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Ice Magic Festival

Travel Alberta

Ice Magic Festival

January 16-27, 2019

Set in the spectacular surroundings of Lake Louise, the Ice Magic Festival is a world-class ice carving event. Watch as talented ice artists from around the world skillfully combine gruelling physicality with precision artistry in the ice carving competition, January 16-18, or marvel at the finished sculptures over the following nine days.

Admission: It is free to attend Ice Magic Monday-Friday and on the weekends before 10 a.m. or after 5:30 p.m. Tickets are required during peak times and can be purchased online up to 48 hours in advance for discounts up to 25%. 

Winter in Canada is something to celebrate! Watch the alpine town of Lake Louise come alive during the 12-day Ice Magic Festival. 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 the 2019 Ice Magic Festival.  Find all the details about tickets and exclusive access here. 

Tickets are required to visit the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise lakeside Competition Carving Site during peak periods. Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. are considered peak visitation periods. At all other times, the carving site is free for all visitors to enter and enjoy. Access prices vary depending on which type of visitor category you fall into. Please read the information below to determine which category is applicable to you.  

Full ticket prices:

General Admission $13
Seniors (55+) $8
Youth (3-12yrs) $6
Infants (2 under) $0
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 Competition Carving Site at all times. A wristband grants you access even when tickets are required.

      Banff Overnight Guests - Over 50% Savings

      Overnight guests at Banff accommodations (includes B&Bs) receive discounted ticket price (over 50% savings) to the Competition Carving Site 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 - Up to 25% Savings

      A limited number of tickets are available on weekends for day visitors to attend Ice Magic. If tickets are purchased in advance online (limited availability), visitors 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 Ice Magic. Note that weekdays and weekends before 10 a.m. and after 5:30 p.m. are free.

      *Please note that the event details are subject to change.

      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 17 or Friday, January 18 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 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. followed by a special 25 anniversary celebration of Ice Magic.

      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 the SnowDays festival. New to the event this year is the TRIBUTE TO CRAFT SPIRITS FESTIVAL. Special cocktail menus will be available at participating restaurants from January 16-27 and will culminate with a 2-day Discovery Event January 26-27. Finish your day with a skating party under the stars.

      2019 Theme: Celebrating 25 Years of Ice Magic

      The world's best ice carvers have been visiting Lake Louise for 25 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, the competitors have been challenged to construct iconic carvings to celebrate the 25th anniversary of one of the world's best ice festivals - the Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival. 

      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.

      These spectacular carvings from previous years will give you an idea of the inspiring works of art that you can expect to see.

      2019 Ice Magic Festival Winners

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

      Check out all the winning sculptures here

      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.


      Discover this new must-visit event which is a new addition to the popular SnowDays festival in Banff and Lake Louise.

      Banff National Park is transformed into a winter wonderland in January with the annual SnowDays festival. If you're visiting Ice Magic, don't forget to experience the new TRIBUTE TO CRAFT SPIRITS FESTIVAL in downtown Banff. Enjoy a carefully crafted cocktail at one of the participating restaurants, or visit the 2-day Discovery Event on January 26 and 27. This event is free to attend and is a great chance to sample the best of local bars and restaurants at an outdoor event in downtown Banff. 

      The TRIBUTE TO CRAFT SPIRITS FESTIVAL will also extend to Lake Louise with a special cocktail menu available at the ice bar during the Ice Magic Festival. The special cocktails can also be sampled at Alpine Social inside the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

      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. Sorry, no pets on the shuttles.

      • Shuttles are available on January 19, 20, 26 and 27 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.

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