NSPW 2013: Location & Activities

NSPW 2013 will be held from 9 Sept to 12 Sept 2013 at the Banff Centre in the town of Banff in Alberta, Canada. Banff is located in Banff National Park. Attendees should plan to arrive on the 9th. Check-in time is 4pm. We will have a reception that evening.

Main Street, Banff, AB

The town of Banff and Banff National Park offer a wide variety of shopping, dining, leisure, and outdoor activities.

The Banff Centre
107 Tunnel Mountain Drive
Banff, Alberta, Canada
T1L 1H5

A webcam at the Banff Centre: http://www.banffcentre.ca/webcam/

Getting There / Travel Information

Flying to the Calgary airport (airport code YYC) is likely your best option if you are not local to southern Alberta or eastern British Columbia. Edmonton is the other major city nearby, and it is a three hour drive north of Calgary.

Getting to Banff on your own is fairly easy. It is about an hour and a half west of Calgary (airport code YYC) by car. A rental car or the Banff Airporter http://www.banffairporter.com/ shuttle bus are the two easiest ways of getting to Banff from YYC. Renting a cab is probably expensive, although limo services are available: http://www.calgaryairport.com/en-us/travellerinfo/groundtransportation/…

A Google spreadsheet has been shared with all attendees for the purposes of rideshares.

Google Maps Directions from YYC to Banff Centre: http://goo.gl/XK8Rs

Banff Centre Directions: http://www.banffcentre.ca/about/directions-maps

YYC Airport: http://www.calgaryairport.com/

Banff is located in a National Park, and there is an entry fee that supports park upkeep and programs. This fee is on the order of $10 CAD for a single adult. Cars and groups are about $20 CAD. If you are driving a car, you will get a receipt to tape to the inside of your windshield. More information on Banff National Park, including a link to the current Fees, is available here: http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/banff/visit.aspx

When departing from YYC, if you are going to the United States, US Customs and Immigration occurs here in Canada at the airport (after check-in and before "security"). If you don't have Nexus or GlobalEntry, budget ~20 minutes to go through Customs.

If you have an early morning flight out of YYC, you may find it easier to stay near the airport the previous night, as it is a 1.5 hour drive from Banff to the Calgary airport. There are a number of chain hotels very close to the airport; consult your favorite web application Maps.

Local Trivia

Exchange rate The US and Canadian dollars are about par; the CAD has been hovering around .95 to .97 cents USD (i.e., 1 CAD is worth "only" .97 USD).

Phone service You may want to check with your cell phone provider about airtime and roaming charges in Canada; voice calls are otherwise quite expensive. Be sure to check into data plan options for your smartphone as well. For example, unless otherwise arranged, "data roaming" from Verizon to their Canadian partner is billed at $2 USD per megabyte. Most US carriers generally automatically partner / roam with a Canadian carrier, but you will probably find it cheaper to temporarily switch to a North America plan or International plan.

Weather Banff is in a mountain climate, so weather is highly variable. September days and nights are relatively cool. You may wish to keep an eye on the forecast:



Recreation Opportunities

See the Banff National Park "visit" link above for some initial suggestions.

The Workshop

NSPW takes place all day on 10 and 11 Sept.
NSPW continues into the morning of the 12th and will end with lunch.

Check-in takes place in the Professional Development Centre:

PDC by Donald Lee

(Credit: Donald Lee)

Sessions will take place in the Kinnear Centre:

Kinear Centre by Laura Vanags

(Credit: Laura Vanags, The Banff Centre)

An image of the Banff Centre layout is here:

Group Excursion/Outing

The group excursion will be a ride on the Banff Gondola up Sulphur Mountain. The active and adventurous can also hike, but keep in mind that the hike is of "moderate" difficulty with a 2300-foot gain in elevation to about 7400 feet above sea level. This hike isn't for the sedentary among you.

Banff Gondola History

The group excursion up Sulphur Mountain via the Banff Gondola will happen on Wednesday, September 11.


We have an 8:40am departure time, and the group must arrive 15 minutes prior to that to pick up the tickets. It is an 8-minute ride to the top terminal, which should leave plenty of time for hiking and exploring the facilities at the top of Sulphur mountain. There is food & coffee at both the base and summit for those skipping breakfast or needing Starbucks that morning.

The Gondola terminal is a short car ride away from the Banff Centre (10 minutes). We will seek to arrange a number of carpools, so if you have a car and are willing to drive, please let the local chair know via the rideshare Google spreadsheet (link coming soon).

Registration and Rooms

Registration includes a room at the Banff Centre for the nights of September 9, 10, and 11. Registration includes breakfast on the 10, 11, and 12, lunch on the 10, 11, and 12 and our group dinners on the 10th and 11th. Registration also includes dinner and reception on the 9th.

Registration is by invitation only. Registration details will be provided after paper selection.

Staying Outside the Conference Dates

If you plan on arriving early or staying after the workshop and would like to stay at the Banff Centre, please contact the local chair (locasto [at] ucalgary . ca). Please let me know when you plan to arrive and/or leave. We have arranged for a limited number of rooms available on a first-come, first-served basis. These rooms are available for the 6, 7, 8 (pre-workshop) and 12, 13, 14 (post-workshop). You will be responsible for room charges that fall outside the 9, 10, and 11th. The room rate is $138/night.

The front desk is staffed 24/7 and if you have asked us to extend your stay pre/post workshop, you will have the same room (i.e., there is no need to change rooms for during the workshop nights).