Preserving Cultural Vibrancy

Commemorating Heritage - Preserving Cultural Vibrancy

Our heritage sites inform our community's sense of place, inspire the town's unique character and contribute to the appeal of the destination to international visitors. Our community's history is deeply connected to the story of the national park and serves as a reference for planning our future.

Relevant directional plan: A proposed Heritage Master Plan will be developed over a number of years, and as components are finalized, new targets and tactics will be established.

Heritage in Banff means the places, people, traditions, and events which have and continue to shape our community. Banff's culture, heritage and design traditions are relevant and together shape the narrative that is of value to all Canadians. Stewardship of the community's heritage relies on council leadership and on support from the federal and provincial governments, Banff's cultural organizations, tourism operators, property owners, residents, and visitors who all share in the benefits of heritage protection.

Direction from 2008 to 2018 Banff Community Plan

  • Protect, preserve and commemorate historic resources as defined in the Heritage Resource Policy.
  • Explore incentives and the appropriate regulatory and financial framework for the Banff Heritage Corporation to be effective in the preservation and protection of Banff's built heritage.
  • Cooperate with senior government, community partners, property owners and individuals to preserve historic sites.
  • Increase support for not-for-profit agencies and other interests in acquiring and preserving heritage properties.

Key Partners Include:

  • Parks Canada, landowner, policy advisor, regulator and director on the Banff Heritage Corporation
  • Alberta Historical Resources Foundation as policy advisor, regulator and director with the Banff Heritage Corporation
  • Alberta Association of Architects as technical advisor, subject matter expert and director with the Banff Heritage Corporation
  • Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity as a leading educational organisation based in Banff committed to advancement of knowledge and artistic achievement
  • Canadian Pacific Railway as land owner and stakeholder for railway culture in the national park
  • Banff & Lake Louise Tourism as representative of the tourism operators and international marking agency for the destination
  • Buffalo Nations Museum as a local organization committed to promoting and sharing indigenous history
  • The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies as an independent museum and archive committed to promoting the natural and human history and culture of the Rocky Mountains and as director within the Banff Heritage Corporation
  • Eleanor Luxton Historical Foundation as a neighbourhood museum, activist for heritage preservation in the national park and director of the Banff Heritage Corporation.

Heritage Strategies: 


  • Commemorate built heritage through the municipal plaque program.
  • Commemorate places, events, people and traditions through the Landmarks and Legends.
  • Establish a framework for engaging with Indigenous communities.

Information & public education

  • Share local community heritage/knowledge.
  • Promotion and awareness of Banff Heritage Corporation.
  • Promotion and awareness of projects and initiatives for the heritage service area.
  • Annual reporting of demolition and inventory amendments.
  • Make historic property information and heritage reporting readily accessible and published online.
  • Create interactive and engaging digital mapping tools.


  • Engage knowledge and subject matter experts when required.
  • Build partnerships and relationships with heritage stakeholders both locally and regionally within the Bow Valley.

Build Capacity

  • Train and build capacity through opportunities with Banff Heritage Corporation.
  • Explore and pursue external grants for building relationships, sharing information, and preserving historical and cultural assets.


  • Work with provincial and federal governments to prevent building demolitions.
  • Heritage district review and analysis reporting.
  • Provide conservation incentives that promote the preservation of heritage resources and represent best value for council.


  • Increase the number of protected municipal historic resources from 13 to 17.
  • Increase the number of statements of significance from 19 to 30.
  • Increase the number of heritage plaques from 49 to 53.
  • Landmarks and legends community profiles increased from 20 to 25.
  • Cultural landscape survey completed.
  • Establishment of a Heritage Master Plan.
  • Establishment of a framework for engaging with Indigenous communities.