What to do in the Mountains in August

From teddy bear picnics to caber tosses, this is what’s happening in the mountains near Calgary in the coming weeks.

The Crowsnest Pass Golf Club in Blairmore, Alta., unveiled eight new holes at the start of this summer. Added to the three new holes and five renovated holes completed last year, it's a whole new ballgame. Photo courtesy of Crowsnest Pass Golf Club.

Dig Deeper into the History and Heritage of the Crowsnest Pass

The 14th annual Crowsnest Pass Doors Open and Heritage Festival runs Thursday, Aug. 1 to Monday, Aug. 5. This year’s festival theme is “Coal Town Culture” — a celebration of the rich history of the performing arts in the area (they have an amateur orchestra there that dates back as far as 1926). The festival lineup has range of events, many of them free, such as a theatrical fashion show featuring the Heritage Youth Theatre Company (Friday, Aug. 2 at 7 p.m.) and a Coal Town Culture bus tour of historic mine sites. There are also literary events, nature events, sporting events, markets and family events such as the Teddy Bears’ picnic on Saturday, Aug. 3 at the Crowsnest Museum in Coleman, Alta.


… and play a round at the newly renovated Crowsnest Pass Golf Club

The Crowsnest Pass Golf Club in Blairmore, Alta. goes back even further than the orchestra, having first opened in 1920. The course recently underwent a huge refresh (designed by Canadian golf-course architect Gary Browning) and unveiled eight new holes at the start of this summer, along with the three new and five renovated holes completed last year.


Drink Craft Beer on a Boat Cruise of Lake Minnewanka

This summer, there’s a new twist on the venerable Lake Minnewanka boat cruises. The Lake Minnewanka Beer Voyage is a 1.5-hour tour on the mountain lake in Banff National Park, during which guests sample a selection of local craft beers. Got kids? No worries, they also have craft sodas. The Beer Voyages run daily at 5 p.m. until Sept. 2, 2019. To book call 1-866-474-4766.


See Bahamas in Banff

Not to be confused with the Caribbean islands, this Bahamas is Canadian singer-songwriter Alfie Jurvanen, who is playing the outdoor amphitheatre at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity on the evening of Sunday, Aug. 11. The setting is so beautiful that you could have a nice experience listening to a fax machine  there. But Jurvanen’s contemplative indie-folk songs will be much better than that. For tickets, call the Banff Centre box office at 1-800-413-8368.


Listen to Bands on the Shore of Lake Windermere

It just wouldn’t be summer for many Calgarians without a trip to Invermere, B.C. Time your visit with the Invermere Waterfront Music Festival on Friday, Aug. 16 and Saturday, Aug. 17. This year’s lineup includes Danny Michel, Alex Cuba, Marble Canyon and Shred Kelly. The music kicks off both evenings at 5 p.m. on a stage at Kinsmen Beach on Lake Windermere. A full-weekend early-bird pass is $55 (kids under 12 get in free).


Play the Kootenay Senior Open in Golden

Here’s one if you’re a golfer over 50 years old: the Kootenay Senior Open is happening on the morning of Monday, Aug. 19 at the Golden Golf Club in Golden, B.C. The 18-hole stroke-play event kicks off with a 9:15 a.m. shotgun start. The entry fee ($95 for non-members) includes power cart, lunch following the round and complementary driving range admission. You must be at least 50 years old to enter and if you’re 75 or older you qualify for the super-senior prizes. To sign up call 250-344-2700 or visit golfgolden.com.


View Odd and Unusual Paintings in Canmore

Canmore’s artsPlace community hub has a new art show opening this month featuring work by Katie Barron, the recipient of Canmore’s 2019 Lamphouse Endowment for the Arts: Emerging Artist Bursary. Odd and Unusual is a showcase of Barron’s surreal, hyper-detailed oil paintings of food items and nostalgic objects. The show opens on Monday, Aug. 19 with a reception starting at 5:30 p.m. (it’s free to attend), and will remain up until Sept. 15.


See the Sunset from the Terrace at the Banff Gondola

The Banff Gondola celebrates the magic hours of summer with the nightly Sunset Festival. From 7 to 10 p.m. nightly (until Sept. 2) you can enjoy views of the sunset over the surrounding mountaintops from the gondola’s terrace at 7,600 feet. There’s also craft-beer samples, food bites and nightly live music by local artists.


Get Kilted Up for the Canmore Highland Games

Canmore has strong ties to Celtic culture. The town name is actually an anglicization of Ceann Mòr, or “Big Head,” the nickname of 11th-century King Malcolm III of Scotland, who is considered the originator of the Highland Games. (You can see a large-scale painted portrait of the king in the lobby of the recently built Malcolm Hotel in the Spring Creek development.) As such, the Canmore Highland Games are a major event on the town’s calendar. This year’s games run Saturday, Aug. 31 and Sunday, Sept. 1 and feature the standard heavy-sport contests such as the caber toss and the hammer throw, as well as piping and drumming competitions, Highland dance competitions, a musket shoot, tug-of-war, whisky tasting and a closing Ceilidh.

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