The Town of Banff has released the list of performers and locations for this year’s July 1 celebrations in the heart of the national park community.
We’re welcoming fellow Canadians and world travellers to the Canada Day celebration with three new headliners for the main stage this year: The Static Shift, JG n’ the District and Punch Buggy. All Alberta-based performers will present a mix of upbeat rock/pop/dance shows fitting of the nation’s birthday, from 6 to 9 p.m. from the Gazebo in Banff’s Central Park, hosted by Bow Valley’s favourite MC Rob Murray.
The Central Park main stage show from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. will feature an eclectic mix of Indigenous performances, blues and rock, folky party music and several surprises, all featuring local and regional artist, including: Charlie B & Swanee, Wendy Walker & The Tribe, the Local Strays, Eclipse Wave, the Ramblin’ Hey Ho Ha’s, and Lori Reid & Heather Jean Jordan.
Spectators at the Central Park shows will also encounter the roving performers, as well as artisans working on prized possessions – from woodworking to soapstone sculptures. The famous Canada Day Market also returns to Central Park this year, alongside the Parks Canada’s Mountain WIT puppet shows in Museum Corner.
For the second year, the Community Cruisers are hosting the parade of people-powered wheeled transportation, starting at 11:30 a.m. at the Protection Shelter in the Recreation Grounds, near the south end of the Nancy Pauw Bridge.
Everyone with wheels is welcome to join and encouraged to show up at 10:30 a.m. to join in a community decorating of bicycles, skateboards, scooters, unicycles, roller skates… The parade leaves at 11:30 sharp and winds its way to the centre of the Pedestrian Zone at noon for the mayor to select the best decorated wheels. We’re starting a tradition of growing a people-powered parade, fitting of a national park, and we hope more participants will help grow the spectacle.
The centre of the Downtown Pedestrian Zone – at the intersection of Banff Avenue and Caribou Street – will feature a series of marching bands from 12:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Performers include the Vejen Guard Boys Band from Denmark, the Cochrane Pipe Band, the Calgary Round-Up Band and the Calgary Stetson Show Band and the Red Deer Royals.
Caribou Corner will also feature the world-famous mesmerizing performances by Blackfoot Medicine Speaks Dance Company and keep your eyes open for whimsical roving characters by Entangled Puppetry and Three Hat Circus all along the Pedestrian Zone
New this year on Banff Avenue, near Wolf Street, will be the Whyte Museum Art Lane, welcoming children of all ages to participate in creating chalk art and live painting, alongside professional artists. Also watch for special displays from Pursuit (open top adventures), the Banff Trail Riders blacksmithing station, our local RCMP officers in full Red Serge, and more roving artists.
High School Field
The Banff Community High School field presents the Family Fun Zone and a family-friendly stage from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with performances by Steve Harmer’s Motivational Magic, Bluebird Goldfinch, Three Hat Circus, Banff Belly Dance, and the Forest Lawn High School Dance Team. People are encouraged to participate in Canadian games and activities, an Indigenous Peoples cultural area and learn about Blackfoot Medicine Speaks traditional dances.
The Bear’s Den
Bear Street will feature the “Bear’s Den” cooling and calming area from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with picnic tables, shade and treats on a street closed to vehicle traffic. Sip on a lemonade, have an ice cream treat or take time to select a place to have lunch from the array of restaurants. The Bear’s Den also includes an intimate stage with storytelling by James Rose and music performances by Andrew Staygold, Riley Hana, Bob Hughes, Ji Won Baxter and Flint & Feather.
Ending the night without a Bang
In 2018, 2019 and 2022, the Town of Banff moved to a pyrotechnics display rather than traditional fireworks on Canada Day to decrease the noise impact on wildlife, as a responsible measure in a national park. Even though pyrotechnics has reduced noise because there is no secondary explosion and the low altitude reduces the distance of sound travel, the shows still produced noise, bright flashes, smoke at crowd level and litter that had to be carefully recovered.
Parks Canada asked the Town to hold off on planning a pyrotechnics/fireworks show this year to allow them to better assess the impacts on wildlife, and the Town will continue to review secondary impacts experienced from the pyrotechnics show last New Year’s Eve, such as the noise and light impact on pets, the litter cleanup and potential smoke risks to people watching the show. Results of the assessment will determine if future shows will be permitted.
The Banff Canada Day event is funded in part by the Government of Canada. For more information about the Canada Day activities, visit banff.ca/CanadaDay