Recreation, the Arts & Education

At any time, as you review the resources listed below, please feel free to reach out to the MD of Bighorn's Community Services to assist you in finding the recreational, cultural and educational opportunities that are right for you. Email: doug.saul@mdbighorn.ca 

Introduction

Communities and hamlets within the MD of Bighorn, and adjacent to it, provide a wide variety of recreation and education opportunities, from parks and playgrounds to rinks and field sports; from clubs and organizations to libraries and community halls; from municipal trails to the wilderness and parkland areas all around the MD.

In addition to the recreation, cultural and educational opportunities within the MD of Bighorn, the MD has partnerships in place with the neighbouring towns of Cochrane and Canmore. Residents of the MD of Bighorn can feel welcome browsing and utilizing recreational and educational opportunities within the towns of Cochrane and Canmore. Beyond these towns, regions from Bragg Creek to Calgary, from Cremona to Sundre provide more opportunities for residents of all ages and abilities to learn and grow.

Note that the resources list below is not a complete compilation, nor are the organizations directly endorsed by the MD of Bighorn. Below, scrolling down, you will find resources organized by the following topics/regions:

  • Financial support for child/youth recreation
  • MD of Bighorn: North
  • MD of Bighorn: Central and South
  • MD of Bighorn: Bow Corridor
  • Adult learning opportunities
  • Outdoor centres and accredited summer camps
  • Hiking and mountain / foothills exploring
  • French programming in the Bow Valley

Financial Support

KidSport and Canadian Tire's JumpStart both may provide financial support to eligible families for children's and youth recreation. If you would like assistance with these programs and, if applicable, accessing either or both of these resources, please feel free to contact the MD of Bighorn's Community Services Coordinator.

For opportunities unique to elders and seniors, please see the MD of Bighorn's Seniors Resources webpage.

Accessible Sport Options

Rocky Mountain Adaptive provides program, instruction and resources of athletes of all abilities, overcoming access barriers for those with physical and cognitive diversities. Rocky Mountain Adaptive is a national treasure and will work with groups whether in the Bow Corridor, or the north or the south of the MD of Bighorn.

MD of Bighorn: North

Just to the east of North Ranchlands, in Mountain View County, the Water Valley Community Association has a community hall with an events calendar with events and social gatherings to suit every resident. The Water Valley region has an outdoor rink, the Water Valley Public Library and other recreational and cultural opportunities, including but certainly not limited to a 4H Club, the William J. Bagnall Wilderness Park, the Water Valley Rodeo and the Camp Kindle.

The Marigold Library System is available online for remote areas that have internet access. This is an online service that delivers books to mailing addresses in remote locations in the MD of Bighorn.

A short distance east and north of the MD of Bighorn, a wide range of recreational, social, cultural and educational opportunities are available. Please contact the MD of Bighorn's Community Services if you would like assistance in finding the opportunities that are right for you in this region.

External websites may change their web address over time, so direct links are not always provided. However, simply copy and paste the item into your web browser and you will find your selected resource.

The website of the Town of Sundre has links to many of these resources that are located in Sundre.

In terms of libraries, the central region of the MD of Bighorn hosts in its Ghost River Firehall the Benchlands Book Deposit.

MD of Bighorn: Central and South

Cochrane recreation opportunities include the Spray Lakes Sawmills Family Sports Centre (SLSC). The SLSC provides a full-service facility with climbing, curling, aquatics, running, fitness, skating/hockey, gymnastics, play-care and more.

Cochrane also provides a wide variety of other recreational, educational, cultural and social opportunities. The following list is just a few of the opportunities in the Cochrane region:

Central in the MD of Bighorn is the MacDougall Stoney Mission Society and the historic church and church grounds.

Just south of the West Jumping Pound region of the MD of Bighorn, Bragg Creek and area provides a number of recreational and cultural opportunities. A short list might include the following organizations:

MD of Bighorn: Bow Corridor

The Bow Corridor provides a wide variety of recreational, educational and cultural opportunities. Programs are available for children, youth, seniors, adults and families. There are more opportunities than are listed here. Please contact the MD of Bighorn's Community Services if you would like assistance in finding the opportunities that are right for you.

One of the best places to search for recreational opportunities in the Bow Valley Corridor, for participants of all ages and abilities, is the sport directory of the Bow Valley True Sport & Recreation Council. This directory lists over 300 recreational clubs and organizations from archery to yoga and everything in between, including traditional gym and field sports and aquatics as well as mountain pursuits including hiking, climbing and mountaineering.

