October 2018 Newsletter

October 2018 Newsletter

October 11, 2018 Newsletter

Fall Meetings

The CWSAA Fall Meetings have just wrapped up with strongly engaged delegates and speakers.  All CWSAA members can access presentations from the meetings through the Member’s Only portal.

We’d like to recognize the tremendous dedication of many committee members, presenters and industry partners who are key to holding these events.  All of the presenters volunteered their expertise and time to share important information to event delegates.

A big thank you to our hosts at Canyon Resort, the Sun Peaks Grand and Sun Peaks Resort.

The event was sponsored by our insurance partners – JLT, Gougeon and Mountain Guard/HUB.  CWSAA’s newest member, Driving Force, has come on board as our vehicle partner and event sponsor and WorkSafe BC provided generous sponsorship and tools for our industry.

CWSAA and various committees are now fully underway in developing the program for the 2019 Spring Conference. Registration is expected to begin late January.  Watch for more details over the next few months.  In the meantime, hotel accommodations can now be booked at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler starting at $147 plus taxes and fees. Click HERE for more information.

Employee Safety Initiatives

go2HR has also prepared a great new training aid this year – Foundations of Workplace Safety. This course is an online certification designed specifically for new and young workers, helping your staff understand, prevent, and minimize injuries and risks in the workplace.  Learn more at http://bit.ly/2MOK1Cd

CWSAA is working with WorkSafe BC and go2HR to prevent employee injuries and reduce the cost of claims.  A series of projects are underway to update resources and provide more communication.  As this project gets underway, a new central resource is available for all employee safety tools.  https://www.go2hr.ca/health-safety/resources/ski-area-resources

The priorities for 2018/19 are resources for staff skiing and snowboarding related injuries.  Anyone who wishes to contribute to these best practices resources should contact Cynthia Thomas at CWSAA – [email protected].  We are also collecting any policies, staff manuals and SOPs related to skiing and snowboarding guidelines for staff on-duty and breaks.

BC Wildfire Mitigation

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) will be having its fifth intake for project proposals starting on October 1, 2018 and ending on November 30, 2018.

  • Wildfire Risk Reduction and Other
  • Carbon Emissions Reduction – Fibre Utilization

BC Resorts seeking more information should visit the FESBC website.  FESBC continues to be the best vehicle through which resorts may apply for treatments.  In past years, numerous ski areas such as Baldy Mountain Resort have successfully received a grant which has allowed them to create a fuel break surrounding the resort.

In addition to FES, a new program called the Community Resiliency Investment (CRI) program takes the place of the former Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative and has been created with a $50 million funding envelope.  The program is intended to reduce the risk and impact of wildfire to communities in BC through FireSmart Community Funding and high value asset protection.   Although resorts do not have the ability to apply directly through this program, we would advise you to reach out to your local government or your area’s indigenous governments to take advantage of this opportunity.  The application deadline is December 7, 2018.  Please visit the UBCM website for more information.

Special thanks to Reg Nolander and the Mountain Resort Branch for their work to increase FES knowledge on ski areas.   Earlier this week, CWSAA presented to the BC Standing Committee on Finance advocating for $50 million in the 2019 provincial budget to be used for wildfire mitigation in rural BC through FES.

CWSAA Vehicle Partner

Many CWSAA members met our new friends from DRIVING FORCE Vehicle Rentals,  Sales and Leasing at the ASM and BC-Y Fall meetings.   Many of the company’s 29 locations mirror the CWSAA footprint in Western Canada.  Well known for its truck, passenger vehicle, and cargo van fleet, DRIVING FORCE was recommended to CWSAA by ski areas already working with the company.  Thanks to Dan Clark and Taylor Lewis for joining us at the ASM meeting (right).

A special rental offer is available to all CWSAA members.  When booking a rental vehicle through www.drivingforce.ca, use rental code CWSAA for an instant 10% discount on your rental.

For more information about leasing, sales and vehicle rentals please contact Dan Clark at 780-641-1124.

Grants & Sources of Funding Database

Last spring, the Small Areas Workshop at spring conference suggested an industry database of grants and funding sources. Thanks to the help of many members and the BC Mountain Resorts Branch, ski areas may find this new resource on the Member’s Only section of the CWSAA website.  The database is a live evolving document – your input to keep it current is important.  To access, login to the CWSAA Member’s section and go to Links & Downloads, scroll down to Grants/Funding.

Saskatchewan Ski Area Operator’s Association

October 28 & 29 at Springhill Winter Park in Winnipeg.

Registration is now open for the annual meeting of the SSAOA.  Please download this registration form, or contact at [email protected] for more information.

Accommodations are available at a special rate at the Canad Inn at 1415 Regent Ave.  Call 240-667-5560 and reference Room Block #379539.

Minimum wage

Several provinces have new minimum wages effective October 1.

  • Alberta’s minimum wage rose $1.40 on October 1 to $15. Read More.
  • Manitoba’s minimum wage increased to $11.35, up $0.25.  Read More.
  • Saskatchewan’s minimum wage increased to $11.06, up $0.10 Read More.


Dean McKernon provided an update to ASM fall meeting delegates at Canyon ski area.  Dean announced that the AEDARSA fee schedule will remain unchanged for this year.  There will also be a second passenger ropeways training session in March 2019 at no cost to ski areas.  The date is being confirmed and will be communicated shortly.  The first event in March 2018 proved to be very popular.   AEDARSA in partnership with Technical Safety BC, Selkirk College, and CWSAA is co-funding an update to the 151/152/153 lift courses.  The will include an on-line module for such things as provincial codes, and more hands on equipment application in the courses at spring conference.  The first drafts are to be piloted in spring 2019.


