Founded in 1885 after the discovery of the Cave and Basin Hot Springs, Banff is Canada's first and most famous National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which helps protect over 7,700 square miles of the Canadian Rockies. Home to an outstanding variety of geological and ecological features as well as shopping, art and adventure, Banff is no ordinary town. It was developed not as a residential district, but as a gateway for the park that surrounds it.
Renaissance Weekend is comprised of hundreds of programs and shared meals in which participants with in-depth knowledge reflect off-the-record on a wide variety of current issues. (See Content) Lively discussion by all participants is encouraged, and the tone is decidedly relaxed.
Each afternoon is set aside for recreation, including sports, mountain activities, relaxation, and exploring Banff. Two meals "on-your-own" — Saturday dinner and Sunday lunch — allow participants to sample local restaurants and dine with fellow participants and new friends.
Participants' program assignments are based on information provided on the Participant Profiles page of their online registration, which should be completed as early as possible. Please email the Renaissance Weekend team if changes have been made to your Participant Profile after your registration is confirmed and before we distribute the Tentative Program.
In mid-June, the Tentative Program and other materials will be sent to each registered party's lead participant, who is asked to share them with other members of his/her party.
Registration opens on Thursday, July 2nd at 4:00 P.M. at the Rimrock Resort, where participants pick up their materials and the Final Program. Hotel check-in may not be completed at Renaissance Weekend registration and must be done separately. Proctors and Moderators briefings meet between 4:00 P.M. and 6:00 P.M. The first program begins at 6:00 P.M. that evening at the Rimrock Resort.
Early arrivals are invited to help with Registration and to notify the Renaissance Weekend staff of their availability.
The program ends by 11:00 A.M. on Monday, July 6th.
Conversation over meals is an important part of the Weekend, and all guests are expected to participate in the Common Meals. Only children under three are not charged for Common Meals. The "on-your-own" meals, Saturday dinner and Sunday lunch, are designed to facilitate participants' enjoyment of Banff and surroundings. Meals & Meeting Services Fees may not be reduced for late arrivals, early departures or absences from meals.
Sports & Recreational Activities
Afternoons are left unscheduled (Friday from 3:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.; Saturday from 3:00 P.M. through the evening, including dinner on your own; and Sunday from 1:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M., including lunch on your own) for participants' personal and family recreation. Banff’s long, sunny Summer days will allow for plenty of time for sightseeing tours, signature hikes and adventurous mountain activities like horseback riding and whitewater rafting. Rimrock Resort is located steps from the Banff Upper Hot Springs and the Banff Gondola, which you may ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain. For those wanting more activity, you may also pick up the switchback trail from the hotel and hike to the top (5.5 km).
Contact Discover Banff Tours and ask for the Renaissance Weekend discounted group rate (promo code: RENWKD) for the following activities. Remember to secure your reservation a minimum of 48 hours prior to the activity date for the discount to be valid:
- Discover Banff & It’s Wildlife
- Discover Grizzly Bears
- Discover Lake Louise and Moraine Lake
- Deluxe Lake Louise & Moraine Lake
- Columbia Icefields Parkway Tour
- Mount Norquay's Sightseeing Chairlift
- Horseshoe Canyon Whitewater Rafting
- Kananaskis River White Water Rafting
- Horseback Hourly Trail Rides
- Evening Wildlife Safari
- Guided Signature Hikes
- Mount Norquay’s Via Ferrate
- ATV Tours
- Caving Tours
- Canmore Float Tour
- Helicopter Sightseeing Tours
To explore Banff and the surrounding area, participants may arrive early or extend their stay, and Renaissance Weekend room rates may be available upon request of the hotel.
Participants arriving after 7:00 P.M. on Thursday or departing before 9:00 A.M. on Monday are requested to advise Renaissance Weekend staff. Rimrock Resort's Concierge can assist with any transportation needs.
The Airport with the best access to Banff is Calgary International Airport (YYC, 90 miles). Direct or one-stop flights connect here to most major North American, Asian and European centers.
The Rimrock Resort Hotel is located on Sulphur Mountain in Banff National Park, a 5-minute drive from downtown Banff, and 1.5 hours west of Calgary International Airport.
Airport shuttle service is available from Banff Airporter, which has been leading the way between the Calgary Airport and the Canadian Rockies for over two decades. Banff Airporter offers a scheduled service which departs 10x a day between Calgary Airport and Banff. Renaissance Weekend attendees will receive a 15% discount by using the Promo Code: RENWKD.
Rental cars are not necessary, but useful for exploring the surrounding area. Parking rates at the Rimrock Resort are listed below:
- Self: $22.00 CAD per night (plus applicable taxes)
- Valet: $36.00 CAD per night (plus applicable taxes)
The current exchange rate (as of April 1, 2019) is 1 CAD = $0.75 USD.
