Participant Accommodation

Participants of BIRS programs are housed in Corbett Hall at the Banff Centre. 5-day workshop participants are expected to arrive on Sunday afternoon or evening (check-in is after 4 p.m.) and to depart Friday midday (check-out is at noon). Accommodation and meals are provided for the organizers and participants for this period.

Check-in desk at the Banff Centre is located in the Professional Development Centre (PDC). The desk is open 24 hours* so participants can check in anytime. Here you will be given the key to your room in Corbett Hall as well as any information useful for BIRS participants. During your stay at BIRS, you can be contacted by telephone through The Banff Centre switchboard, which is open 24 hours, at +1-403-762-6100.

Participants of BIRS programs are housed in Corbett Hall, which has 50 rooms. Each room has one queen-sized bed, a telephone, an ethernet port with a cable for laptops, and a desk. Open wireless Internet access ("wifi"), no password required, is available in all areas of BIRS. The bedrooms are each equipped with a clock-radio, a coffee-maker, and an iron and ironing board. Most bedrooms share a bathroom with one other bedroom. Bathrooms are equipped with hair-dryers and supplied with towels, soap shampoo and lotion.  Coin-operated laundry facilities are available in Corbett Hall.

Corbett Hall has 4 floors and is not equipped with an elevator. If you feel that this could be a physical challenge to you, please advise us and we will be happy to accommodate you on a lower floor.

*However, public transportation from Calgary Airport is somewhat limited, so please refer to shuttle timings prior to booking your flight. Shuttle companies are listed under "Getting to BIRS".

Accompanying Guest

You are welcome to bring an adult guest while being aware that the bedrooms at BIRS (Corbett Hall) contain one queen size bed and that most bedrooms have a shared bathroom with one other participant. (A guest is considered "adult" if he or she can take care of him-or herself from 9am to 6pm while you are participating in workshop activities).

Since the stay of your guest is not directly connected to a specific BIRS program, you are urged to consider making a contribution towards supporting the station’s infrastructure. If your guest wishes to join you for meals at the Banff Centre, she/he will do this at her/his own expense.

Contributions can be made using a personal cheque in Canadian or US funds, Canadian cash, or by making a secure online credit card payment.

Credit card payments can be made online at:

Personal cheques made payable to Banff International Research Station can either be given on site to the BIRS Station Manager, or sent by regular mail to:

Attn: BIRS Administrator
University of British Columbia
4176-2207 Main Mall
Vancouver BC V6T 1Z4

Needless to say, such contributions are very important for the long-term future of the Station and are greatly appreciated.

Extended Stay

If you are arriving before your workshop begins or staying after it ends, you will have to arrange and pay for your own accommodation for all nights outside of the workshop dates.

Participants of 5-day workshops may however, request to stay at the BIRS facility for additional nights (strictly for scientific and/or logistic reasons and subject to room availability). Such a request, along with your reason for request, needs to be made directly to the BIRS Scientific Director, [email protected], and must be made at least 2 weeks prior to the start of your workshop.

Since this part of your stay is not directly connected to a specific BIRS program, you are urged to consider making a contribution towards supporting the station’s infrastructure. Online payment can be made here. If you wish to book accommodation at the Banff Centre, you can let them know that you are a BIRS participant, and you will get a specially negotiated BIRS rate on your room. Additional accommodation information can be found at

When BIRS cannot accommodate your request, you may choose to be either at another building of the Banff Centre or at another hotel in the town of Banff. You will need to book and pay for your own accommodation for all additional nights in another building at the Banff Centre or at another hotel in the town of Banff. To contact the Banff Centre reservations office, call 1-800-884-7574 or email [email protected].

Family Accommodation

Two suites, suitable for participants with more than one accompanying guest, are available to participants of BIRS 5-day workshops. These suites have an independent bathroom and two queen beds. These two dwellings are suitable for participants who are bringing along non-adult guests. In this case, they are also expected to bring along an adult guest who will take care of the non-adults while you are away during the day at the workshop activities. These family suites are located and equipped so as to minimize interference with the research activities happening at the various BIRS lounges, reading areas and lecture rooms. Participants who are assigned family suites are expected to help maintain the integrity of the station's mission: to be a secluded, creative environment with uninterrupted research activities for all participants.

Due to their very limited number, the requests for such suites should be made to the workshop contact organizer who will then submit a ranked list of such requests to the scientific director. You must clearly state the rationale behind your request for this family accommodation, in order for your request to be considered.

Organizers are required to submit a ranked list of such requests to the scientific director [email protected]. These submissions should be made at least 1 month prior to the date of your workshop. Workshop organizers are asked to be very careful in prioritizing their list because of the obviously limited amount of family housing available at BIRS. Caregiving needs and other human factors should be taken under consideration by the workshop organizers.

If you are not approved for one of the suites in BIRS' residence Corbett Hall, if the accommodation is not suitable for your situation, or if you would simply prefer to book accommodation elsewhere, please see Alternative Family Housing information below.

Alternative Family Housing at Banff

In the case where - due to limited availability - BIRS is unable to accommodate the family of a participant, he/she will need to arrange and pay for his/her own accommodation for the duration of your stay in Banff. There is a large selection of accommodation elsewhere at the Banff Centre or in the town of Banff ranging from cozy bed and breakfasts to five-star resorts. BIRS cannot provide financial reimbursement for such arrangements. Information on alternative accommodations can be found online. The following are some tourism websites:

There is a useful map showing the location of the Banff Centre and some of the main hotels, restaurants, and attractions of Banff at:

The Banff Centre

BIRS is located in Corbett Hall, on the campus of The Banff Centre. To contact the Front Desk, or to speak to a participant at BIRS, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, telephone +1-403-762-6100.