Ice Magic Festival, Banff National Park

Date: January 16-27, 2019

Set in the spectacular surroundings of Lake Louise, the Ice Magic Festival is a world-class ice carving event. Watch as talented ice artists from around the world skillfully combine gruelling physicality with precision artistry in an ice carving competition.

*Event dates and details are subject to change.

Winter in Canada is something to celebrate! Watch the alpine town of Lake Louise come alive during the 12-day Ice Magic Festival. Walk through a winter wonderland and explore ice castles, ice bars, and ice carvings at the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. From the International Ice Carving Competition, to the One Hour, One Carver, One Block speed event, there’s lots to see and do in Lake Louise this January.


The world’s best ice carvers have been visiting Lake Louise for 25 years to create inspiring ice sculptures that get bigger and better each year. Discover this year’s theme and explore past ice carvings.  


Ice Magic only comes around once a year, and with such an exclusive event you’ll want to make sure you know all the insider tips to make your visit as memorable as possible.

  • Book an overnight accommodation in Lake Louise and visit the Competition Carving Site as often as you like.
  • Visit the finished sculptures mid-week and create fond memories of Lake Louise with no crowds, ample parking, and better photo opportunities. Plus, if you come Thursday or Friday during the competition, when admission is free, the ice carvers have more time to answer all your burning questions.
  • Catch a glimpse of the sculptures under the light of the night sky. The best photos are taken at night when the sculptures are lit up and the mountain peaks create faint silhouettes in the background.
  • Lake Louise is a winter wonderland so be prepared to navigate it comfortably in winter attire. Winter boots, hats, gloves, and layers are all essentials.
  • If you’re visiting Lake Louise for Ice Magic Festival, make sure you explore the rest of Banff National Park which comes alive with the SnowDays Winter festival.
  • The Tribute To Craft Spirits Festival held as part of SnowDays in Banff National Park will extend to Lake Louise with a special cocktail menu available at the ice bar during the Ice Magic Festival. The special cocktails can also be sampled at Alpine Social inside the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.


  • With limited parking available near the Competition Carving Site, visitors are encouraged to take the free shuttle buses.
  • If you’re staying in Banff, the easiest way to get to Lake Louise is to take transit. A new local route will operate between Banff and Lake Louise this winter.


Tickets are required to visit the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise lakeside Competition Carving Site during peak periods. Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. are considered peak visitation periods. At all other times, the carving site is free for all visitors to enter and enjoy.


Ice Magic is an amazing time to embrace the wonders of winter. See what a perfect day exploring the spectacular setting of Lake Louise looks like.

  • Visit Ice Magic early in the morning before the crowds show up, then use the rest of the day to play in the outdoors.
  • Pick up a lift ticket from the Lake Louise Ski Resort and hit the slopes or simply view the breath-taking landscape from the top of the Gondola.
  • Explore the Lake Louise area on a guided snowshoe tour with Great Divide Nature Interpretation, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, or the Lake Louise Ski Resort.
  • Enjoy the groomed cross-country ski trails near Baker Creek Mountain Resort.
  • Or race your friends down the tubing runs at the Lake Louise Ski Resort Sunny Tube Park.