November 2018 Newsletter

November 9, 2018 Newsletter

The Season is Here!

Snowmaking crews are working around the clock, staff training is underway, and the lifts are beginning to turn.

This weekend marks the official launch of the 2018/19 Season in Canada with four…no five… ahh make it six Alberta Ski Areas opening.  Canyon opened on Thursday evening and Lake Louise, Nakiska (weekends only), Norquay, and Sunshine are all beginning operations today. Winsport has just announced they will open on Saturday!

Mt Sima in the Yukon is operating a Pre Pre Season park on the rope-tow on Saturday afternoon.  Several ski areas including Sun Peaks and Panorama have pre-season athlete training underway, ahead of public openings.

Many more are expected to open next week (and perhaps more surprise announcements) and hopefully the cool weather will prevail for snowmakers!

As you prepare to open, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  Keep in touch about your opening dates, and let us know if there is anything we can help with!

Calgary 2026

Calgary votes on November 13!

On November 13, Calgary residents go to the polls and decide whether the city and Canada will continue its drive to host the 2026 Winter Olympics.  Iconic characters from past Olympics like Eddie the Eagle have returned to the City to encourage a positive vote.  The opportunity places our industry on the world stage, and unlocks over $4 billion dollars through a Calgary investment of $390 million.  Ski areas can support this opportunity by encouraging Calgary residents to vote, and share information found at the following sites:

Calgary Bid Co Website:
Yes2026 website:

Schools Resources

School ski trips are very important to getting youth involved in snowsports.

A new webpage of resources is now available to ski areas and can be shared with teachers and other education officials.  New this year is the Gravity video series focused on  preparedness and safety on the slopes, Benefits of Snowports video for schools, plus some additional resources, games and activities that can be done in the classroom.

When discussing the opportunity of school trips with schools, we hope you’ll find these resources valuable.  Find the Schools Resources HERE.

Saskatchewan Ski Area Operators Association

Congratulations and thank you to Vivianne, Braydon, and Alisha of Springhill ski area in Winnipeg for hosting the 47th Saskatchewan Ski Area Operators Association meeting.  The meeting was led by Table Mountain’s Lawrence Blouin.  Lawrence was re-elected for another term as President, with Don Williams of Mission Ridge as Treasurer.  Special thanks to CWSAA Chair Andre Quenneville for attending the meeting and modelling The Canada West Way by supporting ski areas throughout the west.

Braydon Sosinkalo, of family owned Springhill sounded like a veteran as he toured delegates through the upgraded snowmaking system, lifts, and new tubing area.  Photo: Newell Johnson, Asessippi, Andre Quenneville, CWSAA Chair, Braydon Sosinkalo, Springhill.

Spring Conference

Keep your eyes out for the Sponsorship package in early December.  Sponsors will get first-priority on Trade Show booth selection, and greater exposure in the pre-event promotions.

CWSAA and various committees are now fully underway in developing the program for the 2019 Spring Conference. Hotel accommodations can now be booked at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler starting at $147 plus taxes and fees. Click HERE for hotel information.

Rental vehicle discounts with DRIVING FORCE

Ski teams are arriving at ski areas across the west this week, and CWSAA’s newest partner DRIVING FORCE is offering 10% discount on vehicle rentals for ski areas and their guests.  This is perfectly timed for clubs and race teams requiring vehicle rentals.  Accessing the 10% offer is as simple as sharing the promo code with ski teams, guests, or even including the option on reservation confirmations.

For more about DRIVING FORCE and to access the promotion code for vehicle rentals, check out this week’s Canada West Way.

Competitor Pass Program

The CWSAA Competitor Pass Program was established to help provide financial support for both the industry Association and for approved competitive young skiers & boarders.  The program is approved through the CWSAA Board of Directors and is led by Director Stewart Laver.

For the 2018-19 season, 426 passes have been sold to qualified competitors and coaches via their governing provincial ski and snowboard associations.   These passes are valid from the opening day of each ski areas in Western Canada to April 30, 2019 (or your closure date, if earlier).  All ski areas honour these passes as an agreed condition of CWSAA membership.   You can find the Competitors Pass Qualifications and the list of the competitors and coaches on our website.

Thanks to 1Risk, this year the waiver process for approved Competitor Passholders became digital.  This new system created a simplified process for passholders, the PSOs and the CWSAA office.

go2HR Upcoming OHS Webinars

Want to know how much money you could save by focusing your injury prevention and management initiatives on your most frequent injuries?

How should you react when you suspect an employee is impaired by cannabis at work? Do you discipline or accommodate?

These are just some of the questions go2HR will help you answer in their upcoming webinars. Bringing in experts on these specific topics, these informative sessions will provide useful knowledge, insights, and skills for BC tourism and hospitality owners, managers, supervisors and HR professionals.

