Town of Canmore

Actions Taken by the Town of Canmore in Response to Covid-19

The Town of Canmore is responding to the COVID-19 situation in considered and meaningful ways. We continue to implement many initiatives in order to align with the guidance we receive from both provincial and local health authorities and to ensure that we are protecting our community. 

Updated Aug. 4, 2020


Council debated a mandatory mask bylaw at a special meeting on August 4. The bylaw was passed unanimously and went into effect on Aug. 7, 2020 at 12 p.m. 

What is the Bylaw?

o The Mandatory Mask Bylaw (2020-20) compels residents, visitors, and businesses to wear a mask or face covering in all public indoor settings (some exceptions apply). 

o This bylaw is intended to be temporary. There is no expiry date included in the proposed bylaw. Should the time come when this bylaw is no longer necessary, Administration will bring a separate bylaw requesting the bylaw be repealed, or replaced, as required.

o Our primary focus is on educating residents and visitors on the importance of wearing masks. Bylaw Services will first educate anyone not meeting the bylaw requirements and will only enforce the bylaw with a fine if there is no compliance. Fines are $100.

o This bylaw will help restore confidence in the community who don’t feel safe when those around them are not wearing masks while serving as a visual reminder that the pandemic continues to remain a health risk. It also aligns Canmore with neighbouring municipalities (Banff and Calgary) who have enacted similar temporary regulations in this extraordinary time.

Click here for more information about the bylaw and what it means for you.


Facility Re-Opening

Starting July 1, we will begin a phased re-opening of our facilities. We are opening gradually with modifications, and in some cases, access will be limited to certain user groups. 

To ensure that our facilities are in the best possible condition for when we re-open, we have made repairs, cleaned our spaces, and completed the maintenance that would typically require us to temporarily close our facilities to the public later in the year. 

Your experience in our facilities will be different from what you are used to. The new procedures we require will help keep our spaces safe for everyone. The health and safety of our users, staff, and community remain our top priority.


Re-Opening Date


Canmore Recreation Centre (CRC)

July 1 

Access only to gymnastics club, summer camp participants, as well as groups renting spaces

No public access


Civic Centre 

July 13

Appointments are encouraged for most services. Call 403.678.1500 to make an appointment 

Walk-in patrons will be accommodated for services such as paying a bill or fine, and general inquiries.

Planning and engineering inquiries will not be available for walk-in patrons. Please forward any related inquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Washrooms will be open to the public

Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre will open at a later date

Elevation Place - Fitness and Climbing Gym

July 20 




No core classes available. These will return in the fall. 

No access to changing rooms at this time

Patrons must reserve access to activities on-line or by phone. Details can be found here

Individuals not directly participating in a booked activity are not permitted to enter the building

Elevation Place - Aquatics Centre


Early August

Subject to entire lighting system replacement above pool (addressing a recent safety issue when a fixture dislodged from ceiling)

Annual pool maintenance has been completed so facility can remain open throughout September 

Alex Kaleta Arena CRC

August 4

Subject to demand for bookings


Thelma Crowe Arena CRC

October 1

This is the regularly scheduled ice installation in this arena

Facilities FAQs

What is happening with memberships?
All current memberships remain on hold until the Aquatics Centre re-opens, at which point all memberships will be reactivated. Members will be provided with notice prior to reactivation. Members have the option to reactivate their membership to enjoy priority access to Climbing and Fitness. Memberships will not be discounted due to reduced availability or limited services. No drop-in fee is required with a membership.To reactivate your membership, please fill out the online form or phone 403.678.8920. Please allow 48 hours for your membership reactivation to be completed. Memberships must be reactivated in advance, and are unable to be reactivated at the Customer Experience Desk.Splash members are able to reactivate their memberships and access the Fitness area only.
What if I don't have a membership?
Limited drop-ins will be accommodated if capacity is available, and will be provided on a first come, first served basis. New members can also purchase a Go Beyond membership.
Will facilities only be open to Canmore locals?
Facilities will be open to everyone. 
I'm a senior or have a compromised immune system; will there be special times for me?

During the following times we are reducing capacity even further and while anyone is welcome to book during this time, we would encourage those who consider themselves more vulnerable to plan their recreation during this time (seniors, those with disabilities, and those with compromised immune systems)

Climbing Area: Tuesday/Thursday 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Fitness Area: Monday-Sunday 8 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Will amenities within EP and the CRC be available (e.g. washrooms, Good Earth, vending machine)?
Good Earth Café and Bear Bell Grill may defer opening until facilities return to full operation.

Washrooms, water bottle filling stations, and vending machines will be available.

The facilities' use as community social hubs is suspended until further notice. Tables and furniture will be removed. 
Will there be a time limit for those using the facilities?
Yes, users will be required to book a time to use the facility and a system will be in place to monitor compliance with time limits.
Will the library re-open at the same time Elevation Place opens?
Please visit the library's website for up to date information 
Will the public have access to the Alex Kaleta Arena when it re-opens, or is this for private bookings only?
At this time, it will be for private bookings only. Please stay tuned for updates.
Why weren't Elevation Place and the Canmore Recreation Centre ready to open?
Recreation facilities, like Elevation Place, were projected to be part of the Stage 3 relaunch that was not expected until late summer or early fall. Unexpectedly, the Province of Alberta moved the opening of these facilities from Stage 3 to Stage 2. Although this is a positive development, it was a sudden change that we are working to respond to.

