August 2019 Newsletter

August 13, 2019 Newsletter

2019 CWSAA Fall Meetings

Early Bird Registration ends this week.  Be sure to register by Friday August 16 to get the best rate!  

ASM Fall Division Meeting
September 24 – 25, 2019
Snow Valley, Edmonton


Bike Park Forum
October 1, 2019
SilverStar Mountain Resort


BC-Yukon Fall Division Meeting
October 2 – 3, 2019
SilverStar Mountain Resort


Fall Meeting Accommodations

Book your accommodations now to ensure you get the best rates and availability.  For the ASM meeting, a group rate is available at the Delta Edmonton South Conference Centre only until August 22.  A few options are available at SilverStar.

Lift 151/152 Course

This year, a combined 151/152 course will be offered on Tuesday September 24 in Edmonton, and Monday October 28 in North Battleford Saskatchewan (Table Mountain).  These courses will provide a great new pre-season training opportunity in a shorter time frame.
This new format will allow for a half-day for each course, focusing on hands on fieldwork training. The course will require online pre-work to be complete prior to attending, and the exams will be taken independently following the course.
The combined program will be offered all-inclusive for $250(includes lunch on the training day).  This course format was designed to provide a cost effective option for the 151/152 program, so employers would have reduced accommodations and meals costs (1 day versus 2) and reduced travel costs for many.  Online registration through Selkirk College will be available shortly, stay tuned for details.

These courses are not province specific, and all ski areas are welcome to register.

Spring Conference 2020 Planning Survey

Preparations for the 2020 CWSAA Spring Conference are in full swing.  A list of potential sessions has been developed by conference committees and we’re looking for your feedback on the proposed topics.  If you haven’t already, please complete the survey here by August 15.

By the way, don’t forget to mark your calendars April 28-30, 2020 in Whistler.

Exclusion Liability Program

The final version of the CWSAA Exclusion of Liability notice is now available to order.   CWSAA has ordered 15×20 sticky back decals for each provincial/territory version, which can be pre-ordered to receive at fall division meetings (up to 20 complimentary per ski area).

Sign shops can also produce these signs in a variety of sizes and formats.  A short-form Point of Entry Exclusion of Liability Sign has also been developed (only available through sign shop orders).

Ski Area General Managers can reference a CWSAA email from August 7 for further background.

Kal Tire Alpine Responsibility Code partnership

Over the past few weeks, Kal Tire has met with 20 ski areas to develop the ski industry partnership.  Initial feedback and excitement for this partnership is strong.

New Alpine Responsibility Code Signs will be available soon through CWSAA.  These signs have been kindly sponsored by Kal Tire and include their logo on the bottom.  Ski Area members can order up to 20 of these signs complimentary from CWSAA.  Pre-order now to receive at Fall Meetings, or have delivered to you (members pay shipping costs).

Sea to Sky Gondola

CWSAA members will know of the incident at the Sea to Sky Gondola near Squamish BC on Saturday August 10.  While the motivations and those responsible are yet unknown, RCMP and regulator statements clearly indicate that the gondola’s 52mm steel cable was deliberately cut and that a criminal investigation is underway.

CWSAA has supported Sea to Sky communications work, and their efforts have started to focus on rebuilding.  Thank you to the many CWSAA members that have reached out to Sea to Sky and offered assistance and support.  Further updates will be provided.

Alberta Community Ski Area Best Practices Project

CWSAA is conducting a study that will result in the development of tools and Best Practice resources for ski areas in business planning and operational decision making.  A survey was distributed to all Alberta Ski Areas in late July.  Congratulations to Hidden Valley for winning the first draw for registration and travel expenses to the ASM meeting.  There is still time to submit your survey, we will be doing a second draw on August 15 for one registration to the ASM meeting.

BC Amusement Rides & Devices Proposed Regulation Changes

Technical Safety BC is accepting feedback on proposed changes to the Amusement Rides and Devices Regulation.  The consultation period is open until September 30.  The proposal addresses four key areas:

  1. Clearer definitions of amusement rides and devices;
  2. Adoption of a new safety code (ASTM International F2783-17) for the design, maintenance, and operation of amusement rides and devices;
  3. New regulatory framework to amusement ride and device safety regulations, including the clarification of the obligation to report incidents for investigation; and
  4. Procedures to address new amusement rides and devices.

This regulation may impact operators of trampolines, aerial parks, coasters, zip lines, inflatable devices etc.

Find out more HERE.

BC Tourism Human Resources Strategy 2019 Released

go2HR, BC’s tourism human resource association, recently released the BC Tourism Human Resources Strategy 2019. The document covers the industry’s job growth projections up to 2028, workforce challenges facing the industry, and the strategies and activities needed to recruit, retain and train the workers required to meet the labour needs.  Read More.

Heat Stress / Sun Safety

Everyone working outside needs to be aware of the season’s safety hazards – whether you’re running a lift, performing maintenance, or serving drinks on a patio.

