March 2019 Newsletter

March 6, 2019 Newsletter

The Countdown is on to Spring Conference 2019

In less than 2 months, hundreds of representatives from the Ski Industry will be gathering in Whistler to attend the CWSAA Spring Conference and Trade Show.  The event continues to grow with all Trade Show booths SOLD OUT, the highest early bird registration ever (over 350 people) and a ton of great speakers, sessions and events have been planned.

With all the great interest in the conference, the Fairmont is nearly full for accommodations during the conference.  For those that have booked at the Fairmont, please review your reservation to ensure you release any nights or rooms not needed.  There are several other accommodations available in the upper village, and some bargains in the main village, however rates have been increasing and many have also begun to fill up!

For those that have already registered for the conference, please check your registration confirmation email and review the social events that you plan to attend.  We have noticed that many selected all events, yet we understand some may not stay for the entire conference.  Based on current selections the Welcome event at Merlin’s has sold out, and we’d hate to turn people away.  It is important that we have accurate numbers for all the events.

Passenger Ropeways Mechanics Courses

Thank you to Bob Bell, AEDARSA, Technical Safety BC and Selkirk College.  The new Lift 151, Lift 152, and Lift 153 Courses are being piloted this Spring.

Registration is now open!  Participants will need to register for the lift course through Selkirk College HERE, plus ensure that you are registered for the conference (course participants, must be a conference delegate).  New this year, there will be an online component of the course.

Small Areas Fund

The Small Areas fund will partially fund 18 small ski areas to attend the Spring Conference this year.

Thank you to Shames Mountain, who have donated to the Small Areas fund, to help other small areas attend the conference.

The silent auction will be held again at the Spring Conference, and we’re expecting some great items thanks to the leadership of Bob Bell, Leah Muirhead MacDonald, Michael J Ballingall and Doug Forseth.

If you planning on bringing an item to donate for the Silent Auction, please let our office know at [email protected]

NEW Resources for Employee Safety

Have you seen the new Safety Talk tools?  This is the time of year to remind staff that might be getting complacent about their personal safety – discussing attitudes of “it won’t happen to me,” and the consequences of taking shortcuts.

Check out these Toolbox Meetings on skiing and snowboarding staff injury reduction, including a Poster, new Safety Talks, fitness and nutrition resources and more.

Alberta Passenger Ropeway Training

April 4 in Calgary

AEDARSA is putting on a great seminar for lift mechanics, maintenance supervisors and Ski Area Managers to attend.  The program is free to attend.  Please register by March 15.  More details HERE and the to view the Agenda click HERE.


There are many grants available to ski areas through various government, private and charitable sources. A database of grants is available HERE, and any additions can be sent to Cynthia at [email protected]

Here are a few grant intakes with upcoming deadlines:

MEC Community Grants – deadline March 28.  Up to $20,000.

BC Community Gaming Grants in the Sports sector – applications open March 1, deadline is May 31.

Alberta CIP Major Cultural and Sport Events grant – deadline is April 1.

Northern Development Funding – Spring Intake closes May 10, several grants available.

Ski Area Resources

CWSAA has undertaken an inventory of industry resources this year – including cataloguing the Industry Best Practice Manuals, as well as Safety Talk tools.  Several updates to industry resources have been made, and many more are underway.

We hope the updates to resource catalogues will help make it easier for you to find and use them.  Here are some of the available resources and tools.

  • Employee Safety Resources – working with go2HR, a catalogue of employee safety resources has been developed HERE.  There are several new items and many updates. Further updates will be released over the coming season.  Read More about the new skiing and snowboarding injury reduction materials in The Canada West Way.
  • CWSAA Member’s Only Resources – Login to the CWSAA Member’s Only Section to view an updated directory of Best Practices Manuals and Resources.   Note, these items are industry materials for use by Ski Areas only and therefore are shared only on the private site.  The updated Tubing Manual is now available, as well as a New Employee Retention and Engagement Guide.
  • Other industry Links & Resources –  For general links and resources within the Ski Industry click HERE.  There is also a great page for Schools Resources HERE.

