Back in the summer we spent an eventful week in the attractive town of Canmore, which lies just outside the Banff National Park. It seems that while building and planning regulations are very strict within the parks, there is a lot more scope for all kinds of development once outside their boundaries.
For the majority of its existence, Canmore was a mining town. Locals were keen to tell us that the mines were the reason Canmore existed, and around which life was based there, for over a century. Following closure of the mines in the 1980s, the town then fell into disrepair, and has only latterly been rejuvenated through tourism, winter sports and some nice spin-offs from the Winter Olympics.
Every year however, the town comes out in force to remember its mining heritage. The annual miners reunion brings ex-miners, their friends and families back to Canmore for a day of celebration marked by parades and festivities.
A lot of Canadians trace their roots back to Scotland, something that was apparent here in the music, and on the placards. The families of the miners all displayed their family names as they marched, which included plenty of 'Mc' and 'Mac' names as well as other Scottish names such as Wardrop. Later immigrants brought swathes of Polish and other Eastern European names to Canmore.