April 2021 Newsletter

April 22, 2021 Newsletter

Countdown to Conference

In just a few days, over 600 registered delegates will participate in the 2021 CWSAA Virtual Spring Conference.  While we are disappointed to not see everyone in person again this year, we are so excited to bring this new online format.

If you have not registered, it’s not too late.  Registration is still available, but don’t delay.

As part of the conference registration, you will have access to sessions between April 26-29.  Plus, you’ll be able to take part in the exciting CWSAA Online Awards ceremony and Showcase Forum events.

Register Now >> HERE.

CEO’s Message

I enjoy the surprise from government officials when I inform them that some ski operations are scheduled until May 24th, and that currently there are ski areas operating in the Yukon, Alberta and BC.  The outreach is continuous to keep authorities aware of our current field of play, as well as the coming summer and winter operations.

Specific efforts regarding ski in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Yukon are now in a monitoring phase.  As vaccination rates in the population increase, it is understood that health orders in the various jurisdictions will evolve with them.

In Alberta, there has been significant change with a reorganisation of the ministry responsible for tourism, as well as the channels industry sectors like ski follow to provide input on pandemic response.  Most recently CWSAA has been contacting these new officials to provide an overview of the ski sector including its current and coming state of operations.  Through the efforts of the Tourism Industry Association of Alberta (TIAA), CWSAA and its peers in TIAA’s Industry Association Advisory Council recently met with four Assistant Deputy Ministers, including two of those in the Ministry of Jobs, Economy, and Innovation.  This provided an opportunity to convey the importance of returning all sectors to full capacity before next winter to help businesses recover and contribute to the Alberta’s recovery.  Health orders are being closely monitored and authorities continue to be supportive of safe outdoor activity like ski.

In BC, the health orders are in the midst of change.  The March 29 orders constituted significant impact for our industry and communities, and the recent directives around travel within the province are to be further defined by the end of this week.  The tourism sector at large has taken the position of supporting the tighter restrictions for the next 5 weeks with the expectation that restrictions will ease for the critical summer months.  CWSAA is at the table with multiple government Industry Engagement and Tourism Advisory groups, and continues to work closely with Tourism Industry of BC and peer organisations.   The support of Minister Mark and Deputy Minister Mayhew on behalf of our sector is valued and appreciated.

On the federal level, CWSAA is working closely with the Canadian Ski Council on several topics in Ottawa.  We were pleased to see the extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy as proposed in the new budget.  This is regarded by many ski areas as the most important federal support and has been aggressively pursued. The leadership on this file from the Tourism Industry Association of Canada and new CEO Beth Potter is greatly welcomed.  Efforts are also positioning the ski sector as an opportunity for economic recovery especially in rural Canada and hopes to leverage recovery funds anticipated in the year ahead.  Most recently, the ski sector has immediately responded to the federal budget and a proposed annual non-resident 1% homeowner tax that could have a detrimental impact on capital investment and employment in rural areas.  CWSAA with CSC and peers is in the process of preparing a brief and advancing our input.

In the middle of all the above, CWSAA is most excited to be hosting its first virtual spring conference next week.  In conversations with the many presenters that dedicated time to prepare content, and participated in ‘rehearsal week’, there is an palpable energy and excitement about the ski industry regrouping.  On behalf of the CWSAA team, we look forward to seeing you all next week on-line.



Member Showcase: Doppelmayr Canada

Make new lifts, but keep the old…

The 2020 Construction and Maintenance season was challenging but not nearly as much as the 2020/21 Skiing and Operations period. As this period draws to a close, we’re proud to highlight our accomplishments: Several new lift and upgrade projects completed on time including the new AURO (Autonomous Ropeway) operation system in Zermat as well as Lake Louise’s Summit 4-CLF and Sun Peaks’ Crystal 4-CLF.

