Banff has a very high number of young people staffing the hotels, restaurants and bars and tourist sites. You will find young people from Canada's eastern provinces as well as a lot of Australians, English and others from the Commonwealth countries. Apparently, a Commonwealth passport allows you to work for a up to two years without the need for a work visa. People take some time off from work and school at home and come to Canada to travel and work.
Don't be surprised if your waiter greets with with G'day instead of good afternoon.
For those visitors to Banff who wish to know how it was in the early days just walk down town to 111 Bear Street where you will see a display of mountain history, art and culture. There is also a very good display of local Indian history and culture, plus posters advertising the "Indian Days", shows put on by the indians during the early 20th century.
Well worth the $6 entry fee, students/seniors $3.50. Open daily 10am - 5pm
Walking through Banff Town early evening we came across some First Nations people demonstrating some of their dance culture. They were dressed in full traditional costume, the ladies looking beautiful and the young men handsome.
A considerable crowd gathered to watch the demonstration which took 20 minutes and was well worth the time. The dance program was repeated each half hour and the organiser told us all donations were put towards training young children in an attempt to survive the traditional culture.
It is always important to know where you can pick up a nice bottle of wine to enjoy after dinner as the long Canadian evening winds down. The Banff Wine Store is located downstairs under the liquor store on Caribou Street just off of Banff Avenue. It is right around the corner from the photo shop.
My daily routine went something like this: wake up at dawn; grouse about the weather; hit the trails anyway and see amazing things as weather invariably cleared; 4:30 p.m. troll for wildlife along Bow River Parkway; return to town at 6:30 p.m.; pick up photos from previous day; drop off five rolls of film shot that day; go to wine shop and pick up a couple bottles; get a couple beers at upstairs liquor store; retrieve wife and eat nice dinner; return to lodge and drink wine while reflecting on days' events; get ready for bed at sundown.
Maybe I have lived a sheltered life, but I have never seen a pedestrian crosswalk signal that counted down the seconds remaining before the light changes. Somewhat useful I guess--can guage whether the crossing pace should be a sprint or an amble, But I had always gotten by with the rule of thumb: green means walk, yellow means run.
Jades: I'm still researching on this. There are so many varieties! Seen some extraordinary ones in New Zealand, some from China (the Chinese believe it'll protect the body when one falls from height) & Canada too. But, this is one beautiful piece, don't you think? Again, it's not souvenir, but a collection...