Skip to content

Banff Minor Hockey reducing fees, Canmore's increasing

Fees will go up 10 per cent in Canmore, while fees will be cut by $100 in Banff.
The Canmore Minor Hockey Timbits players battle it out over some ball hockey action during Hometown Hockey in Canmore in 2018. RMO FILE PHOTO

BOW VALLEY – Banff Minor Hockey is looking to make the sport more accessible to families with young children by cutting costs and offering more training opportunities.

Following a significant drop in registration in its U7 program – 11 in 2023-24 compared to 25 in 2022-23 – the local association is reducing fees by $100 across all of its age groups and $50 for its pond hockey recreational play.

President Jeremy Morin said Banff Minor Hockey (BMH) is looking to connect with families and create awareness about how hockey can be positive for all young individuals and bring that sense of community together.

“We want to ensure our association has a strong foundation in Banff for years to come and part of that is what we can do to attract more families and add value to our programming,” said Morin.

On top of reducing fees, the organization is expanding in other areas to offer additional training for skating, skill and goaltending and opportunities through the Town of Banff’s “try it” programming.

“I think it’s important to note that we’re not doing this to compete with other associations,” said Morin. “We really want to encourage enrolment and encourage that sense of community in Banff and do whatever we can to make it feasible for people to play hockey without an increased financial burden.”

Last season, BHM didn’t see a decrease in numbers overall, however, the drop in the U7 program may be a sign of the times, with the cost of living being higher in the expensive mountain resort town and nationwide inflation.

Monica Babb, Active Living and Wellness Coordinator for the Town of Banff, said she doesn’t think it’s specific to Banff.

According to the International Ice Hockey Federation, the number of registered players in Canada (from 2020-23) has been below pre-pandemic numbers. For example, the 2019-20 season had 607,026 registered skaters, while 2022-23 had 548,000 signed up.

“[For participation], I do think Canada-wide, there has been a decrease in participation, especially for young children when the kids are so young they grow so quickly, the equipment is so expensive, and I think that definitely plays a factor in parents’ ability to sign their child up if there’s extra costs in needing new skates every year,” said Babb.

One area the Town of Banff is helping families cut costs is through a partnership with social impact charity the Calgary Flames Sports Bank, which provides hockey equipment for learn-to-play hockey programs.

Once the children outgrow the equipment, it can be donated back, where it will be cleaned and sanitized and donated to other children.

“Most of the participants who signed up didn’t previously have hockey equipment so ... We hope we can continue to grow the sport in the Bow Valley,” said Babb.

For more information about Banff Minor Hockey programming, visit

The Canmore Minor Hockey Association (CMHA), however, saw good numbers with its U7 programming and even had its first-ever all U7 girls team.

“We were super excited about that,” said CMHA president Michael Hay. “The [Professional Women’s Hockey League] has grown a lot of attention to females playing the game and it was really cool to see an entire U7 female team. We anticipate that team will stay together hopefully as it goes through the cycle.”

Canmore minor hockey fees increasing

CMHA's registration fees will increase by 10 per cent for the upcoming season.

President Hay said the cost increase is the first since 2018 and is prompted by raising prices in insurance and ice times.

“As a non-profit … we need to make sure we are able to continue to provide for our association so part of that process is obviously mitigating the risks,” said Hay. “We don’t like raising fees at all, but it’s a part of the business (...).”

Hay added that the local minor hockey association’s fees remain 20-30 per cent below Calgary-area leagues, such as Cochrane and Airdrie minor hockey associations. In 2024-25 and using U11 rep registration as an example, in Canmore it’s $1,035, in Airdrie it’s $1,315 and in Cochrane it’s $1,625.

“We’re basically just trying to cover the cost of the extra burden we’re getting,” said Hay.

For more information, visit

Jordan Small

About the Author: Jordan Small

An award-winning reporter, Jordan Small has covered sports, the arts, and news in the Bow Valley since 2014. Originally from Barrie, Ont., Jordan has lived in Alberta since 2013.
Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks