2020 Online Industry Sessions

Every Wednesday join us for Online Industry Sessions.  See below for calendar of session topics.

Check back often for updates on upcoming sessions.

Online Industry Session Calendar

Wednesday, December 2, 2020
What we have learned opening up for winter operations!

Panel discussion with ski areas who have already open for the winter season.  Learn about their opening plans with latest regulations and how guests are adjusting to the COVID protocols.

Andre Quenneville, General Manager, Mount Norquay
Dave Schebek, General Manager, The Lake Louise Ski Resort
Paul Robinson, Assistant General Manager, Snow Valley Ski Club

Time:  9:45 am PST / 10:45 am MST

Register HERE

Wednesday, December 9, 2020
COVID-19 Pandemic – Crisis Communications Planning and Response for Ski Areas

OIS series partnership with NSAA

Corporate and crisis communications and issues management expert Tamara Little’s workshop will focus on applying crisis communications best practices to ski area responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this 60-minute webinar, we’ll hear from Tamara why corporate reputation matters; the signs of a strong and poor corporate reputation; warning signs and typical stages of a crisis; communication best practices during a crisis; and how these practices have evolved during the pandemic. You will leave this session with tools to map out potential crisis scenarios and develop your action plan(s) for a timely response.

Time:  10:00 am PST / 11:00 am MST

Register HERE

Completed Sessions

Missed a session.  CWSAA Member’s can log into our Member’s Only section to view a recording of the session.  Note, unfortunately the Small Areas session was not recorded.

Wednesday April 29
Small Areas Forum

About this session: While this call is open to all CWSAA Members, it is intended as a forum for small, medium and community-oriented ski areas to discuss relevant matters.  Several ski areas will share their best initiative/idea implemented at their ski area this season, then the lines will open for additional input and discussion.

Wednesday May 6
Lift Maintenance Safe Work Practices

About this session: Panel discussion from ski areas on how lift maintenance teams are servicing their lifts and equipment in the wake of COVID-19 to ensure employees are safe at work.  The second half of the session will be open forum.

Panelists: Kristian Haagaard (Sunshine Village), Wayne Wiltse (Whistler Blackcomb), Dean Roberts (Sun Peaks), Len Sowden & Dan Boyles (Marmot Basin)

Wednesday May 13
Summer Operations Best Practices during COVID

About this session: Presentation on draft industry recommended practices

Panelists: Peter Nielsen – Revelstoke Mountain Resort, CJ Matthews Dickson – Panorama Mountain Resort and  Mike Manara – Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Wednesday May 20
Food & Beverage Operations amid COVID

About this session:  Overview of Restaurant Canada’s best practices for restaurants in the COVID world.

Presented by: Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada

Wednesday May 27
Hazard Assessment Process
About this session:  Presentation on how to implement the hazard assessment process to support legislative compliance and encourage safe culture.

Presented by: Jonathan Faloon, WinSport

Wednesday June 3
Summer Adventure Products

About this session:
Panelists will discuss the guest experience of participating in summer adventure activities at ski areas this summer amid COVID-19. Products such as aerial parks, via ferrata, disc golf, and resort attractions will be discussed –  from arriving to the ski area, purchasing tickets, facilitating guided tours, using harnesses, etc..

Paul Robinson / Snow Valley Ski Hill
Andre Quenneville
/ Mt Norquay
Michael Cameron / Grouse Mountain

Friday June 5
Ski Areas Bike Parks
About this session:  This session is intended for ski areas operating bike parks. It will be a panel discussion to share strategies for Bike Parks this summer and how they are adjusting their operating procedures amid COVID.  This session will provide an opportunity to collaborate on ideas to make the best out of the summer bike operations.


Jason Simpson / Panorama Mountain Resort
Charles “Pip” Albrow / Sun Peaks Resort
Kris Hawryluik / Big White Resort

Wednesday June 10
Communicating with guests amid COVID-19

About this session:  Panel discussion on how ski areas are planning strategies to communicate with guests on compliance, safety and reassurance amid COVID.


Kirby Brown / Sea to Sky Gondola
Todd Noble / Jasper SkyTram
Andrea Howie / Lake Louise Ski Resort

Wednesday June 17
Communicating and training employees this summer

About this session:  Panel discussion on how ski areas are conducting training and orientations with employees this summer.


