Bison Backstage is the exclusive, behind the scenes look at bison conservation at Elk Island. Visitors will be led through the Plains Bison Handling Facility and along the way will learn about the history of bison, how they affect the prairie landscape around them, and how parks staff herd these magnificent wild animals through the world-class plains bison handling facility as a tool to connect visitors to Canada’s bison story and Parks Canada’s ongoing role in bison conservation efforts.

Organizer information

  • To book: Email interp.elkisland@pc.gc.ca
  • Fees: View cost on fee page; teachers and chaperones are complimentary when visiting for a school program
  • Capacity: Two groups maximum per day; maximum of 30 people per group
  • Duration: Each program is 1-hour
  • Language: Available in English or French
  • Audience: This program is suitable for school, tour, and private groups. Content is most relevant to Alberta curriculum for grades 9 and 10, as well as adult audiences.
  • Please ensure that all groups have a fair chance to participate in our programs: give us at least two weeks' notice of any cancellations, so that we may offer the time slot to another group.
  • Supervisor to student ratios:
    • A minimum of 1 supervisor for every 10 elementary students is required
    • A minimum of 1 supervisor for every 15 secondary students is required

How the program works

  • Meet your interpreter at the Visitor Information Centre approximately 10 minutes before your scheduled program time.
  • Your group will be guided around the site by a Parks Canada interpreter, visiting the historic barn and plains bison handling facility.
  • This tour covers approximately 1 kilometer on foot over uneven grass and gravel. If your group has mobility concerns, please mention this while inquiring about your booking.
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