June 2021 Newsletter

June 23, 2021 Newsletter

Message from the President

Vaccinations, protocols, and health orders continue to surround CWSAA daily activity.  Ski areas have affirmed their commitment to enter the summer operations period with proven protocols similar to winter.  This decision has been welcomed by authorities and has maintained high confidence in the ski sector’s safety protocols.  CWSAA continues to voice its support for face coverings, vaccinations, and other prevention measures, and has also reinforced with governments the need to remove capacity restrictions on facilities to allow business viability.   There is important information below in this newsletter relating to guidance on vaccinations in the workplace, and collective industry effort to encourage vaccinations which assists protecting the safety of our people and guests.   

CWSAA is happy to report that initiatives beyond the pandemic have advanced including the Safety and Risk Management, Responsible Stewardship, and Strategic Planning Projects.  Ski areas recently participated in a safety and risk management education session that will help guide e-commerce implementations on resort platforms.  The Association has commenced its next phase of the CWSAA Responsible Stewardship project first started in 2019, in which working groups will be active in July.  The Association is grateful for the high return rate of the member services annual survey.  The results will guide the Board of Directors discussions and immediately set the directives for the Association for the term ahead.   

The CWSAA Online Industry Sessions continue to be scheduled and will range in topic as broadly as member needs.  These are now regarded as a regular deliverable from CWSAA to membership and are envisioned in addition to future in-person meetings.  Dates for fall ASM and BCY division meetings are pending with a decision expected shortly on whether the meetings will be held in-person. 

As always, please feel free to contact me or the office with any industry questions. 



AGM Wednesday July 7, 2021

Please be advised that the CWSAA 2021 AGM will take place as follows:

Date:  Wednesday, July 7th, 2021.
Time:  9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. PDT | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Mountain.
Place:  Zoom Video Conference. To register, please click the following registration form and the Zoom details will be emailed to you prior to AGM.

Please note, only CWSAA members in good standing (paid 2021-2022 membership dues) are eligible to vote at the AGM.  Membership dues can be paid online >>HERE

Safety and Risk Management

Over the next 5 months, CWSAA will be leading a safety and risk management education initiative to support ski areas’ e-commerce implementations as presented in the recent ski area virtual meetings. 

CWSAA’s Communications Manager Cynthia Thomas has been assigned to facilitate the pilot project.  She will maintain her marketing industry liaison duties and handover her other responsibilities for the interim period.  To enable this transition, CWSAA is pleased to welcome Shannon McVagh-Janz.  Members will recall first meeting Shannon in her technology support role for the CWSAA virtual spring conference.  CWSAA has since retained her assistance to work in conjunction with communications and office projects through the duration of the project.  

Thank you to Robert Kennedy and Board of Directors for their guidance on this project.   

New Alberta Capital and Cooperative Investment Grants

Since the start of COVID, ski industry focus has been on safe operational protocols, and also constantly positioning the ski sector as an active contributor and opportunity to economic recovery.  Ski areas are located throughout Alberta and are catalysts for employment and investment in rural and urban areas.  The Province recognized this potential and tourism’s ability to generate economic diversity.  This vision set the stage to expand Travel Alberta’s mandate beyond marketing to incorporate destination development, and has been directly supported by Travel Alberta’s increased budget allocation from the Province.

Travel Alberta has announced two new significant funding programs for Capital Investment and Cooperative Investment.  Each provide opportunity to not only recover from the past year, but to position and advance tourism businesses so they embrace the changing needs of our future traveler.

The details for both programs are found at the following link >>HERE.

Please note the short intake period for the Capital Investment program between June 28 and July 30, 2021.

CWSAA wishes to recognize the Government of Alberta, Ministry of Jobs Economy and Innovation, Travel Alberta, and the Tourism Industry Association of Alberta for their work and the opportunity to advance our communities and the ski and tourism industry through these investments.

Member Showcase: Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners


Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners is active in developing master plans in Western Canada’s ski areas.  Here are a few projects Ecosign has currently been working on:

Revelstoke Resort, BC
In 2020 Ecosign completed a detailed base area master plan for Revelstoke Mountain Resort which establishes a road map for future development of the resort village, 18-hole Cabot Revelstoke Golf Course, real estate, parking and employee housing.

Proposed Revelstoke Mountain Resort Village Plan

The master plan provides a layout for 6,000 bed units with a mix of hotel, condo, townhouse, single-family units and employee housing. In the summer of 2021 RMR will begin constructing a new hotel and 18-hole golf course.

Lake Louise Ski Area
Ecosign prepared a base area plan which was included in the Long-Range Plan submitted to Parks Canada in the spring of 2019. The base area plan included the expansion of the parking lots, skier service and lodge facilities, design of two learning centers and additional summer and winter activities.

Grouse Mountain
Ecosign is currently working for Grouse Mountain on an updated Master Plan for new facilities in the base and mountain areas.
The key component is a proposed gondola to replace aging infrastructure which, together with the Red Tram, will provide redundancy, reduction of wait times, improved accessibility and an increase operational efficiency.
By analyzing existing operations, logistics, guest services and circulation the aim is to dramatically improve the guest experience and enjoyment of one of Vancouver’s most iconic mountain experiences.

Hidden Valley, Alberta
Ecosign is currently completing the phase 1 report on a Master Plan for Hidden Valley Resort, Alberta.

Canyon Ski Resort, Alberta
Prepared ski area improvements to host the snowboard and freestyle events for the 2019 Canada Winter Games as well as four-season recreational planning.

Learn more about Ecosign’s projects in Western Canada, in this VIDEO.

For more information on Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners visit www.ecosign.com

CWSAA Responsible Stewardship  

Last month, the Board of Directors gave approval for the next phase of the CWSAA Responsible Stewardship initiative.  First started in 2019, ski areas shared ideas around slopes management, snowmaking, transportation, wildlife corridors, etc.
Learn more >>HERE

For the next phase of the project, CWSAA engaged GreenStep – a leading provider of environmental services in the tourism space.  Work scheduled for early 2020 was postponed with the onset of COVID so that industry could focus on their staff, business survival and health protocols.  That work has resumed, and immediate actions over the coming four months include focus groups, survey, global mountain resorts review, and a best practices summary to share with ski areas.  Strong response to the recent outreach has already been received from operators.  Angela Nagy of GreenStep will lead the project. 

Note: GreenStep is also the architect of the recently announced Sustainable Tourism 2030 Pledge by Tourism Industry of Canada . 

Ski areas interested in the initial project focus group work may contact the CWSAA office by June 30th.   

Contact: Dawn Sleiman  [email protected]      

(Thanks to the many that have already responded.) 

Employee Vaccination Guidance

As COVID vaccination rates and access to vaccinations increase, so to do the questions around mandatory vaccinations for workplaces.

At the request of ski area members, CWSAA in partnership with go2HR and the BC Hotel Association engaged Ryan Anderson, Partner at Mathews Dinsdale & Clark LLP to help address this topic.

The educational information shared by Ryan provided an overview of the requirements and key OH&S, privacy, human rights, labour and employment considerations.

Learn about the potential implementation of a COVID-19 vaccination policy, mandatory or otherwise. View the full webinar >>HERE  

Additionally there has been some written guidance:  

  • Go2HR Vaccination in the Workplace Toolkit >>HERE

BSAFE tourism COVID safety training program now open

Thank you to the ski area members that participated in the go2HR steering committee for this project.

BC Safety Assured for Everyone 

BSAFE is a new online health and safety training program designed to ensure foundational health and safety knowledge in BC’s tourism and hospitality businesses to keep everyone safe as we start to reopen. 

It is critical to rebuild confidence in the health and safety protocols of the tourism and hospitality industry. COVID-19 specific content designed to empower employers and employees with superior foundation knowledge of COVID-19 safety and protocols. 

Find out more, and register >>HERE 

Faster Together Campaign

Consumer vaccine advocacy initiative 

The Canadian Ski Council (CSC) supports the Faster Together campaign and coalition of leading businesses across Canada.  Its single message encourages citizens to get vaccinated in light of research that suggests that vaccine complacency or hesitancy levels are a potential road block to a full economic reopening.  This is especially true among younger individuals.   

The following letter from the CSC informs members of the industry’s support and suggests how our individual businesses can support the campaign message. 

Read letter >>HERE  

Open the Border

TIAC campaign calling on Federal Government to re-open the Canada-US Border  

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) announced the launch of a new campaign to call on the federal government to plan for reopening the Canada-U.S. border, which has been closed for nearly 15 months. The campaign focuses on getting Canadian decision-makers to acknowledge the urgent need and to commit to a date to open the border, before the summer tourism season is lost. 

TIAC is asking the government to take urgent action on this issue, so that Canadian tourism operators and businesses have the ability to plan. All members are invited to learn more, provide endorsement, and take action. >>HERE 

Member Showcase: Avalanche

Since 1986
Worldwide presence in 14 countries
80 000 Uniforms delivered per year
500 Happy customers


Avalanche offers quality personalized uniforms at competitive prices, designed specifically for YOUR needs. We work with ski areas, ski teams, racing teams or any affiliated business with people working in cold or moderate weather. Whether it’s to coordinate your resort’s image from year to year or stylish and functional uniforms for your ski school, snow makers, patrollers, lift attendants, administrative staff, we can provide the uniforms you REALLY want. 


  • CHOOSE your own color combinations
  • CUSTOMIZE the existing styles
  • SPECIFY your preferred functions and features
  • CONTINUE with the same style and colors over the year


Méribel, Val Thorens, Banff Sunshine, Sun Peaks Resort, Big White, Sutton, Le Massif, Winter Park, Les Sommets, Hunter Mountain, Windham, Winter Park, Val d ’Isère, Orford, Greek Peak Resort, Big Snow AND MANY MORE!!

For more information on Avalanche Ski Wear visit  http://www.avalancheskiwear.com 

CWSAA Partners

DRIVING FORCE safety on the roads

In addition to rentals, sales, and beneficial leasing model, CWSAA values the feeling of safety and security on western Canada’s roads that come from a reliable new or used DRIVNG FORCE vehicle. For all of your 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.

Kal Tire now does brakes. Special offer on brake packages starting at $299

Upcoming Events

  • June 23, 2021 – Small Ski Areas Online Industry Closed Session, More Information >>HERE
  • July 7, 2021 – CWSAA AGM
  • October 25, 2021 –  SSAOA  (location to be confirmed)
  • ASM and BCY division meeting dates and format TBC

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.