The Grade 4/5 SnowPass has officially launched the 2018/19 season.  To learn more about the benefits of participating, view this infographic for the profile of participants.  Passes are now available for families with children in grade 4 or 5 to purchase online at snowpass.ca.

Marketing materials will available shortly on the Canadian Ski Council’s website.  Also, stay tuned for information on the 2018/19 Never Ever Days Program.  It’s not too late to sign up for your ski area – click here to participate.

Membership Fees

Commencing in 2019, CWSAA membership invoices will be distributed on February 15 and due March 31 of each year.

The change in invoice timing, does not impact the amount or the membership cycle (it remains April 1 to March 31).  The adjustment is to improve the alignment of invoicing, fiscal year, and conference activities. Ski area dues continue to be based on prior year skier visits (ie 2019/20 dues will be based on 2017/18 visitation).

For more information on Membership dues, please visit our website.  If you have any changes to your accounts payable contacts or questions or concerns about CWSAA invoicing, please contact the office at 778-484-5535.


To our friends in across Western Canada, you may be aware that Calgary will be holding a plebiscite vote this November 13th 2018.  In this next step to an eventual Fall 2019 IOC decision the city of Calgary is looking to receive support from its citizens.   Many Calgarian’s have been working hard to inform people of the benefits of hosting these games.  Calgary 2026 Bid Co is asking ski resorts in Alberta and BC that receive visitors form the city of Calgary to help spread some key messaging through their distribution channels, social networks and contacts.  Thanks to Jim Barr for his efforts to rally support and develop communication tools.

If you have skier visits that originate from Calgary we are asking you to please consider sharing some of the prepared messaging that the 2026 Bid Co. has provided.

Volunteers are also requested at some upcoming events to help promote the positive opportunities of hosting the Olympics.  Please contact Yes2026 if interested:

  • WinSport Snow & Ice Open House on October 13 & 14.
  • Calgary Stampeders Game on October 20

More information on the Olympic opportunity: Calgary Bid Co Website & Yes2026 website

Places & Faces

A Dram for Jimmie! The celebration of Jimmie Spencer will take place on March 15 at SilverStar.  Please be sure to RSVP by January 15.  All the details are HERE.

CWSAA is proud to be a partner with Selkirk College and the SROAM program.  Andy Cohen (RCR), CJ Matthews Dickson* (Panorama), Dan Wilson* (Vista Ridge), Don Thompson (RED Mountain) Kirk Jensen (Whitewater), Tim Foster* (Sun Peaks), Christopher Nicolson (CWSAA) recently attended the SROAM advisory committee meetings in Nelson on the last day of work for long time industry friend Bob Falle.  *SROAM graduate!

Many exciting announcements were recently made at Selkirk:

Bob Bell returns to the industry and has been contracted to facilitate the redevelopment of the 151/152/153 Course development which is expected to roll out in the spring.

Martin Keyserlingk, has taken on the role at Selkirk College of Chair, Hospitality and Tourism, following Bob Falle’s retirement. Martin has been involved in snowcat and heliskiing operations, and will continue to guide and consult part-time.   More about Martin.

SROAM student scholarships were awarded recently.  The recipients include the following:

  • CWSAA Scholarships: Zachariah Cosgrove, Bradley Morris, George Madeley and Jesse Vatne.
  • The Fred Bosinger Sunshine Village Scholarship was awarded to Ryan Watters and Lotte Loveday.

RED Mountain committed a $30,00 scholarship to Selkirk College.

SilverStar Mountain Resort has retained Ian Jenkins as their new Sales and Marketing Director. Ian is no stranger to the ski industry, and it’s great to have him back in Western Canada after spending the last two years at the Vail headquarters in Colorado.

Read More.

Big White has announced Michael Richards as the new Director of Mountain Sports. Michael comes from Ontario, and spent the last 27 years with Xerox, and has spent 10 seasons at the Whistler Mountain Ski School and many summers teaching in New Zealand.

The team at Pass Powderkeg in Crowsnest Pass met with CWSAA following the ASM fall meeting.

Kim Jones, Kim Locke and Penny Vincett discuss the new Alberta OH&S regulations at the ASM meeting at Canyon Resort.

Sun Peaks has made some appointments and promotions to their leadership team. Tim Foster has joined Sun Peaks Resort as the Director of Sports Programs and Activities.  Ian Logan has been promoted to Director of Snow Sports Schools.


Phoenix Ski Area recently completed a splice of the TBar haul rope. A special thanks to all the volunteers from the area that come together to support these community ski areas.

Norm Crerar will be awarded the Meritorious Service Medal from Governor General Julie Payette, for his work behind the Okanagan Military Tattoo. Congratulations to Norm for the dedication he has brought on and off the snow.  Read More. 

CWSAA was privileged to be in Victoria with Heli Cat Canada talking ski with government. Congratulations to HCC CEO Ross Cloutier & Andrea Lustenberger, President Rob Rohn, and the HCC Board of Directors for hosting an excellent fall meeting, developing new relationships, and greatly enhancing Victoria’s knowledge of the sector.

Nancy Greene Raine said hello at the BCY fall meeting.

Panorama was out in full force and joined 60 delegates at the new CWSAA Mountain Bike Forum held at Sun Peaks last week.

Congratulations to Cole Fawcett for his recent promotion to Sales & Marketing Manager at Castle Mountain Resort.

Upcoming Events

  • October 10-12, 2018 – ASRA Fall Meeting, Ski Wentworth, NS
  • October 28-29, 2018 – SSAOA, Springhill Winter Park MB
  • 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 6-9, 2019 – RMLA, Grand Junction CO
  • May 8-10, 2019 – InterAlpin, Innsbruck Austria
  • May 21-23, 2019 – OSRA Spring Conference, Ontario
  • April 28-30, 2020 – CWSAA Spring Conference, Whistler BC