September 2021 Newsletter

September 24, 2021 Newsletter

President & CEO message

Since last year, like many, I have been saddened by the pandemic’s tragedy, and motivated by those that see light at the end of the tunnel.  As an outdoor activity, ski has proven to be a safe experience, and one that provides health and wellness benefits within our communities.  Area operators embraced this responsibility and demonstrated their commitment to providing safe operation.  Like many tourism sectors, the destruction of long-haul travel has had significant impact on destination ski areas, communities, and employment.  Unfortunately these lost revenues are not replaced by local and regional travel.  However, the opportunity to introduce skiing and snowboarding to many new groups of people presents an opportunity with long-term benefits.  National programs like Grade 4/5 SnowPass or Never Ever Days delivered by the Canadian Ski Council, initiatives like Go Ski Alberta, and many local ski area programs are designed to attract new guests that may not have considered skiing or snowboarding previously. Equally significant are the many families that have decided to commit to local winter outdoor recreation, rather than to a sun destination holiday.  As an industry, we must seize these opportunities to both expedite recovery from the pandemic, and grow new skiers and snowboarders for our future.

In recent weeks, the intense deluge of rapidly changing health orders, clarifications, and interpretations has returned.  Ski areas are all trying to plan for winter operations while the regulatory environment keeps changing around them.  In addition to planning and shifting fall meetings to a virtual format, CWSAA’s work has been consumed with advocacy in each jurisdiction.  Government health orders are most often followed by intensive dialog between CWSAA and regulators because the implementation of policy leads to many questions and necessary clarifications.

To navigate these waters, CWSAA wishes to thank ski area managers and senior leaders for their participation in what must seem like a never ending stream of industry calls and communications.  As it did last winter, the industry has worked collectively to share best practices within the CWSAA membership, and also with our eastern peers in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic.  Health authority regulations are anticipated to vary by jurisdiction and also by region in the coming months.  This means the ability to adjust and remain flexible must again be built into industry and ski area operations plans.

The ski industry through the Canadian Ski Council has supported the initiative to promote vaccination and pandemic recovery.  Likewise, CWSAA continues to support Health Canada’s position that vaccines are critical to overcoming COVID-19 and its recommendation of vaccination for all eligible.  CWSAA and industry partners continue to closely monitor the regulatory environment and adapt with it.  Difficult decisions dominate every senior leadership table, and CWSAA is driven to providing as many resources and support as possible.

In the coming week the ASM and BCY fall meetings will provide further information on the lead topics identified by ski area operators.


– Christopher Nicolson

Virtual Fall Division Meetings

Less than a week away from the ASM and BCY virtual Fall Division meetings.

CWSAA is excited to present the ASM and BCY fall division meetings in a virtual format this year. Much effort and thought has gone into identifying and presenting information on the top priorities for area operators. The content and flow of the agenda has been set up to provide knowledge, interaction, and flexibility. Much of the content is region specific which is why there are two separate fall meetings.
View the agendas and register >> HERE

Recent OIS: Mental Health in the Workplace

A recording of last weeks Online Industry Session, “Generating Leadership Buy-In for Mental Health in the Workplace,” is now available in the CWSAA Member’s Section (login required).  CWSAA members can view the replay of the Tips & Best Practices for Ski Employers provided in this excellent session.

Provincial Health Orders

In recent weeks, western provinces have implemented new health orders related to increases in COVID rates and pressure on hospital beds.  Provinces have already or are in the process of implementing some form of proof of vaccination program for non-essential services.  Specifics vary between jurisdiction, but generally include restaurants.  CWSAA has worked with ski areas and health authorities to clarify interpretations of the regulations for operators.

The following are links to provincial information:

Welcoming back International Visitors

The recent opening of Canada’s border has allowed for the return of international visitors to our place of business. See the New Travel Toolkit the Government of Canada has prepared for welcoming back International Travellers, learn more >> HERE.

Board Governance Webinars

Alberta Community Development Unit Fall Webinars

Your fellow board members, community members or whomever you think would be interested in governance and board development are invited to attend the upcoming webinars. Topics include: Board Development Webinar Series Grant Writing 101, and More New Webinars – Afternoon and Evening Sessions.

Learn more >> HERE

British Columbians’ Travel Intentions by Region

Current views on travel and tourism in British Columbia are being monitored by Destination BC.  This includes the tracking of travel and tourism behavior intentions to understand the impact of COVID -19 on the tourism industry.

Destination BC has commissioned Insights West to conduct a number of waves of research, every couple of weeks. View the full September 1, 2021 report >> HERE

Driving Force Leasing: Lunch and Learn

Introduction to Leasing
In this session, we will discuss the foundations
of leasing, what makes us different, and answer any questions you may have about your personal or commercial vehicle needs.

Come and join us online with the details below:
Tuesday, October 12th at 11:30 AM MST 

Register >> HERE.

CWSAA Partners

DRIVING FORCE Getting to the slopes made EASY!

DRIVING FORCE can provide a convenient way to travel – socially distanced but still social! Create a team bonding experience while still being safe.

Now taking reservations for the fall and winter seasons.  All Wheel Drive (AWD) currently available – Call now before they’re gone!

FRIENDLY STAFF:               Call 780-483-9559 or [email protected]
RECEIVE 10% OFF               Promo Code: CWSAA


Staff Offer from Kal Tire: Download the Coupon

Thanks to the partnership with Kal Tire, all ski area staff and associate members of CWSAA are eligible to receive $80 off at Kal Tire.  Please feel free to circulate this offer with your staff.

To redeem, click on the image to the left, and print the voucher or present on your mobile device in-store at Kal Tire.

Places & Faces

CJ Matthews-Dickson has replaced Selkirk College’s Bob Dodge (he’s officially retired). CJ is the newest instructor and was a former student that graduated in 2006 and moved onto working the past 17 years at Panorama Mountain Resort.

Congratulations to the following CWSAA Scholarship recipients.

This scholarship is presented to four high ranking students completing their first year and who will be attending the second year of the Ski Resort Operations & Management Program.

  • Erin Quinn
  • Marie-Catherine Hall
  • Alberto Lorenzo Martin
  • Emma Schroder
Erin Quinn
Marie-Catherine Hall
Alberto Lorenzo Martin
Emma Schroder

Sunshine Village announced their installation of Banff’s newest solar panel array. It is the largest privately-owned system in the Town of Banff and the 4th largest next to similar systems owned by the municipality.


For Sale: 2010 Wintersteiger Trimjet for sale

Panorama is selling their 2010 Wintersteiger Trimjet. It is automatic & customizable to suit your individual needs. Very well suited to snowboards and rocker, all-mountain, freeriding and backcountry skis. Good condition and priced at $11,500.

Contact Guy Paulsen, Panorama Mountain Resort  [email protected]  Mobile: 250.341.8323


In Search of Staff Uniforms

Phoenix Mountain is on the search to update their look with new uniforms.

  • 8 for lift operations, 2 Maintenance, 1 Management ( Jackets, pants if available)
  • 3 for pro patrol (shells and bibs/pants)

Contact James Hall [email protected]

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.