Between the spring conference and fall division meetings, a lot of organisational effort is exerted behind the scenes on industry initiatives. The volume is only possible thanks to the many industry volunteers that work for the benefit of all CWSAA members. Recently, the Board of Directors held its strategic planning session for the Association. Building upon the input and direction gained from 171 responses to the CWSAA member survey as well as stakeholder input, the Board has ensured the organisation continues to best serve its members. Supports for safety and risk management, education, and advocacy, are all prominent, and the 3-year plan will be finalised in time to share with the membership at the fall division meetings.
Several other CWSAA working groups are also forging new ground. The CWSAA Safety and Risk Committee is well into developing its content for the Fall meetings. In similar fashion, many talented leaders are collaborating to share new and evolving Bike Park best practises at the Bike Park Forum. New resources and information will be forthcoming at these meetings, including guidance related to topics such as rental operations and park signage. Training is being planned for the launch of a Critical Incident Stress Management network of mountain professionals thanks to our friends at HeliCat Canada, and the Responsible Stewardship working group will be excited to launch the CWSAA Responsible Stewardship toolkit to members in early September. An active calendar of online sessions and industry events can be found HERE.
It may surprise some, but the development of the 2023 spring conference agenda is well underway. Following debriefings in May, CWSAA efforts are fortunate to be supported by the expertise of industry leaders such as Bob Bell and a group committed to advancing the knowledge of our operations teams.
High on all member priority lists is the need for workers. Much effort has been placed on driving domestic recruiting and utilizing training opportunities, but there still remains a huge need for workers as all sectors compete for staff. As recent as last week, we were pleased to hear from Federal Immigration Minister Sean Fraser that government understood immigration and worker initiatives were important and necessary for Canada. The Minister understood the vital requirement of people to our own ski sector, as well as most others including essential services within our society. Indeed the Minister was exceptionally well versed on the challenge of operators and appeared intensely vested in finding solutions. This reaffirmed our industry efforts, unified under the Canadian Ski Council (CSC) banner, to seek improvements to existing worker programs and call for a dedicated tourism application stream similar to agriculture. In addition, CWSAA and CSC have been guided by one of our industry working groups to define specific challenges and solutions to recruiting. As communicated earlier, an immediate action for employers recruiting international workers is to ensure they have listed their job postings on the CWSAA job board. This page is the fulfillment to the call to action within an international recruiting program called Winter365. Members can contact CWSAA for more information.
In recent weeks, CWSAA has been into multiple provinces to promote staffing solutions to senior officials, and has had the privilege to visit many ski areas at the same time. It the wake of the last couple years, it has been most gratifying to see the confidence and optimism of operators. Examples include the diversification of summer operations with a new Coaster at Canyon ski area, and the start of construction of a second one at Revelstoke. Further west, for the summer season Sun Peaks has opened a second lift to massively expand its Bike Park, and the Creekside base at Whistler Blackcomb is being redefined this summer with a huge injection of capital, including the replacement of the Creekside gondola.
On a personal level, I find the fortitude, energy, and vision of our sector motivating and inspiring. Over the past few years, others have also recognised the contributions of our sector at a local, provincial and national level. One of CWSAA’s new strategic directions is to amplify this narrative…a task that we will be most honoured to drive forward.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out me or any of our CWSAA team with any questions or requests for support.
– Christopher Nicolson
WorkSafeBC has announced that the preliminary base rate for ski hills is set to decrease by 5% (from $5.55 to $5.26) next year, which is good news!
WorkSafeBC stressed that the impacts of COVID-19 have not influenced the base rate setting for industries in 2023 and any such related costs are not being passed onto employers. In fact, WorkSafeBC's higher-than-required investment returns in recent years has allowed the average base premium rate to be discounted below the average cost of claims.
They are expecting to provide employer rate letters earlier than normal this year, possibly this Summer.
Read the News Release HERE.
Funded by the Government of Canada through the Student Work Placement Program, Propel offers registered Canadian businesses, startups, and not-for-profits related to the tourism and hospitality sector a subsidy on each qualifying student’s wages.
Some highlights of the program:
- The position must be a work-integrated learning (WIL) placement for a current student (coop, internship, practicum, mentorship, field placement, project).
- Full- or part-time work-integrated learning opportunity
- A minimum of 20 hours a week
- A minimum of 4 weeks
- With a tourism/hospitality employer and/or related to a tourism/hospitality job function
- Student must be hired as an employee of the company (not as an independent contractor)
- Subsidy covers: Up to 50% of wages or up to $5,000 to provide students with meaningful WIL opportunities.
More information can be found HERE.