Take the Guesswork Out with the Employer Health and Safety Planning Tool Kit
Nov. 22, 2018 from 11:00am – 12:00pm
Details and registration:
Cost $49 (Free for BC Ski Areas). Contact [email protected] before Nov 20 for your Promo Code to register for free.

My Way or the High Way: Managing Cannabis Use and Impairment by Employees
Dec. 6, 2018 from 10:00am – 11:00am
Details and registration:
Cost $49.

Never Ever Days

Increasing participation in snowsports is the goal of Never Ever Days.  All Ski Areas in Canada are encouraged to participate, even it it’s just for 1 day.  Ski Areas looking to participate, can find more information HERE.

Congratulations to Big White Ski Resort on their incredible efforts to support Never Ever Days and the growth of snowsports.  Here is a video that Big White has prepared for this year about their Never Ever Days program.

Don’t forget National Ski Day is January 27.  The Never Ever Days program is a great fit with National Ski Day.

Cannabis Resources

The CWSAA Safety & Risk Committee is preparing some suggested language regarding Cannabis for ski area policy manuals.  Information is currently being vetted and will be circulated to General Managers this month.

Thanks to Brad Buck from Gougeon for recommending the following resources.

Canadian Ski Hall of Fame

The new inductee ceremony will take place on November 21 at Banff Park Lodge.  Among the six inductees for 2018 are Thomas Grandi and John Kucera, two Banff locals. More information & Tickets HERE.

Marketing Resources from your Provincial DMO

Hello BC Website Listings – All accommodation and attractions with TripAdvisor listings can be featured on A basic listing on TripAdvisor is free; however, you need to register on Destination BC’s Tourism Business Portal to verify your listing, and to maximize your exposure on

ATIS (Alberta Tourism Information Service) Listings – Alberta Ski Areas should ensure you have a current listing on ATIS.  The system allows tourism business to have a free Business Listings, Events and Offers so that your content is shared across multiple marketing channels and websites, including and a growing network of publishers, websites and apps promoting Alberta as a destination of choice for visitors around the world.  The Travel Alberta Industry Hub also provides great resources including visitor insights, training, tools and more.

Destination BC’s Tourism Marketing Committee Nominations

Destination BC is looking for nominees from across BC to join its Tourism Marketing Committee (TMC). The Committee comprises up to 21 members, three from each region.  Destination BC is currently seeking seven representatives with strong digital and international marketing background. More Info.

BC Chamber Collective Perspective Survey

BC members, please take a few minutes to complete the annual survey HERE.  The results will be shared with the provincial and federal governments as they plan the 2019 and future budgets.

Places & Faces

Optimist Snow Park (OSP) is the newest ski facility in Canada, set to open this season.  The hill is located in Saskatoon’s Diefenbaker Park.  Construction of a 70ft hill is nearly complete.  It will operate a carpet lift this winter and a second one the in 2019/20, and has acquired snowmaking fan guns and terrain park features from the former Blackstrap ski area from south of the city.  They are currently in the process of recruiting a General Manager.  The huge undertaking to make this project happen is the result of volunteers like Joe Van’t Hof, Rob Letts and the Optimist service club. The ski area is looking for 150 used sets of rentals, if any ski area are replacing their equipment, please contact the CWSAA office.

Eastlink Park has a great energetic team led by Kelly Roach (Operations) and Jessica Leis (Customer Service).

Sasquatch Mountain Resort is “home” for the season to many who travel from abroad to have the experience of working at a Canadian resort. This year new staff accommodations are being built to house many of Sasquatch’s seasonal employees.

Big White Ski Resort investing $10 million in additional staff housing as nightly vacation rentals gain popularity.  The first building is complete and staff are moving into the 48 beds.  Three more buildings are at various stages of completion.  Once complete, 192 additional staff beds will be added to the exiting 216 current beds.  MORE INFORMATION.

Panorama Mountain Resort and five other snow making crews have been selected for this year’s ‘I AM a Snowmaker’ from SAM Magazine. They will each create a video taking us behind the scenes, sharing their strategies for success when preparing their mountain and team for the snowmaking season ahead. The final videos will be released in the new year and the industry will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite video and crew.

First pre-season turns were made at Ski Valley Manitoba on October 3 2018!

CWSAA and Nancy Greene Raine attended the Mt. Timothy AGM last week to support to the volunteers of the Cariboo region ski area.  The Board of Directors has confirmed it will not operate for winter 2018/19, but was pleased to announce it is in advanced discussions with a prospective local ownership group that intends to operate for 2019/20.  Ski areas wishing to support skiing in the region may do so by honouring Mt Timothy 2017/18 season passes as part of their current reciprocal program.  A sample photo of the pass can be obtained by contacting the CWSAA office.

Mt Washington will build a 2.3km multi-stage ZipTour which is set to open in the summer of 2019.  READ MORE.

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, Ontario
  • Oct 27-28, 2019 – SSAOA, Table Mountain
  • April 28-30, 2020 – CWSAA Spring Conference, Whistler BC

The Canada West Way

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