Helen Davies/ Sun Peaks Resort
Lana Murphy & Stacey Jackson / Resorts of the Canadian Rockies
Tom Clearwaters / Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Wednesday June 24
Load Test Basics for Above Surface Passenger Ropeways

About this session: Load Testing is something that those who operate & maintain  above surface passenger ropeways must become familiar with.  This session will discuss the different types of load tests and the reasons why load testing is necessary. Focusing on periodic (5 year) load tests, learn basic calculations and how detailed planning and organization is key to ensuring that it gets done properly.


Brent Carmichael, General Manager, Doppelmayr Canada Ltd. (Kelowna)
Dan Ouellette, General Manager, Leitner Poma Canada
Miguel Trigo, Electrical Manager, Leitner Poma Canada
Bob Bell, Contract Instructor, Selkirk College

Wednesday July 8
Ski Area Exclusion of Liability Program

About this session:  Robert Kennedy will be presenting on updates to the Ski Area Exclusion of Liability Program. With remarks from ski industry insurance partners.

Wednesday July 15
We’re Open:  Learning as we go

About this session: Will include a panel of resorts that have opened for Summer Operations discussing what they’ve learned and how they’ve adapted.


Tim Foster / Sun Peaks Resort
Andy Cohen / Fernie Alpine Resort
Mike Manara / Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Thursday, August 6
COVID & Employment Standards

About this session:  COVID has been a game changer for all of our teams.  CWSAA’s legal counsel for employment standards, Mark Grabas of Pushor Mitchell LLP, has been working with the CWSAA Human Resources Committee to assemble a presentation that provides clarity on employer obligations in the new COVID world.  Mark will address leading concerns identified by ski areas followed by a question and answer period (time permitting).

Wednesday, Sept 2, 2020
Return to Sport

About this session:  Hear from Canadian Ski Patrol, Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance, Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors  and BC Alpine Ski Association on their return to play changes for the coming winter season.


Anne Haley-Callaghan, Canadian Ski Patrol
Perry Schmunk, Canadian Ski Instructor’s Alliance
Simon Holden, Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors
Anders Hestdalen, BC Alpine Ski Association

Wednesday, Sept 9, 2020
Snow Sports Huddle

The purpose of the session is to provide insights to changes that may be occurring this winter due to COVID. The CWSAA Snow Sports group is planning to hear from CSIA and CASI ,our certification bodies, as well as Rachel Milner who has been operating a Snow Sports School in the Southern Hemisphere this summer.  The snow sports group plans on some follow up sessions to share insights around best practices for COVID which will include; snow school meeting areas, Point of Sales considerations, school groups and lesson programming.

Wednesday, Sept 16, 2020
Passenger Ropeways Town Halls
2 separate sessions facilitated by Technical Safety BC & AEDARSA

ASM discussion with AEDARSA

BC discussion with Technical Safety BC

Wednesday, Sept 16, 2020
Southern Hemisphere:  what we have learned since opening up winter operations

About this session: Ski operators from New Zealand and Australia will share their experiences opening up for the winter season amid COVID-19 restrictions.  Will discuss staffing, lift operations, rentals, food & beverage, patrol and more.

Bridget Legnavsky , GM Cardrona Alpine Resort/Treble Cone,  New Zealand
Stuart Diver, GM, Thredbo, Australia

Wednesday, Sept 23, 2020
Cluster Montagne Talks – Canada
Special Time from 8:00 am – 9:30 am PDT

This webinar is being hosted by  Kaline Osaki and Benoit Robert from Cluster Montagne.  The session is to share an overview and update about Canadian Resort’s situation with the COVID-19 crisis impact and key issues.

Cluster Montagne is a nonprofit public-private organisation that represents and promotes, throughout the world, French know-how for sustainable mountain tourism development.


Kim Locke, VP Strategy & Corporate Affairs, Lake Louise
Doug MacFarlane, VP of Operations, Whistler Blackcomb
Darcy Alexander, General Manager, Sun Peaks Resort
Andre Quenneville, General Manager, Mount Norquay

Wednesday, Sept 30, 2020
Canadian Ski Council National Initiatives

Paul Pinchbeck, President & CEO, from Canadian Ski Council will present on their national initiatives. The presentation will include the launch of the Be Well, Ski Well – Guest Communication Tools document. This national document is designed to inspire confidence in our consumer and communities about industry preparedness. As well as expectations from skiers and snowboarders. The presentation will also include overview on the Go Skiing Go Snowboarding campaign to attract new skiers and snowboarders.

