Two weeks ago, I had the privilege to join Kimberley Alpine Resort General Manager, Ted Funston, on a ski at Kimberley Alpine Resort. As we hiked the access route from the village to the mid-mountain Tamarack chair, we spoke about the relationship between the ski area and community.
The narrative of ski area contributions to local communities and their importance to economic and social well-being will be very familiar to CWSAA members. The loss of the primary lift at Kimberley Alpine Resort this past December and the commitment to maintain operations by the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (RCR) ownership illustrates this critical role and relationship in vivid colours. A walk through Kimberley’s marvelous townsite and the commentary from store owners tells a story of economic hardship due to reduced visitors, but one of resilience due to collective RCR commitment and strong community spirit. The heart beat is clearly palpable in all the posts tagged #mykimberley.
Through the day, Ted extended his appreciation for industry support and especially for the assets received from Revelstoke, Kicking Horse, and Castle Mountain. This spoke of Ted’s leadership. During any crisis, people seek reassurance and confidence. Ted articulates this in a December 20 post to Kimberley’s Facebook page. It demonstrated strength. I would even suggest that Ted’s perceived role within the community shifted from operating lifts, to one of building confidence for his team and community and painting a path forward.
It is a credit to our industry that such leadership is not isolated. Leaders such as Kevin Grogan at Vista Ridge, Kirby Brown at Sea to Sky Gondola, and Johnathan Clarkson at Nitehawk ski area have also shared their experiences with the CWSAA membership, and each stands on the broad shoulders of others. These are dramatic events, and each underscores the value of our industry to our communities. In more muted tones, the contribution to community occurs across the country. Every day wages are earned, families are supported, and residents and guests spend time outdoors in healthy endeavours. This defines the industry of which we are all a part.
I would also like to make comment on another contribution of ski areas. Every four years, athletes from across the globe are thrust into the limelight of the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. To get there, many of the athletes and coaches from western Canada are supported by the CWSAA Competitor Pass. The program is supported by each ski area member, and allows athletes to access every ski area in the west for training and competition. On show for the next two weeks are incredible athletic displays and the results of extraordinary determination and talent. Proudly, some are even immediate family of CWSAA members. CWSAA wishes Team Canada the very best at the Games, and conveys its deep appreciation to all the ski areas for their continued support of our athletes. Go Canada Go!
In closing, members will be aware of the new and/or anticipated health orders in many jurisdictions. Saskatchewan and Alberta have just announced changes, and others are known to be coming. CWSAA has been working vigorously with government officials and management to ensure ski area priorities such as lift capacity is maintained. Clarity and interpretations of orders have already been required, and for some areas, the new announcements create significant operational decisions. CWSAA is following up with ski areas on a jurisdictional basis as necessary.
As always, please contact CWSAA if you have any questions.
– Christopher Nicolson
Spring Meeting Registration Opens February 22! In the meantime....
Check out the CWSAA Spring Meeting Website HERE.
BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Secure your room now to receive the group rate. Rooms have sold out quickly in past years!
Standard Rooms starting at $154 (plus taxes and $12 service charge per person).
Group booking available until April 2, 2022, or until sold out.
APPLY FOR SMALL AREAS ASSISTANCE FUNDING
Ski Areas up to 20,000 annual skier visits may apply for up to a $1500 grant to attend the 2022 CWSAA Spring Meeting.
Deadline to apply to Small Areas Assistance for the Spring Meeting is March 8, 2022.
Learn More & Apply HERE.
BECOME A SPONSOR
Learn more about Sponsorship HERE.
Nominations for the 2022 CWSAA Awards are now closed. The recipients will be announced at the 2022 Spring Meeting in Lake Louise.
There are several other important recognition nominations currently open:
go2HR Safety Mogul
go2HR’s 2022 Safety Mogul Award aims to recognize an up-and-coming leader within the Western Canada ski industry that champions an exemplary safety culture in their workplace. This year, there are not any age restrictions, but nominees must be relatively new to a leadership position at a ski area within Western Canada. Nominees should also demonstrate extraordinary safety leadership qualities, as well as the ambition to further their career in the ski industry.
Nominations for 2022 are now open until March 15 HERE.
Travel Alberta Alto Awards
Nomination deadline is coming up February 11, submit your nominations HERE.
Canada’s Volunteer Awards 2021
Canada’s Volunteer Awards (CVA) recognizes the significant contributions of individual volunteers, non-profit organizations and businesses across the country in helping communities. Nominations are now open and will run until March 4 HERE.
Travel Alberta and the Tourism Industry Association of Alberta (TIAA) are co-hosting a series of in-person Tourism Town Halls in communities across Alberta in March and May.
This is an opportunity for businesses, governments, and industry to connect, collaborate and discuss recovery and growth. Each event kicks off with presentations by David Goldstein, CEO, Travel Alberta, and Darren Reeder, TIAA Board Advisor, followed by questions and answers. All town halls will run from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. followed by lunch and networking.
Learn More & Register to attend HERE.
Round 2 of CERIP funding was announced on February 4 and more than 50 new tourism projects throughout B.C. are receiving a total of $21.3 million for shovel-ready infrastructure projects, including eight projects in ski communities valued at $3,877,120. Read the press release HERE.
CWSAA would specifically like to thank Tourism Minister Melanie Mark and her staff for their support with CERIP, and their intimate involvement supporting ski areas and communities throughout the pandemic and during this winter’s highway closures.
