“We Want Pictures so Kodak as You Go”: Promoting Winter Recreation in Banff in the 1920s

Lauren Wheeler

Abstract


In February 1917 the residents of Banff, Alberta hosted the first Banff Winter Carnival. Aimed at a regional middle class market, the winter carnival became the base of local efforts to get people to visit the Rocky Mountains at a time of year when external promoters, like the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), were not interested in bringing tourists to the region. Local boosters used the established representation of Banff as a wilderness area and incorporated photographs into promotional text to create a different image of place informed by the experience of living in a national park. A careful examination of the 1920 promotional booklet, Banff Winter Sports: Banff Canada’s National Park in Winter, Canada’s Winter Playground, illustrates how Banff boosters used winter recreation and a visual emphasis on people at play in the mountains to make the town a place worth visiting in the winter months.

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