Welcome!

On behalf of the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC), I am pleased to provide some information for your attendance at the 2022 General Assembly – the first in-person General Assembly since 2019. From 27-29 October 2022 we will be your hosts in the mountain resort town of Banff, Alberta.

Please review the information below to ensure your travels and your stay in Banff is rewarding.

I look forward to welcoming you and greeting you in person this fall,

Isabelle Daigneault, President, ACC

2022 General Assembly Overview

The 2022 General Assembly will be a two day event, concluding with the Gala Dinner on Saturday evening, Oct. 29.

Banff National Park was the site of the UIAA General Assembly in 2006, situated in the heart of Canada’s Rocky Mountains and is the birthplace of the Canadian national park system created in 1887. UIAA delegates will fly into the Calgary, Alberta airport which is only 90-minutes from Banff by rental car or bus on the Banff Airporter (see below re UIAA discount)*, or the Pursuit Banff Airport Express.

Travellers arriving in Canada from some overseas countries do require either a travel VISA or an electronic travel authorization (ETA). Please check "Travel Information" at the bottom of this page to determine if you require this special travel documentation which can take up to 3 months to obtain – PLAN AHEAD. If you need a formal letter of invitation to obtain your travel VISA please complete this form specific for VISA Letters of Invitation, for additional information, please contact us.

UIAA Delegates are invited to visit other areas in the mountain parks and across Alberta. Here are a few key links to videos and information about these areas:

Banff area videos | Alberta videos | General information on Banff National Park

*Receive a 15% discount on the Banff Airporter's daily shuttle service between the Calgary Airport and Banff. Click Banff Airporter and then Book Now. Proceed through the reservation and type - UIAA2022 - in the "Promo Code" section on the final payment page to receive the discount.

Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is our home for 2022 and is located above the town of Banff on the side of Sleeping Buffalo Mountain (formerly Tunnel Mountain) where UIAA delegates will find accommodation, meals and all meeting function rooms. (see below for room rates) The Banff Centre is located about 20 minutes walk uphill from downtown where there are alternative food and accommodation facilities.

The Banff Centre provides world class accommodation facilities right on site, however most rooms are now sold out. You can still contact the Banff Centre to be put on a waiting list, but we recommend the following link where we have a special discount rate with Banff Lodging company. The Alpine Club recommends Caribou Lodge.

Use promo code “MTNFILM22” for 15% off. Visit: www.banfflodgingco.com, take a look at the Banff hotels listed and select your favorite accommodation style.

Also, for delegates who wish to have low-cost accommodations, we have made a special arrangement with Hosteling International for a small block of rooms at the HI Alpine Centre - Hostel

Delegates who stay at the Banff Centre have access to the Sally Borden Centre - Climbing, Aquatics, and Fitness Centres.

General Assembly Basic Costs:

(All costs are in Canadian dollars. 1 CDN $ = approx .78 USD = approx .72 Euro)

Basic Fee:  $120 CDN

Click here to register and to book your meals:   Registration

Accommodation: Room rates at the Banff Centre start at $200.00 CDN per person per night (including room, parking, internet, recreational facilities, and taxes but excluding meal costs which are part of the overall conference registration).

Less expensive options exist in downtown Banff ( Use promo code “MTNFILM22” for 15% off. Visit: www.banfflodgingco.com, take a look at the Banff hotels listed and select your favourite accommodation style) and at the HI Alpine Centre - Hostel. (A 20 minute uphill walk to the meeting locations at the Banff Centre)

Mountain Guides Ball (Oct 28 - see below)

  • Now in its 31st year, the Mountain Guides Ball is an annual gala event of The Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) and the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) that brings together the mountain community to celebrate our mountain culture and raise funds for the ACC’s Greatest Needs Fund.
Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival (Oct 29 to Nov 5 - see below)
  • As a founding partner of the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival, the ACC is the longest standing partner of the festivals. The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festivals offer adventure, excitement, and the inspiration of mountain stories.
  • Tickets for the 2022 Mountain Film and Book Festival will be available in August and registered UIAA delegates will be sent a special email for this

COVID

The global situation with regard to COVID is improving – particularly in Canada. Nevertheless, as of July, 2022 travellers entering Canada (by land or air) are required to present proof of vaccination (or equivalent).

Once in Canada delegates attending General Assembly and related activities in Banff are not required to show proof of vaccination, nor to wear masks in public spaces – such as meeting rooms. In general, both the Banff Centre and the Alpine cub of Canada follow the COVID health guidelines set out by the provincial agency: Alberta Health Services.

Supplementary Activities (not included in basic fee)

In 2022, our General Assembly in October is extra special as it overlaps with two major events that are particularly important to the Alpine Club of Canada, that we think will be of great interest to UIAA delegates:

  • The Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival s the most prestigious mountain culture festival in the world and began in partnership with the Alpine Club of Canada back in 1976 and is now in its 47th year. UIAA delegates will have the opportunity to stay after the General Assembly to attend the festival. The festival schedule will be announced on September 29th and conference attendees can obtain a $5.00 discount per ticket by entering the promotional code 22BMFFUIAA when you purchase tickets here beginning on October 4th.
  • In addition, each year the ACC and the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) host the Mountain Guides Ball – now in its 31st year. This event will take place on Friday evening, October 28 and UIAA delegates can purchase tickets as part of the delegate registration (meal choices).

