Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Holiday Update

There's only four days until christmas, and what a christmas it will be. Everyone here has been experiencing Banff during the holiday season! The staff christmas parties for the hills were this week, everyone in attendance had an absolute bast. Some of the houses organized secret santas with their housemates. The snow is also excellent right now; great conditions on the hills and a very festive atmosphere in town. It will be a very white christmas! Everyone will be working hard over the holidays as the town starts to become busy and the resorts fill up.

From all of us here at Gap Year Canada: We hope you have a happy holidays!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Happy Holidays!

Wow... less than a week to go until christmas. There has been no shortage of festivities over the past week either; with multiple community events and the Gap Year Canada ABC christmas party/gingerbread house competition. To top it all off, we got a great dump of snow over the weekend, resulting in great conditions at the resorts!
Cedar took home the prize for best gingerbread house with the half pipe they created.

The winners and their gingerbread half pipe.

 Celebrating the holidays Gap Year Canada style!
The ABC theme (anything but clothes) had some interesting results...

With more snow in the forecast followed by a few sunny days, the holiday season is shaping up to be a good one!

Thursday, 15 December 2011


Congratulations to Rob, Carla, and Michael, who as of yesterday afternoon are certified snowboard instructors! Over the past three weeks the three of them have spent 12 days on course at Mount Norquay training for their CASI level 1 certification. In just this short amount of time they completed their requirements and are now certified to teach for the season.

The ski and snowboard instructor courses are a great way to fast track your career and have the time of your life while doing so.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Working at the Lake

Look who we ran into while we were skiing this weekend. When it's this nice out you can't possibly not love working outside! The past few weekends we have had great weather, a bluebird day is a  beautiful thing up at the resorts.
James Turner working Ptarmigan lift at Lake Louise.

Working an riding at the hills, you get great views of the surrounding mountains.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Happy Holidays!

Christmas is nearly here, and in Banff that means the Santa Claus "Parade of Lights." Every Year there is a beautiful procession of floats created by local businesses that kicks off the holiday season.

The group out this year is really looking forward to Christmas, for some of them it will be their first away form home!

Stay tuned for pictures of the continued festivities over the next few weeks, including the gingerbread house that each chalet is currently working on.

Have a Great holiday season!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Working At Sunshine

Here is a little video we put together from opening day at Sunshine Village.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Travelmag Article.

Brits in Banff

First of all, the Brits are prolific skiers, with nearly a million of them pouring into mountain resorts worldwide each winter to ski and snowboard. The Brits are responsible for putting the sport into skiing back in the early 1900s, when they borrowed the “wooden stick” means of transport from the Scandinavians and turned it into a fun pursuit to while away winters in Switzerland. In 1903 Brit skier, Sir Henry Lunn established the first packaged ski holidays under the Public Schools Alpine Sports Club. He then raised the sport to a competitive level with a downhill ski race in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. After founding the Kandahar Ski Club in Mürren in 1924, Lunn went on to organize both downhill and slalom events at the 1928 Arlberg-Kandahar open international alpine skiing competition, the precursor to international racing.

Read the rest of the article here:

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

New Website!

Thats right - the new Gap Year Canada website is now online!

Mark it in you favourites, share it with your friends. The new site has everything you need in order to plan a season in Banff, along with links to this blog, our Facebook Page, and Twitter so you can easily keep up to date on the current season in Banff.

Go check it out at

Monday, 28 November 2011

Beer Pong Challenge!

Wow... What a night! The Gap Year Canada winter 2011-12 Beer Pong Challenge was a blast. We had a great turnout with 10 teams and a ton of supporters showing up to compete/cheer on their housemates! The beer, brewed by Noel Martin over the past couple weeks, was excellent and contributed largely to the success of the night.

The competition was fierce, with every team bringing their a-game to the tournament. After the dust had settled, the team from our partners Soul Ski and Bike emerged victorious, with the Wolfpack team coming a close second; the final game went down to the last cup.

Congratulations to our champs!

You too Wolfpack, don't be too hard on yourselves.

Thanks a ton to all that came out, we had a blast!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

La Nina, We Love You!

