What to Do in the Mountains in November
Craft beer, craft cocktails, ski races and Santa Claus — this is what's going down in the mountains near Calgary this month.
Park Distillery in Banff has debuted a new series of craft-distilled barrel-aged cocktails. Try them in a tasting flight in house or, if you can't get to Banff, you can have them delivered to your door.
Photo by Anna Robi / Park Distillery
Banff-based Park Distillery has created a limited run of three barrel-aged cocktails using their own craft-distilled spirits. The Negroni, the Alpine Martinez and the Glacier Manhattan are pre-mixed and aged in oak barrels for six months, then bottled at the distillery. On sale as of November 1, the cocktails can be purchased at the distillery store or ordered online for direct-to-door delivery. You can also try them as a tasting flight at the distillery.
Park Distillery, 219 Banff Ave., 403-762-5114, parkdistillery.com
If you want to get geared up for winter but don’t have the cash to drop on brand-new equipment, a trip to Golden, B.C. might be in order. The sixth annual Golden Ski Swap and Snow Show is happening Saturday, November 4, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Mount 7 Rec Plex. Unlike other gear swaps there is no commission charged on sold goods and general admission is free.
Mount 7 Rec Plex, 1310 9 St. S., Golden, tourismgolden.com
The 2017 edition of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival concludes on Sunday, November 5. Make a full day of it by showing up for the sunrise hike up Tunnel Mountain, a free event which leaves at 7:30 a.m. from the Eric Harvie Theatre at the Banff Centre and includes breakfast and coffee. Follow that with a free session of yoga at 11 a.m. at the Banff Centre yurt and a free talk by Indigenous leaders from Canada and New Zealand about land-use and management at 12:30 p.m. in the Kinnear Centre. Then go back to the yurt for free guided mediation at either 2:30 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. Grab some dinner. Then, head back for 8 p.m. to catch the Best of the Festival film screenings (tickets $35, still available for the screenings at Max Bell Auditorium and Rolston Recital Hall).
Banff Centre, 107 Tunnel Mountain Dr., banffcentre.ca
Communitea Cafe, 1001 6 Ave., Canmore, 403-688-2233, thecommunitea.com
The late Mary Schäffer was a prolific explorer who first came to the Alberta Rockies from the Philadelphia area in the late 1800s with her husband and continued to explore the region even after he passed away in 1903. Her expeditions into Banff and Jasper National Parks were unprecedented at the time among non-Aboriginal women. Learn more about Schäffer by watching Banff resident Shirley Truscott’s one-woman play, Mary Schäffer, Mountain Woman, Friday, November 10 at artsPlace in Canmore. The show includes live cello music by Elizabeth Sorochan. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.
artsPlace, 950 8 Ave., Canmore, artsplacecanmore.com
This annual appearance by the jolly old elf is a tradition for many Calgary families. Suit up in your own warm coat and mittens and head to Banff on Saturday, November 18 in time to get a good spot on Banff Avenue before the parade starts at 6 p.m.
The annual Banff Craft Beer Festival features samplings from Alberta-based craft breweries and food from Banff pubs and restaurants, all in the incredible natural and historic setting of the Cave and Basin — a former bathing facility built around Banff’s lower hot springs that is now an interpretive centre and event space. The festival runs Thursday, November 23 to Saturday, November 25 with general-admission and “Beer Geek VIP” passes.
Cave and Basin, 311 Cave Ave., Banff, albertabeerfestivals.com
The Bow Valley is blessed with many artists and makers of pretty things and the annual Canmore Christmas Artisans Market brings this community together under one roof. Held each year since 1996 on the third weekend of November, the event doubles as a fundraiser for the Canmore Preschool Society. Check out the 2017 market on the weekend of November 25 and 26 at Canmore Collegiate High School.
Canmore Collegiate High School, 1800 8 Ave., Canmore, canmoreartisansmarket.com
Lake Louise is the first stop each year on the men’s FIS Ski World Cup Racing tour, with this year’s events on Saturday, November 25 (downhill) and Sunday, November 26 (Super-G). Grab your cowbell and come out to the free fan cheering zone (no lift ticket required) to see which skiers are looking hot in the lead up to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. The Ladies races run the following weekend of December 1 to 3.
Sherpas Cinema, a world-renowned mountain-adventure film production company with Calgary roots, has released a new short film about Banff National Park in the winter. Look Up was produced in collaboration with Banff & Lake Louise Tourism and SkiBig3 (a marketing organization representing the Park's ski resorts) and features awe-inspiring visuals complemented by an aural narrative composed and performed by spoken-word artist Shane Koyczan. Watch it as many times as you want on SkiBig3’s Youtube channel.