Banff Canada Indigenous Light Show Nightrise: A Spectacular Display of Culture and Art

Banff, a town in Alberta, Canada, is known for its natural beauty and mountain landscapes. This winter, a new multimedia show called Nightrise is captivating visitors with its stunning lights, digital art, and sound. The project was created by Moment Factory, a Canadian multimedia studio, in partnership with the Stoney Nakoda Nation, who were the first people to live in the Banff area.

The Nightrise experience begins with a ride on the Banff Gondola as the sun sets and night rises. Visitors are treated to music, narration, and original soundscapes as the gondola car ascends up Sulphur Mountain (Mînî Rhuwîn in Nakoda). Upon arrival at the summit, visitors are greeted by the Four Wonders, four multisensory art installations that bring the gondola building to life. Each wonder explores Sulphur Mountain through light, sound, and projections. The Four Wonders are Cosmic Rays (Apenene Garharhagach), Diamond Dust (Wiyapta Ptach), Alpenglow (Aîthîya Eya), and Frosted Waves (Yowatha).

Nightrise also features two videos produced by Stoney Nakoda creatives, including a video of Charlie Rabbit, a Stoney Nakoda elder who explains the Stoney Nakoda peoples’ connection to Sulphur Mountain, the winter, and the night. The show is part of Banff Lake Louise Tourism’s 10-year vision for Banff National Park, which includes improving Indigenous cultural awareness and education.

A digital companion guide provides context to Nightrise, including information on the story being shared along with games and trivia. Visitors are encouraged to linger at the top of Sulphur Mountain and enjoy a meal or drink. Sky Bistro, which offers floor-to-ceiling windows and elevated Canadian cuisine, is the perfect spot for a meal with stunning views. Northern Lights Alpine Kitchen, a buffet-style restaurant, is also available. For drinks, visitors can check out the Belvedere Rooftop Bar and ask for a Nightrise-themed nightcap. On the weekends, there is an ice bar.

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Nightrise is included in the cost of an evening Banff Gondola fare until March 31, 2024. The first Nightrise gondola departs at 7:10 p.m. The starting rate for a gondola ride with Nightrise is $58 CAN ($43 USD) per adult. For a Nightrise experience that includes a three-course meal at the Sky Bistro, tickets are $142 CAN ($105 USD) per person.

Overall, Nightrise is a unique and captivating experience that celebrates the beauty of Banff and the Indigenous peoples’ connection to the area. With stunning art installations, videos, and digital guides, visitors can immerse themselves in the story of Sulphur Mountain and enjoy a meal with breathtaking views.

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