Experience Canmore Summer 2014 Photo Contest

First, we would like to congratulate Jeff Laidlaw who was our Fall 2013 Photo Contest Winner.

Jeff Laidlaw Image

Jeff Laidlaw Image

We are very excited to announce the beginning of our Summer 2014 Photo Contest.  The Grand Prize Winner will be awarded a gift certificate for a two-night stay at any Waymarker Hospitality hotel. We will also be awarding a Secondary Prize to the best “Triple Crown of Canmore” picture; this picture must be taken on one of the three Triple Crown of Canmore day hikes (Lady Macdonald, Mt. Rundle, South and Ha Ling Peak). The Secondary Prize Winner will be awarded a $75.00 gift certificate for the Miner’s Lamp Pub in the Georgetown Inn.

Ha Ling Peak

Ha Ling Peak

The submitted photo(s) must be from the Canmore/Kananaskis area but there is no restriction on when the photo was taken, so scour through those old albums and send us what you have.

Email your pictures to info@waymarker.ca with the subject line “Experience Canmore Photo Contest 2014” by October 31, 2014. We will announce our winner on Facebook, Twitter and on the blog on November 10, 2014.

We can’t wait to see all the amazing images you submit. The mountains are calling, and you could win great prizes if you take pictures of them!

Get the elastic waist pants out and come to Canmore!

Canmore is kicking off the first annual Canmore Uncorked Food and Drink Festival April 3rd to 12th. So much to see, drink and eat for the whole family, you’re not going to want to miss this.

Kicking things off, starting every night from the 3rd of April, with 26 of Canmore’s best restaurants offering 3-course meals from $19-$39 per person.  See what the locals are always raving about at their favorite eatery. Don’t forget to pick up your passport to be stamped at each location; your passport will be your entry into the Grand Prize Draw with over $4000 in prizes available to win. You can pick up your passport at the visitors centre.

Want to get a little fancier? Try this crazy idea with your friends and partners. Canmore is offering a Progressive Dinner Tour. There are three tours to choose from, and each tour is guided by a local celebrity AND you are provided with transportation. Each progressive dinner tour hits up 4 local restaurants with their signature dish, and paired with their signature drink or wine. What an amazing opportunity to see the town, eat delicious food and drink responsibly. You need to go online to purchase your tickets for this event ASAP as tickets are limited at the Tourism Canmore website.

Feeling like you want to indulge more in beer and wine? On April 5th there will be a Craft Beer Festival with over 30 unique beers to taste and vote on your favorite. Held at Stewart Creek Golf Course, an easy walk downtown will get you access to the complimentary shuttle to and from the event. The bus runs back and forth every 10 minutes. As for your wine cravings, the Radisson will be hosting the Canmore Wine Festival April 12th. 60 different wines, 10 different scotches and gourmet appetizers await! Both events require you to book ahead online at the Tourism Canmore website. The Craft Beer Festival is $35 and the Wine Festival is $45, both require you to bring Government Issued Photo ID and no minors will be permitted.

For a fun night of laughter and community togetherness, on April 11th, bundle and cozy up next to your friends and people you’ll soon make friends with, as Canmore unleashed the Long Table Dinner. 150 people, 6 courses and one fun night under the stars and maybe a little rain or snow to celebrate and sample some local favorites. Tickets again will be sold online on the Tourism Canmore website. Make sure you bring your camera and wear warm boots as this is outside at Millenium Park with no shelter.

And last but not least, looking for an intimate night of cooking with friends, join chefs from around the Bow Valley as they take over the Paintbox Lodge and demonstrate their style of cooking, and secrets to their craft. The Gourmet Cooking School will take place every night during the Uncorked Festival. You need to make reservations and purchase tickets online at the Tourism Canmore website.

For more details and for tickets please visit the Tourism Canmore website and ENJOY!!

Canmore is kicking it Celtic Style in March

When you think of March we all imagine Shamrocks and Irish Music to celebrate the world-wide heritage of St. Patrick’s Day!