Exshaw: The Exshaw Community Association Recreation Grounds & Community Centre provide opportunities for camping, softball, reunions, clubs, picnics and more. The Exshaw Community Association Fitness Centre has a variety of health and fitness equipment. The Royal Canadian Legion in Exshaw hosts and supports a number of social events every year and is a convenient and welcoming meeting place in Exshaw.

The Exshaw Play Program, supported by the MD of Bighorn, is a facilitated and parented play program based in Exshaw. The Exshaw Play Program runs on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month from 10:00 AM - 12:00 noon, excluding July and August. The program welcomes parents, caregivers and children (children ages 0-6) for two hours of play and social connection in the Exshaw Community Centre 2nd Floor Lounge. A variety of toys and art supplies are provided. Caregivers are encouraged to bring coffee or tea for themselves and a nut free snack for their children. Check the MD of Bighorn's Facebook page to see when the next Exshaw Play Program is available.

The Bighorn Public Library in Exshaw provides integrated library services and community programs.

Canmore: Canmore's Elevation Place and the Canmore Recreation Centre provide athletic and cultural opportunities and programs. Visit the website for complete information on these facilities. ArtsPlace provides many programs related to the arts for all ages and levels of interest. The Canmore Museum explores the region's history as well as present-day stories. The Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park provides world  class - and beginner/amateur friendly! - Nordic ski trails, mountain biking trails and disc golf facilities.

Rocky Mountain Adaptive provides a wide range of recreational opportunities for individuals with all abilities. Their accessible programs are four season and for all skill levels of adaptive athletes and recreationalists.

In the performing arts, Canmore's Pine Tree Players provides avenues for non-professionals to volunteer in the acting and production of local theatre, while the Bow Valley Chorus and the Valley Winds Music Association provide, respectively, communities for singing and instrument playing. The Bow Corridor is home to a wide variety of music lesson providers.

Again: Please contact the MD of Bighorn's Community Services if you would like assistance in finding the opportunities that are right for you.

Adult Learning Opportunities

There are several adult learning opportunities provided by towns adjacent to the MD of Bighorn: reading supports, literacy supports, English as a second language classes, guidance on on-going learning and high school graduation options. 

If you have any questions regarding adult learning options or would simply like to talk about adult learning and to learn more about what is available for residents of the MD of Bighorn, please feel free to contact Community Services: doug.saul@mdbighorn.ca

Bow Valley Adult Learning

Town of Sundre Education

Cremona Community Engagement Site

Outdoor Centres, Outfitters and Summer Camps

Several outdoor centres and summer camps are situated in or around the MD of Bighorn. To learn more about the outdoor centre and summer camps that are right for your, visit the website of the Alberta Camping Association (ACA) and speak with one of their representatives.

The ACA has the accredited outdoor centres and camps located on an interactive map complete with a filter for each organization's profile and activities, with an alphabetical listing of all members including website links.

The Town of Canmore provides a series of day camp programs each year.

Local outfitting and outdoor recreation programs for individuals, families, schools and groups are available from Kananaskis Outfitters. Connect with Kananaskis Outfitter to learn how they can support you to get outside, be active and explore a new sport.

Hiking and Mountain / Foothills Exploring

Of course, the MD of Bighorn has beautiful and plentiful mountains and hills for hiking and exploring. Many online resources exist, including the Alberta Parks website, which includes a Find A Park interactive map. One resource that may be helpful and that may lead to other online resources is the website: Kananaskis Trails. This website provides many dozens of hikes, walks and scrambles in and around the MD of Bighorn.

At any time, as you review the resources listed below, please feel free to reach out to the MD of Bighorn's Community Services to assist you in finding the recreational and educational opportunities that are right for you. Email: doug.saul@mdbighorn.ca

French Programming in the Bow Valley

The ACFA provides resources for the promotion of French programming in the Bow Valley.

Recreation and Community Services Plans

In 2022, Council approved a Recreation and Community Services Programming & Facilities Plan. The Plan was initiated in autumn 2022 and completed in spring of 2023. Below is the report submitted to Council and accepted by Council. Also below is the previous Community Services Master Plan, 2013.

Recreation and Community Services Programs & Facilities Plan, 2023 (PDF)

Community Services Plan, 2012 (PDF)