Three Sisters Mountain Village

Agency: Resonance Consultancy

Three Sisters Mountain Village (TSMV) is a master-plan resort community in Canmore, Alberta. The community’s developers engaged Resonance to create a vision and storyline for the next phase of the development, set to include an amenity-rich resort centre. Working with the Resonance team and in particular with VP of Storytelling Dianna Carr, I wrote a storyline that imagined what TSMV could be in the years to come. You can see the entire Vision on TSMV’s website. Below, some excerpts from the (rather long!) document.

Canmore: People & Place

Describing the appeal of Canmore to someone who has never visited is an exercise in speechlessness and superlatives. Adjectives – majestic, spectacular, breathtaking, magnificent – always seem to fall short. This is a place that has to be seen – and felt – to be understood.

Though adventure tourism is the town’s primary industry today, what is now Canmore began as a mining town when Queen Victoria granted a coal mining charter to the area in 1886. The No. 1 mine was opened in 1887, and the coal mining industry boomed well into the 20th century. Impacts from this history – the potential weakening of the ground from past mine digging – continue to shape parts of the TSMV property to this very day.

In 1979, Canmore Mines Ltd. ceased operations. The town’s economic prospects seemed dismal until it was announced that Calgary would host the 1988 Winter Olympics – and Canmore would have a part to play in the events. New facilities for Nordic sports were built, including 60 kilometres of trails for cross-country skiing. Canmore’s time in the Olympic spotlight resulted in an influx of visitors who come looking for some of the world’s best outdoor recreational opportunities. Many of them stayed for good.  

Over the past 20 years, Canmore has evolved into an authentic mountain village and an epicentre of outdoor activity and adventure tourism. Avid and expert climbers, hikers, bikers, skiers and adventurers of all kinds find a particular definition of heaven here. National and provincial parks offering thousands of kilometres of trails within nearly three million acres of protected wilderness. The mighty Bow River: canoeing, kayaking, paddling, or world-renowned fly fishing. Four world-class ski resorts – with 9,000 combined acres of internationally renowned downhill terrain – within a 45-minute drive. Small wonder that Canmore is home to more national-calibre athletes per capita than any other Canadian centre.

Those of us who venture out of doors from time to time are enthusiasts. The people who choose Canmore – residents or visitors – are lovers of the outdoors who take their passion to new heights. Garages aren’t used for sheltering cars but for storing their bounty of equipment – mountain and road bikes, skis and snowshoes, ice axes and crampons, golf clubs and paddleboards. Outdoors is in, year-round – they take full advantage of all four seasons, and enjoy every one of Canmore’s 330 annual days of sunshine. They’re sure-footed on trails, bike wranglers on the steep, explorers of the marked and the back country. They go, boldly.

For these intrepid spirits, there’s no better home or holiday destination than Three Sisters Mountain Village. Basecamp to endless adventure. Portal to 2.8 million acres of majestic mountain wilderness in their backyard – for a weekend, a week, or forever. Access to some of Canada’s finest recreational amenities, a walk or bike ride from their doorstep.

Here, they are part of a community of like-minded people who have chosen this place and this lifestyle. They connect with their neighbours around the resort’s many tables, campfires, hot tubs and pools with tales of peaks conquered, tricks mastered, and wildlife spotted. They share a relentless commitment to treading lightly on this land, because it is and will always be shared with the wildlife who inhabit it and migrate through it and with future generations who deserve to inherit it unspoiled. They understand, always, that while the wilderness is a playground, preserving this majestic mountain playground is no game.

Here is heaven for the healthy, the hearty, the hardcore. But it’s also bliss for the beginner – the perfect place for the curious to discover new activities and adventures, new paths into a very personal wild. Here, simply being willing to try creates a connection, an understanding, a community.

Vision

Three Sisters Mountain Village will be a world-renowned, all-season resort, wellness retreat and hub of active health and happiness at altitude. Geographically situated between the town and the mountain, TSMV, like Canmore, is a gateway into the parks, and a portal to discovery of the natural world.

TSMV welcomes seekers of a holiday destination or a home for family and friends. It is a community of three neighbourhoods, distinct yet connected by physical infrastructure and by a shared affinity for activity and adventure. Whether you’re young or old, a seasoned outdoorsman or just starting out, here for a weekend or forever, you and your intrepid spirit will be warmly welcomed to this ultimate Rocky Mountain basecamp. From here, you’ll enjoy access to endless opportunity for outdoor recreation and personal renewal in one of the most spectacular mountain settings on Earth. And while it may be the natural elements and the wilderness at your doorstep that draw you here, it will be the civilized elements that draw you in, and entice you to stay: a resort centre envisioned to include sophisticated spa facilities, fine shops, accommodations, innovative restaurants and bars and brewpubs you won’t find anywhere else. Here you’ll find many ways to feel at home in nature, many paths into discovery.

Three Sisters is not just about the rush of adrenaline, but about ceasing to rush. About finding a pace in tune with the rhythms of nature, rather than dictated by the deadlines and demands of the city. You escape to the mountains to disconnect from the signals and stresses of urban life, and in so doing, find yourself more connected than ever – to your family and friends, new and old. To the Three Sisters community, and the community of Canmore. To the towering Three Sisters who stand watch over you all and their silent rhythms. To nature – the gorgeous Bow Valley landscape and the wildlife you share it with. Attuned and alive to the truest, most vital version of yourself, and the purpose and possibility within you. 

There's more where this came from. To see more brand strategy and storyline documents, contact me at hello {at} chelseaherman {dot} com. I'm unable to post many of these documents publicly, but would be happy to walk you through my work.