BANFF – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the Bow Valley, and the Banff Gallery Hop is bringing joy to the world with a festive extravaganza celebrating the town’s arts and culture.
Banff Gallery Hop manager Lynne Huras has been as busy as an elf in Santa’s workshop preparing for the event and co-ordinating with participating venues to create a “Canadian Mountain Christmas.”
“It’s so easy to get drawn away by the mountains. That’s why so many of us come here,” Huras said. “But it’s nice to remember that a lot of artists are inspired by the mountains too. It [the Banff Gallery Hop] brings people back into the city centre looking at the mountains in a different way through the art, the history and the culture.”
Everywhere you go in Banff will be glistening with candy canes and silver lanes that glow, Huras said, because the town, museums and galleries have been decked out in the ultimate holiday décor, making it the most wonderful time of year for the Banff Gallery Hop: Feeling Festive event on Saturday (Dec. 7).
The hop is designed to be an easy walk that allows guests to explore the town while getting some Christmas shopping done.
“All of the venues have something in every price range that you can pick up,” Huras said. “It supports art culture in Banff.”
Huras helped launch the Gallery Hop because there was a need to promote arts and culture in Banff in a way that easily lets guests tap into the gallery scene and connect with others who share that passion.
“Visitors will tag it as an enhancement to their visit to the Bow Valley."
The hop has grown and transformed over the years, Huras said but continues to serve as a great tour that makes it easy for people to find places of arts and culture in the community.
The Banff Gallery Hop is held once a month, and participating museums and galleries work to present exclusive events to enhance guests experiences with fun activities.
“Visitors have a huge array of activities they can come partake in,” Huras said. “I do love that it really focuses on the art and culture of Banff.”
The Banff Gallery Hop has everything guests could want for Christmas and features an exciting array of holly and jolly activities for the December event.
“Everyone’s trying to be a bit festive,” Huras said. “I have a feeling our visitors will be inundated with hot chocolate, hot cider, shortbread cookies and maybe some carolling.”
The December Gallery Hop will be bringing Christmas to the forefront, she said, explaining that each venue will be celebrating unique aspects of the holidays – some will focus on traditional Christmas cheers transporting people back to the past through storytelling and vintage decorations, while some of the galleries will host artists celebrating winter and a love of the mountains.
“I think it will be a very spirited Christmas hop,” Huras said.
Filled with glistening treetops and the sound of sleigh bells, the Whyte Christmas will be a highlight of the day. Guests will have a wide section of music, crafts and Christmas activities to partake in all afternoon at the Whyte Museum.
Huras said she recommends getting a Banff Gallery Hop map and schedule to make the most of the afternoon and talk to the venues to find out where to visit next.
The Banff Gallery Hop: Festive Feeling will be lighting up the streets of Banff next Saturday (Dec. 7) from noon to 5 p.m. Participating venues include the Buffalo Nations Museum, Carter-Ryan Gallery, Luxton Home Museum, Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont, Water Phillips Gallery, Banff Centre, the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, the Willock & Sax Gallery and the Harmon Gallery. For more information visit banfflakelouise.com/Galleryhop.