At the recent online CWSAA AGM, the organisation conveyed its deep appreciation to those that have served and recently left the Board, and to those returning or who have just joined the Board.
Doug MacFarlane of Whistler Blackcomb served the Board over 2 terms. His vast expertise and perspectives were consistently thoughtful and full of wisdom. Past Chair Andre Quenneville served as Chair and past Chair through the last four years and now leaves the Board. His leadership was critical to industry response and the continued operation of the ski sector through the pandemic. The same can be said of Fernie's Andy Cohen, now past Chair. CWSAA governance retains the knowledge of the Chair through an immediate past Chair non-voting position on the Board.
CWSAA is guided by member priorities, an approved strategic plan, and a Board of Directors now Chaired for the next two years by Jason Paterson from Marmot Basin in Jasper AB. Jason, like former Chair Steve Paccagnan, is a graduate of the SROAM program at Selkirk College. Jason has worked at small community ski areas as well as international destinations such as Marmot.
Alberta-Saskatchewan-Manitoba and BC Yukon Division Chair roles are now served by Kim Locke of The Lake Louise Ski Resort and Eddie Wood of Mt Seymour respectively. Both bring extraordinary skills and lifelong industry experience to the Association.
The balance of Directors such as Winsport’s Kim Jones and Pass PowderKeg’s Katherine Seleski, represent a diverse cross section of industry knowledge. Each serves various CWSAA functions and offers wide perspective. In addition to the returning Directors, two new Directors were elected at the AGM.
Geoff Buchheister is the COO for Whistler Blackcomb and brings with him a wealth of deep industry knowledge and insight from across the continent. Johnathan Clarkson of Nitehawk serves as the Director at Large. He has been pivotal in numerous industry initiatives such as CWSAA Alberta Marketing and small areas assistance fundraising. Most recently Johnathan has demonstrated exceptional leadership by implementing creative solutions to overcome the loss of a lift due to slope movement.
All CWSAA Directors and many industry committee members contribute significant volunteer hours beyond their own business responsibilities to advance the greater industry. It is a strength of CWSAA that it is lead by such an experienced and committed group. To those that have served or are serving the Board, committees, or initiatives, the CWSAA extends its heart felt thank you.
See more on the CWSAA Board of Director's HERE.
In closing, it is worth sharing a comment on the timing of the AGM as it was moved to a digital format through the pandemic. The separation of the AGM from the annual conference created helpful benefits for the Association.
- Of most importance is the time between the Association’s financial year end of March 31 and the conference in the 3rd week of April. This short time does not provide the external accounting firm sufficient time to conduct the financial audit of the Association.
- The regular AGM business is routine in nature and can be conducted efficiently in an online format.
- The communication and reporting of Association activity has been exponentially increased by online sessions throughout the year, as well as through the many written communications and the in-person sessions at the spring conference.
- Scheduling the AGM outside of conference has substantial positive impact for Board members and staff charged with many detailed responsibilities to execute the annual Spring Conference.
The shift to a digital AGM was advanced by the pandemic, and revealed many advantages. As always, CWSAA directives are driven by the membership. If you have any comments, please do not hesitate to contact CWSAA.
– Christopher Nicolson
ASM Fall Division Meeting - September 27/28 at WinSport in Calgary.
- Register by September 2 to get the early bird rate of $220
- More info, draft agenda, registration & accommodation links HERE
CWSAA Bike Park Forum - October 3 at Sun Peaks.
BC-Yukon Fall Division Meeting - October 4/5 at Sun Peaks.
- Accommodation: Sun Peaks Grand Hotel. Rates starting at $155 + taxes + $15 per night for self parking.
- Registration Rates: Bike Park $200. BC-Y $310 (until September 2)
- More info, draft agendas, registration & accommodation links HERE
Saskatchewan Ski Area Operators Meeting
- October 30/31 at Falcon Ridge. Details to follow.
2023 CWSAA Spring Conference & Trade Show
- April 25-27, 2023 at the Whistler Conference Centre.
- Accommodations are now available to book through the Hilton & Delta Hotels. Learn more & book HERE.
- More info will be released in the Fall.
See more industry events, on the CWSAA Industry Events Calendar.
Online Industry Sessions
- Rental Shop Risk Management: September 8
- Workplace Bullying & Harassment: September 22
- Responsible Stewardship: October 21 (note revised date)
Click HERE to register (must be logged into CWSAA website).
Stay tuned more Online Sessions will be added soon!
The ski industry has redefined itself in the last three years. Its social contribution to communities has been widely recognized, and while impacted, its economic value has been clearly demonstrated.
