September 2018 Newsletter

September 13, 2018 Newsletter

Fall Countdown

It’s almost that time of year, already.  As the two month count down gets underway to ski season, the preparations are in full swing for another year of operations.  The Fall meetings are part of that process for many – an opportunity to hear must-know information prior to the season, get involved in new initiatives and network!

In just over a week the Prairie teams will gather at Canyon Resort for the ASM meeting.  Attendance is shaping up to meet or beat last years!  Canyon has been working hard to prepare for us (check out the Places & Faces updates for more).  The agenda includes critical new OH&S regulation, presentations from the Ministry of Culture & Tourism, WCB Alberta, AEDARSA, Ever Active Alberta plus risk & safety, insurance, legal, cannabis, winter weather forecast, new skier/rider programs, energy, and much more.

The first week of October brings the industry to Sun Peaks for the BC-Yukon meeting, followed by the Mountain Bike Operations Workshop.  A significant focus of the BC-Yukon meeting will be on employees, including reducing costs through injury prevention and claims mitigation, new regulations around workplace impairment, and recruitment.  Plus risk & safety updates, insurance and legal presentations, new skier/rider programs, and presentations from Michael Pidwirny, Robert Kennedy, Technical Safety BC, the BC Mountain Resorts Branch and much more.

It’s not too late to register!

Online Workplace Safety Course from go2HR

Gear up for winter by training your staff in workplace safety.

As you prepare for the busy winter season, you may be hiring a lot of new and young staff to support your snow sports operations. Statistics show that more than half of workplace accidents involve young and new workers during their first six months on the job.

To help your employees better understand, prevent, and deal with risks and hazards you may encounter in the tourism and hospitality industry, incorporate go2HR’s Foundations of Workplace Safety into your training and orientation. 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

Employee Safety Initiatives Survey

CWSAA is working with WorkSafe BC and go2HR to reduce employee injuries and cost of claims in the ski industry.  The following survey should be completed by those who conduct employee safety training in any department, or are responsible for the overall employee safety program.  All ski areas are asked to participate by September 17.

The purpose of this survey is to understand how ski areas communicate safe work practices and what format would be most useful.

Responses of this survey are anonymous and will have no reflection on your insurance.  Please be honest, so we know how best to support you.

Complete the survey HERE.

At this time, it is prudent to review the following with staff, employees and stakeholders who are active within your Controlled Recreation Area:

  • emergency egress and evacuation plans
  • fire-fighting caches and water supplies,
  • monitoring and managing public access and activities,
  • active or planned construction, development and forestry works,
  • other safety plans, including Resort Wildfire Plans, and,
  • communication protocols with the Wildfire Service, local fire departments, and local government.

The Story of Community Ski Hills

This week, there was enormous exposure from a Post Media story curated from the Tawatinaw Valley revival.  When a hill becomes a mountain was syndicated in over a dozen media outlets including the National Post, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Ottawa Citizen and many community publications.  The story highlighted the value of community ski areas in the social fabric and opportunities for youth and families.  Quotes from Kelly VanderBeek couldn’t have aligned more with the Canada West Way.

We’d love to continue to bring similar stories told by ambassadors like Kelly.  If you know a former Olympian that learned to ski at your community-based ski area, and think they might be a good ambassador to the story CWSAA and the ski industry is trying to tell, please send along any leads to Cynthia at [email protected]

Calgary 2026 inching forward

On September 11 Calgary City Council voted in favour of keeping the bid alive.  View the Draft Hosting Plan and more about the bid process HERE.  The plan includes events at WinSport, Nakiska, Canmore Nordic Centre and Whistler Olympic Park.

The Bid Corporations next short term objectives includes ensuring accurate information is shared with the public, and build momentum for the November plebiscite in Calgary.  If your area supports the Games and the benefits they bring to Snowsports, please share the plan through your communication channels.

Next steps in the process:

  • Oct 8/9 – IOC to announce the official candidate cities vying for the games.
  • Nov 6 – Town of Canmore will decide whether to participate in the bid.
  • Nov 13 – Plebiscite to determine if residents support a bid.

Snow Break

We’ve got so much to share this month, but one of the most exciting things for the industry is the first snowfall.  Several Northern Alberta ski areas received an early delivery this week!  Pictured here is a nice dusting at Misery Mountain.  We also understand Nitehawk got quite the dump as well as Vista Ridge.

Over the past month, the ski industry has mourned the passing of former CWSAA President, Jimmie Spencer.

While Jimmie didn’t want a funeral, there will be a gathering around the 2nd week of March 2019 in the Vernon area.

Read Jimmie Spencer’s obituary in the Vernon Morning Star HERE.

Canadian Foreign work program for Australians

Recently the age range was expanded in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Canada and Australia concerning Youth Mobility. Through the amended MoU, Canadian and Australian young adults aged 18 to 35 will now be able to work and travel through the International Experience Canada (IEC) program.  This will now allow 30-35 year old Australians to come to Canada to work through the IEC program. Learn More.