The Smithers Ski and Snowboard Club at Hudson Bay Mountain was one of the grant recipients receiving $418,000 to create a Winter Sports Event Centre. "Hudson Bay Mountain Resort has had a strong partnership with the Smithers Ski and Snowboard Club for many decades. We work together in many ways to plan, prepare and host major sporting events that draw athletes, support staff, spectators and entire families to the North. This grant will help make the resort more attractive to large scale race events. We thank the Province for recognizing the importance of outdoor activity to community well being.” - Lex Rei-Jones, Hudson Bay Mountain General Manager
Other projects in BC Ski Area Communities include:
- The Revelstoke Ski Club - Install a new modular building primarily to accommodate ski club youth athletes on program and race days. $ 417,865
- Red Mountain Racers Society - Expand the Race Centre at Red Mountain, including new Race Centre Building for 4 season event hosting, new lighting on the t-bar slope and an extension of the snowmaking system. $ 700,000
- Smithers Ski Club - Winter Sports Event Centre at Hudson Bay Mountain Resort. $ 418,000
- Mount Timothy Resort Four Season Expansion Project - including campground, unique playground, washroom/shower/laundry facility, a picnic shelter and event pavilion. $ 529,800
- Friends of Pulpit Rock Society - Construction of 4 hiking trails at Whitewater Ski Resort including directional and interpretive signs. $ 73,874
- Sun Peaks Centre Plaza Development - Includes picnic tables, firepits, game areas, Secwepmec Medicine Trail signage, pedestrian walkway improvements. $ 898,241
- Fernie Nordic Society - Elk Valley Nordic Centre Trailhead Enhancement Project including dedicated parking, washroom facilities and a multipurpose trailhead facility. $ 822,500
- Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club - Widen the Main Loop trail at the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club's (RNSC) trail system. $ 16,840
See a current list of Grants Available by province as well as federal grants HERE.
“RED Mountain has a long and wonderful history of racing since 1897 and the formation of the Red Mountain Racers in the 60's. We appreciate our partnership with the Red Mountain Racers Society and this capital investment and the hard work by many volunteers is greatly appreciated. Many thanks to the Province for recognizing the value of sustainable partnerships and the importance of outdoor activity in communities throughout British Columbia.”
- Don Thompson
President and GM
RED Mountain Resort
A new video series is being developed to address questions from first-time skiers and snowboarders. Four videos are now online with another five currently in the final editing stages. The videos are filmed at various Alberta ski areas with experts from the ski area sharing their tips.
These videos can be accessed HERE and ski areas are encouraged to share and use them.
Over the past several months, several new members have joined CWSAA. CWSAA now has 255 members (116 Ski Areas and 139 Suppliers). We are excited to welcome the following members:
- Inside Edge Consulting - Small ski area consultants (contact Val & Jurgen Grau at email@example.com)
- Communiski - app for snow-sports industry to promote & market services
- Taiga Motors - electric snowmobiles
- Moustache Metalworks - custom medal fabrication
Ski Area Members:
- CWSAA would like to welcome back Kinsmen Ski & Snowboard Centre (Saskatchewan).
Alberta Environment and Parks – Parks Operations Division (“Alberta Parks”) is seeking a business entity or non-profit organization or Proponent Team to operate and maintain Hidden Valley Ski Resort under a Commercial Recreation Disposition. Submission deadline is March 30, 2022.
View the Bid Package HERE.
DRIVING FORCE Getting to the slopes made EASY!
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CONTACT: 780-483-9559 or firstname.lastname@example.org
RECEIVE 10% OFF Promo Code: CWSAA
Staff Offer from Kal Tire: Download the Coupon
Thanks to the partnership with Kal Tire, all ski area staff and associate members of CWSAA are eligible to receive $80 off at Kal Tire. Please feel free to circulate this offer with your staff.
To redeem, click on the image to the left, and print the voucher or present on your mobile device in-store at Kal Tire.
John Ogilvy was well-known to the ski industry as Western Canada's pre-eminent ski lift engineer. John passed away on January 20, 2022. John left his legacy at Marmot Basin, and worked on hundreds of lifts - he was well-known for his natural predisposition to finding practical solutions to complex problems.
John's family and colleagues one (of many) of his inspirational quotes that he lived by and encouraged others with - “a job worth doing, is worth doing well.”
Read More about John HERE.
Vehicle mechanics Harv and Woody keeping things running smooth at the Sun Peaks Resort cat shop.
CSIA boss Perry Schmunk with Mt Washington's Mike Manara looking forward at the western Interski section camp at Sun Peaks Resort.
Over the past year Bob Dodge (pictured), has been hunting down and sharing the stories of hundreds of SROAM grads. Familiar faces such as Katherine Seleski, Lex Rei-Jones and Dan Wilson are included in the final installment of Tales of SROAM Success recognizing some of the industry's rising stars.
SROAM Alumni Scholarship Fund
The fund recognizes a SROAM student annually not just based on their GPA, but who also excels on their work term, leads by example and shows strong potential for future success in the industry. A prestigious scholarship, the current fund balance is the lowest monetary award in the SROAM Program at under $300. Donations large and small are being accepted to boost the award to reflect effort and accomplishment. You can donate here. Choose your amount and then under "Designation" select "other" and type in "SROAM Alumni Scholarship."
SROAM 40th Anniversary Hoodies
Another way to support the SROAM Alumni Scholarship fund is the purchase of a 40th Anniversary Hoodie. The Hoodies are now available for purchase through the Selkirk Bookstore. Bob models the awesome hoodies in this picture. $10 from each purchase will go towards the SROAM Alumni Scholarship fund.
Canadian Ski Council’s OnSnow
The inaugural issue of the Canadian Ski Council’s OnSnow – an eNewsletter dedicated to ski and snowboard industry insights, growth and best practices in Canada has been launched. Sharing relevant news and information that will enhance your ski area operation and attract and benefit your guests.
Check your inbox for the first issue or drop the CSC a line at email@example.com to be included.