Fortunately the 2021/22 season saw strength in visitation for much of the industry, but differences in experiences do exist. Domestic markets surged but did not replace the loss of international visitation. Ski areas dependent on specific geographic or market segments such as school groups dictated year end performance.
The following link shares the skier visit levels of the past winter for western Canada, as well as the economic impact benchmarks from the preceding season. There is strong optimism for the season ahead. By retaining new found converts to snowsports, and recapturing long haul visitation, there is a good foundation for optimism operators feel for the winter ahead.
See the full article in The Canada West Way.
The results are in. The Grade 4 & 5 SnowPass™ and Never Ever Day introductory programs drive visits (and Revenue) from new and beginner users while also re-engaging lapsed and infrequent skiers and riders. Experienced snow enthusiasts utilize the Canadian Lift Pass when joining their family and friends on the slopes.
For the 2022/23 season, the will be accelerating marketing efforts for all programs. Working together alongside the Go Skiing Go Snowboarding campaign will drive new skiers and snowboarders to your ski area.
The funding from these programs generates new skiers, allows the CSC to advocate for ski areas' interests with the federal government and produces research that strengthens industry insights into what motivates Canadian consumers to ski and snowboard.
On August 22, the Saskatchewan government announced several measures in an "Affordability Relief" plan.
Most notably a $500 tax credit cheque will be sent to Saskatchewan residents aged 18 and over. The relief cheque comes from increase provincial resource prices, and will come at the same time that Saskatchewan ski areas will be promoting pass sales and ski school programs as part of healthy outdoor activity.
The Lift 151, Lift 152 and Lift 153 Fall 2022 online training courses begin September 6. Registration is now open.
The courses are self directed and can begin anytime, however must be completed by the exam dates: December 6 (151), December 7 (152), December 8 (153).
Learn More & Register HERE.
CWSAA Members are invited to post their jobs on the CWSAA Job Board.
Login required to post jobs!
Jobs for Ukraine Portal
As you are all aware, Ukrainians are coming to Canada to escape the crisis in their country. When they arrive, many will look for a job.
In recent months, many ski areas have welcomed Ukrainians to their communities and workplaces. CWSAA wishes to welcome our new industry colleagues.
Learn more about the Jobs for Ukraine Job Bank HERE.
Wayne Wiltse extends best wishes to industry friends. His recovery continues at GF Strong Hospital in Vancouver and is optimistic for a return home to Pemberton in late fall.
Wayne spent three months at Vancouver General Hospital, after sustaining catastrophic injuries in a motor vehicle accident on his way to work as Director of Lift Maintenance at Whistler Blackcomb.
To facilitate his homecoming, home renovations need to begin as soon as possible and specific accessibility equipment, including an electric wheelchair and an accessible vehicle, needs to be acquired. An update from Wayne’s family is linked below as is the opportunity to help in his journey - view Wayne's go fund me page.
go2HR has launched a significant initiative to help BC’s tourism & hospitality businesses deal with a range of HR issues. The pandemic highlighted challenges companies face around recruiting and retaining employees, particularly as they work to recover.
go2HR has launched a two-year initiative, providing a regional HR consultant to work with tourism and hospitality businesses for all six destination development areas in BC. go2HR modelled the new Regional HR Consultants initiative after a successful pilot project in the Thompson Okanagan region that started six years ago. The consultants provide a wide variety of services to tourism operators in BC across the entire HR cycle (recruiting, onboarding, on-the-job, and departure).
The HR consultants are based in the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains, Vancouver Island, Thompson Okanagan, Northern BC, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast and Kootenay Rockies destination regions.
More information on the Regional HR Consultants can be found HERE.
The Alberta Tourism Industry Association is looking for input regarding the annual Alberta Tourism Industry Congress, which was cancelled in April 2022 due to low registration.
Complete the survey HERE.
The Government of Canada has alerted partners that it has become aware that phishing emails and text messages are being circulated that appear to be from the Government of Canada.
Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails pretending to be from reputable companies in order to convince individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.
An example of a phishing email might look like this:
You have a payment of 423.51 (CAD) that needs to be collected that was issued by COVID-19 Regional Relief and Recovery Funds on Jun 10-2022. Click here: Recoveryrelief.info
Clicking on “Recoveryrelief.info” leads to a request to provide financial institution and banking information for the deposit. This is a phishing email and is an attempt to collect personal, financial and sensitive information. Do not click the links within the email as they may contain malicious viruses.
These emails are NOT from the Government of Canada and should be deleted immediately.
After a tremendous effort to protect Apex Mountain Resorts from the still active Keremous Creek wildfire, the immediate danger has lessened. The crews have now packed up all the protection equipment at the resort and all evacuation orders have been rescinded.
See more in this video from GM James Shalman and the crew at Apex HERE.