Banff gala may appeal to former Bow Valley residents

Maxime Bernier, federal minister of state for Small Business and Tourism, will be the keynote speaker for this year’s 12th annual AMPPE gala on November 23 at The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.

The Association for Mountain Parks Protection & Enjoyment (AMPPE) is a non-profit organization that represents skiers, hikers, cyclists and tourism operators to advocate for responsible balance between sustainable tourism, ecological integrity and visitor experience.

“Residents of Banff, Jasper and Canmore are well aware that tourism is the lifeblood of our communities,” AMPEE Executive Director Monica Andreeff said in a statement released on Thursday.

“We warmly welcome Minister Bernier, who was responsible for launching Canada’s Federal Tourism Strategy last year, and look forward to hearing his thoughts on future opportunities and directions for the tourism industry.”

The annual AMPPE gala is a great opportunity to connect with Members of Parliament and provincial MLAs as well as mingle with hundreds of national park stakeholders, Parks Canada executives, top tourism industry representatives, and the mayors and councils of Canmore, Jasper and Banff.

Despite that Alberta-centric thrust, those Revelstoke residents who have come here from the Bow Valley may nonetheless be interested in recent developments regarding AMPPE and the national parks in Alberta, as well as the World Cup events at Lake Louise.

The theme of the fundraiser will be Celebrating a Century of the World’s Greatest Skiing, fittingly on the Friday night before the Lake Louise Men’s World Cup downhill race. Conrad Kain, an Austrian mountain guide, is credited with introducing skiing to Banff in 1911, according to the 1937 Canadian Ski Yearbook, and AMPPE will honour ski pioneers, champions and legends from the past 100 years.

The evening will kick off with a stellar silent auction and cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m.  Auction items include travel, hotels, ski packages and cat-skiing. There’s a four-course gourmet meal with wine included, bucket draws, and an adrenaline-fuelled live auction. Relax after dinner and mingle at the Apres-Ski Lounge, a fun new addition to the night’s event, complete with couches, a roaring fire and the Swillbillies performing casual background music.