Our personal mantras this past year were all about hygiene and the same is true this decade for our fleet of lifts. Following the construction boom in the 80’s and 90’s nearly all of you have an aged lift you’re looking to maintain for several more years. Doppelmayr Ropeways are robust and built to last if looked after well with properly planned maintenance and periodic upgrades. In listening to our business partners, during the last few years, we have expanded our Western Customer Support (CS) Department to include the following. Customer Support Technical Advisor to take care of spare parts, services and general technical guidance, a CS Mechanical technician for all your mechanical and hydraulic needs as well as a CS Electrical technician to better serve all electrical related avenues. This team is supported by 100 employees in Canada and nearly 3500 world wide. With these key personnel in place, we are looking forward to helping you succeed in the years ahead. Particularly we can support you with:

  • Lift inspections, overviews, audits and engineering reviews
  • NDT of carriers and line equipment
  • Capacity upgrades and carrier replacement
  • Line maintenance
  • Gearbox inspections, overhauls and replacements
  • Bearing replacements
  • Bullwheel overhauls and repairs
  • Rope shortenings and replacements
  • Troubleshooting remotely and on-site
  • Lift modernizations to Doppelmayr CONNECT controls
  • Communication line replacements
  • Drive and motor upgrades, including DC to AC
  • On-site and factory training

From all of us at Doppelmayr Canada we wish you a safe Construction, Maintenance and Summer Operations season. Please get in touch to find out how we can help you with your lift projects big and small.

Doppelmayr will host a virtual event, featuring product news and more on May 5th.

Contact >> Brent Carmichael: [email protected]

Outdoor Recreation on Alberta’s Crown Lands survey

The Tourism Industry Association of Alberta, together with 20 provincial outdoor recreation organizations, is working to better understand outdoor recreation on Alberta’s crown lands. The insights gained through this research will provide essential evidence to help improve our understanding of outdoor recreation opportunities on Crown Lands and our knowledge of our outdoor recreation economy.

Alberta members are encouraged to complete the survey by May 17 >> HERE.

Passenger Ropeways Mechanics

LIFT 151, 152, 153 through Selkirk College

Spring intake now open for registration.  Courses begin in May, with exams running June 23-25.

Find out more & register >> HERE.

go2HR Webinar – What Tourism & Hospitality Employers Need to Know

Bewildered by the complexities of immigration processes for hiring foreign workers in the age of COVID-19? We’ve got the answers and expert advice you need. Please join the Vancouver Coast & Mountains Tourism Region, managed by Destination BC, and go2HR for an engaging and informative session on Navigating the New Normal When Hiring International Workers in the age of COVID-19 on May 5th from 10am-12 pm.

Don’t miss a vibrant panel discussion and Q&A session with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP), and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Melody McLorie, Certified Immigration Consultant and Human Resources Manager Wickaninnish Inn and Katie Von Nostrand, Partner in the Vancouver office of Mathews Dinsdale & Clark LLP who runs the firm’s Business Immigration group will share additional insights based on their experiences in navigating the changes over the past year.

Learn More & sign up >> HERE

New Members

CWSAA is happy to welcome the following New Members over the past few months:


In addition to the advantageous leasing model, CWSAA values the feeling of safety on western Canada’s roads that comes from a reliable and winterised Driving Force vehicle.  For transportation solutions, contact:

Dan Clark: 


Kal Tire supports Safety

Thank you to Kal Tire for their support of safety and the Alpine Responsibility Code posters.

Places & Faces

Congratulations to Mary Bozak, who retired earlier this month from MountainGuard after over 22 years.  Most recently, Mary was the Director of Risk Management & Education at MountainGuard. Mary has been a fantastic contributor to CWSAA and we wish her the best in her retirement.

CWSAA was elated to learn that Christian Theberge, GM of Shames Mountain was selected as a Sammy Award recipient for 2021. Christian is a proud graduate of the Ski Resort Operations and Management program at Selkirk College where he was the first SROAM student to take on a general manager role as his school practicum.  Christian has been incredibly involved with CWSAA over the years and was awarded the Lars Fossberg Excellence Award in 2018. Read More about Christian and the Sammy award >> HERE.

Over the past few months Bob Dodge has been sharing stories about SROAMs grads, in celebration of the program’s 40th anniversary.

New stories have been added every week, with so many familiar faces being featured.  Check it out >> HERE.

Thank you to our Board of Directors that have met monthly throughout the pandemic to guide the Association through the COVID storm.  https://cwsaa.org/about/board-of-directors/

Advertise in the Newsletter

CWSAA Associate members are invited to submit a monthly digital ad for this newsletter.  Find out more >> HERE.


For many this year will provide some new recruiting challenges.  Don’t forget to post your jobs on some of the industry job boards.

CWSAA Job Board – All CWSAA Member’s can post jobs at no cost.

go2HR Job Board  – BC and Yukon tourism sector jobs.