Bernadette McDonald A.O.E.

Box 1063
Banff, AB
T1L 1B1
(H) (403)383-7937
(M) bmcdonald6351@gmail.com
Born in Biggar, Saskatchewan, 1951


  • Alpine Rising, Literary Non-fiction, Mountaineers Books, 2024, Seattle USA, Author.
  • Winter 8000, Literary Non-fiction, Vertebrate Publishers, 2020, Sheffield, UK, Author.
  • Art of Freedom: the Life and Climbs of Voytek Kurtyka, Literary Non-Fiction, Rocky Mountain Books, 2017, Victoria, B.C., Author.
  • Alpine Warriors, Literary non-fiction, Rocky Mountain Books, 2015, Victoria, B.C., author.
  • Okanagan Slow Road, Literary non-fiction, Touchwood Editions, 2014, Victoria, B.C., author.
  • The Call of Everest, Literary non-fiction, National Geographic Books, 2013, Washington, D.C., co-author.
  • Keeper of the Mountains, Literary non-fiction, Rocky Mountain Books, 2012, Calgary, AB, author.
  • Freedom Climbers, literary non-fiction, Rocky Mountain Books, 2011, Calgary, Alberta, author.
  • Inspiring Creativity, literary non-fiction, Banff Centre Press, 2008, Banff, Alberta, editor.
  • Tomaz Humar, literary non-fiction, Random House, Spring 2008, London, England, author.
  • Brotherhood of the Rope, literary non-fiction, Baton Wicks, 2007, London, England, author.
  • Brotherhood of the Rope, literary non-fiction, The Mountaineers Books, 2007, Seattle, Washington, author.
  • Ti telefono a Katmandu, literary non-fiction, CDA Vivalda Editori, 2006, Torino, Italy, author.
  • Wir Sehen Uns in Kathmandu, literary non-fiction, Bergverlag Rother, 2006, Munchen, Germany, author.
  • I’ll Call You in Kathmandu: the Elizabeth Hawley Story, literary non-fiction, The Mountaineers Books, 2005, Seattle, Washington, author.
  • Ritratti dalle vette, alpinisti fotografati da Craig Richards, literary non-fiction, Museo della Montagna, 2003, Torino, Italy, author.
  • Whose Water Is It? literary non-fiction, National Geographic Books, 2003, Washington, D.C., editor.
  • Extreme Landscape, literary non-fiction, National Geographic Books, 2002, Washington, D.C., editor.
  • Voices From the Summit: The World’s Great Mountaineers on the Future of Climbing, literary non-fiction, National Geographic Books, 2000, Washington, D.C., co-editor.

Magazine and Journal Publications

  • Desnivel, Deutscher Alpenverein, Canadian Rockies Annual.
  • Walrus, Alpine Journal, American Alpine Journal, Vertical, Alpe, Museo della Montagna, Himalayan Journal, Alpinist.

Cultural Leadership

  • Banff Centre for Mountain Culture – founded in 1997 as a centre for culture and environment, focused on mountain issues. Served as Vice President, The Banff Centre, and Director, Mountain Culture until 2006.
  • Banff Mountain Book Festival – founded mountain literature festival in 1995 at The Banff Centre. Festival is now acknowledged as the most prestigious, and largest, festival of its kind in the world. Served as Director until 2006.
  • Banff Mountain Film Festival – assumed directorship of festival in 1988 and expanded it from a three-day regional festival into a nine-day internationally acclaimed event which is recognized as the gold standard of mountain film festivals world-wide. Served as Director until 2006.
  • Banff World Tour – founded in 1989 as an outreach program of the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Begun as a three-city tour in Canada, the world tour now appears on seven continents, in more than 30 countries, with 350 screenings, and seen by approximately 175,000 audience members. It became the outreach model for film festivals world-wide, including the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Banff Mountain Writing Program – founded in 2005 as an intensive, three-week writing program at The Banff Centre for emerging mountain authors. Graduates of the program are now being published and are winning prizes at mountain and outdoor literature competitions.
  • Banff Mountain Filmmaker Seminar – founded in 1994, initially as a one-day workshop, but expanded to a seven-day intensive program. Graduates of the program are now working professionally in the mountain film genre and are finalists and winners at mountain film festivals world-wide.
  • Banff Mountain Photography Workshop – founded in 2004 as a four-day, intensive workshop for emerging photographers, in partnership with National Geographic Magazine.
  • Banff Mountain Network Series – created in 1996 as an outreach program for the Banff Mountain Film Festival. The multi-part series is a prime-time program of the Resort Sports Network and is now in its 13th season.
  • Banff Mountain Environment Conferences – created an annual series of environment conferences that addressed issues such as human use, governance and amenity migration in mountain areas.
  • Banff Mountain Summits – created a series of international summits that addressed issues such as water, endangered mountain cultures and mountaineering.
  • Curatorial Experience – curated photography exhibitions by Alberta mountain photographers in Canada, France, Mexico, Italy, Switzerland, England, Scotland, Spain, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Japan.
  • Film Jury Experience – chaired or participated in film juries in Japan, France, Italy, Slovakia, England, Scotland, Alaska, Austria, Colorado, Spain, the Czech Republic, Poland and Switzerland.
  • Museum Experience – was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies for three years and served as Chair of the Board for two years.
  • International Associations – was a founding member of the International Alliance for Mountain Film and is currently an honorary member.
  • International Centre for the Uplands – was a founding member of the Centre, based in Cumbria, England and is currently an advisor.

Awards and Honours

Professional Experience

  • International advisory committee member, Explorers Club Grants, 2021 to present.
  • Independent Author, 2006 to present.
  • International mountain cultural consultant, 2006 to present.
  • International advisory committee member, National Geographic Expeditions Council, 2006 to present.
  • Founding Vice President, Mountain Culture, The Banff Centre, 1997 to 2006 http://www.banffcentre.ca/MountainCulture/about/
  • Founding Director, Banff Mountain Book Festival, 1994 to 2006 http://www.banffcentre.ca/MountainCulture/about/book.asp
  • Director, Banff Mountain Film Festival, 1988 to 2006.
  • President, The Ideas Group, 1992 – 1996.
  • Co-founder and performer, Fusion 5 contemporary music ensemble, 1993 – 1996.
  • Coordinator, Academy of Singing, The Banff Centre, 1986 – 87.
  • Director, Whistler Adventure Film Festival, 1986.
  • Supervisor, Parks Canada Interpretive Centre, 1980 – 85.
  • Instructor, private music studio, 1982 – 86.
  • Performing musician 1968 – 83.
  • Okanagan College music instructor, 1978 – 79.


  • Graduate level Banff Centre Winter Cycle 1979 – 1981 – Music.
  • Graduate level University of Western Ontario 1973 – 74 – Music.
  • Undergraduate Pacific Lutheran University 1968 – 72 – Music and Arts.
  • Bachelor of Music cum laude – 1972 – Performance.
  • Bachelor of Arts cum laude – 1972 – English.

Other Interests

  • Growing grapes
  • Public speaking
  • Rock-climbing, alpine climbing, ski-mountaineering, xc skiing, downhill skiing, canoeing, horse-packing and hiking.