Topping the list are the dual hazards of solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and heat. UV radiation can put workers at risk of sunburn, skin damage, skin cancer and eye conditions, while excessive heat can lead to everything from cramps, rashes and dehydration to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat can affect indoor workers too, as bakers and laundry workers can attest.  The following are some resources on workplace heat stress and sun safety:

While wildfire activity was relatively calm in most regions throughout July, unfortunately some recent fire activity has increased the smoke in some regions.  Alberta OHS has developed a new resource for working in smoky environments.  Check it out HERE.

Temporary Foreign Worker 2019-20 program

The wage rates for ski and snowboard instructor for the 2019-2020 season has been posted on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) website.

To access the TFWP for this winter season, you are encouraged to submit your Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications as soon as possible.

Please note that only LMIAs under these three criteria would qualify for expedited processing (and only two might be applicable to ski and snowboard instructor positions):  Highest-paid, Short-duration, and Skilled trades (not applicable).  For detailed definitions on these criteria, visit this website.

CWSAA is waiting for an outcome from the federal government regarding CWSAA’s recommendation regarding ski instructors and occupation-specific permits.

Construction Zone

Checking out the diggers and big activity in a construction zone is popular for many, not just kids!  In this special summer feature, we’re bringing you some exciting updates from Ski Areas with big projects happening right now.

If there are any exciting new projects happening at your ski area and would like to share with your industry colleagues, please send pictures and updates to [email protected]

Big White, BC
Trail, carpet, central reservations and more

Big White is building a new return trail from the top of the Gem Lake Express.  The new trail will allow the Westridge area of the mountain to open with 30-40 centimetres less snow base.

The resort is adding a new carpet lift in Happy Valley to expand terrain for beginner skiers and snowboarders.

This summer Stage 1 of a new Central Reservations building is well underway.  Stage 2 will happen next summer.

Read more about projects and investments at Big White this summer.

Manning Park, BC
New chair lift

The new Doppelmayr Quad Chair is nearly complete. The carriers have been installed, and owner Kevin Demers was recently able to take the first seat!

Revelstoke Mountain, BC
Downhill Mountain Biking

Congratulations to Revelstoke.  Their Mountain Biking operations opened on July 26. The new FiftySixTwenty mountain bike descent is the first launch for downhill mountain biking at the Resort.

Sasquatch Mountain, BC
New chair lift

While the name is still being determined, the colour was revealed last week when the bull wheel and other major components arrived on site. Construction on the new Blue Leitner Poma Quad is on schedule!

Winsport, Alberta
Mountain Bike Skills Centre

Winsports new mountain bike skills centre opened to the public on August 8.  It first opened for summer camps on July 1 and was scheduled to open for public mid August, but opened ahead of schedule. The park will remain open until the tentative season closing date on October 27. Read More.

Places & Faces

After 17 years at the helm of go2HR, BC’s tourism human resource association, CEO Arlene Keis will be retiring soon.  Congratulations to Arlene for her contributions to the industry during this time. go2HR has begun its search for a new leader.  If you know someone who might be interested, please find the job posting HERE.

Congratulations to Randy Murphy has joined Manning Park as Assistant General Manager.

Sun PeaksJennifer Deckers and Glenda Johnson were on the front lines at the resort’s Serena Ryder music concert in July.  Jennifer has been an active part of the CWSAA HR Committee and HR conference sessions.  Helen Davies of Sun Peaks has recently accepted the Chair role of the HR committee following Alison Crick’s successful term.

Picturesque Gwynne Valley Ski Area is located south east of Edmonton at the southern end of Coal Lake or reservoir formed by a large earth dam. It joins Medicine Lodge, Innisfail, Drayton Valley, and Canyon ski areas as those within an hour of Hwy 2 between Edmonton and Calgary in central Alberta.

BCY Division Chair Andy Cohen, Directors Steve Paccagnan and Eddie Wood, and Christopher Nicolson gathered at BC Wildfire Services in July to meet with Mountain Resort Branch and BC Wildfire Service officials regarding wildfire prevention around ski areas.  A full presentation will be delivered at BCY Fall Division meeting.

Driving force df

Dan Clark of Driving Force is based in Edmonton.  Like an air traffic control tower he is always connected through his phone head set to clients.  Dan is CWSAA’s key contact for vehicle lease or sales needs.   Contact Dan Clark at 780-641-1124.

Upcoming Events

  • Sept 23-24 – OSRA, Toronto Ski Club
  • Sept 24-25, 2019 – CWSAA ASM Fall Division Meeting, Snow Valley Edmonton
  • Oct 1, 2019 – CWSAA Bike Park Forum, SilverStar Mountain
  • Oct 2-3, 2019 – CWSAA BCY Fall Division Meeting, SilverStar Mountain
  • Oct 21-22, 2019 – HeliCat Fall Meeting
  • Oct 27-28, 2019 – SSAOA, Table Mountain
  • April 21-24, 2020 – PNSAA, Wenatchee Washington
  • April 22-24, 2020 – Mountain Planet, Grenoble Alps France
  • April 28-30, 2020 – CWSAA Spring Conference, Whistler BC
  • May 4-7, 2020 – NSAA, Amelia Island Florida
  • May 11-14, 2020 – RMLA, Grand Junction, CO
  • April 27-29, 2021 – CWSAA Spring Conference, Lake Louise Alberta

Check out the Industry Events Calendar HERE for more details.