In order to re-open safely, our decision-making needs to align with provincial health guidelines, while also being mindful of budgetary constraints due to revenue loss as a result of the closure of these facilities. In addition to rehiring our staff, we need to source personal protective equipment and train staff for the needs and challenges that COVID-19 has presented.
How are we addressing physical distancing guidelines in the fitness facilities?

Financial Actions

We know that many Canmore residents have been significantly impacted by Covid-19 through job loss, business closure, and other factors.  We are taking action to help our community financially.

Lower Property Taxes and Extended Payment Deadlines
We reduced staffing and service levels, cut expenses, canceled several capital projects, and reduced reserve transfers in the 2020 Operating Budget to lower the overall municipal 2020 tax requirement to 2019 levels to achieve the following outcomes:
  • Maintain essential services and business continuity, including budgeting $470,000 for new costs associated with the response to the pandemic
  • Provide departmental expenditure reductions to help mitigate losses in revenue
  • Allow for scalability of operations post-pandemic
  • Provide increased social and economic development supports for those individuals and businesses most impacted by the pandemic
  • Maintain a strong balance in the Tax Stabilization Reserve to provide the flexibility needed to address future uncertainties as well as known future cost increases.
The tax payment deadline has been extended from June 30 to September 30 without any late payment penalties. Council approved relief measures to allow residents and businesses to defer tax and utility payments in April, May and June without penalty or interest.

How was the 2020 budget reduced?

The following capital projects have been cancelled or reduced in scope, resulting in a reduced transfer to reserves of $1,225,000.  It’s important to note that ultimately all of these projects will be required to proceed at some point in the future to achieve Council’s priorities and objectives of the strategic plan.

  • Street Rehab Railway Avenue
  • Town Centre Enhancement Plan 
  • Affordable Housing Land and Policies 
  • Land Use Bylaw Update 
  • Visitor Accommodation Review 
  • Light Fleet Replacement
  • Roundhouse Solar System
Almost half of the budget reductions came from staffing reductions. During building closures, we adjusted staffing levels, affecting approximately 146 people (more than 40% of the Town of Canmore's employees), including laying off 118 people. In closing some facilities, we have made staffing reductions in the recreation department: 93 casual and contract recreation staff were laid off effective March 23, which has reduced our payroll expenses by approximately $60K/month and 23 permanent recreation staff (both full and part-time), which has reduced our payroll expenses by approximately $110K/month. Most staff were recalled with the opening of the buildings in July and August. As well, we suspended hiring for five months and have rescinded offers to most seasonal staff.

We will keep grant-funded projects going – many of our infrastructure projects are grant funded by different levels of government.  Delaying these projects typically means losing the funding.  Proceeding has several benefits:  we keep the funding, we keep people in our community working, and we can take advantage of quiet time in town to complete disruptive projects. However, not all spending is being reduced; we are investing in the community by providing increased social and economic development supports for those individuals and businesses most impacted by the pandemic. Council directed administration to find additional ways to support individuals and businesses that will not be assisted by a reduction in taxes.  Since the Town of Canmore has been building our Tax Stabilization Reserve for many years, we are able to fund these unexpected initiatives.

Expense and Service Level Reductions

$2.7 million

Staff layoffs & hiring freezes

$1.3 million

Recreation and Facilities programs, services, expenses


Arts & Events programs, services, expenses


Bylaw programs, services, expenses


Streets & Parks programs, services, expenses


Carryover of projects from 2019, not being completed


Rest of the organization programs, service, expenses


What service level reductions can be expected with the reduced budget?
Program Reductions
Cancelled World Cup
Cancelled National Indigenous Peoples Day to flag raising only
Cancelled parade and reduced Canada Day to virtual events 
Cancelled Alberta Culture Days
Cancelled First Thursdays
Cancelled Kids Art
Cancelled Mayors Spotlight
Cancelled firehall’s pancake breakfast
Cancelled Wild Festival
Reduced support at Three Sisters Gallery, and for visiting artist program
Delay of memorial bench/plaque program and related costs
Removed budget for Pride crosswalk 
Eliminated 211 service
Reduced neighborhood development opportunities
Removed common community metrics from Community Monitoring Report and analysis of Living Wage
Eliminated New Driver Rebate Program
Eliminated Law Enforcement Bursary
Community Grant funds redirected to social supports

Service Reductions Impacts:
No recreation services or programming from March – mid July
No summer seasonal Bylaw Services officers
No event support to community groups
No publication of community guide 
Eliminated the replacement of fitness supplies and the new holds for the climbing wall
No gravel removal from grass boulevards
No sports field or ball diamond line marking 
Less staining of wooden assets
No invasive plant education
No flower barrels, tree planting, trail repairs, less mulch and shrub bed maintenance
Mowing only at sports fields, ball diamonds, riverside park, cemetery, town buildings and gateway features 
No outdoor ice rink repairs
Reduced street line painting, and sidewalk repairs 
No magazine subscriptions for fitness area

