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Ice Magic

Ice Skating, Lake Louise, Banff National Park
Travel Alberta

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.

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:

Tickets on Sale

Tickets are required to visit the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise lakeside Competition Carving Site during peak visitation on Saturday January 20 and 27 and Sunday January 21 and 28 from 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. All other dates and times the carving site is free to enter and enjoy.

Banff and Lake Louise Overnight Guests

Guests who book one of the following Lake Louise accommodations have free access to the lakeside Competition Carving Site at all times. A wristband grants you access even when tickets are required.

Free tickets included with an overnight stay at the following accommodations:

Guests who book any one of our Banff accommodations will receive discounted ticket prices. These prices are available online only with a special promo code given upon booking your Banff accommodation. 

  • Infants & Youth (12 & under): Free
  • Senior (55+): $5
  • General Admission: $5
General Admission for Day Visitors

Tickets for General Admission, for visitors not staying in Banff or Lake Louise, will be available online prior to the event and on site at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise lakeside and Lake Louise Visitor Information Centre on January 20 and 27 and Sunday January 21 and 28 during the event. The remaining days are free. 

  • Infants (2 & under): Free
  • Youth (3-12 years old): $5
  • Senior (55+): $7.50
  • General Admission: $12.50
  • Family (2 adults & up to 4 youth): $30

Purchase Tickets

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

Shuttles and Transit

With limited parking available near the Competition Carving Site, visitors are encouraged to take the free shuttle buses from Samson Mall. 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.

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

2019 Ice Magic Festival Winners

Ice Magic Festival presents the winners of the International Ice Carving Competition.

Check out all the winning ice sculptures

Share your photos #mybanff

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