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Ice Magic Festival

Travel Alberta

Ice Magic Festival

January 18-28, 2018

Set in the spectacular surroundings of Lake Louise, the Ice Magic Festival is a world class event with over 20 years of history. Watch as talented ice artists from around the world skillfully combine gruelling physicality with precision artistry in an ice carving competition. Join us January 18 - 28, 2018 and experience the magic. The full events schedule is available in the calendar below. Tickets will be available November 15, 2017.

The beauty has got to be the number one thing there. The Chateau, the lake, the people. It’s just beautiful there.Ice Carver, Burr Rasmussen speaking about Lake Louise during The Ice Magic Festival

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. They will be available to purchase online soon.

  • 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

Named in World Atlas' The World's 10 Best Ice Festivals 2017.

Free Shuttles

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

  • Shuttles are available on January 20, 21, 27 and 28 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.

Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Ice Magic Experience

Ice Magic only comes around once a year, and with such an exclusive event you'll want to make sure you know all of the insider tips to make your visit as memorable as possible. 

  • Book an overnight accommodation in Lake Louise and visit the Competition Carving Site as often as you like for free.
  • Visit the finished sculptures mid-week and create fond memories of Lake Louise with no crowds, ample parking, and better photo opportunities. Plus, if you come Thursday or Friday during the competition, when admission is free, the ice carvers have more time to answer all your burning questions.
  • 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.
  • Lake Louise is a winter wonderland so be prepared to navigate it comfortably in winter attire. Winter boots, hats, gloves, and layers are all essentials.
  • Please leave your pets at home as they aren't allowed on the shuttles.
  • Make a whole day of it and explore more than just the Competition Carving Site. 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. Other options include guided snowshoeing activities at the Lake Louise Ski Resort, from Great Divide Nature Interpretation or the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. 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.

New in 2018

Ice Magic presents the Canada Cup of Ice Carving in 2018. 

Lake Louise

The Canada Cup of Ice Carving is a new event element that brings together the top carvers from three prestigious Canadian ice carving competitions: Ice Magic in Lake Louise, Ice on Whyte in Edmonton, and Winterlude in Ottawa. Teams from Russia, U.S.A., Philippines, Japan and Canada compete to claim the Canada Cup of Ice Carving and the chance to win automatic entrance into the Cup next year. 

The Canada Cup of Ice Carving is held once a year and moves location from Ice on Whyte, Edmonton, Winterlude in Ottawa. Watch the defending champions, Team Samuel Girault (France) and Michal Mizula (Poland), compete with new carvers to win the cup at Ice Magic in Lake Louise in 2018.

This year, teams compete to claim 1st, 2nd and 3rd Judge's choice, People's choice, and Carver's Choice awards. Ten teams have 34 hours to carve 15 blocks of ice into their interpretation of the year's theme to compete for the ultimate prize of the Canada Cup of Ice Carving. 

#CanadaCupofIceCarving

2018 Theme: All in the Wild

Photographers have been capturing the beauty of Banff and Lake Louise for a long time and the carvers will choose from a variety of these iconic photographs to create their very own ice sculpture interpretation.

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

Calendar of Events