August 2018 Newsletter

August 15, 2018 Newsletter

Fall Meetings

Early Bird Deadline Approaching

Register by Friday August 24 to save on your meeting registration rate.
Hotel group bookings will end soon (ASM at Sheraton ends Aug 24 and BCY at Sun Peaks Grand ends Sept 7).  After that time room rates will increase and availability may be limited.

Vendor showcase deadline

In order to ensure vendors and sponsors get the best exposure, participation in the vendor showcase or as a stand-alone sponsor must be secured by August 31.  Thank you to JLT Canada and Mountain Guard/HUB Insurance for their sponsorship of both ASM & BC-Yukon.

Mountain Bike Operations Workshop

This NEW workshop is taking shape and promises to provide a great opportunity to learn and share ideas to build and grow resort-based mountain biking in Western Canada.

Weather Outlook

One of the most anticipated topics of the annual Fall meetings is the winter forecast.  While we don’t want to steal Dr. Pidwirny’s thunder (excuse the pun), NOAA is predicting an El Nino season.  Dr. Pidwirny will be preparing localized forecasts for BC as well as the Prairies for both ASM and BCY Fall meetings, with a special personal appearance at the BC-Yukon meeting.

Tawatinaw / Pine Valley Ski Hill will continue

CWSAA wishes to congratulate the Friends of Tawatinaw Valley Ski Hill for their comprehensive efforts to lobby local officials to keep the ski area operating.  The group did extensive background work on ski area governance, operations, and funding models.  It hosted an open house and presented multiple times to officials and Council.  On August 14, the group presented a vision of a community recreation hub that included the ski area’s downhill and nordic trails, beautiful Pine Valley Resort, and Evolution freestyle camp.  Council voted in favour to support the area.

Appreciation is also expressed to Edmonton ski area representatives Derek Look of Rabbit Hill, Tim Dea of Snow Valley, and Grant Bacon of Sunridge.  Each traveled to attend the Council meeting to support the Tawatinaw ski area…a clear demonstration of The Canada West Way in action.

Read the Westlock County Press Release HERE regarding the decision.


Unfortunately wildfire season is heating up in many regions.  CWSAA is working closely with the BC Mountain Resorts Branch, tourism agencies, regional resort representatives and other groups to monitor the situation and ensure the impacts to the ski areas are known to the appropriate officials.

At this time, it is prudent to review the following with staff, employees and stakeholders who are active within your Controlled Recreation Area:

  • emergency egress and evacuation plans
  • fire-fighting caches and water supplies,
  • monitoring and managing public access and activities,
  • active or planned construction, development and forestry works,
  • other safety plans, including Resort Wildfire Plans, and,
  • communication protocols with the Wildfire Service, local fire departments, and local government.

Sunshine Village Site Guidelines

Sunshine Village is currently in consultation with Parks Canada on its site guidelines.  CWSAA continues to support the appropriateness of access and snowsports in our national parks. Any industry support is welcomed by August 19.  Click HERE for more information and ways to provide your input.

BC Safety Awards Nominations

The 2018 Lieutenant Governor Safety Awards, recognize those who have made an outstanding contribution to safe technical systems. Nominate an individual or BC organization that is committed to the safe design, installation or operation of regulated commercial or residential equipment.  Nomination submission deadline is Sept 14, 2018, click HERE for more information.

2018/19 Competitor Pass Program

We are very excited to finally digitize this program.  With the support from 1Risk and many industry contributors, we now have an online waiver for participants to complete, rather than submitting manual paper forms.  All Provincial Snowsports Associations have now received the information for their athletes to complete, and feedback has been very positive.  This new initiative is considerably reducing the paperwork and followups required by the CWSAA Office and PSOs.

Cannabis in the workplace Resources

During the Fall Division meetings, presentations and discussions will help prepare for the national legislation change on October 17.  In the meantime, WorkSafeBC has released some resources for employers.

BC WCB Premiums

CWSAA has been advised that WorkSafeBC has released the proposed 2019 industry base premium rates and the ski hill classification unit will increase for 2019.  During the Fall BC-Yukon Division Meeting, there will be presentations and a workshop.

Snowsports Schools

Contact your regional CASI coordinator to schedule your snowboard instructor training programs for 2018/19.  There are two free member training programs – QuickRide Update and Skills sessions.

Is your ski area holding a CSIA apprenticeship training course for ski instructors this year?  This is a great new opportunity to recruit entry level instructors.

TIAC Tourism Town Halls

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada is hosting Tourism Town Halls across Canada to engage small and medium-size business owners and operators on national tourism issues including labour, marketing, cost competitiveness and access.  The current town hall series includes a stop in Saskatoon on Tuesday, September 25.  More Information.

