Welcome!

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

Since there has not been a face-to-face UIAA General Assembly since 2019, we felt that it may be helpful to prospective delegates, and to ourselves, to send out some preliminary information on this year’s event – the formal invite and Calling Notice will be sent out in July.

In the few paragraphs below you will find some basic descriptive information about the 2022 GA, links to more specific information on location, travel, meals, meetings and general programs. We are asking you to provide a preliminary, non-binding indication as to whether you (and guests) intend to travel to Canada to join us this October. (see RSVP form at bottom of this page)

I look forward to greeting you later this year.

Neil Bosch, President, ACC

2022 General Assembly Overview

The three-day schedule will follow the “usual” format for UIAA General Assemblies, 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, or the Pursuit Banff Airport Express.

Travellers arriving in Canada from some overseas countries do require either a 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, or 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

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 minute’s walk uphill from downtown where there are alternative food and accommodation facilities.

The Banff Centre provides world class accommodation facilities right on site, and we strongly encourage UIAA delegates to stay on site and thus avoid the need to walk or taxi from alternative hotels every day. At the same time, 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 Banff International 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

Accommodation: Room rates at the Banff Centre start at $210.00 CDN per person per night (including room, parking, internet, recreational facilities, but excluding meal costs which vary from $23 to $37CDN).

Less expensive options exist in downtown Banff and at the International 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.

COVID

The global situation with regard to COVID is improving – particularly in Canada. Nevertheless, as of May, 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 is a multi-day event that was started by the ACC back in 1976 and is now run by the Banff Centre. 2022 will the 46th year of the festival and UIAA delegates will have an opportunity to stay with us after the General Assembly.

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 their August registration for the General Assembly.

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.” By looking more closely at the stories we circulate of Rockies mountaineering, we begin to see faint outlines of how their knowledge and participation made the early ascents possible – and to realize just how substantially most history writers and policy makers wrote these first mountain experts out.

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 evening, October 27 that will include a local traditional welcome and land acknowledgement.
  2. A display of art from the local Stoney Nakoda nation artists.
  3. A special keynote lecture on Indigenous Mountain place names and of Indigenous participation in early Rockies’ mountaineering practices.
  4. A day-long tour up the Bow Valley to Bow Summit on the Banff-Jasper highway, 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 ….

Preliminary expression of interest:

RSVP

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.

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]