January 2019 Newsletter

January 10, 2019 Newsletter

Spring Conference

2019 CWSAA Spring Conference registration begins on January 23, 2019! The Conference website is now live with exhibitor information, pricing and a high level draft schedule of events.  Thank you to the conference planning committees for shaping the agenda.

Thank you to all of the great sponsors that have already come on board.  This is your last opportunity to get advanced trade show booth selection by becoming a sponsor – January 11 is the deadline.

Seeking Small Areas Champions

The Small Areas Assistance Fund is funded through the silent auction at the Spring Conference and generous donations.  We are currently looking for industry champions to help solicit prizing and organize the silent auction.  Please let us know if you can help assist supporting community ski areas across the west.

CWSAA Awards

Thank you to everyone that submitted a nomination.  The Board will be reviewing all nominations at its next Board meeting.

Employee Health & Safety

The people who work the front lines of Ski Resorts are the face of our industry.  They are outside long days in physically intensive jobs, while maintaining a warm smile with their guests.  The health and safety of our workers is imperative to a successful industry.  Therefore Safety is one of CWSAA’s top strategic priorities and recently two major initiatives have begun to provide tools, resources and training to industry staff – Employee Safety Initiative and the New Workers Skills Development Program.


The Employee Safety Initiative was introduced at the Fall Meetings.  This initiative is being led by CWSAA in partnership with go2HR and Western Canadian Ski Areas.  The goal of this project is to collect industry best practices in employee safety and provide communication tools to support the awareness and implementation to front line staff.  Some of these tools are already available HERE, and in the next month specific tools will be released on skiing and snowboarding staff injury prevention.


The New Worker Skill Development program, initiated by WinSport and supported by CWSAA, is being developed to benefit young and vulnerable workers by encouraging them to ask questions and receive constructive feedback on workplace safety, bolster confidence and support building a strong safety culture within the industry.

Winsport will be consulting with experts to support the development of a program that will dramatically increase OHS awareness and lead to a higher level of OHS action within our  industry, specifically with young and vulnerable workers.

This project will develop and deliver a comprehensive training package including an on-line education awareness module, training and delivery tools that will be used by both new workers and mentors and create competency-based evaluation tools.  Workers that access this free program will have a heightened level of OHS awareness and knowledge that will set a strong foundation for their future career endeavors.  The program is expected to rollout in late 2020 or early 2021.

A big thank you to Winsport for their leadership in this project!

The Nutrition Factor

Nutrition improves energy levels, injury rates and outlook on work and life!  Delia Roberts, the author of the Fit for Snow program, has shared some great resources with CWSAA that we’ll be publishing on the Canada West Way.  This article focuses on connection between nutrition and injury rates, with some appropriate and relatively easy to integrate tips for ski industry staff.

Through Delia’s extensive research she has identified that educating instructors on how to manage their blood sugar levels during the day consistently lowers injury rates by approximately 40 percent.  The data also indicates that 70 percent of injuries occur more than three hours from the last snack or meal.

Read More in the current edition of the Canada West Way.

National Ski & Snowboard Day

January 26 & 27, 2019

This year over 100 ski areas have already signed up to take part in National Ski & Snowboard Day.   Cornerstone’s of the day include Canada’s Largest Lesson, Never Ever Days, and special fundraising promotions for the Canadian Ski & Snowboard teams.  Ski areas who offer Never Ever Day Lessons during NSSD could enter to win a prize of $5000 – which will be awarded to the Ski Area that holds the best event.

Spread the word and let’s make January 26 & 27 the largest ski day in Canada: http://hittheslopes.ca/

A Dram for Jimmie

A reminder, to RSVP by January 15th for this special gathering.
View the invitation

The Spencer family is in the final preparations for a very special gathering, “A Dram for Jimmie.”  While you might assume that Andy knows you are coming, she’d very much appreciate everyone please RSVP directly by January 15, so that she can confirm final numbers.

Also, please be sure to book your accommodation at SilverStar now.  Some accommodation options for these dates are already sold out!!!

Foundations of Workplace Safety Course

Start off 2019 right by taking proactive steps to minimize risks and injuries in your business. For a limited time only, go2HR is offering Foundations of Workplace Safety for FREE to educate tourism employees on workplace safety.

