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CWSAA: August 2023 Newsletter - Canada West Ski Areas Association

Message from the President

I first met Lily Peters at the 2016 CWSAA Spring Conference.  Three months later in July, I visited Whispering Pines near Worsley in northern Alberta and mentioned to Lily and her husband Hans that I hoped to meet their team.  Well, you can imagine!  Little did I know that meant a packed daylodge of club members and full potluck buffet dinner hosted by the entire community.  It absolutely underscored the terms ‘community’ and ‘team’ and highlighted the inspiration that Lily and Hans have brought to our industry and countless skiers and snowboarders.

A month ago, on another visit to Whispering Pines, Lily and Hans were leading a summer maintenance work party and introduced me to Corinne Wasylciw.  And this week we received word from Lily sharing that Corinne had accepted the role of Manager for the ski area, and that Lily is preparing to retire.  Congratulations Corinne!  Fortunately, Lily is continuing to serve as Past Manager to assist the transition just as Hans continues to help the lift maintenance and operations like rentals…to both of you, our deepest affection and appreciation.  Our industry is truly blessed to have so many wonderful people.

Throughout my ski area visits this summer, one of the common topics of conversation relates to new ski and snowboard participants.  Our industry has seen strong consumer demand over the last couple of winters and our goal must be to retain our newest guests and continue to introduce winter snowsports to new segments of the Canadian population.  This has been a role of the Canadian Ski Council, and all of us play a part.  Under CSC’s Go Skiing Go Snowboarding umbrella are programs like Never Ever Days and Grade 4/5 SnowPass that provide a national offering to grow snowsports.

In my recent conversations with 30 ski areas, all agree our industry needs national presence to support new market development and the desire to welcome new enthusiasts remains firmly intact. Work is underway to review national programs and further improve these offerings over the coming 12 months.

As you will read on in this newsletter, deadlines for ski areas to participate in national programs are upon us.  The CSC programs are scalable to local conditions, and it represents an opportunity for us to seize the moment and build a cohesive nation-wide effort to grow snowsport participants for the generations ahead.
– Christopher Nicolson

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