September 2020 Newsletter

September 30, 2020 Newsletter

Membership update

I would like thank the membership for their support over the past year.  The Association and membership is strong with 114 ski areas, and 157 associates as of September 29.

Over the past six months, the Board of Directors and Committees have been hyper engaged.  The Board has met monthly with much dialog in between, and many committees including Snow Sports, Risk & Safety, and Human Resources committees have been incredibly active and lead many member online presentations.  I would like to provide a special thank you to the following committee chairs:

  • Snow sports – co-chairs: Mike Manara, Stewart Laver
  • Risk & Safety – Kim Jones
  • Human Resources – Helen Davies
  • Advocacy – CWSAA and Division Chairs (Andy Cohen, Jason Paterson, Doug Macfarlane) and Steve Paccagnan with the Recovery initiative
  • Marketing Committees – Derek Look & Simon Moffatt for Go Ski Alberta, Tom Rosner for the BC Ski Marketing Committee

Within these committees there are nearly 50 committee members.  Contact the committee chairs or CWSAA office to get involved.

As ski areas look to the season ahead, the industry has collectively made the necessary and appropriate preparations to welcome guests to the slopes.  It has been a privilege to witness The Canada West Way in action as existing and emerging industry leaders fully engage towards a common goal.  Let’s continue to work together to be the reason, we have a season!

– Christopher & the CWSAA team — Cynthia, Dawn, Bruno.

Ski Well, Be Well

National resources for Canadian ski areas

Download the document  >> HERE.

As the ski industry prepares to welcome guests this winter, part of that effort is to convey to guests what to expect.  This includes setting the expectation that there are changes to operations, and that guests also have responsibilities to ensure the success of the season.

CWSAA would like to thank NSAA for graciously allowing Canadian ski associations to utilize the new Ski Well, Be Well document, and to the Canadian Ski Council for adapting the material to a Canadian version. This is an important tool to communicate industry preparedness and expectations with guests, government, and media.  Ski areas are welcome to post this document, and share with their community partners.

Travel Alberta Grants

COVID-19 Safety Signage & Go Ski Alberta

Thanks to funding from Travel Alberta, ski areas in Alberta are eligible to order FREE COVID safety signage from CWSAA. Order forms were distributed last week to Alberta ski area GMs.  The deadline to order this signage is October 5.

Travel Alberta has also provided funding to Go Ski Alberta.   Participation forms for Alberta ski areas were distributed last week.  Alberta ski areas are asked to respond by October 1.

Please direct any questions on the Alberta signage and Go Ski Alberta programs to Cynthia Thomas [email protected].

Alberta Parliamentary Secretary & Ministry announcements

Following Doug Schweitzer’s appointment last month as the Minister for Jobs, Economy and Innovation, Minister Schweitzer, has appointed Martin Long (MLA – West Yellowhead) as Parliamentary Secretary of Tourism. CWSAA has scheduled appointments with the Ministry to provide a briefing in ski industry preparation, and will send congratulations to Mr. Long on the appointment.


WCB reduction of premiums.  A win on the industry work that has been done.

In partnership with go2HR, CWSAA has received some good news with respect to WCB premiums for BC ski areas.  An industry initiative was launched two years ago to increase industry-wide worker training and improve safety with the goal of reducing incidents and claims.  As premiums are based on three-year averages, industry had to demonstrate consistent improvement over this timeframe to influence rates.  Thank you to the industry for its engagement, and special thanks to the members of the CWSAA Risk & Safety Committee and our partners at go2HR for the many presentations and training tools that have helped this journey.

This is an on going industry initiative across all jurisdictions and especially important during pre-season on-boarding and training.  Visit to view the employee safety tools. now live

Link to it & use it!

A new website has been developed as part of the industry risk management program, and is referenced on the new Exclusion of Liability signs:  All ski areas are encouraged to update their websites and change any links that previously went to the CWSAA webpage to the new direct link

BC Recovery – BCeID

On September 17, 2020 BC Premier Horgan and Minister James announced the BC Recovery Plan.  In addition to numerous other funding streams related to business liquidity and support, the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP program) was announced which allows ski areas to partner with their local non-profits (eg: Ski Club, Foundation, Chamber, Resort Association, DMO, others) or regional district or nearby municipality partners to make applications for local projects.

Applications are due on October 29, however, it is critical that applicants register for a BCeID immediately.  The ID is critical to the application, and may take weeks to process.

Wage Subsidy Extension (CEWS)

CWSAA and tourism peers were pleased to see the strong presence of tourism in the federal throne speech Wednesday September 23, specifically the mention of the continuation of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.  This has been identified by ski areas as the number one federal priority.

