August 2021 Newsletter

August 19, 2021 Newsletter

Message from the President: The Winter Ahead

Like all businesses, the ski industry is trying to anticipate the regulatory environment for the winter ahead and address the needs of their teams and guests.  The environment related to the pandemic is fluid and quickly changing.  CWSAA is closely monitoring trends and regulatory precedent as it will inform industry response in the weeks ahead.

In addition to finding workers, decisions around mandatory vaccination in the workforce is a leading discussion within ski areas as on-boarding policies and job offers are finalized.  A legal presentation was made by Ryan Anderson of Mathews, Dinsdale, and Clarke LLP to CWSAA members on June 15, 2021.  A summary can be found at the following link >> HERE.  Ryan will again be presenting at the CWSAA ASM and BCY fall division meetings with updates amidst the rapidly changing landscape.

Similarly, public health safety protocols for pandemics will shift as COVID transmission and hospitalizations change.  As a ski industry, managers are again preparing to scale and plan for operational flexibility.  At the fall meetings, workplace regulators will present on their current and near term considerations.  Forum discussions by delegates will delve into industry positioning for coming winter.

Ski has demonstrated its ability to operate safe experiences for staff and guests.  CWSAA draws upon this experience to keep policy makers updated on ski.

Each of the topics in the fall meetings have been identified and prioritized by CWSAA members.  The meeting agenda is built to maximize discussion and help operators define their planning directions.  The agendas are posted, and registration is open for members click >> HERE.



Growing Skiing and Snowboarding

The 2020/21 season was one for the record books and prepared industry for storms that are not normally found on the radar! In preparation for a prosperous 2021/22 season, the Canadian Ski Council (CSC) plans to build on best practices implemented last year, meeting the needs of Canadian ski areas and their guests safely, efficiently, and profitably.

Ski area commitment to growing the sport in Canada starts by opting into CSC programs that are proven to attract and retain guests:

  1. Grade 4 & 5 SnowPass
  2. Canadian Lift Pass
  3. Never Ever Days

Sign up your ski area today to participate in these programs for the 2021/22 season  >>HERE.

ASM & BC-Yukon Fall Division Meetings: Registration Open

Agendas are published and to learn more about the upcoming topics for the Fall division meetings along with information for booking of accommodations see below.

ASM Fall Division Meeting click >> HERE,

BC-Yukon Fall Division meeting click >> HERE.

Small Areas Assistance deadline for fall meeting application is August 27, 2021.
Please send an email to [email protected] to submit a request.

Click >> HERE to view Small Areas Assistance Policy.

Member Showcase: McElhanney

From one company of ski bums to another…

While McElhanney’s team is not paid to ride mountain bikes, operate zip lines, or eat powder on the daily, rest assured our team is as passionate about the places we play as your team who lives it more deeply.

Varied Experience – McElhanney has been involved in the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure world for more than a decade, using our engineering, surveying, and other skills to design and certify ski lifts, trails, mountain coasters, campgrounds, and all the supports that are required in this day and age of ecological and historical sensitivity. Challenge us to take on your project!

Multidisciplinary Team – McElhanney started as a survey company in the early 1900s and has expanded to include engineering (civil, structural, mechanical, electrical), engagement and master planning, ecological assessment, and landscape architecture. We’ve got a qualified, experienced professionals who loves the outdoors, to bring your projects to the finish line.

Canada’s Best Employer – We love doing what we do and who we do it with. There’s a reason we’re one of Canada’s best employers and it means we’ve got better staff retention, passionate employees, and satisfied clients. As you well know, when work is pleasure, great things happen!

Wondering where you’ve seen us?

Virtually every ski lift needs some TLC over its lifespan; we have helped out in most resorts in Western Canada. What you may not know is we can also help with your mountain coaster, zip line, bike carriers, bridges, buildings, downhill bike trails, bike parks, and more.

Designing and overseeing construction of kilometers of trail, including the High Rockies Trail, Ha Ling Peak Trail and Yamnuska Trail (Kananaskis, AB); Shangri La and Hey Bear trail system (Terrace, BC); and Cypress Hills Provincial Park and Hidden Valley Ski Resort trail system (Medicine Hat, AB).

More projects >> HERE 

To meet our team and inquire about support on your next project, reach out to us >> HERE  

Federal Election Platforms

Critical tourism industry policy asks are revealing themselves in federal election platforms.

In the first days of the federal election campaign, policy announcements are responding to some of the challenges highlighted by industry.  Recent examples include:

Liberals announced their plan to extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program through winter until the end of May 2022. Learn more >> HERE

The Conservative party announced a six month 50% hiring benefit following the end of CEWS (page 17 & 20). Learn more >> HERE.

Industry is watching for position statements regarding tourism from all parties.

Election day is September 20, 2021.  See Elections Canada for ways to vote >> HERE.

Including policy recommendations in platforms is achieved by sustained and collective communication over significant periods of time.  CWSAA wishes to recognize the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (, peer provincial/territorial tourism associations, and many partners assembled under initiatives such as the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses ( and thank them for their leadership.

Western Economic Diversification now PrairiesCan & PacifiCan

In August, the federal government announced that Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is becoming two new agencies to better grow the western Canadian economy.

Many federal programs have been delivered by WD for over 30 years.  PrairiesCan and PacifiCan will resume this function.

Alberta Government Seeking Operator for Hidden Valley

Government of Alberta is seeking interested parties for the Parks Commercial Recreational Disposition to operate Hidden Valley Ski Resort located in Cypress Hills Provincial Park, Alberta.

The operator lease term would be 10 years initially with the responsibilities to:
– operate and maintain the Premises;
– collect fees from the public for use of the Premises;
– provide public safety and control;
– manage access to the Premises; and
– manage the movement and activities of users of the Premises.

Read more information >> HERE.

CWSAA Partners

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

Remembering a cornerstone member of the Sunshine Village Family – Rod Chisholm

CWSAA was greatly saddened to learn of the loss of Rod Chisholm from Sunshine Village.  Loved on and off the mountain for his quick wit, loyalty, and caring demeanor, Rod will be deeply missed by the Banff Sunshine team and the entire Canada West ski family.

View the online memorial and industry link >> HERE.

Manning Park is nearing completion on the construction of 2 brand new staff housing apartment buildings. Each building will contain 12 single-occupancy units, so 24 units in total.

Destination BC appoints Richard Porges as permanent President and CEO

The Board sought a candidate who had the leadership, government and tourism-sector relationships, and strategic skills to undertake this role, drive the organization’s goals and support BC’s tourism industry through some of the biggest challenges the sector has ever faced.

Read more >>HERE.

Lonnie Burnett, a familiar face in the ski industry, recently joined the go2HR Health and Safety team as an Industry Health and Safety Specialist.  Prior to joining go2HR, Lonnie was the Safety Manager for Mt Seymour Resorts.


  • Pass PowderKeg is on the search for two Zebra scanners preferably with chargers. If you have some that are not being used, please reach out to [email protected].

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.