Alberta has a special gift to mark the 90th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and to celebrate Canada’s longstanding role as a member of the Commonwealth.
“I am delighted to announce that a Commonwealth Walkway will be created in the Town of Banff and Banff National Park,” said Her Honour, the Honourable Lois Mitchell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. “This project, which honours the 90th birthday of our beloved Queen of Canada, also celebrates an important part of our heritage while encouraging current and future generations of Canadians to get outside and enjoy the benefits of walking.”
Banff’s Commonwealth Walkway will feature bilingual bronze plaques along existing trails and at points of significant local interest. The plaques will bear Her Majesty’s personal Royal Cypher. Information provided will include details about Royal connections to the Mountain Parks and Canada’s Commonwealth history in general. Potential routes for the Walkway are under development. The Walkway will be unveiled in September 2017 as part of events to mark Canada’s 150th birthday.
Lieutenant Governor Mitchell is the Honourary Patron of the Banff Commonwealth Walkway project. Plans are currently being developed by a steering committee of representatives from the Banff-Canmore Community Foundation, Parks Canada, the Town of Banff, Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, the Banff Centre and Banff & Lake Louise Tourism. Bill Fisher, Chair of the Banff-Canmore Community Foundation will serve as committee chair.
“Our local group will work in partnership on the project’s design, installation and interpretation. We are thrilled that Banff has been chosen to serve as a location for Canada’s Commonwealth Walkway and we are honoured to share our Royal and Commonwealth heritage with walkers from across the country and around the world,” said Fisher.
The Banff Commonwealth Walkway has been endorsed by The Outdoor Trust, a UK based charity that is coordinating a network of Commonwealth Walkways in all 71 Nations and Territories. “It is brilliant of Canada to announce their Walkway on the occasion of Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday,” said Outdoor Trust Chairman Hugo Vickers. “This rightly recognizes Her Majesty’s 64-year reign as Queen of Canada, and honours the special place the country holds in Her Majesty’s heart.”