The Banff World Media Festival isn’t expected to feel the heat of the Canadian wildfires next week, Variety has confirmed.
Organizers say there’s currently no harmful air pollution present in Banff, which is in Alberta, on the western side of Canada, and that the annual TV festival isn’t making any changes to its scheduled programming, as of press time on Friday.
Banff is set to kick off on June 11 and will run through to June 14. The event takes place at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel, a scenic spot nestled in the Rocky Mountains and overlooking Lake Louise. Most of the festival takes place indoors, though its annual “Banff BBQ” takes place off-site.
That event is being transformed into the “Paramount+ Lodge Party” this year, and is unlikely to include open fires given the high fire risk.
Wildfires are currently blazing across Canada, with the worst hit areas concentrated in Quebec and Ontario; however, wildfires near the city of Edmonton, which is north east of Banff, have seriously affected air quality conditions over the last month. A number of “out of control” fires are burning west of Edmonton, as per Alberta’s official wildfire map, though none are currently active around Banff.
Alberta’s wildfire season officially began March 1. The province has seen an unprecedented surge of wildfires this year, with experts linking the blazes to climate change.
Fires burning in Ontario and Quebec have led to treacherous air quality conditions in those provinces and Eastern Canada as well as parts of the U.S., such as New York. Earlier this week, actor Jodie Comer abruptly ended a staging of “Prima Facie” after just 10 minutes because she found it difficult to breathe. (She was replaced by her understudy Dani Arlington.) New York has been bathed in a yellow hue due to smoke that’s traveling down from Canada, and is said to smell like a burning campfire.
Speakers expected to attend Banff include Fremantle CEO Jennifer Mullin, “Bad Sisters” showrunner Sharon Horgan, World of Wonder co-founders Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, and “Killing It’s” Craig Robinson and Claudia O’Doherty.