December 16, 2016 News Update
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Get your nominations in!
CWSAA will be accepting nominations for the Jim Marshall Leadership Award and Lars Fossberg Excellence Award until January 13, 2017. The CWSAA 2017 Awards Ceremony will take place on the evening of April 26, 2017 at the CWSAA 2017 Spring Conference (April 25-27, 2017, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise). CWSAA will be sending out a memo this week that has more information on the awards and the nomination forms.
Update on Temporary Foreign Worker Program
CWSAA applauds the federal government's initial improvements to the Temporary Foreign Worker program announced this week by the Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.  The announcement signifies that the government understands that the ski industry and others have an inability to find enough employees.  Canada needs people in order to fulfill its positioning as a world class ski and tourist destination.
CWSAA and several peer organisations submitted a collective response to the federal government's standing committee report that made 21 recommendations on this file last September.  The industry supports the government's position to hire Canadians first, and also highlights the reality that there is a shortage of Canadians willing to relocate to rural ski areas for seasonal employment, and that have specific skill sets (eg: ski/board instructors).  CWSAA endorses regulations that recognise the unique nature of the ski industry such as its seasonality and rural nature.  Federal government response to the committee report is due in January 2017.   Read the announcement and committee report:
As Christmas approaches, CWSAA asked operators to share things they do in advance to make the holiday period successful:
  • Big White's Eric Bobert starts daily routines a little earlier than usual so everything is operating before its scheduled time. Getting ready for the day takes a little longer with more people about.   
  • Marc Anderson at Ski Wapiti Saskatchewan hosts a staff pre Christmas BBQ to rally the troops prior to the Christmas week.
  • Considering recent temperatures, Kevin Grogan at Vista Ridge reminds us that things can break in extreme temps.  Try to minimise work with hydraulics and the mechanics will thank you.  
  • Mt. Norquay's Andre Quenneville  says to anticipate the need for extra parking signage, and have a senior manager thoroughly explain 'why' parking procedures are in place.  These folks are often new to a ski area, and will benefit from understanding your past experience.  
  • Ian Logan and the Sun Peaks SnowSports School prints a cheat sheet on plastic lift ticket stock which includes safety numbers, lesson times, and key prices. This is especially helpful at the start of season with new instructors.
  • James Shalman at Apex reminds destination ski areas to have their hotels contact guests in advance to make restaurant reservations and ensure they have a place to dine.
SIS (Snow Immersion Suffocation) is a term being used north and south of the Canada/US border.  It is especially relevant to tree skiing and riding.  Many resources are available to help educate and reinforce important responsiblities such as riding with a buddy, and always staying in visual contact.  
SIS/Treewell specific signage is available through sources such as Inter-Mtn . Paul Baugher of the Northwest Avalanche Institute, and Mt. Baker's Gwyn Howat have created a valuable SIS website with user friendly content called
Never Ever Days in now underway
86 Ski Areas across the country have signed up, including 30 from Western Canada.  Participating Ski Areas will have received a toolkit by email (on Dec 8 from CSC). Advertising is now underway, and new skiers and snowboarders are signing up at  
There are an increasing number of free resources to help educate and protect staff and guests from the Fentanyl epidemic. Please be proactive.  Many ski areas have educated their staff on Fentanyl, and trained their ski patrol and restaurant staff on first response protocol.  Alberta Health Services has introduced a Take Home Naloxone programme to provide training in overdose prevention, recognition, and response. The Ministry of Health in BC has launched new on-line resources and materials to educate people.
Download Posters:

Don't Let this be Your Last Party
Signs of Overdose
Canada West website continues to add features
Check out the new CWSAA blog called The Canada West Way.  The first instalment, “A Friendly Face,” checks in with Warren Sparks!
Advertising for Associate Members is coming soon.  After implementing the new website, updates to the Newsletter and Associate Advertising program have been in the works.  Free rotating Digital Ads will soon be available to Associate Members. Associate Members will receive an introduction to the new Associate Advertising Program by email shortly.
Places and Faces

Read a great profile of Bob Falle by Selkirk College following his recognition for the Canadian Ski Council's Lifetime Achievement Award. 
Special thanks to Warren Sparks who continues to volunteer his retirement days to the industry and serves as co-chair of the Z-98 committee with Danny Cox.   
Pass Powderkeg at Crowsnest Pass Alberta, welcomes Brad Murray to their Management Team.
Selkirk SROAM grad Flavio Melo has joined the The Edmonton Ski Club Management Team.

Congratulations to Erik Guay and the rest of the national team for some exciting early season results.
Mt. Norquay management is pleased to announce that, as of December 1st, 2016, they acquired, and are operating Great Northern Snowcat Skiing, taking over from founder and owner operator Brent McCorkendale.  The area is located near Trout Lake, BC, in the Selkirk Mountains.
  • January 9, 2017Saskatchewan Ski Area Operators Association (SSAOA) January Operations Meeting, Mission Ridge, January 9, 2017. Theme: Snowmaking.  Click here for the Snowmaking Demo Registration Form.
  • January 10, 2017 - The Small Areas Assistance Fund is designed to help small ski areas of 20,000 skier visits or less. Submit your letter of application by January 10. Please contact the CWSAA office for details.
  • February 22 - 24, 2017- Tourism Industry Association of BC Conference, Victoria, BC
  • March 26 - March 31, 2017 - 2017 CADS Ski & Snowboard Festival, Sun Peaks, BC
  • March 30 - April 2, 2017CSP Leadership Conference 2017, Big White, BC 
  • April 25- 27, 2017 - CWSAA Spring Conference & Trade Show, Lake Louise, AB
  • May 5 -8, 2017 - NSAA National Convention & Trade Show, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • October 30, 2017- SSAOA Fall meeting, Asessippi, Manitoba

Member's Only Website Section
The NEW Member’s Only section is now active on the CWSAA website. An on-line order form for CWSAA materials is also available e.g. Safety Signage. If your organization has not received a password, first check your junk mail to see if you recieved an email from / Your User Name & Password.  If not, then contact the CWSAA office at office to get a new account setup.

Merry Christmas from Canada West Ski Areas Association

Thank you to the members of CWSAA for your support and contribution over past year to make our industry great.  Best wishes for lots of snow, great skiing, and time with loved ones over the busy holiday season. 

Bruno, Dawn, Cynthia & Christopher

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Canada West Ski Areas Association · 300 - 1726 Dolphin Ave · Kelowna, BC V1Y 9R9 · Canada

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