Banff is magical in wintertime, but it really comes to life during the annual SnowDays festival! This year’s event runs from January 16th -27th, and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever. The Bison Courtyard will be at the heart of the action, glittering with lights, with a cozy fire pit area and live musical performances on both weekends of the festival. We’ll also be hosting the event’s official selfie station, so you can capture the moment for your followers!

The centrepiece of the festival is the International Snow Carving Competition on Jan 17th -19th. Watch talented sculptors transform giant blocks of snow into stunningly detailed creations right in front of the courtyard. The finished snow sculptures transform Bear Street into an outdoor art gallery for the duration of the festival. Grab a coffee from the Wild Flour Bakery to keep you warm while you explore and be sure to have your camera at the ready! Check out some highlights from last year’s festival:

But the fun doesn’t stop there; you can also celebrate Alberta and BC’s thriving craft spirit scene at the Tribute to Craft Spirits Festival. Bars and restaurants around town will be serving a selection of delicious cocktails showcasing locally distilled spirits. Our very own Nourish Bistro’s offerings include The Queen Drinks Tea, blending Queensborough gin with Earl Grey syrup and other delectable ingredients. Upstairs at The Bison Restaurant & Terrace, you’ll find the Black Rock Sour, a dark yet refreshing treat made with Black Goat Vodka and inspired by the slate rock in the mountains around Lake Louise . The two-day discovery event here on Bear Street (Jan 26th -27th ) is a great opportunity to sample all the cocktails and spirits, as well as meet the distillers and learn more about the process behind these artisan products.

If you’re a culture vulture, don’t miss the Banff Gallery Hop on Saturday, Jan 26th. Banff’s galleries and museums throw open their doors from 2-6pm with special presentations from artists, musicians and local Indigenous Elders. Download the venue map and get ready to explore.

For further information about SnowDays, accommodation options and more, visit And don’t forget to follow us on social media for updates on all the Bear Street action.