Statistics show that more than half of workplace accidents involve young or new workers during their first six months on the job. Effective training is key to helping staff understand workplace safety and is the best way to prevent accidents. The online certification Foundations of Workplace Safety covers the basics of WHMIS as well as topics including a worker’s rights and responsibilities, common workplace hazards in tourism and hospitality, and more.

Encourage your employees to register for Foundations of Workplace Safety now at no cost! They only need to fill out this form to obtain a free enrolment key, then visit train.go2hr.ca to access the go2HR Online Training Portal.

Never Ever Days

A new website has been launched and new ads and supporting materials that Ski Areas can use are now available through the CSC Website.  Visit this link and then click on the Never Ever Days tab and download digital ads, posters and more.

Conference Board of Canada Survey

The survey seeks to identify the issues that are affecting tourism businesses across Canada, including those related to labour. The survey also asks about recent performance of your business including your expectations for the coming years. Complete the Survey.

Lift Safety Education Signage

As presented at the Fall meetings, the new Lift Usage Signage are almost finalized.  Huge thank you to AEDARSA and Technical Safety BC for sponsoring the printing costs in the west and thanks to OSRA for leading the project.   The new posters will be distributed in the Fall.

Certificate of Recognition (COR)

Is your organization COR certified –  send your OHS champion to go2HR’s COR Internal Auditor training on February 22, where he or she will learn to lead the process for your organization and become a knowledgeable resource about the COR process. Learn More.

Employees First Award

Your employees love coming to work. You support their wellness and professional growth. You make sure they work safely. You celebrate your achievements together, and everyone works toward the success of your company.  So why not get recognized for all your efforts in fostering a terrific workplace culture?

Nominations are now open for the Employees First Award, which recognizes a BC tourism employer who has upheld high standards of excellence in human resources and people management practices.

Download the application form here, accepted until the extended deadline of January 21, 2019. Companies can nominate themselves or be nominated by other individuals, companies or agencies. The winner will be announced at the BC Tourism Industry Conference in Vancouver on Feb. 28, 2019.

For more information about the Employees First Award and to see past winners, visit www.go2hr.ca/retention/employees-first-award.

Places & Faces

Mount Timothy has new owners.  Special thanks to the volunteers that have run Mount Timothy in the past, and welcome to the new owners and operators.  Nancy Greene and CWSAA attended the Mt Timothy AGM in the Fall. Read More about this news.

Congratulations to Steve Reid who recently joined Mount Sima as General Manager and brings many years of Ski Industry experience.

Sandy Boyd passed away on December 4, 2018.  Sandy and Molly Boyd owned and operated Tillicum ski area outside of Vernon.  CWSAA was fortunate to catch up with Sandy and Molly at SilverStar’s gondola opening in summer 2018 (pictured left).  Sandy was CWSAA president  in 1976-77.   Their son Rob grew up skiing Tillicum before heading to Whistler and winning the World Cup.  Daughter Heather now works at SilverStar.  Read Sandy Boyd’s obituary.

Congratulations to Katherine and the team at Pass Powderkeg in the launch of their new after school program.  This week was the kick off of the new Riversdale Rippers 5 week program which focuses on kids having fun outside, developing new skills and staying active through the winter.

Thank you to Sunshine Village for coming forward immediately when news circulated about a recent break and enter at the Innisfail Ski Area rental shop.  Innisfail is still looking for a few larger adult sized snowboard boots and boards.  Any other ski areas who may be able to help can contact the CWSAA office.

Sun Peaks‘ new Orient quad chairlift opened on December 24. The Doppelmayr new chair provides improved access to accommodations in the East Village and between the Sundance, Morrisey and main village.  More info & photos.

The Blackcomb 10 passenger Doppelmayr Gondola opened December 15, which connects the upper village to the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola.  Whistler Blackcomb will be eager to showcase it during the Spring Conference.  Read More.

Upcoming Events

  • January 26-27, 2019 – National Ski & Snowboard Day!
  • March 15, 2019 – A “Dram” for Jimmie Spencer, SilverStar BC
  • 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, 2019 – HeliCat Spring Meeting, Penticton BC
  • May 6-10, 2019 – Canadian Avalanche Association, Penticton BC
  • May 6-9, 2019 – RMLA, Grand Junction CO
  • May 8-10, 2019 – InterAlpin, Innsbruck Austria
  • May 21-23, 2019 – OSRA Spring Conference, Ontario
  • Oct 27-28, 2019 – SSAOA, Table Mountain
  • April 28-30, 2020 – CWSAA Spring Conference, Whistler BC