To explore Banff, participants may arrive early or extend their stay, and Renaissance Weekend room rates may be available upon request of the hotel.
The Rimrock Resort Hotel is a AAA/CAA Four Diamond Hotel located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies and Banff National Park. The Rimrock Resort Hotel offers exceptional views of the Canadian Rockies, fine dining and a luxury spa. All rates are listed in Canadian Dollars (CAD) and start at $349 CAD ($260 USD)/night. The current exchange rate (as of February 1, 2020) is 1 CAD = $0.75 USD.
An overflow room block has secured at the nearby Fairmont Banff Springs, located 2.5 miles away (a 6-minute drive) from the Rimrock Resort. All rates are listed in Canadian Dollars (CAD) and start at $509 CAD ($380 USD)/night. The current exchange rate (as of February 1, 2020) is 1 CAD = $0.75 USD.
Camp Renaissance, Teens & College Students
Camp Renaissance — an active program tailored for children ages 3-12 — typically includes presentations by fascinating adult participants, hands-on experiments, indoor and outdoor games, nature walks, musical performances, story-telling, and arts-&-crafts projects. These activities are supervised by the Camp Renaissance Counselors, with involvement from adult Renaissance participants whose experiences are of interest to young people. Camp Renaissance runs concurrently with the adult program and does not provide full-time child care.
Young people are welcome at all functions. Most teens and college students participate in the Weekend's scheduled program. In addition, they often have designated gathering places, assigned programs, and their own activities and discussions. Teens and college students are usually placed on panels related to their interests, as indicated on their Participant Profile.
College students integrate themselves into the scheduled program. Many form strong bonds and even lifetime friendships during evening social events and programs planned specifically for them.
Parents are expected to oversee their sons' and daughters’ comings and goings throughout the Weekend. Renaissance Institute and Renaissance Weekend, and its staff, assume no liability regarding children or teens.
There is no organized program or child care provided for children under the age of three. Younger children are welcome at Camp Renaissance programs when accompanied by a parent or other responsible adult. Participants should make arrangements for babysitters at least three weeks prior to arrival at the Weekend by phoning the Rimrock Resort Hotel Concierge for assistance. To maximize their enjoyment of the program, families with very young children are encouraged to bring a baby-sitter or au pair. Although there is no Registration Fee for babysitters/au pairs, they must register for meals at the children's rate, attend solely for child care, and, if practical, may assist periodically with Camp Renaissance. Baby-sitters/au pairs are free to attend programs and panel discussions designed specifically for Camp Renaissance participants.
Camp & Teens Programs are organized at all New Year's and most of the other Weekends. On the rare occasions when there are few registrants in these age groups at the smaller Weekends, no such specific programs may be organized; and such young people, as always, are welcome at all sessions. Confirmation of Camp and Teens Programs, available six weeks before any Weekend, may be secured through info@RenWkd.org.
Banff temperatures in July average in the mid-70's. Check weather reports shortly in advance of the Weekend.
Dress is informal, resort casual, during the Weekend. Jeans are acceptable for day-time programs. Men typically wear jackets for dinners.
All Registration and Meals & Meeting Services Fees will be refunded — less a $250/party processing fee — for cancellations received by Renaissance Weekend in writing via e-mail, fax, or mail, sixty days in advance of the first night of the Weekend. No refund is available for cancellations communicated less than fourteen days in advance. Cancellations received in the intervening period are eligible for 50% refunds. For a one-time transfer of fees, however, payments can be applied towards any of the three immediately following Renaissance Weekends, subject to a $100/party transfer fee, if space remains and such notice is received. No refund is available after a payment has been transferred and applied to a new Weekend.
Meals & Meeting Services Fees may not be reduced for late arrivals, early departures or absences from meals.
Lodging cancellations are handled directly by your hotel subject to its specific policies. Be sure also to advise Renaissance Weekend of cancellation.
Hiking, biking, fishing, trail-riding, canoeing, kayaking, glacial-lake cruising; Gondola rides & white-water raft trips; Hot springs, golf & tennis; Galleries, museums & quaint shops; Tea-houses, fine dining & night-life. And one of North America’s most scenic drives, by rental car or airport shuttle, along the Trans-Canada Highway.
Book direct or one-stop flights from major US airports to Calgary, a modern frontier-town itself worth seeing; Extend your stay to witness Canada Day, “our neighbor’s July 4th” (July 1st) , experience Calgary’s annual rodeo-festival Stampede, or visit upscale, rustic retreats at Jasper and Moraine Lakes; Exchange rates typically make Canadian travel especially cost-effective.
Children ages 3-12 years can immerse themselves in hands-on experiments, indoor and outdoor games, nature walks, musical performances, story-telling, arts-&-crafts projects, and presentations by fascinating adult participants who are major authorities in their fields.