Photographs and Curation by Lee Cookson and Laurel Green
Design by Lee Cookson
Canmore is home to a permanent population of 15,990 people, according to the 2021 Statistic Canada Census. Of 9,173 private dwellings owned, only 6,804 are reported as lived-in. While no official count has been conducted of residents who own property but whose primary residence is elsewhere, the rate is noticeable from condos and homes that remain empty for significant periods of time. Unlike the town of Banff, which sits within Banff National Park, and thus has strict residency eligibility requirements, real estate in Canmore can be owned by anyone. The average asking price of a home in Canmore (at the time of writing this sentence) is over $1.3 million and continues to increase. Despite the ratio of residences to permanent population being high, Canmore currently has one of the lowest vacancy rates for rental properties in the country. This issue searches for the heart of what makes Canmore a home to some, and the second-home to many tourists, retirees, and weekenders, as the town leans into a new identity as a high-end bedroom and getaway community.
In the spirit of respect and truth, we honour and acknowledge the Canmore area, known as “Chuwapchipchiyan Kudi Bi” (translated in Stoney Nakoda as “shooting at the willows”) and the Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Îyârhe Nakoda (Stoney Nakoda) – comprised of the Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Goodstoney First Nations – as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Blackfoot Confederacy comprised of the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Shuswap Nations, Ktunaxa Nations, and Metis Nation of Alberta, Region 3. We acknowledge all Nations who live, work, and play here, steward this land, and honour and celebrate this place. As the progeny of settlers and immigrants from Great Britain, we are guests on these lands and share these photographs as an exploration and critique of what Canmore has become since colonization.