EverActive Schools – Ski, Skate, Slide

The new EverActive Ski, Skate, Slide tools will be released at the ASM meeting.  Alberta ski areas will be encouraged to implement these new initiatives into their programming to help build their school ski trip programs.  This curriculum is endorsed and aligned with provincial education principles, and is particularly important to ski areas that find barriers to bringing Snowsports into schools.

Ever Active Schools will be hosting a number of upcoming events that will help school and youth strategies. The Live Active Summit will be held Oct 18-19 in Edmonton.  Building upon our Canada West strategy to grow snowsport participation in youth, this summit will present an opportunity to hear from experts on physical activity, sport and play for youth, with several presentations this year focusing on the benefits risky activity in youth.

Ever Active’s annual conference is January 31 – February 2 in Lake Louise.   Currently the conference is seeking presenters and workshop facilitators that can speak to education professionals. Deadline is Sept 17 if interested!

Travel Alberta tourism conference

CWSAA, along with many ski areas partners, will be attending this tourism conference Oct 21-23 in Banff.  This will be an opportunity for ski to meet and discuss priorities and opportunities with tourism partners and government.   Let us know if you’re planning to attend – we’d love to see you there. More Info.

COR review input requested by October 1

WorkSafe BC has released a discussion paper and practice materials related to the Certificate of Recognition (COR) Program.  The consultation period for both the policy and practice materials will end on October 1, 2018.  Please see the following link to review these proposals and provide feedback.

BC Chamber Mindreader

This new platform was developed by BC Chamber to allow BC Businesses to share your views on doing business in BC, so they can cut more red tape on your behalf.  To find out more or participate go HERE.

Caribou Habitat Impact Assessment

Looming over the tourism industry and provincial economy are pending federal and provincial decisions relating to Cariboo management.   Please see this LINK for a report by Heli Cat Canada articulating the economic impact to Heli and Cat operators.  This information may be shared with public and officials to convey the significance of these management decisions.

New Members

CWSAA is pleased to welcome the following new Associate Members who have joined the association this summer:

  • Pacific Coastal
  • HBA Adjusters
  • Housing on Demand

Places & Faces

Dave Brownlie has been appointed President of Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Dave takes over the helm from Graham Rennie who recently retired.  Read More.

Freestyle BC has added several new members to their team including Josh Dueck as the Executive Director and Mike Apps as head coach for the Park & Pipe Team. This follows the departure of Andrew Clough, who recently joined Freestyle Canada.  Read More.

Canyon Resort in Red Deer has been busy with continued improvements ahead of the Canada Winter Games this winter. Recently they installed new snowmaking systems including piping and several new machines, plus the front of the lodge has been newly paved, which we will all enjoy when visiting for the ASM meeting at the end of the month!

The finale of The Amazing Race Canada, this week, took participants to the Banff Area, including a stop at Sunshine Village.  The final three teams rode the gondola up to the Alpine and participated in skijoring, which combines dog-sledding and cross-country skiing, then raced through a downhill course on a GT Racer over the slush cup pond.  Kendra Scurfield greeted the teams at the end of the course with their next clue, which was filmed on May 19.

At Whitewater in Nelson, Rebeckah Hornung was recently promoted to Inside Operations Manager. With Rebeckah’s new expanded role, Peter Lonergan has joined Whitewater as the Sales & Marketing Director.

A new generator for Sasquatch will power ALL the chairlifts in the case of an outage. Read More.

Rob Katz (left), CEO of Vail Resorts, was the keynote speaker at the Vancouver Board of Trade Tuesday.  During the interview with Ian Black (right) of the Board of Trade, Rob expressed that says culture drives innovation…and innovation can only be achieved through change. As for the future, he says the industry needs to develop leadership, and diversify our market segments

Two significant ski area acquisitions occurred in Washington State this past month. Vail Resorts recently complete the acquisition of Stevens Pass (2 hours East of Seattle).  Read More.
Alterra Mountain Company has announced it has entered an agreement to purchase Crystal Mountain Resort (nearly 2 hours South-Eeast of Seattle). Read More.

Upcoming Events

  • Sept 24-25, 2018 – CWSAA ASM Fall Division Meeting, Canyon Ski Area, Red Deer Alberta
  • Sept 24-25, 2018 – OSRA Fall Risk Seminar, Toronto Ski Club, Ontario
  • Oct 1-2, 2018 – CWSAA BC-Yukon Fall Division Meeting, Sun Peaks BC
  • Oct 2-3, 2018 – CWSAA Mountain Bike Operations Workshop, Sun Peaks, BC
  • Oct 3-4, 2018 – HeliCat Canada Fall Meeting, Victoria
  • Oct 10-12, 2018 – ASRA Fall Meeting, Ski Wentworth, NS
  • Oct 28-29, 2018 – SSAOA, Springhill Winter Park MB
  • 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

The Canada West Way

Check out some of our latest blog posts:

Jimmie Spencer: 1926-2018
Places & Faces: Mt Washington