Celebrating Banff’s 125th with Canada AM

It’s 2:30 am and the alarm goes off. Eastern Canada is already waking up and we’ve got to get ready for the morning news. Being two hours behind Ontario, we had to boogie up to the Lake Louise Ski Area by 4 am to get ready to cheer in the 125th birthday of Banff National Park on a live broadcast with Canada AM. Now who would pass up that opportunity?

The crowd gathers outside in freezing temperatures to celebrate Banff National Park’s 125th birthday.

The torches descend the Lake Louise Ski Hill.

Jeff Hutcheson from Canada AM stands with the crowd at the base of the ski hill.

When Jeff Hutcheson arrived we knew we were in the right place. Soon, a crowd of about 50 people gathered outside in -22 degree weather to watch torches descend the ski hill. After the red lights snaked their way down in the pitch black, Jeff interviewed Parks Canada representatives, who spoke to Banff’s history as the first national park in Canada, a park that was established when the country of Canada was still just a baby.

The Lake Louise Ski Area hosted the live broadcast for Canada AM.

Later we moved inside and Jeff interviewed Eddie Hunter, a legendary Banffite who has been skiing locally for over 75 years, and Canadian Olympic downhill skier, Kelly VanderBeek. Turns out the Lake Louise Ski Area has hosted 150 different World Cup Ski events over the years. In fact, this weekend and next they host the Bombardier Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup for both Downhill and Super G events (you can read my report from last year’s events here).

Jeff Hutcheson interviews Eddie Hunter and Kelly VanderBeek.

Executive Chef Felix Pfister from the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise came on next to describe the menu he prepares for the World Cup athletes, including 11,000 eggs they go through during the two weeks of the ski racing events. Then he cut a beautifully decorated birthday cake for Banff’s 125th birthday. It was a great way to celebrate such an historic and important milestone in Canada’s Parks System.

Chef Felix Pfister displays the food the World Cup athletes will be eating over the next two weeks.

Birthday cake for Banff’s 125th.

Jeff Hutcheson looks on as Beau the Bear, the mascot for the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, grabs hold of the knife to cut the cake.

Detailing on the cake in celebration of Banff’s 125th birthday.

And that’s a wrap!

© Meghan J. Ward, 2010.

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