Holiday Supports, Resources and Events 2023

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/affordable holiday events and supports in the region, see below.

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


Christmas Spirit CampaignThe Bow Valley Christmas Spirit Society invites you to join 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 support close November 30th, 2023, donations accepted year-round).
Santas Anonymous Banff & Lake Louise – accepting applications from Banff & Lake Louise seniors age 60 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. ID9 seniors will need to verify they are part of the ID9 access program with their application (Applications close December 4, 2023).

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.


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

CYAN’s Festive Pasta Night
Tuesday, December 5th | 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | Join the Canmore Young Adult Network & Crockadoodle for a holiday themed evening! Enjoy turkey pasta bake with all the ‘fixings’ and stay to paint a pottery tree ornament. In the spirit of the season, there are even some free giveaways! Food is by donation & ornaments are $10 each. Located in Canmore Miners Union Hall.

Banff Community Table Holiday Lunch
Wednesday December 13th | 12 noon – 1 p.m. | 
Everyone welcome to share in a holiday meal, songs & crafts! $3 suggested donation, located in the Pioneer Room at 101 Bear St, Banff (above the library).  

BanffLIFE’s Holiday Dinner
Tuesday, December 19th | 5:30 p.m.–7:30 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! Registration required, located in the Pioneer Room at 101 Bear St, Banff (above the library).  

The Feast Protectors
Pick-up Thursday, December 21 | Defending Awesome & Banff Food Rescue are teaming up to provide holiday meal ingredients to people in need of some support!
Now accepting applications for TIER 2 – you may not qualify for Banff Access but have been affected by financial hardship (Apply/See if you’re eligible here)! Last day to apply for TIER 2 is Saturday, December 16th by NOON. Qualifying individuals will be notified for pickup on December 21st

Mountain Fire Foods Christmas Dinner
Pick-up Sunday, December 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 with your request and the number of servings needed.

Free Weekly Community Meals

Food & Friends Dinner, Canmore @ St. Michael’s Anglican Church
Mondays 5–7 p.m. | Lovingly prepared by volunteers, a fresh and healthy meal for all. Community Food & Friends Dinners offer a safe place for diverse people to come together every Monday evening to enjoy a free meal with neighbours. Donations welcome.

Food & Friends Dinner, Banff @ St. Georges in the Pines
Mondays 5–7 p.m. | Lovingly prepared by volunteers, a fresh and healthy meal for all. 
Community Food & Friends Dinners offer a safe place for diverse people to come together every Monday evening to enjoy a free meal with neighbours. Donations welcome. 

Soup’s On! @ Banff Park Church
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.


In Search of Christmas Spirit, Banff Cascades of Time Garden
November 17th –December 31st | 4:30 – 9:30 p.m. | Free, registration required
Bundle up for a walk through the Cascade of Time Garden, where you’ll witness a live Christmas story told by the animals of Banff National Park.

The Rotary Festival of Trees, Malcolm Hotel
December 1–31 | Free
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. 2, 2023 | 11 a.m.–3 p.m. | Free
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. 2, 2023 | 1 p.m.–5 p.m. | Free
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!

Journey to the North Pole, Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Thursday, December 7th – 14th | < 18 years Free, 20$ for Adults (proceeds to Make a Wish Foundation)
Join ‘Journey to the North Pole,’ and create enduring memories while supporting a heartwarming cause. It’s the entire Christmas at the Castle experience, all wrapped up in one unforgettable journey! The entire Castle is adorned with over-the-top Christmas decorations that will transport you to a world of wonder and awe. You’ll have the opportunity to capture the perfect holiday snapshot with Santa Claus and take home a small keepsake.

Preparing for the Holidays as a Caregiver – Dementia
Thursday, December 7th | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Free
Holidays can be challenging – Join the Town of Canmore & Alzheimer Calgary to discuss things to consider when caring for someone living with dementia over the holidays. Pre-registration required, call 403.609.3743 / e-mail to secure your spot.

Hope for Kids Photos with Santa
Tuesday, Dec 12 | 4:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m. | By donation
Photos will be taken by Kristy, of Kristy Wolfe photography and will be by donation (cash or card). All money raised goes to helping families in the Bow Valley that have a child with a chronic health condition. Located at Wolfe Canmore 707 Railway Ave.

CYAN’s Holiday Door Mat Decorating
December 14th | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | 28$
Join the Canmore Young Adult Network at Canmore Brewing for a craft night to create your own Holiday door mat! Let’s Get Artsy will be providing the door mats, stencil options & painting supplies – just bring your creativity to make an outstanding mat for your home!

A Stoney Christmas
December 16th & 17th | 7 p.m. | 15$
Join the Smalleyes Family as they return to artsPlace to present their re-imagined Christmas tale featuring traditional Indigenous dance, song and storytelling. A Bow Valley holiday tradition that is perfect for the whole family!

CYAN’s Holiday Trivia & Cookie Decorating
December 18th | 6 p.m. | 15$ 
Join the Canmore Young Adult Network at Kain Tayo for a festive night of holiday trivia and cookie decorating! (Take home ~5 cookies!). This event is subsidized by REALTOR® Michelle Gibbon from Gibbon Realty – CIR Realty, Canmore.

Movie Night @ the Canmore Library: A Christmas Carol
Wednesday, Dec. 20| 7 – 9 p.m. | Free
Visit the Canmore Library for a FREE screening of A Christmas Carol (Donations accepted). Bring a pillow, a bowl of popcorn, or even a friend! Make yourself at home and enjoy the cinematic experience.

Holiday Movie Night @ ArtsPlace
Thursday, Dec. 21| 7 – 9 p.m. | Free, registration required
5:30 p.m. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
7  p.m.
Jack Frost (Movie playing in French with English Subtitles)

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