The Canmore Winter Carnival is coming back

Joe Martin of Canmore works on his first place award winning owl ice carving at the annual Ice Carving contest in the Canmore Civic Centre at the Canmore Winter Carnival on Sunday, February 5, 2017. photo by Pam Doyle.

The Canmore Winter Carnival is happening next month and will be full of fun winter-themed adventures for children and adults alike.

“It’s designed to give some respite from the winter blues,” said event coordinator Nancy Ruiz.

“Be prepared to have a lot going on.”

During the first two weekends of every February, the carnival introduces new events every year as well as old favourites to entertain visitors and locals of all ages.

The festival starts off with the Kids’ Art Opening Reception in the Canmore Civic Centre on Friday, Feb. 2, where patrons will be able to enjoy children’s art on display, as well as bonfires, marshmallows, and a DJ.

There will also be a chance for children to try their hand at ice carving.

The next day will follow with an ice-carving contest, where practiced carvers turn blocks of ice into sculptures and visitors can judge a winner.

Sunday, Feb. 4 is a show-stealer with the Snow Owl Kid N’ Mutt Races happening all day.

“I love the Kid N’ Mutt Races because it’s so unique,” Ruiz said. “People are so intense. It’s super fun.”

These races, supported by the local dogsled tour company, Snowy Owl, have been an annual event for more than 20 years, and registration to participate filled up within half an hour of starting.

Kids from five to 12 years old involved in the races use a mini sled and have one dog to pull them.

There is also a family race where adults drive a full-sized sled, and kids sit in the basket as four dogs pull the whole package.

The schedule is subject to change, and is weather-dependent.

One of the biggest events coming to the Canmore Winter Festival is the Rogers Hometown Hockey event.

The season-long touring hockey event travels across Canada, visiting a different town every weekend, Rogers Hometown Hockey involves musical acts, family-friendly activities, NHL Alumni visits and pancake breakfasts.

According to Ruiz, the Canmore Winter Carnival “brings people together” and has something to offer for everyone.

Full schedules and more information can be found on

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