Visitor G.S.T. rebate program eliminated

CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) announced on Monday that the Visitor GST Rebate Program will be eliminated. GST (Goods, Services Tax – 6%) rebate applications will no longer be accepted effective April 1st, 2007. You must submit your applications by this date.

What does this mean to non-Canadian residents?

You will no longer be able to claim 6% off your accommodation or 3% off your vacation package (if accommodation is a main component) when you leave Canada.

If you book your holiday before April 1st, 2007, for travel before this date, you will be able to claim back the visitor rebate – saving you 3% or 6% off the price of your holiday.

More information on the current visitor tax rebate program:

For application for the tax rebate:

First Snow Fall in Fall! – Sep 14th!

We are now having our first snowfall of the 2006/2007 ski season and the first ski hills are not scheduled to open until early November!

This is a good indication that this season is going to be a great one!

For live mountain cameras at Sunshine Village and other ski resorts of the Canadian Rockies, click HERE.

For an up-to-date weather forecast, click HERE

Visit to book your Canadian winter ski or snowboard vacation!

Rutting season

The elk mating season, or rut, takes place in Banff National Park during September and October. Although they are a marvel to watch and listen to, bull elk become extremely aggressive protecting their harems during the rut. Male elk may charge without warning at anyone and anything that gets too close.

How to stay safe during the rut:

The key to safely viewing elk is to respect their wildness and need for space.
Keep your distance from elk. Stay back at least 30 metres (3 bus lengths)
Never get between a male and the females.
Keep your dog on a leash.

If you are not sure what an elk looks like, visit this photo gallery for this animal and many others found in the Canadian Rockies:

Please report all sightings of elk in the Banff townsite and any conflicts between people and elk to park wardens at 762-1470 (24 hour Dispatch). Park wardens have resumed their fall aversive conditioning program on elk found in town to keep the animals wary and to reduce their chances of becoming habituated to urban areas.

Smokey week

Large fires in Washington State caused the Canadian Rockies to be a little smokey last week. The fire is estimated at over 60,000 hectares. Jasper National Park has aided fire fighting efforts in Washington by deploying fire personnel. For more information including an informative map of all the fires burning, please click on this link:

the chateau lake louise on the shore of lake louise

Please remember that the fire danger in the Canadian Rockies is presently rated as high and will be until weather conditions change. If hot, dry weather continues there is a possibility of the fire danger reaching extreme.

Butt out! – Canmore

As of Tuesday night (5th September), the Canmore town council unanimously passed a new non-smoking bylaw. This will apply to all workplaces and public places, including hotels, in Canmore, as of 2nd October 2006. Even if you have reserved a smoking room in a hotel for after this date, you will be unable to smoke in it!

Canmore’s nearby neighbour, Banff, already has a non-smoking bylaw in place which has been shown to be a success.