17 Local Gift Ideas to Source in Canmore during Holiday Season
Ready, set – SHOP. Time is of the essence. Callandra, our operations manager, and I had some meetings in Canmore today AND we managed to sneak in a little holiday shopping too. We are talented that way.
What follows are some of the fun things we found. We hope these ideas will inspire you to support all these great Alberta businesses this season.
- Mountain Mercato – Shopping always goes better after coffee so Mountain Mercato was our first stop today. We had some of Calgary’s Phil and Sebastian Coffee Roasters and then packed a bag of beans into our shopping cart for a special stocking stuffer. Balsamic Vinegar from Modena and Italian olive oil also made it but then we were back to our Alberta-made theme. Callandra noticed a new candle company from Calgary called Matchstick Wax Co. I bought one of their Alberta-inspired fragrant candles called “Among the Tall Trees” for my son who misses Alberta’s bountiful nature terribly now that he’s going to college down east. We also found some “unapologetic Canadian deliciousness whipped up just west of Calgary” with Lannie Rae’s Gourmet Pancake and Waffle Mix. I’m looking forward to trying the gingerbread flavour on Christmas morning.
2. Canmore Food Tours gift certificates are a fabulous gift because they are the gift of experience. They are even better when shared, so buy two and use the code -CHRISTMAS2017 – to save 15 percent. There, that was easy wasn’t it? Just scroll to the bottom of our home page to find the gift certificate link and apply the code at checkout. Psst – you can also used this code in Calgary and Edmonton.
3. Jacek Chocolate – Jacqueline Jacek is one of the classiest people we know. You’ll look classy gifting her chocolate. Find it at Stonewaters Home and Gift.
4. Alberta’s Own Marketplace – We were delighted to find this large gallery of Alberta and Canadian-made gifts on Main Street. Clothing, art, pottery, paintings, prints, jewelry – all curated by the lovely owner Laura Bodell.
5. Stonewaters Home and Gift is very inspiring. Besides being home to our partner Jacek Chocolate, they are a gold mine of ideas. We even like the way they fold napkins.
6. Paintbox Lodge and Cooking at the Box Cooking Classes – Yours truly will be teaching Indian cooking there in the New Year. Regular instructors include the ridiculously fun Sue Shih and George Bain.
7. Canmore Wine Merchants – there’s bottles of goodness for the nice ones on your list and there’s also something a little more interesting for the naughty ones. Ask manager Jaz Nadeau for the fun series from Blasted Church. They are endlessly entertaining if you have someone who doesn’t mind and irreverent wine label on their tasty wines.
8. Valbella Gourmet Foods – Stop in here to stock up on treats for your charcuterie board. And, if you want a night off from cooking over the holidays but you still want to impress, treat yourself to their Beef Wellington. It’s frozen but it cooks up perfectly and is sure to WOW! Oh yes, and did I mention they make the best bacon in the whole world? It’s a must on Christmas morning at my house.
9. An Edible Life – Feast, feast, feast but also be sure to stock up on healthful meals for your fridge and freezer from our friend Carole Beaton at An Edible Life. This is the kind of fuel that will give you the strength to last on the slopes. Pray for snow! Staff pick: we love her cashew curry whether it’s vegetarian or loaded with chicken.
10. Communitea Cafe’s teas – We give out a packet of tea at the end of each of our Canmore Food Tours from this business because we just love their wholesome food and atmosphere. Check out their winter concert series and surprise a friend with a night out in this intimate musical venue.
11. Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. is a place where you can take the whole family. Giving their gift certificates also gives back to the Canmore Community as they invest a percentage of their profits in the Alpine Edible Schoolyard and a Local Heroes program. We love their mostly organic and Alberta-sourced toppings.
12. Meet Chris McKenna of Tour Canmore. This new storefront opens Friday, December 15 but you can find their hub of fun activities online now. We are happy to announce that we are partnering with them and they’ll be selling our tours from their store and their summer kiosk.
13. Carter Ryan Gallery and Live Art – We love Jason Carter’s contemporary aboriginal art and the storytelling that goes with it. His wife Briget Ryan has written three children’s books that Carter illustrated. She is also a talented playwright who is directing A Christmas Carol at the Banff Springs all through the holiday season. Come the New Year, you can also look into booking the creation of your own sculpture under the tutelage of Jason Carter with their live art workshops.
Hint: for even more Alberta art, check out The Hive Gallery also on Main Street. Every visit there makes us long for walls covered in their art.
15. Most people don’t realize that Canmore’s Gaucho Brazilian Barbecue serves some of the most incredible Alberta beef we’ve ever tasted by an authentic Brazilian Gaucho (cowboy) named Edie Rodriguez. There’s quite a love story that goes with how this handsome and talented chef ended up in Alberta. You’ll have to come on a tour to find out what that story is.
16. Avens Gallery – My friend Denise LeMaster sells her art at Avens. This is another place where I love to spend time admiring the wealth of talented artists we are blessed to have living in our province.
17. Blake – While we didn’t find snow in town today, looks like our friend Blake Flan got hit with some. We know he’ll recover quickly as he’s red hot coming off of his win at Alberta’s Gold Medal Plates. Stop into the flagship store for some of his branded ketchup (serious umami) and some gift certificates too. We can hardly wait until spring when he’ll reopen his double decker street food eatery called PD3. That’s a sure sign that our tours are up and running for the season and that we’ll be seeing you all soon.
Until we do, happy holidays from me, Karen Anderson, and all the team at Alberta Food Tours, Inc. We look forward to more spectacular Alberta food, fun and adventure in 2018.