You must be sure to add Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada to your list of travel musts! It is one of the most beautiful destinations with both ideal outdoor recreation and many artisan shopping locations. I was able combine my love of downhill skiing with my goal to have ScarfLady artisan product available for sale to the four million tourists from around the world that visit the area each year.
Banff National Park is located in the Rocky Mountains on Alberta's western border with British Columbia and is 128 kilometres (80 mi) west of Calgary. To get there, you travel from Calgary on the Trans-Canada Highway which passes through Banff National Park, from the eastern boundary near Canmore, through the towns of Banff and Lake Louise.
Banff National Park is Canada's oldest national park, established in 1885, and encompasses 6,641 square kilometres (2,564 sq mi) of mountainous terrain composed of sedimentary rock. In 1984, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a United nations designation which helps protect over 20,000 square kilometres (7,700 square miles) of the Canadian Rockies.
For my trip, I was lucky to travel to Calgary from my local Region of Waterloo Airport on WestJet which meant avoiding the travel time, cost of parking and security lines associated with traveling through large airports like Toronto Pearson.
Regular shuttles are available directly from the Calgary airport to Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise. Brewsters Express, initially established in 1916 to offer motorcoach tours of Banff National Park, delivered me to my accommodation in Canmore. The scenery from my accommodation in Canmore was spectacular including views of the Three Sisters and Rundle Mountain.
The Three Sisters known as Hope, Charity and Faith quietly guard Canmore from their vantage point overlooking the Bow Valley.
West view from accommodation – backside of Banff’s iconic peak – Rundle Mountain
The Canmore shopping scene includes premier bike shops/outdoor gear as well as specialty shops for coffee/tea, oils/vinegars, educational toy and one-of-a-kind artisan boutiques. I visited several artisan shops including the The Tinbox, Stonewater Decor, Project A Shop and Alberta's Own Marketplace and some included the work of fellow artisans I know from handmade shows such as the One of a Kind Shows in Toronto and Chicago. To highlight a couple…
Hide in Hand makes 100% Canadian made by hand leatherwear such as moccasins, bags and mittens using locally sourced hides
Artech Studios is a traditional glassblowing studio nestled in the Highlands of Ontario, Canada producing upcycled glass tableware including their popular repurposed beer bottle glasses.
“Downtown Canmore” - The view from the main street of The Tin Box and Ha Ling Mountain behind the lamp post.
Approaching Banff….the view of the Cascade Mountain from the Trans-Canada highway is breathtaking.
Banff has the highest elevation of any town in Canada at 1380 metres (4535 feet) and has a wide variety of shops, with everything from big brand clothing and technical outerwear, to local craft brew houses to Canadian treasures in original art, handcrafted jewellery and accessories and native crafts. In Banff, I visited Banff Ave Brewing, Banff's home to local fresh beer with seven beers on tap and pub fare. A had a great experience enjoying an IPA on tap as well as a visit with my cousin who lives and works locally.
”Downtown Banff” – View from Town of Banff north toward Cascade Mountain
Branches Marketplace is a modern artisan accessories and gift marketplace featuring fresh and uniquely Canadian handcrafted and quality made goods. I am pursing the possibility of adding ScarfLady product to their offerings as well as one of the artisan stores in Canmore. I also hopeful that I will be accepted to Calgary's Art Marketshow in November so that I can visit Alberta and Banff National Park again. Wish me luck!!
Branches Marketplace in Banff - an incredible artisan shop!
ABOUT THE GEMLACE BY SCARFLADY
A beautiful finishing piece to any outfit and often thought to be jewelry. It shimmers as if beaded but is made from metallic yarns and almost weightless (20 gms/0.7 oz). Ideal for women who love the look of a fashion scarf or statement necklace but find them too hot and heavy to wear. Versatile, packable and perfect for any season or occasion. Looks great with an evening dress, business outfit or a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. It can be worn several different ways to fit all sizes and body shapes. Loop this circle scarf necklace once, twice or three times to create different lengths. View the instructional video at visit https://scarflady.ca/pages/video. And for travellers, make additional looks without adding bulk or weight to your travel bag or take this almost-weightless Canadian artisan item home in your suitcase as a souvenir for yourself or loved one.