Wednesday, Oct 7, 2020
COVID Tools for Small / Medium Ski Areas

This session will be informal round table discussion to share ideas and concepts on how to integrate COVID-19 protocols into your ski area operations.  Learn how some ski areas are being creative to reduce the costs of implementing COVID protocols as well as opportunities to improve the guest experience.

Wednesday, Oct 7, 2020
Snow Sports Huddle Two
special time 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm PDT

Join the Canada West Snow Sports Committee to review COVID guidelines for Snow Sports Operators this winter. Snow Sports Committee members have been active throughout the summer with input and dialogue from our Industry partners, Southern Hemisphere operators and Snow Sports Directors from Western Canada.

This session will cover topics that include:  General lesson considerations, Snow School Meeting Areas, Guest and Instructor Safety, Program Planning, Guest Service Communication Plan, and On-boarding Employees during COVID.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Hotel & Accommodation Operations Best Practices
Learn about the latest in provincial health orders related to the accommodation sector, best practices and lessons learned from summer operations and guidance for effective safety plans.

Ingrid Jarrett, President and CEO, BCHA
Mike Macleod, Director of Member and Business Development, BCHA

OIS series partnership between CWSAA and BC Hotel Association

Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Tips & Best Practices for Training your Employees Virtually

9:45 am Pacific  |   10:45 am Mountain / Central

While many of the principles of effective in-person classroom training apply to virtual training, there are some important differences. In this webinar we will discuss tips and best practices on how to transition your classroom content online and deliver an engaging training session.

Presenter:  Andrea Hinck, Director of Industry training at go2HR

Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Public Spaces and Housekeeping Protocols

A discussion and review of issues related to public areas in the accommodation sector including hot tubs & pools as well as dining areas. Best practices for Housekeeping service specifically in dealing with guest interactions, staffing and cleaning protocols.

Ingrid Jarrett, President & CEO, BCHA
Mike Macleod, Director and Business Development, BCHA

OIS series partnership between CWSAA and BC Hotel Association

Monday, November 16, 2020
Slips, Trips and Falls:  A Primer for Ski Area Operators
**Special date & time

Traditionally ski area risk management has been concerned with accidents on ski lifts and ski runs.  However, parking lots, walkways and stairs are very much part of a ski area’s responsibilities.  Claims arising from pedestrian mishaps are growing and can be challenging to defend.  This session will provide a brief introduction to the law and a discussion of best practices in the industry to defend against slip, trip and fall claims.

Robert Kennedy,  Partner, Farris LLP
Todd Lee, Partner, Miles Davison LLP
Ted Chadderton, Partner, Carroll Heyd Chown LLP
Francesca D’Aquila-Kelly, Lawyer, Beard Winter LLP
Mary Bozack, VP-Director of Risk Management & Education, MountainGuard
Craig Bolt, Account Executive & Loss Control Specialist, Gougeon Insurance Brokers
Sandy Millar, Managing Partner, EQUA Specialty Risk Partners Corporation

Wednesday, November 18, 2020
How to Build a Successful Safety Business Plan

Having a business plan is key for the success of building any new business or driving change. With the multitude of safety challenges our areas face every day, it is important to pick a focus through a thorough risk assessment and create goals that lead to success. Learn how having a Safety Business Plan can help change culture and ultimately, help reach our goals of creating a safer workplace.

Dave McPhee, Safety Training Supervisor / CSO, Whistler Blackcomb
Seamus Frew, Safety Manager, Whistler Blackcomb

Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Small Areas Open Forum

Are you ready to open this winter season? This session will be informal round table discussion with small area operators sharing their operating plans for the upcoming season.  The second half of the session will be an open forum and opportunity to ask questions.

Hildur Sinclair, Troll Resort
Johnathan Clarkson, Nitehawk Recreation Area
Shannon Johnston, Asessippi Ski Area & Resort
Lawrence Blouin, Table Mountain Regional Park
Victoria Harrison, Tawatinaw Valley Ski Area

To attend a session:

  1. You must register for each session you’d like to attend.
  2. Registration is free for all CWSAA members.
  3. You must register by noon (pacific time) on the day prior (typically Tuesday) to the session you are attending.
  4. Click the register here link for the session you would like to register for.
  5. Complete the registration form – tell us who you are!
  6. On the afternoon prior (typically Tuesday) to the session you’ve registered for, we’ll send you a link to participate.

For the latest industry updates, check out the CWSAA Newsletters.