Derald Smith studying Late Cretaceous deposits in the Alberta Badlands.
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Getting to Calgary

eTA - Electronic Travel Authorization

As of November 2016 everyone arriving by air from visa-exempt countries (except the USA) must have an eTA in place before travelling to Canada.

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Visiting Canada

Entry visas are required for some foreign visitors before they are allowed into Canada. Please ensure that you obtain the correct visa to enter the country.

Detailed information on the Canadian Visa Policy can be found at the Government of Canada.

Letter of Invitation

The ICFS 11 Organising Committee will provide Letters of Invitation to participants registered for the ICFS 11 conference to assist in their visa applications.

In order to be issued an invitation letter, the participant must be registered for the conference. Please email Paul Durkin or Chris Simpson with your Registration ID and contact info.


  • Letters of Invitation will not be issued to Accompanying Persons.
  • While the letter will be an official invitation to the conference, applicants are responsible for all costs of attending ICFS 11.
  • Application for a visa must be made by the person to whom the letter is addressed.
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Calgary International Airport

Calgary International (YYC) is the third busiest airport in Canada and has daily direct flights from most major cities in Canada, the United States as well Europe and Asia.

The airport is finalising a major expansion including a new international terminal that will open in the fall of 2016.

View of the Rocky Mountains from Calgary International Airport
Looking westward toward the Rocky Mountains  from Calgary International Airport.
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Crossroads Calgary

Calgary sits at the intersection of a major east-west highway, the TransCanada, and a north-south highway that stretches from southern California to Alaska.

A popular route is to fly into Calgary and rent a RV or car and drive through the Rockies and mountain ranges of British Columbia before flying home via Vancouver.

Getting Around Calgary

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Public Transportation

Calgary Transit

The airport is served by three bus routes that link into the wider transit system including the C‑Train which has a stop at the University of Calgary.

Route planning, fares and phone apps can be found on the Calgary Transit website. Please note some routes from the airport have a higher than standard fare.

C-Train pulling into a station west of downtown Calgary
C-Train pulling into a station west of downtown Calgary
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Calgary International Airport

24-hour taxi service is provided by Associated Cabs at Calgary International Airport. Taxi stands are located on the Arrivals level. Uber is now available in Calgary.

Airport taxis can accommodate four or five adult passengers. Vans are available to assist customers with excess luggage.

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Car Rentals

Calgary International Airport

All major car rental companies can be found in the airport terminal. The university is about 30 minutes from the airport.


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University of Calgary

Hotel Alma and Residences

The Hotel Alma is located on campus less than five minutes from the conference venue at MacEwan Hall. This is the official conference accommodation. There is also accommodation reserved in Yamnuska and Kananaskis Halls offering dormitory and three-bedroom options.

Room rates and links to example of each available type can be found on the registration page.

View of the modern furnishings of the Hotel Alma lobby
Lobby of the Hotel Alma on the University of Calgary campus
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Off Campus

Motel Village and Downtown Calgary

The area locally known as Motel Village is an approximately 25‑30 minute walk from MacEwan Hall. There is a large concentration of hotels here such as Holiday Inn Express, Best Western, Comfort Inn and Hampton Inn. These hotels can be found on most travel sites by looking for the 'university' area in location filters.

Numerous hotels can be found in downtown Calgary and are an easy 15 minute C‑Train ride away from the university campus.

NOTE: as the conference is immediately after the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede (ends on Sunday, conference starts Monday) the rates for the days proceeding the conference will be much higher. If staying off campus you should book at your earliest convenience to try to avoid higher rates.

University of Calgary Recreation

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Olympic Oval

Summer Skating

The university campus housed athletes and hosted events during the 1988 Winter Olympics leaving behind an impressive legacy of sport infrastructure. This includes the Olympic Oval, the worlds first indoor speed-skating track, which is known as the "Fastest Ice in the World" for the number of world records set here (291 and counting).

The ice is typically available for public skating on weekends in July with skate rental available on site.

View inside the Olympic Oval speed skating venue on the University of Calgary campus
View inside the Olympic Oval speed skating venue on the University of Calgary campus
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Outdoor Centre

Recreation Equipment Rental

Given Calgary's proximity to the Rocky Mountains getting out there and enjoying hiking, biking, canoeing or camping is a favourite pastime of Calgarians

The Outdoor Centre provides equipment rental if you'd like to experience the Rocky Mountains before or after the conference. The yearly Summer Progam offers many trips, whether hiking, biking or canoeing that run during July and include a guide and transportation.

The stunning Moraine Lake near Lake Louise west of Calgary in Banff National Park
The stunning Moraine Lake near Lake Louise west of Calgary in Banff National Park

Calgary Exhibition & Stampede

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The Stampede

Stampede Grounds

For 10-days in early July the people of Calgary celebrate the cities western heritage. The Stampede is known as "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth." There is a daily rodeo, fair ground, free entertainment and the nightly chuckwagon races and grandstand show. Roughly 1.2 million people visit the Stampede Grounds over the course of the 10-days.

The entire city gets into the spirit with locals dressing western (you will see a lot of cowboy hats and boots) and free community pancake breakfasts all over the city.

ICFS 11 starts the day after the Stampede ends so it is a great opportunity to come a few days early and experience this unique event.

The Calgary Stampede, the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth
The Calgary Exhibition & Stampede takes place the 10-days prior to ICFS 11 and is a unique event celebrating Calgary's western heritage