Over the past few days it has been dumping in Banff! The hills, as well as the townsite have been receiving a ton of snow; Sunshine village has had 45cm over the past few days, with 25cm falling last night. Who says November can't have good powder skiing? With this much snow falling, the resorts are getting off to a good start this season and will be opening more lifts in the days to come. Today, Lake Louise has every one of their lifts open due to the large amount of snow that fell.

Looking forward to another great snow year!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Gappers first "Sunshiners of the Day" this year.

Gabby from Cedar Chalet and Tim from Grizzly House were featured as the first "Sunshiners of the Day" on the Sunshine Village Facebook page! It's great to see them having a blast at their job.

Hope to see more of the crew up there in the future!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The World Cup comes to Lake Louise

The first stop of the Ski Racing World Cup takes place annually at Lake Louise where the fastest racers in the world compete for the first win of the season. The only Canadian stop of the season, Lake Louise's Winterstart is the only chance for a Canadian athlete to win on home soil. The event brings the base area of the ski resort to life; with a multitude of activities to take part in, including giveaways, marshmallow roasting, and contests. The World Cup is one of the highlights of the season at Lake Louise.

A racer takes part in the Downhill event

Come out and experience World Cup racing action here in Banff!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Lake Louise Front Side Open

In addition to the opening of Sunshine Village this past weekend, the Lake Louise ski area opened three lifts. As of Friday, the entire front side of the mountain is open, including the summit. Even though it is only November, conditions here are good; there is even some good powder skiing to be had. 

Taken from the summit at Lake Louise.

Everyone in Banff is looking forward to a great season!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Sunshine Village Opening Day!

It's that time of year again! Sunshine Village ski and snowboard resort opens tomorrow! For some of us here it means the first day of work, for others the first day of skiing. With all the snow they have been receiving of late opening day this year should be a good one.

Sunshine Village - Looking nice and snowy!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Work in Banff: Sunday Funday a true Banff experience

You never really can appreciate the meaning of Sunday Funday until you experience it yourself.
Is a night out in Banff similar to a night on the town at University?
If someone could help explain the experience of a shuffle through Tommy's, Pump n Tap, Devils Gap, and then onto the Sasquatch with a pit stop in McDonalds, and finishing up at Aurora's that would be helpful.

Trash Cans at the Eddie, or Time Machines seem to have replaced the cheap drink specials at Mel's, but popcorn at Mel's and drinking from Jam Jars in the Magpie with buckets of peanuts, still seem to keep everyone out until all hours of the night on a Sunday night in Banff.

Lets hope those of you working at Sunshine, Louise or Norquay this season manage to get Mondays off!

Here's to another great season,

Monday, 14 November 2011

Skating Season

We were fortunate this season to have a period of cold weather before the snow flew. This allowed the lakes to freeze perfectly clear. Skating on the lakes around Banff was a spectacular experience - almost like skating on glass. 

Skating on Johnson Lake

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Experience Banff!

This is authentic, this is real; the memories you gather here will last you a lifetime. Come live as a local in one of world's greatest national parks. Experience Banff, the Canadian rockies, and one of the longest seasons on snow. Live, work, and play in a truly special environment.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Here is what we have to look forward to at Sunshine Village this season!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Opening Weekend

This past weekend two of the three ski resorts in the area officially opened for business. It's been way too long since I've been on snow (all summer) so it was really nice to get up there and ski! Both Lake Louise and Mount Norquay opened on saturday. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful opening weekend, with perfect bluebird conditions! The first day skiing all year couldn't have gotten me more stoked for the season to come!

Lake Louise

Let the season of shredding begin!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Banff Scavenger Hunt

Congratulations Wolfpack! Results are in for the scavenger hunt that the gappers participated in the first couple weeks that they were in Banff and the entry from Wolfpack chalet is our favourite. In order to win the pizza and beer that was promised to the winning house, they had to find and photograph a list of Banff activities and landmarks. Here are some pictures from the winning entry:

Picture with the town of Banff sign 
 Picture with dancing Sasquatch
 Most creative use of skis or snowboard
Beer pong at bingo (extra points)!
 Family photo
 Scenic shot from the top of a mountain

Congrats again Wolfpack!


