Banff Festivals – good not great

After 5-days at the Banff Mountain Festivals 2007, here’s my FINAL review:

totempole_190.jpgThis was my first trip to Banff for the festivals.


  • bringing together so many outdoors enthusiasts
  • Banff and the Rocky Mountains
  • food available on site
  • sponsors, especially National Geographic and New Balance
  • “reading rooms” for previewing the books
  • TV monitors showing the performances for those without tickets
  • no bottled water on site (reduced environmental impact)
  • enthusiastic volunteers
  • =====

    THE BAD:

  • Banff Centre is a surprisingly poor venue
  • events are widely scattered across campus
  • trade show spaces too small and scattered
  • theatres are not great
  • confusing website
  • confusing schedule of events
  • Small gripe: I could walk in and out of movies when I wanted. Except Sunday morning when suddenly I was not allowed in after the first movie had started.

    My biggest complaint, though, is too much focus on mountaineering at the expense of all other Mountain activities. If you are not interested in climbing, don’t bother coming. That’s the message I get, as a hiker.

    That’s amusing since the Canadian Rockies are infamous for dangerous rock climbing. The infamous “rotten Rockies”. Most of the world’s best climbers don’t come here — except for a holiday at the Banff Festival.

    For Books, 2007 was not a banner year. The movies were better, I thought.

    I’m not sure the Banff Centre could ever host a great festival. The venue is limited.

    My advice is that you attend, instead, the superb World Tour. Or the Radical Reels tour. Check out the award winning books and award winning movies on-line. No need to spend the time and money to come to Banff.

    The Kendal Mountain Festivals in the UK looks better to me at first glance.

    Ask anyone else who travelled to Banff, you’ll get a more positive review, I think. I may be too critical.

    Banff Mountain Festivals 2007 – official website

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