Holiday Supports, Resources and Events 2022

The holiday season is a beautiful time of year in the Bow Valley, but it can be a challenging time for many. Fortunately, there are supports available to Bow Valley residents, including financial, social, and food supports. We’ve collected a list of free holiday events and supports in the region, see below.

If you are offering holiday supports please fill out the form at bowvalleypcn.ca/eventsubmission to have it added to this list.


SUPPORTS

Christmas Spirit CampaignAt the Bow Valley Christmas Spirit Society, we believe Christmas is a time for dignity, compassion, and caring for community. We invite you to join us in supplying grocery/gifts cards and gifts to those living in Canmore and the MD of Bighorn who could use a bit of holiday support. (Applications for a hamper closed November 25, 2022)

Santas Anonymous Banff & Lake Louise – only accepting applications from Banff and Lake Louise
seniors age 65 and over who are eligible for the Banff Access Program. Applications can be picked up and handed in at the Banff Town Hall Community Services desk between 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. ID9 seniors will need to verify they are part of the ID9 access program with their application. (Applications closed Tuesday December 6, 2022)

Offered year-round:
Banff Access Program – The Banff Access Program provides eligible residents with discounts on classes, programs, transit passes, purchases at participating businesses and more.

Canmore Affordable Services ProgramThe Canmore Affordable Services Program provides eligible residents access to multiple community supports and services.


FOOD SUPPORTS

Visit the Bow Valley Food Alliance (BVFA) website for a full listing of resources, or take a look at the BVFA Food Asset Map to see where you can access food supports in your own neighbourhood.

Special Community Meals

BanffLIFE Holiday Dinner
Tuesday, December 20, 2022 | 5 p.m.–8 p.m. | BanffLIFE is hosting a special holiday dinner for young adults between the ages of 18 and 30. This is a FREE community dinner for young adults living and working in Banff. This is a welcoming space that is inclusive to all. Meet and connect with new or long-time locals, play games such as table tennis, billiards, foosball, board games, Mario kart and more!

Mountain Fire Foods Christmas Dinner
Pick-up Saturday, Dec 24 | 4 p.m.–5 p.m. | Once again, Mountain Fire Foods is partnering with the Bow Valley Food Bank to bring Christmas dinner to families in need. Enjoy a full turkey dinner with vegetables, mashed potato, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce, along with dessert. Vegetarian options are also available. Pick up is on Christmas Eve between 4 and 5 pm and the dinner will be ready to simply heat and eat. If you’re in need, reach out by email to fire@mountainfirefoods.ca with your request and the number of servings needed.

Free Weekly Community Meals

St. Michael’s Anglican Church Weekly Food & Friends Dinner, Canmore
Mondays 5–7 p.m. | Lovingly prepared by volunteers, a fresh and healthy meal for all. You are welcome to eat your fill and take out meals, too.

Banff Park Church Soup’s On!
Tuesdays 11 a.m.–1 p.m. | Stop by for a delicious, homemade bowl of soup and a bun. No connection with the church required, always free, always for everyone.

Banff Community Table Lunch
Wednesdays 12 noon–1 p.m. | The Community Table Lunch Program is open to all residents to enjoy a healthy meal and connect in a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy soup, salad, fruit, tea and coffee.

Banff Park Church Chili Friday
Fridays 6:30 p.m.–10 p.m. | Enjoy a bowl of homemade beef or vegetarian chili. Then stick around to spend time with your community: playing board games, ping pong, pool, foosball, air hockey, or just hanging out. No connection with the church required, always free, always for everyone.


EVENTS

In Search of Christmas Spirit, Banff Cascades of Time Garden
Nov. 23–Dec. 31
Spread throughout the Cascade of Time Garden, In Search of Christmas Spirit is an outdoor experience available during the holiday season. The experience follows an enchanted trail and is delivered by illuminated sculptures, an engaging story and captivating sound effects. It tells the story of the wildlife of Banff National Park and their appreciation for the safe space that Banff National Park has gifted them. FREE Event, reservations required: www.banfflakelouise.com/christmas/christmas-spirit

Christmas at the Castle, Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Nov. 25–Jan. 7
In the heart of Banff National Park, you will find a historic castle that truly comes alive with the spirit of Christmas. Within the halls of Fairmont Banff Springs, the festive season is celebrated with traditional sights and sounds into a magical festival. Note: many free family-friendly events, there some paid events as well.

