Calgary Weekender: November 18th through 20th, 2011

The snow is here in Calgary and with that the mountains beckon to be visited. Rather than staying in town and doing what you do every weekend, we suggest taking the opportunity to head out and enjoy a weekend away in Banff. Why wouldn’t you when you can get there within an hour’s drive…

Friday night we suggest taking in a live show at the Banff Centre’s Rolston Recital Hall. Friday evenings at the Hall offer a series of concerts featuring high-level performances where you are introduced to the future musicians of the international stage. Curated by Henk Guittart, The Banff Centre’s Artistic Director of Fall and Winter Music Programs, you’ll experience exciting journeys mixing classical repertoire and undiscovered gems, exploring music from the baroque era to today.

Saturday morning you’re up and at ’em bright and early. With three resorts offering almost 8,000 acres of ski-able terrain, there’s something to suit every level and desire, from gentle groomed runs to some of the world’s most extreme in-bounds challenges.

First, we have Lake Louise. With 4,200 ski-able acres, Lake Louise is one of the largest ski areas in North America.

Looking for something a little closer to town? Sunshine Village is just the spot. It’s official opening is this weekend, and with four quads they have opening weekend first-track specials.

Last we have Mount Norquay. Located only 10 minutes from downtown Banff, this is the only ski resort in the Bow Valley with snow tubing, night skiing, and skiing by the hour.

After a full day of Alpine adventures you’re bound to be hungry. Banff and Lake Louise have the perfect solution. The Bon Appetit Festival is on this weekend and is featuring the best in culinary delights. Participating restaurants offer unique three-course menus, including three options per course, at a prix fixe of either $25 or $35.

Sunday is all about relaxation. We anticipate you’ll have some tender muscles after your first day on the slopes this season, so we suggest heading to the Fairmont Banff Springs for a little pampering in the Willow Springs Spa. Reminiscent of the hot springs that beckoned travelers over 100 years ago, the pulsating waterfalls and the mineral pool in the heart of the spa rejuvenate tired muscles. Even better, the spa offers an apres ski performance massage that will help you improve your ski performance and avoid injury. The combination of massage and stretching will decrease muscle soreness and increase flexibility in the muscles used while skiing.

En route home, make a pit stop in Canmore for a light lunch at Communitea Cafe (a latte from this excellent spot is pictured above). This bustling spot offers patrons a great menu of healthy options and an extensive selection of loose teas. Grab one to go or take time to sit and relax as you sip your tea and indulge (guilt free) on one of their delicious menu items.

The drive back to the city will allow you time to gear up mentally for the week ahead. Though be cautious you may stay on mountain-time for a few days…

Can’t get away this weekend?
There are a couple great festivals happening in Calgary for you to check out. First there is the Marda Loop Justice film festival – a documentary film festival and a hub of global citizen engagement promoting understanding of justice issues and advocating for the well-being of local and global neighbours.

Also on the radar is the Raindance Alberta Indie Filmmakers’ Weekend. This festival is for anyone with an interest in how movies are made and who seek a basic introduction to the filmmaking process.