Further information on these events, and on the cultural programs and tours will be sent to all registered delegates in August.

Cultural Program: Canada’s Indigenous peoples and their role in early mountaineering in the Canadian Rockies

Much has been written about the “early explorations” of Canada’s Rocky Mountains – and for the most part, this romantic history is dominated by settler cultures: Europeans, Americans, and some early Canadians. Often overlooked is just how much of Canada’s early mountaineering achievements were dependent on local Indigenous knowledge, labour, and participation.

Prior to the colonial settlement of the West, and to the creation of park lands, First Nations and Métis people were everywhere throughout the Rockies. Many had a deep understanding of the long, wide mountain range that the Niitsitapiksi peoples, for example, called “the backbone of the world”, while others, like the Stoney Nakoda Nation, known as “The People of the Shining Mountains” were identified directly with the Rocky Mountains. By looking more closely at the stories we circulate of Rockies mountaineering, we begin to see outlines of how their knowledge and participation made the early ascents possible – and to realize just how substantially most history writers and policy makers ignored these first mountain experts. The relationship between early mountaineers and their Indigenous guides is today a history undergoing reappraisal, as are many of the place names that dominate the landscape. Indeed, the efforts are part of a larger national process of healing, where we recognize the many great harms that were inflicted on Canada’s First Peoples and begin to take steps to reconcile the continuing legacies of Canada’s colonial past.

Our General Assembly program provides some opportunities for UIAA delegates to learn and understand more about these issues:

  1. A special Opening Ceremony on Thursday afternoon, October 27 that will include a local traditional welcome and land acknowledgement. Members of the local Stoney-Nakoda Nation will join us at the Banff Centre in a traditional pipe ceremony (weather permitting) and they will also join us for dinner afterwards.

  2. Sunday morning (Oct. 30) we will provide a guided walk to the top of Sleeping Buffalo Guardian Mountain (aka Tunnel Mountain) led by local members of Stoney Nakoda nation, including talk on Indigenous history, mountain place names and Indigenous participation in early Rockies’ mountaineering. An opportunity to repeat historic images and consider them in both a cultural and environmental context will also be offered. Participants meet for a full breakfast at 08:00, followed by the hike (2 hours, 150 meters), and including a talk at the summit – overlooking the Bow Valley. Actual route and activities are weather dependent (late October), and we will have everyone back at the Banff Centre in time to enjoy the Mountain Film afternoon showings (including UIAA participation). This hike will to “rain or shine” – and weather could be cool and wet. Cost: $40.00 per person, including breakfast. ($20.00 without breakfast) Click here to register.

  3. A day-long bus and walking tour up the Bow Valley to Lake Louise (Horâ Juthin Îmne – Lake of the Little Fishes) featuring the historic sites and locations where Canada’s Indigenous people lived for centuries, and who welcomed and assisted the “white man” who first explored and climbed. Depending on weather, we may be able to hike to Lake Agnes above Lake Louise. Cost: $75.00 per person, including breakfast (Banff) and a box lunch. Click here to register.

  4. Friday Banff Tour: In addition to these three cultural program events, we will also offer a morning bus/walking tour of Banff on Friday, October 28. Local tour company Pursuit will guide a 2-hour “Legends of Banff” trip around Banff with stops at various historic sites and finishing at the Whyte Museum (www.whyte.org) in downtown Banff where delegates have a choice to visit the Museum (walk back up to the Banff Centre on your own) or the bus will take you back to Banff Centre in time for lunch. Cost: $44.00 per person. Click here to register.

Banff Weather

Just a reminder that Banff is a mountain town. Daytime high temperature in late October is around 10ºC with overnight lows near -2ºC. It is not unusual to have some snow on the ground, but we can also experience beautiful warm, sunny fall days. Hiking trails may be a bit icy (we will provide spikes/cleats if necessary).

Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival – discount

The Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival is the most prestigious mountain culture festival in the world and began in partnership with the Alpine Club of Canada back in 1976 and is now in its 47th year. UIAA delegates will have the opportunity to stay after the General Assembly to attend the festival.   The festival schedule will be announced on September 29th and conference attendees can obtain a $5.00 discount per ticket by entering the promotional code 22BMFFUIAA when you purchase tickets here beginning on October 4th.


Travel Information for UIAA Delegates travelling to Canada in 2022

Most people need a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada - not both. Some people may only need their valid passport. Answer a few questions to see what's right for you.

Find out if you need a visa or eTA to travel to Canada.

Note that it can take up to 3 months to process a visa application. You can check the Canadian processing times here. If you need a formal letter of invitation to obtain your travel VISA please complete this form specific for VISA Letters of Invitation.

Other general information on travelling to Canada can bey found here.


Any questions or need further assistance please feel free to contact us: [email protected]