The Rotary Festival of Trees, Malcolm Hotel
December 2–31
Join this community-based holiday celebration with decorated trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses and special events and activities for the entire family. It is FREE to view and walk through the forest of trees and magical Candy Cane Lane. The festival does include some paid events.

Winterfest at Alpenglow School Canmore Collegiate High School
Saturday Dec. 3, 2022 | 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Visit a winter wonderland full of enchantment and charm, where every room, nook and cranny is transformed by the spirit of holiday magic. Make a wish inside the wishing well, choose a treat at the cookie cave, enjoy campfire stories, enjoy mouth-watering soups at our soup bar or shop artisan vendors for handcrafted gifts. This event is free to attend, some activities are paid 

Whyte Christmas, Whyte Museum Banff
Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022 | 1 p.m.–4 p.m.
Join in on celebrating the return of this free community favorite. You are invited to ring in the holiday season with various crafts, Christmas carols, Santa Claus, hot chocolate, and much more!

Canmore Museum Member Monday – Christmas Cookie Exchange Social RCMP Barracks, 609 8th Street, Canmore
Monday, Dec. 5 | 3 p.m.–5 p.m.
Museum members and a friend are invited to join us again for a Christmas Cookie Exchange Social – bring copies of your favourite holiday cookie recipe on recipe cards and three dozen cookies to exchange with other Museum members.

Christmas at the Barracks RCMP Barracks, 609 8th Street, Canmore
Sunday, December 11 | 1–4 p.m.
Corporal Clark and his family made the Barracks their home from 1917 to 1929. During this time, Canmore was growing in population and there was a spirit of optimism. Join us for the afternoon for activities that recreate what it might have been like for the Clarkes and other families as they prepared for and celebrated the holidays 100 years ago. Activities will include making decorations for the tree, decorating cookies, and the telling of traditional Christmas stories.

Hope for Kids Photos with Santa
Monday, Dec 12 | 4 p.m.–5:30 p.m. Wolfe Canmore 707 Railway Ave.
Santa photos by Kristy Wolfe Photography with donation to Hope for Kids. Gift wrapping by Jessica Davidson with donation to Hope for Kids and/or BV Food Bank

CP Holiday Train 2022 with MacKenzie Porter & Virginia to Vegas
Canmore – Tuesday, December 13, 2022 | 5:45 p.m., show: 6:00  – 6:30 p.m. | Railway pedestrian crossing behind Save on Foods
Banff – Tuesday, December 13, 2022 | 7:00 p.m. show: 7:15 – 7:45 p.m.) | Banff train station, 327 Railway Avenue

Two trains, beginning in Montreal in November, about 1,000 feet in length with rail cars decorated with hundreds of thousands of LED lights and a modified boxcar that has been turned into a travelling stage for performers will make their way across the Canadian Pacific network in the US and Canada to raise money, food and awareness for local food banks.

Holiday Special Baby Storytime – Canmore Library
Tuesday, Dec. 13 | 12:30 p.m–1 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 15 | 6:30 p.m–7 p.m.
Friday, Dec 16 | 10:30 a.m.–11 a.m.

Visit the Canmore Library for a holiday storytime special to celebrate the season! Books, songs, jingle bells and more!

Teen Gingerbread Houses Canmore Library
Friday, Dec. 16 | 5:30 p.m.–7 p.m.
Friday, December 16, 2022
Teens aged 12-15 are invited to build your very own “Gingerbread” House. Please note that due to limited supplies, registration is required. One house per group, FREE

Gingerbread Houses Canmore Library
Saturday Dec. 17 | 10:30 a.m.–12 noon or
Saturday Dec. 17 | 1:30 p.m.–3 p.m.

Eveyone is invited to build your very own “Gingerbread” House. All ages welcome, however children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by an adult. One house per group, registration is required, FREE

Christmas at Cattle Hill Movie Screening, Artsplace Canmore
December 21, 5:30 p.m.
City cow Klara is excited to spend her first Christmas on her father’s farm. Her father is unexpectedly called away to help a neighbor who is snowed in. Klara sees an opportunity to bring some Christmas to Cattle Hill with the help of an elf. Rating: Suitable for small children. Mild rude humour. FREE event, RSVP required.

HEALTH & WELLNESS
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BANFF & LAKE LOUISE

CANMORE & MD OF BIGHORN