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Elk Island National Park

2016 Calendar of Events

A little girl joins First Nation dancers at the Bison Festival in Elk Island National Park.
© Parks Canada

Save the date!

Elk Island National Park’s 2016 special events will feature a variety of activities for visitors of all ages. Musical entertainment, cultural performances, guest speakers, outdoor programs, culinary delights and more await you at Elk Island National Park in 2016.

Please check back frequently for updates and new events or follow us on Twitter @ElkIslandNP.

Family day at Elk Island National Park

Monday February 15, 2016

© Parks Canada

Get outside and embrace the winter season at Elk Island this Family Day. Pack a thermos and set out with your family by snowshoe or cross country skis to explore one of the many trails in the park. Or lace up your skates and skate around High Island on Astotin Lake for truly unique winter experience. Later, warm up with a hot meal at the golf course and take in some local live music.

For more information contact the Elk Island National Park Visitor Centre.

Elk Island Winter Triathlon

Saturday March 5, 2016 – 10:00am – 2:00pm

Snowshoers race on Astotin Lake.
© Parks Canada

Join Elk Island National Park and The Alberta Triathlon Association as we celebrate the very best of winter!

Bring the family, bring your friends, bring your competitive edge and experience the thrill of winter triathlon. 5km of snowshoeing, 10km of ice skating and 12km of cross country skiing all in Elk Island National Park’s Astotin Lake area. You can try one of the activities or you can challenge yourself and try the full winter triathlon.

With warm up fires, tents and a free lunch at the Elk Island Golf Course club house, even spectators will enjoy the festive atmosphere of this winter celebration.

Want to participate? You can pre-register with the Alberta Triathlon Association or simply join us in the Astotin Lake Area. There are no participation fees and the event is open to all Elk Island visitors with a valid park entry permit.

Learn to Camp

Saturday June 11 and Sunday June 12, 2016

Learn to Camp participants dinner over a campfire.
© Parks Canada

Have you ever wanted to try camping but aren’t sure where to start? Why not join Elk Island National Park and Mountain Equipment Co-op for Learn to Camp!

The Learn to Camp program is a great introduction to one of Canada's favourite pastimes, camping. This program is intended for people who want to experience the pleasure of camping overnight but just need a helping hand. Learn to Camp helps you to plan and enjoy safe and successful camping trips. The event features workshops on camping related skills like how to set up a tent or cook in the outdoors. Participants have the opportunity to enjoy fun interpretive programs and other Parks Canada activities, like canoeing.

Come and enjoy the experience of camping at Elk Island National Park!

Learn to Camp Registration Begins May 2, 2016

To learn more or to register for Elk Island National Park's Learn to Camp program please visit the Parks Canada Learn to Camp page or call the Parks Canada national information service at 1-888-773-8888

Mountain Equipment Co-op's Paddlefest

Sunday, June 26 2016 

Paddlers set out on the calm waters of Astotin Lake.
© Parks Canada

Paddlefest is an urban celebration of kayaking, canoeing, and stand up paddle boarding. The festival will feature learning opportunities on water and on land. Paddlers of all skill levels are welcome.

For information, to volunteer, or to become a presenter please contact Mountain Equipment Co-op Edmonton at or call 780.488.6614. 

Canada Day at Elk Island National Park

Friday July 1, 2016 

The rich cultures of Canada’s First Nations are an important piece of Canadian Heritage.
© Parks Canada

On Canada Day, enjoy free entry to all of Canada's National Parks, National Historic Sites and National Marine Conservation Areas. There's no better way to celebrate our heritage as Canadians than visiting your nearest national park: Elk Island!

Join us for a multicultural celebration of our nation’s birthday! 

Parks Day Celebration

Saturday July 16, 2016 

A young visitor studies the intricacy of a dragonfly wing at Elk Island National Park.
© Parks Canada

Get back to nature this Parks Day at Elk Island National Park. Sit back to enjoy musical performances by local artists. Children and adults alike will experience nature like never before. Try your hand at “Learn To” activities including fire building and canoeing! Come out to Elk Island National Park and experience the great Canadian tradition of a day at the park with your friends and family!

The Bison Festival

A celebration of conservation, culture and cuisine!

Saturday August 13, 2016 

The Bison Festival celebrates and cultivates an appreciation of all things bison at Elk Island National Park.
© Parks Canada

Bison were nearly lost from North America! But by the early 20th century, bison purchased from Montana and brought to Elk Island National Park began to slowly re-build their numbers. Today nearly every plains bison you see in southern Canada, whether in conservation or domestic herds, had an ancestor in Elk Island National Park. We think that’s something to celebrate! Join us for our annual Bison Festival celebrating all things bison!

Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve Star Party

September 3rd and 4th, 2016 

Volunteer astronomers share the stars at the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Star Party.
© Parks Canada

The Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve’s 11th annual Star Party will be bigger and better than ever before. Taking place over two days at two different locations the Beaver Hills Star Party will feature volunteer astronomers to help show you the stars with both solar and night sky viewing. Guest speakers, presenters, displays and activities will keep the whole family entertained at this 2 day celebration.

The star party will be at Miquelon Lake Provincial Park on Saturday Sept. 3 and at Elk Island National Park on Sunday Sept 4, 2016.