Canmore has a few tricks up their sleeves to get everyone in the Celtic mood. Warming up with a “St.Patrick’s Day Warm Up Party” at our local legion Saturday March 15th, featuring our local Celtic band The Last Order. Special guests are Tinkerbell and the Tiny Green Terror, Sue Chick Denton, St.Patrick’s Singers and our local legend Sean McGoldrick. Tickets are only $15.00, and being as this is the legion, drinks are affordable!

If you in the mood for a little more Scottish flavor, on March 13th, the winners of “Best Live Act” from the Scots Trad Music Awards, the Peatbog Faeries are playing at the Cornerstone Theater. The legendary band based on the Isle of Skye is reinventing Celtic dance music. It’s a must see! And in my opinion, men in kilts are amazing.

Then there’s “D-Day” March 17th, the day your liver hates you more than ever. Nearly every bar in Canmore has entertainment, special Celtic menu options, and is crowded with all of our favorite colorful locals. Be sure to start early as bars will start filling-up around lunch and go all day and night. And make sure to hit up the dollar store to add some green accessories to your regular pub wear.

Romancin’ in Canmore

I fell in love with Canmore last spring. The incredible beauty of the town, the people and the surrounding mountains is enough to steal anyone’s heart. Located just an hour from Calgary, and without the crowds of Banff, Canmore has become my favourite place for a weekend escape. When my boyfriend decided to embark on a boy’s trip to Europe for three weeks, I knew I wanted to steal him away for a romantic weekend before he left; naturally, we booked a room and set out for Canmore.

An adorable welcoming committee!

An adorable welcoming committee!

We arrived early afternoon on a bright sunny Friday to a welcoming committee of elk. It was too early to check-in to our hotel but early enough for a delicious lunch at the Georgetown Inn.

I ordered the Georgetown’s legendary Fish n’ Chips; unfortunately, I was a little too impressed with my meal to remember to take a picture beforehand but the remnants of my meal managed to make their way on to my camera.

Left overs from the Georgetown's Fish n' Chips.

Left overs from the Georgetown’s Fish n’ Chips.

Right from the oven shortbread.

Fresh-from-the-oven shortbread.

Just as we were about to leave, the chef came out of the kitchen with a plate of fresh-from-the-oven shortbread cookies that he let us devour.  This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

 

One-Bedroom Suite at Silver Creek Lodge.

One-Bedroom Suite at Silver Creek Lodge.

Looking for relaxation and romance, I booked a gorgeous one-bedroom suite at Silver Creek Lodge. We checked-in just in time to watch the sun set.

Initially, we had planned to go snowboarding, check out the shopping in down-town Canmore and explore the town; however, the temperature sat at an uncomfortable 30 below, colder if you included the wind chill. We decided to forgo our outdoor plans and relax in the room while debating which of Canmore’s many fantastic restaurants to have a romantic dinner at.

The large soaker tub in our room!

The large soaker tub in our room!

To kill some time before dinner, I took advantage of the room’s large soaker tub and kicked back with a glass of wine while my boyfriend took a nap. This was the perfect way to unwind and relax.

We decided on Sage Bistro for dinner and sat in the wine lounge. The service was fantastic and my boyfriend and I shared the Antipasto, which was incredible. We sat and laughed, had some fantastic wine and really enjoyed the ambience of the restaurant before walking back to Silver Creek, which was just across the road. Once we were back in our room, we lounged on the couch in front of the fire chatting late into the evening.

We awoke the next morning to a beautiful blue bird day and after a bit of sightseeing, we headed back to Calgary.

Sightseeing around Canmore.

Sightseeing around Canmore.

The only downside from our trip was the speeding ticket I received in the mail a few weeks later! Otherwise, it was the perfect little romantic escape and the beautiful suite, comfortable bed and delicious food really made the trip special. I would definitely recommend taking a weekend to experience some romancin’ in Canmore.

 

And The Winter Experiences Here in Canmore Just Keep On Coming!

