Banff celebrates winter with ‘SnowDays’ festival

Banff National Park’s month-long celebration of winter is set to begin with a flurry of activities during the first annual “SnowDays”festival. Developed as a destination-wide partnership, SnowDays seeks to build on the traditions of past winter carnivals while establishing new events with a fun-filled month of weekday activities and weekend festivals jam-packed with wintry adventures of all kinds. From Jan. 14 to Feb. 12, visitors to Canada’s first national park will be able to enjoy an array of winter pursuits including ice climbing in downtown Banff, skating on the town’s new ice rink and marvelling at creative snow sculptures. Additional festival activities throughout the month will include live theatre performances, a heritage geocache, photography exhibitions and endless winter sport opportunities featuring everything from cross-country skiing to curling and snowshoeing to skiing. Ice Magic, featuring a world-class ice carving competition at Lake Louise, will be extended to two weekends and will provide the highlight event for SnowDays. (