Banff vs. CanmoreI figure if there was ever a thread that I should chime in on, this is the one. I live in Canmore and have worked in Banff for the last three years as an alpine race coach.
Firstly, Canmore and Banff are very close, about 20kms or a 15 minute drive. The drive is not really an issue, however all the local skiing is located west of Banff, so Banff is closer. Banff also has much more in the way of nightlife, shopping and "ski town" feel, but as mentioned already, it will be slightly more expensive. Many of the resorts do pickups for their shuttle service in both Canmore & Banff, but Banff has more frequent pickups and easier access as all the hotels are primarily located on one main street (Banff Ave.)
For locals, Canmore became popular because of the restrictions on developing, owning and living in Banff. If you're looking for quieter and slightly cheaper, but don't mind an extra 15 mins drive, it's the place to be.
Overall, I would encourage anyone visiting the Bow Valley to stay in Banff. It's got more character, more to see, and it's closer to the skiing. 5 mins to the lifts at Norquay, 10-15 mins to the lifts at Sunshine, 45ish to the lifts at Lake Louise. The skiing is within Banff National Park, so regardless of whether you stay in Canmore or Banff, you're going to have to buy a park pass.