Ski areas interested in winter placements should submit the following brief form: https://tourismhr.ca/propel-preapplication-form/
CWSAA wishes to thank and applaud CWSAA’s consultant and subject expert Rick Cowburn of VIDYA Knowledge Systems Corp for his expertise and long standing service to Alberta ski areas. Rick was pivotal in the tariff relief efforts starting in 2014. Most recently he has represented ski areas by serving as an expert witness in the Alberta Utility Commission review hearings with legal support by Indra Maharaj. To both Rick and Indra we wish to offer our sincere thanks.
You may see them at work at the video linked HERE (Timestamp 4:45:00)
CWSAA recognizes WinSport’s Phil Graham for continuing to lead CWSAA’s seasonal energy load file on behalf of ski areas.
Applications are under review and still being accepted for the FESBC's $25 million in wildfire risk reduction projects.
This year, successful applicants will receive funding to undertake activities that fall under at least one of the three criteria:
- Wildfire Risk Reduction planning and treatment prescription development
- Wildfire Risk Reduction treatments
- Recovery and utilization of low-value residual fibre resulting from wildfire risk reduction treatments funded by FESBC
For more information:
For those of you in attendance at the 2022 CSWAA Spring Gala, Ralph Scurfield, on behalf of Sunshine Village, announced that he would match ALL funds donated to the University of Calgary’s Glioblastoma research fund through the Rod Chisholm Memorial Donation Page.
Sadly, Rod passed away in July of 2021 to Glioblastoma (GBM). GBM is the most common and aggressive subtype of brain tumour, with symptoms ranging from seizures, headaches, and memory loss to changes in personality. GBM also resists the tumour-controlling effects of chemotherapy and radiation, making it one of the few cancers to escape major advances in treatment. Finding a cure is one of the biggest challenges facing clinicians and scientists. UofC’s Cumming School of medicine is a leader in GBM. With the support of philanthropic donations the school is working on collaborative and multi-disciplinary research to find a cure for GBM while extend the quality of life and survival rate for persons diagnosed with Glioblastoma.
Thank you to those that have already made donations. Learn More 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.
CWSAA 2022 AGM - July 26, 9am Pacific / 10am Mtn.
- Virtual/online meeting. Official notice was sent June 28 . Members must be in good standing and pre-register to attend.
ASM Fall Division Meeting - September 27/28 at WinSport in Calgary.
- Tuesday September 27 afternoon and Wednesday September 28 morning.
- Accommodation: Four Point Sheraton. Rate: $166 + taxes (includes parking).
- Registration Rate: $220 (until September 2)
- More info, registration & accommodation links HERE
CWSAA Bike Park Forum - October 3 at Sun Peaks.
BC-Yukon Fall Division Meeting - October 4/5 at Sun Peaks.
- The Bike Park Forum will be a 1 day event on Monday October 3. Followed by a 1.5 day BC-Y meeting (Tuesday full-day and Wednesday morning).
- 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, 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.
Hart Ski Hill has the following items for sale:
- Snowmaking - 4 new electrical pedestal bases and 4 single hydrants from HTM Manufacturing, plus 2 complete TR Flex pipe and 3 sections as well.
- J-Bar lift
- Various rental shop equipment - boots, skis, snowboards (less than 3 years old).
- Contact Jess for more information - firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have items to donate or sell, or, if you are looking for a particular item, please contact email@example.com.
As announced in British Columbia’s Budget 2022 on February 22, 2022, effective July 1, 2022, certain marketplace facilitators must charge and collect provincial sales tax (PST) and the municipal and regional district tax (MRDT) on taxable sales and leases that they facilitate through an online marketplace. This includes taxable sales of accommodation facilitated through an online marketplace by an online marketplace facilitator.
Learn more, in this information package prepared by the BC Hotel Association HERE.
simple, safe, and fast with HKD KLiK
There’s not a more important job on the mountain than snowmaking. Without snow, the lifts don’t turn, burgers don’t sell, and the parking lot remains empty.
But as we know, snowmaking isn’t for everyone. It can be challenging and dangerous and requires skilled and motivated problem solvers to get the job done.
Ralph Lewis, GM of Shawnee Peak in Maine says, “with the windows of opportunity today and the labor force challenges, we had to look at something that would make snowmaking easier, and there’s no question the KLiK hydrant allows you to do more work with the same number of people.”
How does it work? The KLiK hydrant remains connected to the snowgun with hoses, making starts and stops as easy as walking to the hydrant and turning the handle. The KLiK can also be automated.
CWSAA is incredibly saddened by the news of the passing of Hunter Fitzgerald. Hunter was instrumental in the Mike Wiegele Heliskiing business as Risk Manager, and also helped establish the Canadian Ski Guide Association.
Hunter passed away May 4, 2022 at the age of 86. Read the Obituary HERE.