Once Upon A Christmas Warming Hut Competition

Warming Hut Competition 2023

Submit Your Warming Hut Proposal for a Chance to Win Amazing Prizes

Join us for our inaugural warming hut competition, taking place during Once Upon A Christmas. Heritage Park is inviting local businesses and post-secondary institutions to submit warming hut designs for blind jury evaluation by seasoned industry professionals and Park management.

Winning designs will be displayed around the Park for guests to experience, and vote on their favourite. Scroll down for more information on the competition, submission instructions and prizing.

What is a Warming Hut?

Inspired by the international Warming hut event in Winnipeg, Heritage Park is starting its own warming hut competition at Once Upon A Christmas.

Warming huts are outdoor shelters to keep people warm in remote areas. Western Canadian huts were first built in Rogers Pass, Lake Louise and Lake O’Hara at the start of the 20th century. Heritage Park has its own warming hut, the Banff Curling Club, built in 1896.

Warming Hut at Heritage Park

Additional Information


About the Warming Hut Competition

Heritage Park is inviting local businesses and post-secondary institutions to submit designs for blind jury evaluation by seasoned industry professionals and Park management. This means the designer(s)’ information will not be revealed to the jury until after their selections have been made. The contest is open to worldwide participation, provided the designer(s) are prepared to travel to Heritage Park to install and deinstall their hut.

Designer(s) need to provide the supplies and labour for hut installation and deinstallation. To aid winning designers from post-secondary institutions, they may request Heritage Park’s help in partnering with an experienced general contractor.

Designs should correlate to an area of Heritage Park, and will be displayed in that area. Huts will be judged by:

  • Effectiveness in providing a warm shelter
  • Originality and clarity of the design
  • Ability to engage, inspire and delight guests
  • Durability for guest interaction and inclement weather
  • Cost and ease of fabrication
  • In line with Alberta building codes and standards for safety
  • Deinstallation plan that favours recycling, composting, or repurposing
  • No use of electricity, fire, or inappropriate content

Winning designers will be notified and requested to develop construction drawings for submission to Heritage Park consultants. Design development will involve input from the consultants to ensure that construction is feasible and within budget.

Once construction designs are approved by the consultants, Heritage Park’s 50% contribution to the budget will be given to the designer(s), minus the final $2,000, which will be withheld until deinstallation is complete.


Why Get Involved?

  • Heritage Park is a registered charity, and participation in the warming hut competition will support the Park’s premiere Christmas event, Once Upon A Christmas. The huts will bring warmth, wonder, and a shared experience to Calgarians, other Canadian visitors, and tourists from around the world.
  • The warming hut competition will provide architects, engineers, artists, and designers the opportunity to:
    • Flex their skill competing against other companies, and rising stars from academia
    • Inspire teamwork, creativity and fresh fire, with a project off the beaten path
    • Be part of the design, construction, and decommission process from start to finish
    • See their creations experienced and evaluated by Park guests.
    • Bond and celebrate with the design community, including a launch party!


Funding and Prizes

For winning submissions, Heritage Park will pay 50% of funds spent on installation and deinstallation of the hut (supplies and labour), up to $7,000, for a maximum budget of $14,000.

Designers attending post-secondary institutions full-time at the time of design submission, will receive a $1,000 honourarium per winning design.

Park guests will vote on their favourite hut, and the design and construction team of that hut will receive a private three-course dinner with wine, for up to eight team members, in Heritage Park’s elegant Founders’ Lounge, hosted by world-class Executive Chef Tobias Larcher.


Warming Hut Submission Criteria

All warming hut design submissions must include the following elements:

Project Summary

  • One 11” x 17” page, PDF file
  • Name of the project
  • Description of the concept and experience offered to Park guests (150 words max.)
  • Images and drawings describing the warming hut (300 DPI)

Images and Drawings

  • One 11” x 17” page, PDF file
  • Name of the project
  • 3D renderings/images showing the overall design (300 DPI)
  • Plans & elevation(s) that will help communicate the design
  • Indication of size and proposed materials
  • Budgeting of materials and labour
  • Diagram(s) and/or details indicating method of construction

Team Information

  • Up to four 8.5”x11” pages, PDF file
  • Name of the project
  • Designer(s) name(s) with brief resume (250 words max.)
  • Images of designer(s) select past projects
  • Name, address, phone number and email of contact person

Important Additional Information

  • Requests for information are welcome throughout the design process! Email specialevents@heritagepark.ca with any inquiries you may have.
  • Proposals may be presented as part of an online or in-person exhibition. By taking part in this call for proposals, entrants authorize Heritage Park to make public, exhibit and disseminate their proposals.
  • Companies and post-secondary institutions are welcome to include their logo on the signage by their hut, and it may be used on the Heritage Park website, social media, and print media. Designers and builders may be requested to talk about their huts with the media outlets.


Warming Hut Proposal Submission Deadline and Competition Schedule

Oct. 17, 2023 at 11:59 pm MST: Design submission deadline

Oct. 24, 2023: Winners will be announced and notified

Oct. 31, 2023: Construction drawings deadline

Nov. 1 – 16, 2023: On-site access available for longer builds

Nov. 17 – 23, 2023: Main construction period

Nov. 23, 2023: Launch party!

Nov. 25, 2023: Opening day of Once Upon A Christmas

Dec. 23, 2023: Last day of Once Upon A Christmas

Jan. 20 – 26, 2024: Main deinstallation period

April 30, 2024: Deadline for deinstallation (allowing for thaw)


How to Submit Your Design

Submissions may be submitted online by submitting a form on this webpage. Stay tuned to this webpage for the form to open to registrants.

Registration Opens: Sept. 26, 2023

Registration Closes: Oct. 17, 2023 at 11:59 pm MST.

Heritage Park Warming Hut Competition Design Proposal Submission Form

Please provide the name, address, phone number and email address of the design team’s primary contact.


Please upload your project summary, images and drawings and team information PDF documents below.

Accepted file types: pdf, Max. file size: 500 MB.

Accepted file types: pdf, Max. file size: 500 MB.

Accepted file types: pdf, Max. file size: 500 MB.