What is it? Tunnel Mountain Lounge

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Chalkboards all over the walls and ceiling of Tunnel Mountain Lounge.

As an East Coaster, kitchen parties are a way of life – they truly bring people together. From potlucks, to music, to cards - people seem to congregate standing around the stove top, leaning on the fridge, and sitting around the table.

Tunnel Mountain Lounge and the old DCH boardroom table.

Here in Banff is no exception. Tunnel Mountain Lounge in Lloyd Hall is one of the kitchens available for artists to use while they’re on campus, and arguably it’s the one with the most character. Opening its doors on Friday 13, 1981 the lounge was a designated artist space set up with ping pong table, pool table, and cooking facilities. Called Tunnel Mountain Lounge, because it’s built into the rock of Tunnel Mountain, rumour has it that they used to serve late night pizza here after the dining room had closed (although I’ve seen no proof of this myself).

Over my time here I’ve been privy to the smell of Thanksgiving dinners and dozens of chocolate chip cookies wafting from this space. I’ve also seen the room used for workshops, crafts, and taco nights. With many different renos and additions over the years, including an addition of the old board room table from Donald Cameron Hall, the chalkboards leave a trace of signatures, quotes, and advice for artists today. This lounge certainly has a long history of bringing people together.

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About Author

Monique Walsh is a writer, collaborator, and facilitator. She currently holds the position of Communications Officer at The Banff Centre and is pursuing a Master's degree in Adult Education. Walsh is inspired by the magic of the mountains and the creative people that surround this place.

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