Banff is the highest town in Canada at an elevation of 4,540 feet (1,384 meters) and is part of a national park system that includes Yoho, Jasper and Kootenay Parks, providing 10,000 square miles of wilderness. The town of Banff is located 80 miles from Calgary’s international airport, serviced by major national and international carriers with multiple flights arriving daily. You can catch an airport shuttle or rent a car. In the town of Banff you can also catch the ROAM bus, a publicly accessible and environmentally friendly hybrid.
We have secured rooms for the retreat at the lovely YWCA hostel, located a few blocks from our meeting space, at Sonya Lea's home, on Muskrat Street in Banff.
Accommodations reserved for Thursday/Friday/Saturday at this location are:
These rates are secured until August 30th. Early action for those requiring accommodations is encouraged.
Email Sonya at firstname.lastname@example.org to secure lodging with payment by PayPal or Venmo.
Banff is on Treaty 7 territory, on the traditional lands of the Stoney Nakoda Nations of the Chiniki, Bearpaw and Wesley; three Nations of the Blackfoot Confederacy: Kainai, Piikani, Siksika; the Tsuu T’ina of the Dene people; and the homeland of the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III. For centuries, Indigenous peoples have lived in the foothills and forests of the Rocky Mountains, hunting bison and other big game animals, fishing, and trapping. The area that is now Banff National Park was also a sacred place where medicines were gathered and healing sought in the natural hot springs. Competing claims by European 'discoverers' of the springs for the right to develop them prompted the Canadian government in 1885 to create a reserve to protect the springs and surrounding area, and Banff became Canada’s first national park and the world’s third. A national rail system uniting the country was completed, the townsite was established, a hotel was quickly built, and the area was soon being promoted as an international resort and spa. During the First World War, an Internment camp was set up at Banff and the prisoners were Ukrainian, Austrian, Hungarian and German immigrants, who were used as free labour to build the infrastructure of the national park.
Throughout its history, Banff National Park has been shaped by tension between conservationist and land exploitation interests. Banff today is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can explore more than 1,600 km (1,000 mi) of maintained trails on foot, by bicycle or on horseback. Banff National Park has a subarctic climate, and mammals such as the grizzly bear, cougar, wolverine, elk, bighorn sheep and moose are found here, along with hundreds of bird species. The extraordinarily beautiful mountains of the region were formed between 600 and 60 million years ago, and include the spectacular Cascade, Rundle, Norquay, Sulphur, and Sacred Buffalo Guardian (Tunnel) Mountains. Over the past few million years, glaciers have at times covered most of the park, but today are found only on the mountain slopes.
For more information on the history of Banff, and things to do while you're here, check out this site.