-day Ice Magic ice carving exhibition. Walk through a winter wonderland and explore ice castles, ice bars, and ice carvings at the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. From the International Ice Carving Competition, to the One Hour, One Carver, One Block speed event, there's lots to see and do in Lake Louise this January. 

The best way to experience Ice Magic is to stay in Lake Louise. Tickets are included with an overnight stay at the following accommodations:

Ticket Information

There are many ways to enjoy Ice Magic in 2020.  Find all the details about tickets and exclusive access here. 

The Ice Magic International Carving Exhibition is free to attend from Monday - Friday and on the weekends before 10 a.m. or after 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are required to visit the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise lakeside during peak periods. Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. are considered peak visitation periods. Admission varies depending on which type of visitor category you fall into. 

Please read the information below to determine which category is applicable to you.  

General Admission: $13
Seniors (55+): $8
Youth (3-12yrs): $6
Infants (under 2): Free
Family (2 adults & up to 4 youth): $35

Lake Louise Overnight Guests - Free Admission

      Guests who book one of the partner hotels, listed below, in Lake Louise have free access to the lakeside Ice Magic International Ice Carving Competition at all times. A wristband grants you access even when tickets are required.

      Banff Overnight Guests - Save 60%

      Overnight guests at Banff accommodations (includes B&Bs) receive discounted ticket prices to the Ice Magic International Ice Carving Competition when tickets are required. Tickets must be booked online with the special code that is given to guests from their hotel upon booking. 

      Day Visitors - Online Purchase - Save up to 25% 

      A limited number of tickets are available on weekends for day visitors to attend the Ice Magic International Ice Carving Competition. Visitors who purchase in advance online (limited availability), can save up to 25%. Discounted online sales will close 48 hours before each day. We encourage day visitors to attend on weekdays, and weekends before 10 a.m. and after 5:30 p.m., when admission is free.

      Day Visitors - Onsite Purchase - Full Price

      A limited number of onsite tickets are available on weekends for day visitors to attend the Ice Magic International Ice Carving Competition. Note that weekdays and weekends before 10 a.m. and after 5:30 p.m. are free.


      Best Times to Visit

      Ice Magic only comes around once a year, and with such a well-loved event you'll want to make sure you know all of the insider tips to plan your trip. 

      Meet the Carvers

      If you come Thursday, January 16 or Friday, January 17 while the competition is running not only will admission be free, but the ice carvers will have more time to answer all your burning questions. On Friday afternoon the competition concludes with an exhilirating one hour speed carving event from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. followed by the awards ceremony.

      The Mid-Week Advantage

      Visit the finished sculptures mid-week for free and create fond memories of Lake Louise with no crowds, ample parking, and better photo opportunities.

      Explore the Sculptures After Dark

      Catch a glimpse of the sculptures under the light of the night sky. The best photos are taken at night when the sculptures are lit up and the mountain peaks create faint silouettes in the background.

      The Perfect Winter Day Trip

      Arrive early at Lake Louise and experience the ice carvings at sunrise, then make your way to Banff to view massive snow sculptures right downtown as part of SnowDays

      The Perfect Day at Ice Magic

      Ice Magic is an amazing time to embrace the wonders of winter. See what a perfect day exploring the spectacular setting of Lake Louise looks like.

      Visit Ice Magic early in the morning before the crowds show up, then use the rest of the day to play in the outdoors. Pick up a lift ticket from the Lake Louise Ski Resort and hit the slopes or simply view the breathtaking landscape from the top of the Gondola. Explore the Lake Louise area on a guided snowshoe tour with Great Divide Nature Interpretation, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, or the Lake Louise Ski Resort. Enjoy the groomed cross-country ski trails near Baker Creek Mountain Resort. Or race your friends down the tubing runs at the Lake Louise Ski Resort Sunny Tube Park.

      Winter Cross Country Skiing Great Divide Trail Lake Louise Noel Hendrickson

      Shuttles and Transit

      Find out the easiest ways to access the Ice Magic International Carving Competition and Exhibition site. 

      There is limited parking available at the lakeside so visitors are encouraged to take the free shuttle buses from Samson Mall to the Ice Magic International Carving Competition and Exhibition site. During peak visitation on weekends, day visitors will be required to park in the village and take shuttles. Please plan your visit accordingly. 

      Shuttles are available on January 18, 19, 25 and 26 from 10:30 a.m. –  6 p.m.

      • The shuttles go between Samson Mall and Upper Lake Louise parking area. They return approximately every 20 minutes, wait times will increase during peak visitation from around 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. 
      • Shuttles start at Samson Mall at 10:30 a.m. and the last shuttles leave Upper Lake Louise parking area at 6 p.m.
      • Parking is limited, carpooling to the shuttle pickup site is encouraged.
      • If you're staying in Banff, the easiest way to get to Lake Louise is to take transit. A new local route is operating between Banff and Lake Louise this winter.
      • Sorry, no pets allowed on the shuttles.

      2020 Theme

      The world's best ice carvers have been visiting Lake Louise for 26 years to create inspiring ice sculptures that get bigger and better each year. Discover this year's theme and explore past ice carvings.  

      This year's sculpting theme is OPEN, which means the carvers enjoy the creative freedom to decide what design and carving could bring them home the coveted top prizes.

      Ten teams of two are invited to capture the essence of the theme with their own style and creativity to transform 15 blocks of ice into epic masterpieces.

      Cheer them on and watch the magic come alive at one of the world's best ice festivals!

      In 2019 some of the most accomplished ice carvers in the world celebrated 25 years of competition with these striking carvings below. What extraordinary works of art will we be unveiled by the ice carvers in 2020?

      Ice Magic Festival, Banff National Park
      Devaan Ingraham

      Ice Magic Festival, Banff National Park
      Devaan Ingraham

      Ice Magic Festival, Banff National Park
      Devaan Ingraham

      Ice Magic Festival, Banff National Park
      Devaan Ingraham

      Share your photos #mybanff

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