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CWSAA: February 2023 Newsletter

Message from the president

Is it me, or is the cadence of the ski season accelerating?  Recent calls around the west suggest it is.  There does not appear to be just one specific reason for the pace, and all welcome the surge of consumer demand for outdoor activity and especially value first time participation.  But operators are dealing with more than ever and collectively cite increased intensity.

While ski areas are executing operationally,  it is exciting to highlight some of the successes within our snowsports eco-system.  Mark McMorris’s X Games gold, and Laurence St-Germain and Jack Crawford wins at the World Championships are worthy of high praise.  Congratulations to the athletes and also the coaches, PTSO’s, parents and support systems around them.  This includes the local ski clubs and local areas that support competition and the CWSAA Competitor Pass.

In addition to supporting athletes, the Competitor Pass is also the primary funding mechanism of CWSAA.  Many people are surprised to learn that CWSAA is self-funded by its members and programs and does not operate on grants.  It does mean that CWSAA resources must match the demands of the organisation.  Increased safety and risk education, advocacy work on files ranging from land tenures to tax have been prioritised by the Association’s Board of Directors.  To fulfill these objectives the Association has also approved an increase in dues for this year.  See memo for details.

The organisation prides itself in being fluid, responsive, and scalable and has not increased fees since 2015.  That said, over the last eight years, new challenges now face industry.  The recent distribution of the CWSAA Responsible Stewardship playbook and took kit is an example of assisting industry with practical solutions.  It also illustrates that elevating our industry and advancing the interests of the ski areas in a quickly evolving social and political landscape takes effort, expertise and resources.

April’s spring conference in Whistler provides industry with opportunity to learn and action our future.  Innumerable industry volunteers have put significant time into creating a robust schedule of topics for delegates.  In addition to thanking these contributors, we are constantly appreciative of their selfless giving and leadership that guides this industry and embodies The Canada West Way.

– Christopher Nicolson

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