The snow fell in town at the perfect time, coming a day before the start of the Banff ski season! I can feel safe saying that everyone here is excited for the resorts to open and the season to begin. For a number of the gappers currently in Banff, work will be starting for real this week (not just training).

Banff this morning, looking as beautiful as ever!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Rec. Centre

There are many places for activities on days off in Banff, one of which is the Fenlands recreation centre. The centre is a newly renovated facility on the way out of Banff, it is Banff's only indoor ice facility. There is a variety of drop-in programs hosted in the centre's two arenas and on its four sheets of curling ice. Among these are drop in skating, shinny hockey, and curling.

Monday-Thursday 12:00-3:00
Friday 2:00-5:00 and 8:15-10:15
Admission: $4.50
Skate Rental: $4.50

Curling at the Rec. Centre

For further information visit the town of Banff info page for the Fenlands recreation centre:

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


Halloween was celebrated last night in full force by the Gap Year Canada crew, many of whom attended Wild Bill's legendary Halloween Bash. 

Three of the gappers at Wild Bill's

There were quite a few great costumes this year, this is one of the craziest of them all. This amazing costume could be seen roaming Banff Ave all night long, mainly due to the fact that he was too big to fit in many of the bars.


Thursday, 27 October 2011


We love seeing your photos and stories about past seasons here with us in Banff. Also, for those  you who are here in Banff this season, some current events and photos would be great, please send them to us so we can share them on the blog! Send them to this address ( and we will post our favourites.

While some of you are putting your own video's together this season, check out the Travel Alberta video of winter...

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The gondola operators started their training today at Sunshine Village! The snow is definitely accumulating up there, here is a picture that Sunshine posted today of snow on the divide lift. 

The ski season is looming in the near future and the resorts are prepping for their respective opening days. This means a large number of the gappers will be starting work shortly.

We hope everyone is excited for the resorts to open, we know we are!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Snowmaking Begins at Lake Louise!

Winter has arrived! The cold temperatures we've had this past week have helped the Lake Louise ski resort with their snowmaking operations that have been underway since the 15th of September. The recent snowfalls have also contributed to the mountain's snowpack.

The more snow they can make, the better their opening date of November 5th will be.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Banff Ave. "The Nest"

Ben and Matt in The Nest will have some new housemates shortly. The Banff Ave. house will fill up within the next week with the arrivals of Colin later today, Craig on Friday, James Welchman on Sunday, and James McCrae on Tuesday.

 The Nest
The living room and kitchen
View from the front porch

We hope you enjoy your stay!

Steak Night!

Every tuesday night is steak night at the Elk and Oarsman! For only $8 you can get a steak sandwich served with fries and salad. The "Elk night" as we call it, is a nearly weekly tradition for the gappers.

The first official group steak night!

Get ready Elk and Oarsman, next week we are going to need a table for 50!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Bike Rentals!

If you're looking for a quick way to get around town, Noel and Nancy have a small fleet of cruiser bikes that you can rent for just $10 per bike. The money just goes into the kitty for repairs and maintenance so that all you gappers can enjoy the use of the bikes year after year.

The Fleet
Email or text us if you want to rent one.
Text: +403 763 7015

Wolfpack Polar Bear Swim!

On the way back from getting their SIN numbers, a portion of the Wolfpack crew stopped at Johnson Lake just outside Banff. There they pledged to go swimming some time in the coming weeks. I would suggest doing it sooner rather than later, because the longer they wait, the colder the water will get.

The pledgers at Johnson Lake

Around this time of year, on average, the water temperature of the lake is hovering around freezing. 
Brave Swimmers of Wolfpack Chalet, we wish you luck!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Grizzly house is now half full! Next arrivals are Matt, Jenni and Tim, who are arriving on Friday the 21st.

The living room, dining room, and kitchen area.

We Can't wait until you all get here!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Cedar Chalet

With the arrival of Laura this afternoon, Lorna finally has some more company at Cedar Chalet. There are now two gappers in residence! We are all looking forward to everyone else's arrival.
For those of you in Cedar, this will be your home for the season.
The entrance
Living room
The Kitchen