Internal Expense Reductions 
Staff recruitment reduced
Suspended staff appreciation and long-service recognition
Delayed software upgrades
Suspended conference and travel expenses
Postponed professional development and training (including emergency management) 
Cancelled strategic planning work
Reduced fuel and energy consumption
Fewer uniforms and equipment
Suspended advertising, catering, administrative supplies, and services purchased locally
Lower bank service/credit card sales fees
Eliminated contracted cleaning in closed facilities
Negotiated lower rates for some contracts

State of Local Emergency

Has the Town of Canmore declared a state of emergency?
Yes, however the State of Local Emergency was terminated on June 3, as it was no longer required as we manage the ongoing response to the pandemic.   
What does declaring a state of local emergency mean?
The Emergency Management Act outlines the powers of a local authority when a State of Local Emergency (SOLE) is declared. You can read the whole act here. 

A summary of the powers that declaring a SOLE provide us as per the act is as follows:

  1. cause any emergency plan or program to be put into operation;
  2. acquire or utilize any real or personal property considered necessary to mitigate the emergency; (must pay compensation)
  3. authorize or require any qualified person to render aid of a type the person is qualified to provide;
  4. control or prohibit travel within the municipality; (not to the municipality)
  5. provide for the restoration of essential facilities and the distribution of essential supplies and provide,
  6. maintain and co-ordinate emergency medical, welfare and other essential services in any part of the municipality;
  7. order the evacuation from any area within the municipality and make arrangements for the adequate care and protection of those persons evacuated
  8. authorize the entry into any building or on any land, without a warrant, by any person in the course of implementing an emergency plan or program;
  9. cause the demolition or removal of any trees, structures or crops if the demolition or removal is necessary or appropriate in order to reach the scene of a disaster, or to attempt to forestall its occurrence or to combat its progress; (must pay compensation for damages)
  10. procure or fix prices for food, clothing, fuel, equipment, medical supplies, or other essential supplies and the use of any property, services, resources or equipment within the municipality for the duration of the state of local emergency;
  11. authorize the conscription of persons needed to meet an emergency.

Other Town of Canmore Services and Facilities

Can I still access Town of Canmore services?
Town of Canmore business continues: garbage and recycling will be collected, roads and water treatment facilities are well-maintained, bylaws are being enforced, FCSS supports are being provided and bills are being paid. Please remember, while some of our buildings are closed, we are open for business. We are available to provide services online or by phone. Many Town of Canmore services and information can be found online: Utility Payments     Property Tax Payment Options    Online Services and Electronic Notifications  Planning Department Questions  Bylaw Services  All other areas: Contact Us

Public Works Building 
-closed to drop-in public
-Requests for Bylaw Services can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 403.678.4244

-Please call ahead to 403.678.6199 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before going to the building.
-Call 9-1-1 in an emergency

- The downtown washrooms are open
- All vault washrooms are open
- Washrooms at Millenium Park, Centennial Park, Lions Park and Elk Run are open
How can the public attend upcoming Council meetings?
As of March 27, during the COVID-19 health emergency, the Municipal Government Act allows Council meetings to be held completely electronically. The public can watch the Live Webcast instead of attending the meeting in-person. Visit Connect with Council for ways to submit questions, comments, and requests to Council through a variety of mechanisms. 
Who do I call for help or questions?
You can call 403.609.3743 for appointments for social or family supports, and 403.678.1500 for all other inquiries or appointments. You can also submit a request for an appointment by using our online form here.
Are bike parks and the skate park open? 
Yes, bike parks and the skate park are open. According to our regular operational protocols, these facilities are sometimes closed if there are wet conditions to protect the infrastructure from damage. All users should respect others and practice physical distancing so we can all continue to enjoy these public spaces.


Can I still host my event or wedding in Canmore? 
The Government of Alberta has released restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings to limit the spread of COVID-19, and continues to discourage non-essential travel at this time. 

With stage 2 of Alberta's relaunch plan underway, the Town of Canmore is now permitting new wedding bookings on town land. All weddings must follow the Government of Alberta's restriction on gatherings. Information about wedding bookings can be found here.

Please note that wedding photographers are still required to have a business license and can find more information about temporary licenses here

In alignment with the Government of Alberta's restrictions limiting summer gatherings, the Town of Canmore has decided to revoke and stop all Community Event Permits effective immediately, through to September 30, 2020.

Event hosts are encouraged to consider alternative platforms for their events, such as by virtual means or other distance methods. 
Town of Canmore Events and Activities

As a precaution, we have decided to postpone all Town-led activities until the end of September 2020. 

Other Services and Facilities

What about library services? 
Can I still take the bus? 
I have an outstanding traffic ticket or traffic court appearance. What do I do?
I have a scheduled civil-matter court appearance. What do I do?
Can I continue going to my place of worship?
Can I still donate blood during the pandemic?
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