Town of Canmore

Tourism Task Force

The Issue
The international tourism industry is reckoning with the challenges created by over-tourism around the world.  This dynamic is seen in Canmore through our complex relationship with visitors and the tourism industry.  Tourism is clearly our primary economic driver, yet we do not have a clear vision or community alignment and agreement around what this means.  We enjoy the incredible restaurants and recreation amenities, but we have issues with traffic congestion and impacts on affordability.  We worry about wildlife conflict and the loss of special places just for locals, yet we love the business opportunities and thriving arts and culture opportunities.

The Vision
The ultimate vision of tourism is our community is well summarized in the pdf Tourism Canmore Kananaskis Community Tourism Strategic Plan (51.65 MB) , which was approved by Town Council in 2019: 

“By 2024, Canmore Kananaskis will be fully committed to a triple bottom line approach to tourism development and this will be well received by visitors. A high degree of trust will have been built up between stakeholders and several high priority sustainable tourism development goals will have been achieved.” 

The Challenge
The challenge is well summarized by this description in the  pdf Tourism Canmore Kananaskis Community Tourism Strategic Plan (51.65 MB)  for the need for change:

“There needs to be a purposeful and deliberate effort on the part of the community and businesses to find common ground and work toward a shared vision for tourism. Failure to take action and work collaboratively could result in over tourism and degradation of the core value proposition of the community. The impacts of this could include decreased quality of life for residents, negative environmental impacts and reduced viability for tourism businesses. If the region chooses to act proactively, it has an immense opportunity to become an iconic, internationally known destination and a leader in sustainable tourism development.”

This speaks directly to the need to create what the international tourism industry calls a “social license to operate.”  To truly be successful, tourism needs to work at being embraced by the community.  This happens when tourism industries make meaningful and concerted efforts to attract visitors who are tied to the community in ways that fit with what the community values.  

In 2021, the Tourism Task Force led a community engagement initiative with a broad cross section of the community, with the aim of finding common ground between the tourism industry and the community to work towards creating a shared vision for tourism.  The Terms of Reference for the task force can be found pdf here (156 KB)

Lead a robust community engagement process that generates broad based and meaningful conversations around tourism and its role in Canmore.  This dialogue will lead to a shared understanding of how a comprehensive and balanced framework for the tourism industry can:

  • Preserve the social fabric of the community,
  • Maintain and where possible enhance ecological integrity, and
  • Continue to ensure Canmore’s long term economic health.

Community Survey Results from this engagement can be viewed pdf here (3.68 MB) .


  1. Establish an engaged and informed Task Force who have a shared understanding and purpose and a common language with respect to their work.
  2. Facilitate both community acceptance and commitment (i.e. social license) that supports appropriate tourism and a tourism industry that acknowledges and prioritizes the  shared values of the community.
  3. Evaluate sustainable frameworks for tourism that will ensure long-term social, environmental, and economic viability.
  4. Question our assumptions and preconceived notions about the tourism industry, our community, and their impacts on each other. 

On Oct. 5, 2021, Council endorsed a pdf Regenerative Tourism Framework (2.80 MB) recommended by the consultant who conducted a robust community engagement plan to help determine the future vision for tourism and its role in our community. They presented a tourism framework designed to facilitate a thriving tourism economy and ensure the most important concern of the community is addressed: the regeneration of the essence of Canmore; an authentic, active mountain town that has a meaningful relationship with the natural environment and Indigenous culture and history. The vision is that Canmore is a community of hosts and visitors committed to regenerative tourism through which we leave this beautiful place with a healthier environment, happier community, and stronger economy. Administration will work with Tourism Canmore Kananaskis to create a Tourism Roundtable to initiate and monitor progress and facilitate broad-based community dialogue. 

Following Council's endorsement of the Regenerative Tourism Framework on Oct. 5, 2021, this task force discontinued their meetings.

To learn more about the public members please click pdf here (280 KB)  to read a short bio on each member.

Public Members
Martin Bean

Jodi Conuel
Sarah Elmeligi
David Huggill
Sean Krausert
Michelle MacDonell
Norbert Meier
Christie Pashby
Carol Poland
Geoff Powter
Mace Rosenstein
Dawn Saunders Dahl
Adam Walker

Industry Representative
Rachel Ludwig, CEO Tourism Canmore Kananaskis

Council Representatives
Mayor John Borrowman

Councillor Rob Seeley

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Meeting Documents

Date Meeting Agendas Meeting Minutes Presentation Recordings
Sept 23, 2021 pdf Agenda (67 KB) No minutes recorded n/a
Sept 9, 2021 pdf Agenda (66 KB) No minutes recorded n/a
Aug 26, 2021 pdf Agenda (69 KB) No minutes recorded n/a
Jul 15, 2021 pdf Agenda (189 KB) pdf Minutes (125 KB) Stormy Lake Consulting and Regional President of Métis Nation of Alberta (Region 3)
Jun 17, 2021 pdf Agenda (66 KB) pdf Minutes (131 KB) Tourism Canmore Kananaskis, Stormy Lake Consulting, and the Canmore Museum
Apr 29, 2021 pdf Agenda (1.49 MB) No minutes recorded n/a
Apr 22, 2021 pdf Stormy Lake Consulting Agenda (59 KB) No minutes recorded Social License Workshop with Stormy Lake Consulting
Mar 16, 2021 pdf Agenda (242 KB) No minutes recorded n/a
Feb 25, 2021 pdf Agenda (218 KB) pdf Minutes (146 KB) Taxes and other municipal funding
Feb 11, 2021 pdf Agenda (216 KB) pdf Minutes (158 KB) AB Environment and Parks, and local Filmmaker
Jan 28, 2021 pdf Agenda (228 KB) pdf Minutes (164 KB) Lloyd Buddy Wesley, Nakoda Language and Historian, and Local Tourism Operators
Jan 14, 2021 pdf Agenda (191 KB) pdf Minutes (189 KB) Spring Creek, Travel AB, and Canmore Hotel and Lodging Association
Dec 10, 2020 pdf Agenda (187 KB) pdf Minutes (138 KB) Town of Canmore staff
Nov 26, 2020 pdf Agenda (287 KB) pdf Minutes (126 KB) n/a
Nov 12, 2020 n/a pdf Education sub-committee notes (138 KB) n/a
Oct 29, 2020 pdf Agenda (184 KB) pdf Minutes (139 KB)   n/a
Oct 15, 2020 pdf Agenda (823 KB) pdf Minutes (216 KB) n/a
Oct 01, 2020 pdf Agenda (123 KB) pdf Minutes (791 KB) n/a

The Town of Canmore is located within Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta. In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honour and acknowledge the Canmore area, known as “Chuwapchipchiyan Kudi Bi” (translated in Stoney Nakoda as “shooting at the willows”) and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Îyârhe Nakoda (Stoney Nakoda) – comprised of the Bearspaw First Nation, Chiniki First Nation, and Goodstoney First Nation – as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Blackfoot Confederacy comprised of the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3, within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. We acknowledge all Nations who live, work, and play and help us steward this land and honour and celebrate this territory. We commit to working to live in right relations and to advance Truth and Reconciliation.

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