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Mountain Culture

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Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival

Every year, a swarm of climbers, adventurers, filmmakers, authors and adventure-lovers descend on the Banff Centre for what has become one of the largest mountain film and book festivals in the world. Adventure-packed films and stories take center-stage for a week of screenings while presentations by the “Who’s Who” of the outdoor industry will make your palms sweat with excitement. 

Bring the story to life:

Swiss Mountaineering Heritage

Philip Abbot’s fall off Mt. Lefroy at Lake Louise in 1896 was the first mountaineering casualty in North America. After this event, the Canadian Pacific Railway brought guides over from Switzerland to guide clients up the peaks in the Canadian Rockies and to teach techniques that would make climbing safer. The names of Swiss guides have gone down in the history books along with numerous first ascents in the Rockies.

Bring the story to life:
  • Hike up to the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse to gain a glimpse of the famous Mt. Lefroy and Abbot Pass, named after Philip Abbot who fell to his death attempting to navigate the area
  • Join a Mountain Heritage Guide at the Chateau Lake Louise for an interpretive hike

The Privilege of a Protected Playground

The town of Banff is the largest municipality located in a Canadian national park. This provides residents and visitors with superb access to the surrounding wilderness. Conversely, the national park status also requires the town to adhere to laws that regulate its growth, commercial development and population. What results is a very unique community that proudly acknowledges the privilege it is to exist in a protected park while serving the needs of the people who work, visit and play in the mountains.

Bring this story to life:
  • Speak to a city planner at the town of Banff and learn about this municipality’s unique challenges.
  • Talk to local residents about what it is like to live in a national park.
  • Learn more about the town's "Need to Reside" clause.