What to Do in the Mountains in November

This month, attend a mountain film and book festival, shop at a holiday market, check out a new steakhouse in Banff and more.

Ashlee Hendy and Elizabeth Chong at Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park, Australia. Photograph by © Simon Carter, courtesy of Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

Experience Nightrise at the Banff Gondola 

When: October 13 to November 6

Nightrise, the transformation of Sulphur Mountain’s summit into an audio-visual storytelling installation, returns this year to the Banff Gondola. Running Thursdays through Sundays from October 13 to November 6, Nightrise consists of four digital, interactive art pieces: Apenene Garharhagach (cosmic rays), featuring projections of lasers, lights and sounds on the first floor; Wiyapta Ptach (diamond dust), featuring music and poetry on the second floor; Aîthîya Eya (alpenglow), a digital art installation on the fourth floor; and Yowatha (frosted waves), an outdoor audio experience on the top-floor patio in the winter air.

100 Mountain Ave., Banff, banffjaspercollection.com


Attend the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival

When: October 29 to November 6  

Every year, cinephiles and bibliophiles unite at the Banff Centre’s epic celebration of mountain- and outdoor-themed films and books. You can experience the festival in person (with event tickets ranging from $18 to $50), online (the online film pass costs $150) or on-demand (with film rentals running between $15 and $20). More than 60 live events, some of which are free, are scheduled in and around Banff, including the Art and Culture Walk on October 29, the Radical Reels Repeat screening of five films under 10 minutes (concluding with Swiss feature-film Wild Waters) on November 4 and more.



Do a Yoga Retreat at Mount Engadine Lodge

When: November 3 to 6

Mount Engadine is hosting local yoga instructor Sarah Harvie at its annual Yoga Mountain Adventure Retreat. The three-night retreat combines asana and nidra yogic practices with pranayama meditation and self-guided outdoor activities. Retreat packages, including accommodation, are available to book online or over the phone. 

1 Mount Shark Rd., 587-807-0570, mountengadine.com


Celebrate Christmas in November in Jasper

When: November 4  to 13

This festive, annual event at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is a celebration of food, wine and decor, with celebrity chefs, expert presenters and enthusiastic guests gathering together to taste, test and experience the latest in holiday entertaining. Dress up for the silly Christmas Sweater Welcome Reception, attend interactive sessions, seminars and workshops, enjoy live entertainment and more. Packages, which come in three-night blocks from November 4 to 7, 7 to 10 or 10 to 13, include accommodation, meals and beverages, sessions and gratuities.

Old Lodge Rd., Jasper, 780-852-3301, jasper-park-lodge.com


Jam Out at Canmore’s AMPFest 2

When: November 12

Short for “alternative, punk, and metal festival,” AMPFest features acts by local Bow Valley and Calgary bands including SYRN (a Calgary metal band), No More Moments (a punk band from Siksika Nation), Bow Valley Bandits (an acoustic two-piece from Banff) and many more. AMPFest is fully licensed and intended for all ages. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. with the first performances starting at 3 p.m. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased online.

950 8 Ave., Canmore, 403-609-2623, artsplacecanmore.com


Dine at Bluebird Restaurant in Banff

The latest restaurant from Banff Hospitality Collective has opened up on Lynx Avenue with “happiness hours” every day from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Classic Sunday Roasts every week. Try cool takes on comforting fare like smoked cheddar potato doughnuts or cacio e pepe mac and cheese. The restaurant is open seven days a week from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

218 Lynx St., Banff, 403-985-9163, bluebirdbanff.com


Shop the Canmore Christmas Artisans’ Market

When: November 19 to 20

Get a head start on your holiday shopping at the 26th annual Canmore Christmas Artisans’ Market. This year, the market will take place in two locations: the Canmore Seniors Centre and the Canmore Civic Centre from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both November 19 and 20. Admission is $5 (children 12 and under get in free) and all proceeds will be donated to the Canmore Preschool Society.

Canmore Seniors Centre, 600 9 St. and Canmore Civic Centre, 902 7 Ave., Canmore, canmoreartisansmarket.com


Eat, Drink and Be Merry at these Culinary Festivals

If you can’t make it out to Jasper for the Christmas in November event, there are plenty of other mountain-based culinary festivals to delight your palate. From October 28 to November 13, the Taste for Adventure event in Banff National Park offers prix fixe menus by some of the best chefs at local restaurants throughout the region. Cornucopia in Whistler, from November 4 to 27, features seminars, restaurant events and signature tastings. And, from November 24 to 26, the popular Banff Craft Beer Festival features food and beer samples from a variety of Alberta-based breweries, brewpubs and distilleries.

Read more: 3 Upcoming Food and Drink Festivals in the Mountains

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