Tourism Census

Tourism HR Canada has developed a series of labour force population summaries specific to the tourism sector.  Click HERE to find out more about the profile of a tourism employee in Canada.

Places & Faces

Over the past month, the ski industry has mourned the passing of former CWSAA President, Jimmie Spencer.

While Jimmie didn’t want a funeral, there will be a gathering around the 2nd week of March 2019 in the Vernon area.

Read Jimmie Spencer’s obituary in the Vernon Morning Star HERE.

Congratulations to Derek Look who has recently moved up into the position of General Manager at Rabbit Hill in Edmonton and Doug Pettigrew has been promoted to Assistant GM, and Jocelyn Wetterberg as Marketing Manager.  Jim Sutherland will remain as President, but will be stepping back from daily operations.  Derek has been very active with CWSAA over the past few years, co-chairing the Alberta Marketing Committee and participating in various industry working groups.

Panorama Mountain Resort has made a number of management changes recently.  Ryan Stimming has been promoted to Mountain Operations Manager, and CJ Matthews Dickson as Risk & Safety Manager.  New to the Panorama team are Guy Paulson in the position of Global Sales and Business Development Manager, Patrick Fournier as Director of Resort & Mountain Operations, and David Auer Director of Food & Beverage.

CWSAA wishes to congratulate Jennifer Goad on her formal appointment as Executive Director for the BC Mountain Resort Branch. Until now, Jennifer has been the Acting Executive Director since Norman Lee was seconded and subsequently retired from government.  Over her short time in the role, she has quickly demonstrated leadership qualities, and an energy and responsiveness to resolve issues impacting ski areas.  Matt Austin (right) was named ADM earlier this year.  Matt and Jennifer are based in Victoria.

Congratulations to Doug Chimuk at SilverStar Mountain who returns to the position as Marketing Manager.

Big White Staff Accommodation – The first new accommodation building is nearing completion with furniture moving in, and it will be ready for staff to move in for the upcoming winter season. Groundwork has been completed on buildings two and three and crews have been working on pouring the footings for the next two buildings.

Colin Saravanamuttoo served his last day as President and CEO of Canadian Ski Patrol on August 3. The search for his replacement is well underway as Colin made his announcement earlier this year.  CSP is an important partner with CWSAA.  Our thanks to Colin for his enthusiasm, vision, and professionalism in advancing CSP and building closer alignment with ski industry needs.

Greg Reschki is part of the new Board of Directors at Misty Ridge ski area near Barrhead, Alberta. The ski area has a new Harusch lift this for its beginner area for this winter.

Whistler Olympic Park is preparing for another year of Callaghan Gold – a pre-season ski trail built using approximately 10,000 cubic meters of stored snow from the 2017-2018 season. This 1.5km trail is scheduled to be open from October 27 to November 21, 2018 for pre-season high performance team training.  To find out more about Callaghan Gold early season training, please direct inquiries to Nadine Steenhoek.

We hate to miss any acknowledgements in the industry, so don’t forget to keep us up to date on movement within your organization as well as projects at the ski area.

Please email Cynthia Thomas, Editor of the Newsletter at [email protected] to submit any story ideas or updates!

Upcoming Events

  • Sept 24-25, 2018 – CWSAA ASM Fall Division Meeting, Canyon Ski Area, Red Deer Alberta
  • Sept 24-25, 2018 – OSRA Fall Risk Seminar, Toronto Ski Club, Ontario
  • Oct 1-2, 2018 – CWSAA BC-Yukon Fall Division Meeting, Sun Peaks BC
  • Oct 2-3, 2018 – CWSAA Mountain Bike Operations Workshop, Sun Peaks, BC
  • Oct 3-4, 2018 – HeliCat Canada Fall Meeting, Victoria
  • Oct 10-12, 2018 – ASRA Fall Meeting, Ski Wentworth, NS
  • Oct 28-29, 2018 – SSAOA, Springhill Winter Park MB
  • April 23-25, 2019 -PNSAA, Wenatchee Washington
  • April 24-26, 2019 – CWSAA 2019 Spring Conference, Whistler BC
  • April 29-May 2, 2019 – NSAA 2019 National Convention & Tradeshow, San Diego CA
  • May 6-9, 2019 – RMLA, Grand Junction CO
  • May 8-10, 2019 – InterAlpin, Innsbruck Austria
  • May 21-23, 2019 – OSRA Spring Conference, Ontario
  • April 28-30, 2020 – CWSAA Spring Conference, Whistler BC

The Canada West Way

Check out some of our latest blog posts:

Jimmie Spencer: 1926-2018
Places & Faces: Mt Washington