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If you were lucky enough to join us any day between November 28th until New Years Day for Christmas In Canmore, just wait until you see what Canmore has in store for you Starting January 31st until February 23rd, 2014

The Canmore Winter Carnival kicks off our much needed desires to play outside. With Canmore co-hosting the Alberta Winter Games and the Sochi Winter Olympics just around the corner, Canmore wants you to come out, participate and get active.

The Canmore Winter Carnival has been a tradition in Canmore for more than 20 years, and the expectations for 2014 is for it to be bigger and better than ever.

If you have ever been to Canmore during this carnival, it’s that weird time of year where the entire Main Street is purposely closed off and covered in snow for dog sled racing, cross country ski races and 4 people are tied to one set of skis and race against each other and time for the win, fun to watch and to get involved.

To incorporate the Olympics in downtown Canmore, the Canmore Civic Centre will be turned into an Athletes Village, with vendors, food, activities and a huge outdoor screen broadcasting the Olympics.

To ensure an amazing day, make sure to layer your clothes, wear winter boots, and bring a backpack with some extra jackets as it gets pretty cold out here. Also, anything you wear, make sure you’re ok with it smelling like camp fire as there will be fire pits randomly located throughout downtown for visitors to stop and warm up. And bring your winter sporting gear like cross country skis, winter bikes, and skates, if you don’t have any of these items, we have vendors that will rent them to you.

This is truly a community event you have to come and experience for yourself!

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New Year’s Party On The Pond in Canmore

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Bundle up the kids, drag the partner out and meet the community of Canmore on the Pond for an amazing New Years Eve.

Picture this scene; skating around on a festive lit pond with holiday music and laughter filling the air. The night sky filled with snow capped mountains and the air cool and crisp with the smells of hot chocolate; doesn’t this sound delectable.

Every year the Town of Canmore holds their traditional New Year’s celebration and concludes it with not one, but two firework shows. What’s amazing is if you have youngsters, you can have them in bed before 10pm as the first firework show starts at the pond at 9:30pm. For the older crowds there is a second firework show just minutes away at Millennium Park at midnight.

To break-up the evening, I recommend making reservations at one of more than 70 restaurants here in Canmore, most have a fabulous New Years menu to try.

Definitely a magical night to start a near year!

Sleigh Bells Ring, Are you Listening….

It is with heavy hearts, that our friends at Rafter Six will be closing their doors for good January 1st  2014. For the millions of us that have visited the ranch, we will remember the kindness of the Cowley Family and staff that have entertained us, welcomed us into their ranch and gave us a ride of a lifetime in the foothills of the Rockies for over 38 years.

For those who have not shared in this amazing experience, the doors will be open, the sleigh bells will be ringing and the hot chocolate will be brewing until the moment they close.

Rafter Six is truly a real cowboy western lifestyle, and is a great stop for families and friends of all ages.

Be prepared to get a little dirty as all of their horses, miniature horses and donkey roam free and are eager for snuggles, petting and sniffing, along with the numerous furry friends (cats and dogs) that man the inside of the lodge and outside all yearn for a scratch behind the ear.

Hop on a horse, jump in a sleigh or Getty Up and take the fast route on a toboggan behind a horse, just get out there and see for yourself what an amazing place Rafter Six really is.

For more information, or to book a package visit http://www.raftersix.com/index.php

horseboggan

Our Big Day

The sunglasses are vital to the look!

The sunglasses are vital to the look!

It was September 24, 2011 and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. As I pulled myself out of bed and looked out the window towards the Three Sisters range I realized today was the day that would change my life. What a perfect day to get married… No clouds in the sky… All my friends and family in Canmore at one time… and an expected high of 29 degrees… What more could we ask for.

As the morning crept by I started to get an excited nervousness that I had never experienced before. So at about 11am I decided to put some jogging pants on, walk down to FasGas, and get myself a pair of sunglasses and a smoke. At that point I needed to do anything I could to pass time, and it really felt like 2:30pm couldn’t come fast enough. By the time I came back to my room and got ready to go it was 1:30ish which meant time to round up my groomsmen and head down to the Canmore Ranch for our ceremony.