A Dram for Jimmie

The weekend of March 15-17 will be dedicated to Jimmie Spencer.

  • Friday March 15, the Spencer family will be holding ‘A Dram for Jimmie’ at SilverStar Mountain Resort. (RSVP to Andy required)
  • Saturday March 16, a ski from the top of the SilverStar to the Spencer Cabin in honor of Jimmie
  • Sunday March 17, Big White will be dedicating the new bridge / skier tunnel to Jimmie Spencer.  The naming ceremony will begin at 11am under the bridge.

BC Chamber of Commerce MindReader

BC ski areas and suppliers are encouraged to sign up for this free tool.  It allows the ski sector to have a voice on the overall business message to government.  Surveys are 15 – 30 seconds of time.  Sign Up HERE.

New Members

CWSAA welcomes new members Arcteryx and Mt Timothy (under new ownership).  Dana Hospitality has re-joined CWSAA as an Associate Member.

Please be advised of the following business name changes for Associate Members:  Derek Uddenberg is now PBX Engineering; Skioo is now Skitude.

SuperHost Service for all

Are your staff prepared to interact with visitors from various backgrounds and ready to accommodate their different needs? SuperHost’s New Service For All online course provides practical knowledge and tips that will help you deliver exceptional service to a diverse customer base. Learn more or register today at HERE.

Pay Dues online

A friendly reminder that membership dues for 2019/20 are due on March 31.  Please ensure your dues are current prior to attending the conference.  Dues can be paid online HERE, or by cheque to our office at 300-1726 Dolphin Ave Kelowna V1Y 9R9.

Places & Faces

The HR Committee met in February at Sunshine Village.  The committee is industry led and chaired by SilverStar’s Alison Crick.  Some of the most active files this year have been related to worker safety and recruitment.  The committee has brought forward great content for the Spring Conference including a session on Mental Health, one on recruitment/retention and keynotes and topics related to succession planning and mentorship.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort will be expanded next season with the addition of a new Leitner Poma fixed-grip Quad and 7 new beginner and intermediate runs. Read More.

Congratulations to Canyon Resort, Nakiska and Winsport for hosting a fantastic Canada Winter Games.

This week, the Association of Ski Defense Attorneys (ASDA) meets at Lake Louise.  Todd Lee is president of this North American organization, and therefore they’ve nick-named him the Prime Minister of the ASDA.

Kim Jones, CWSAA’s Risk & Safety Committee Chair and Courtney MacQuarrie of Sunshine (pictured right), along with Robert Kennedy participated in this weeks meeting.

Kicking Horse Resort opened the new Ozone Area in early February adding over 600 acres of expert terrain. The area was launched for the Freeride World Tour event and is now open to the public.

Baldy Mountain Resort hosted the Nancy Greene Southern Zone finals this weekend, and CWSAA met up with GM Andy Foster and former GM Sandra (Sam) Smith.  Read More about our visit at Baldy in The Canada West Way.

CWSAA joined ski representatives Michael J and Paul Pinchbeck, in addition to many other tourism and ski partners at last weeks Tourism Industry Association of BC annual conference.  BC Tourism Minister, Lisa Beare, presented the new BC Tourism Strategic Framework – Welcoming Visitors, Benefiting Locals.  Read More.

Sam Hicks and Randy Murphy of Sasquatch Mountain added staff accommodation this year. Providing employee accommodation was a huge benefit for staff, and removed one of management’s biggest past challenges.  Read More in The Canada West Way.

Upcoming Events

  • 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, Hockley Valley Resort Ontario
  • Sept 24-25, 2019 – CWSAA ASM Fall Division Meeting, Snow Valley Edmonton
  • Oct 1-2, 2019 – CWSAA Mountain Bike Forum, SilverStar Mountain
  • Oct 2-3, 2019 – CWSAA BCY Fall Division Meeting, SilverStar Mountain
  • Oct 21-22, 2019 – HeliCat Canada, Victoria BC
  • Oct 27-28, 2019 – SSAOA, Table Mountain
  • April 28-30, 2020 – CWSAA Spring Conference, Whistler BC