To date, the details of the CEWS extension are unknown, and much work is yet to be done.  While the ski sector is aligned with other tourism groups on extending CEWS, winter sectors have different business cycles than summer tourism operations.  Demonstrating year-over-year impact of the pandemic may be different for winter operators, given the ski areas closed near the start of the pandemic.

For this reason, CWSAA has aligned with the Canadian Ski Council and regional ski areas association peers in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic to call on the government to ensure ski areas are able to leverage CEWS like summer tourism operators.  The ski sector has strengthened its voice by engaging additional government relations support in Ottawa to realize this objective.

The federal budget is expected in the third week of October and further CEWS program details are expected around time.

Throne Speech:
“One way the Government will create these jobs is by extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy right through to next summer. The Government will work with businesses and labour to ensure the program meets the needs of the health and economic situation as it evolves.”

Spare 36mm rope?

Due to some unavoidable shipping challenges, a critical haulrope has been long delayed.  If anyone has a rope the meets the following specifications, that they would be willing to part with, please contact Brent Carmichael at Doppelmayr: [email protected]

Length:                 1,250 m
Diameter:        36 mm
Construction:         6 x 25 FW, right lang lay
Grade:                 1770 N/mm2
Metallic X-sec:        550.86 mm2
Lay Length:         260 mm


Grade 4/5 SnowPass will be launching soon for the 2020/21 season.  The SnowPass is an important part of our collective path towards generating new skiers in Canada.  It’s not too late to sign up your ski area to participate in this and other national initiatives.  Please contact [email protected] to sign up your ski area, or find out more info.

Sea to Sky Gondola

On September 14, 2020, the Sea to Sky Gondola was the target of a second act of vandalism. A reward of $250,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.  The RCMP continue to investigate this incident, as well as the August 10, 2019 incident.  >> Read More.

Special Offers for all CWSAA members and staff

Driving Force supports vehicle rental and leasing needs for many ski areas in western Canada.  In addition to ski areas, the industry discount is offered to your ski clubs and teams.   Please circulate the promotional code below to your resort partners and community.

Now taking reservations for the winter season!
Promo Code: CWSAA

FRIENDLY STAFF:          [email protected]

Sales & Leasing:


FRIENDLY STAFF:          [email protected]


Staff Offer from Kal Tire

Thanks to the partnership with Kal Tire, all ski area staff and associate members of CWSAA are eligible to receive $100 off at Kal Tire.  Please feel free to circulate this offer with your staff. To redeem, print the voucher or present on your mobile device in-store at Kal Tire.

Download the $100 coupon >> HERE.

SSAOA October 25 & 26

Mission Ridge Winter Park will host the Saskatchewan Ski Area Operator’s Association meeting this fall.

Member’s can find out more and register >> HERE.

Places & Faces

Congratulations to Sandy Millar, who has been a frequent presenter at CWSAA conferences, for his new position as Managing Partner at EQUA Specialty Risk Partners Corporation (EQUA). EQUA is a team of insurance and risk specialists who have dedicated their careers to the industries that they serve, in Sandy’s case that is ski, sport & recreation.

“We stepped out on our own to gain autonomy from traditional brokerage models. At EQUA, we put our clients’ success first and we are excited to bring our team’s experience and expertise to the Canadian ski industry.” – Sandy Millar.

You can reach Sandy at [email protected]

Pass Powderkeg has made significant investments this summer including the extension of their lower t-bar lift, lighting, washroom, and e-commerce upgrades, and a new Prinoth snowcat, pictured here!  >> Read More.

Cypress Mountain recently announced the addition of a Mountain Coaster gravity ride that will launch in the summer of 2021.  The Coaster is being manufactured by Sun Kid and will travel 1700 meters from the top of the Eagle Express Chairlift.  >> Read More.

Destination BC announced one of the two new Board members is Amy Blakeney CFO of Sun Peaks Resort.  She has over 20 years of public and private sector experience in senior financial roles in commercial real estate, insurance, healthcare, and tourism.

Upcoming Online Industry Sessions

  • October 7, 9:45am PDT – COVID Tools for Small / Medium Ski Areas
  • October 7, 1:00pm* PDT – Snow Sports Huddle Two
  • October 14, 9:45am PDT – Rental Shops

Please note, Online Industry Sessions are FREE for current CWSAA Members. Advance registration is required by noon the day prior.  Registrants will receive login information the afternoon prior to the session.

Find registration and more information HERE.

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.