As we stood around waiting for Lindsey to arrive in the Bentley, once again it felt like time was standing still. The clock struck 2:30pm and on cue the Highland Executive Bentley pulled into the parking lot and out came Lindsey Anne. As she walked towards me and reached the alter, that excited nervousness that I had felt during the day was gone! The thought that kept running through my head now was, she’s here!!! she’s here!!! I can’t believe she’s here!!! And for some reason, even after we said our I do’s, I kept thinking she’s here!!! she’s here!!! I can’t believe she’s here!!!

As the ceremony came to a close everyone was buzzing with excitement to get up to the Stewart Creek Golf course for the real fun to start. And the real fun definitely started. As the Brewster bus shuttles started to run from the hotel to the golf course the crowds grew larger and larger at the Clubhouse. With all of our friends and family present, we started the party. The dinner was served… the speeches started flying (some planned, some impromptu)… and the dancing and drinking started to take over the clubhouse.  By midnight, the masses had had enough excitement for one night, and the party was starting to slow down. So rather than calling it a night, Lindsey and I decided to round up the remaining troops and head back to our house for an “after party.” Thanks to Brewsters we made a pit stop at Macs to get some firewood and snacks… and another pit stop at the local liquor store… and off we went to the Bell household for even more partying.

By 3:30am we had all had enough, and it was time to call it a day. With a few beers in hand, Lindsey and I called a cab and headed to the Georgetown Inn to cap off the most amazing day ever.  To our surprise we walked into our room to find a bottle of champagne accompanied by a plate of chocolate covered strawberries! And of course, we couldn’t go to bed with an unopened bottle of champagne and tasty treats everywhere… so we cracked the bottle and enjoyed a nice relaxing drink by the fire.

Looking back in hindsight I wouldn’t change a thing that day. The weather was perfect. The company was perfect. The ceremony was perfect. The reception was perfect. Needless to say, EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT!!!

Can I keep her?

Nice shoes!

The Town That Shaped My Life

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We had the most amazing day at the Engine Bridge in Canmore. What a perfect location to have our engagement photos taken.

Canmore, Alberta was a long shot from Ottawa, but at 18 years old my drive to get to the “big resorts” grew from a crazy idea to an out of control beast that I couldn’t tame any longer. So one October night I decided to book my flight, pack my back and pursue my dream of moving to the mountains of Alberta. Somewhere between booking my flight and packing the most random bag ever, I told my parents what I was going to do, and let’s just say they weren’t as excited and enthusiastic as I was. I had no place to live… I had no money in my pocket… BUT I HAD A DREAM AND A SNOWBOARD…  So deep down I knew everything else would work itself out.  And who would have known that Canmore, Alberta would shape the very person I am today.

Ten years have passed since that cold October night, and let me tell you… Life would not be the same for me if I hadn’t followed my gut and moved across the country. During my 8 1/2 years living, working and playing in Canmore I had the opportunity to pursue my passion for travel through working in one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, while at the same time completing my Bachelors degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management.  From a very fulfilling and exciting career, to creating lifelong friendships, to meeting and marrying the woman of my dreams, Canmore will always own a very big piece of my heart and soul.

As I continue to draw the map that I call my life, I invite you to come on my journey and experience the many adventures that I continue to go on.  And who knows, you might just unfold a hidden passion of your own!

My wife and I laughing away at The Canmore Ranch as we signed our papers to legally become one!

My wife and I laughing away at The Canmore Ranch as we signed our papers to legally become one!

The Canmore Christmas Festival Is Coming This Weekend!!

Bundle up the Family and Experience a true Rocky Mountain Christmas Extravaganza!

Starting November 28th, downtown Canmore will light-up and look and feel like a Rocky Mountain Christmas Wonderland. The festivities continue through the holiday season until January 1st. 

For 5 weeks everyone can enjoy extended Christmas Shopping hours on weekends, outdoor movie nights, and skating on our downtown pond.

Bring the little ones to enjoy their own unique shopping experience, with a village build only for four-foot and under tikes. Gifts will be available to buy for mom, dad and grandma and grandpa with the help of shopping elves.

For more information and a detailed calendar of events, visit Tourism Canmore website.