Medical Information and Accessibility
Local Health Services
- Bear St. Family Physicians Suite 302, 220 Bear St. (403) 762 4846
- Alpine Medical Clinic Unit 201A, 211 Bear St. (403) 762 3155
- Banff Mineral Springs Hospital 305 Lynx St. (403) 762 2222
- Banff Community Health Centre 303 Lynx St. (403) 762 2990
Call 811 or 1-866-408-5465 to reach Alberta's non-emergency health line for health advice 24/7.
Information for International Participants and Residents of Quebec
International travellers to Canada and Canadian citizens from Quebec with private insurance or Banff Centre's Guard.me coverage are responsible for all upfront costs associated with medical and dental care. This includes all costs associated with emergency medical care, which are paid up front at the hospital then reimbursed through filing an insurance claim with original receipts.
If you have Guard.me and unsure of how to make a claim, stop by the Participant Resources office for guidance through this process.
Medical care costs in Banff at a glance
$250-385 to be transported by ambulance + $200 surcharge for all non-residents of Alberta
$150-250 to be seen by a doctor at a walk-in clinic
$900 to be admitted into the emergency room (including required lab work and x-rays) in addition to doctor's fees which start at an additional $200 and increase depending on diagnosis and treatment
$1100 on average to visit the emergency room for a non-resident of Canada
Note: prices are subject to change without notice
For more information about Guard.me coverage and making claims, please visit Guard.me FAQ.
Health Insurance Information for Canadians or Canadians Living Abroad
Health insurance coverage is mandatory for all participants as a condition of acceptance at Banff Centre. Canadian and permanent residents currently residing in Canada are covered by their provincial health plan while studying or working temporarily in Alberta. Most services will be billed directly to the provincial plan, but an individual is responsible for expenses not covered by their health care plan.
Canadian citizens residing in a foreign country will be automatically enrolled in Banff Centre's emergency medical coverage unless they are able to provide details of private health insurance coverage upon confirmation. To do so, please request the Emergency Health Insurance Opt-Out form from the Office of the Registrar and submit it through the My Documents section in the student portal. The form must be completed and returned in 7 calendar days. There will be no exceptions or extensions.
Note: residents of Quebec may have to pay upfront for services and be reimbursed. Consult RAMQ prior to departing for details. A participant residing in the province for longer than three months may be eligible for Alberta Health Care coverage. Phone 780.427.1432 or dial 310.0000 for toll-free accesss within Alberta, or visit here for more information. To register for Alberta health care visit the Alberta Health Care Insurance page.
Health Insurance Information for Non-Canadians
For Banff Centre programs, comprehensive emergency health insurance coverage is mandatory as a condition of your acceptance and participation. Non-Canadians (or Canadians living abroad) who wish to opt-out of emergency health insurance coverage must present details of valid health insurance at time of program confirmation or they will be automatically enrolled in Guard.me International Insurance for the duration of their stay and charged the applicable fees. To opt-out, request the Emergency Health Insurance Opt-Out form from the Office of the Registrar and submit it in the My Documents section of the student portal. The form must be completed and returned in 7 calendar days. There will be no exceptions or extensions.
Participants aged 65 years and older are responsible for securing their own health insurance and providing proof of coverage. Also please note that Guard.me does not cover any pre-existing medical conditions. Please visit their website and examine the information below for coverage details.
Banff Centre's Guard.me International Insurance group plan provides excellent coverage for less than $2/day and is available to participants and faculty.
Non-Canadians are personally responsible for covering the upfront costs of all medical and dental care while in Canada. This includes all costs associated with emergency medical care which are paid upfront at the hospital then reimbursed through filing an insurance claim with original receipts.
Emergency medical care costs in Banff at a glance:
- $250-385 to be transported by ambulance + $200 surcharge for all non-residents of Alberta
- $350 to be seen by a doctor at a walk-in clinic
- $842.50 to be admitted into the emergency room (including required lab work and x-rays) in addition to doctor's fees which start at an additional $200 and increase depending on diagnosis and treatment
- $1100 on average to visit the emergency room for a non-resident of Canada
Note: prices are subject to change without notice
There are two pharmacies in the town of Banff:
Gourlay's Pharmacy located at 220 Bear Street. Call at 403-672-2516.
I.D.A. Neighbourly Pharmacy located inside Cascade Mall, 317 Banff Ave. Call at 403-762-2245.
Artist residencies at Banff Centre can be an intense experience both creatively and physically. Please ensure that you are in good physical and mental health with any pre-existing conditions in a state of management. The town of Banff is a small community with limited medical resources and accessibility in comparison to larger urban centres. To ensure a positive and productive time within your residency, please practice self-care and prioritize your work/life balance.
Banff Centre strives to support individuals to the best of our ability, and believe addressing accommodations is a collaborative process to establish the appropriate supports. If you have mobility or other accessibility requirements, please inform Participant Resources as soon as possible upon your acceptance into a program. Any delay in requesting accommodations will affect our ability to make arrangements on your behalf resulting in limited options and/or a delay in commencement of accommodations.
Once your information is received, we will be in contact to discuss how (and if) we are able to support the accommodations required to ensure you can be successful in your program.
Banff Centre is not able to guarantee full accommodation of all needs due to the unique challenges our institution faces including: the mountain environment; limited practicum housing; age of buildings (both old and new); full service dining and hotel style guest rooms; and our isolated rural location limiting availability of specialty items.
Please note: If you are a conference delegate or organizer, please reach out to your Banff Centre conference contact for accessibility information.
Medical documentation may be required to support the accommodation process. It will be used to determine needs and Banff Centre's ability to establish appropriate accommodation measures to satisfactorily address the functional limitations of the disability. You will not be required to provide specific confidential medical information such as a medical diagnosis except in rare circumstances involving complex needs. Once your medical documentation is received, it is stored securely in Participant Resources and is treated with the strictest confidence not to be shared to any third party without your prior written consent.
If you travel with a certified service dog, please contact Participant Resources upon acceptance into your program to ensure you are assigned suitable accommodations. All service dogs accompanying participants and faculty at Banff Centre must be certified in compliance with Alberta Government regulations which require dogs to meet the Alberta Training Standard either through training delivered by a program that is accredited by or holding candidacy status with Assistance Dogs International (ADI), a training program delivered by an organization on the Qualified List, or successful completion of the Service Dog Qualification Assessment.
The service dog must be with its handler at all times and in public the dog must wear a cape, harness, backpack, or other similar piece of equipment or clothing with a logo that is clear and easy to read and identifiable as an assistance dog. The Alberta Government currently does not require accommodations be made for emotional support animals and does not require public access rights be granted to non-certified dogs (or service dogs in training from non-certified training programs) in restaurants or any space where food is prepared or served.
Confidentiality and Release of Information
Participant Resources takes your privacy very seriously. Any information or documentation provided to our office is confidential and any disclosure of your private information to another internal department requires your written informed consent.
To facilitate creating an accommodation plan, Participant Resources may need to communicate some of your accommodation arrangements to various Banff Centre departments including, but not limited to, Food and Beverage, Custodial, Guest Services, Security as well as your Program Coordinator, Program Manager, Mentor, and Supervisor where applicable.