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CWSAA May 2024 Newsletter - Canada West Ski Areas Association

Message from the President

Following the recent CWSAA Spring Conference in Jasper, I am reminded of the legacy of camaraderie and service that defines our industry.  It is encapsulated in the phrase "The Canada West Way,” which I first heard from past chair Doug Forseth.  Its spirit was on vivid display at our conference and is a testament to our industry pioneers, and our present and upcoming leaders that emphasize the mandate of service in our industry work.  Interestingly, our guest Katie Brinton, Senior Editor, of Ski Area Management magazine referenced this strong vibe multiple times as she met with delegates through the conference.

For some, particularly first-time attendees and those who come alone, the conference of hundreds of colleagues can feel intimidating.  Yet, it is precisely this connection and knowledge exchange that repeatedly proves to be of significant value to members.  Each year special initiatives are introduced to make conference feel welcoming.   This year, a mentorship networking session was introduced by the new CWSAA Young Professionals working group that enhanced networking and introduced newer leaders to industry veterans.  Survey results and feedback indicated a very positive response.

On the planning side, CWSAA has already competed its third scheduled debrief session aimed at continual conference improvement. We are immensely grateful for the detailed feedback provided by our delegates through surveys and direct input.  These insights are crucial and have already guided CWSAA in the agenda and development of the 2025 Spring Conference in Penticton.  The next steps involve assembling the topic working groups to develop the content…a task for which many members have already volunteered…thank you.

Looking forward and beyond event planning, emergency preparedness is a key focus.  Wildfire is already touching some of our communities, and it is on the minds of many.  On an on-going basis, CWSAA engages with officials to help align efforts to be ready to harness resources when needed.  This effort has increased as more ski areas engage in summer operations in addition to their annual maintenance projects.

Lastly, in the newsletter below, you will see a link to the annual CWSAA member survey.  The input from the survey serves as the foundation for CWSAA Board deliberations on the organisation’s strategic direction.  The surveys also helps prioritise many ideas, such as those generated at spring conference, and ensures CWSAA efforts are focused on the priorities of its membership.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me or the CWSAA for any support.

- Cheers, Christopher

Highlights of this month's newsletter

2024 Spring Conference Recap
The 2024 Spring Conference drew over 450 attendees to the beautiful Jasper Park Lodge. Highlights included engaging sessions from 102 speakers, an inspiring trade show with 50 exhibitors, and nearly $38,000 raised for the Small Areas Assistance Fund!
The 2025 Spring Conference will be April 28 to May 1 in Penticton BC.  Session proposals are being accepeted until June 30.   

2024 CWSAA Awards
Congratulations to recipients Dean Roberts, Anders Svenson, Charles Albrow, Zoe Sloan, Anna Boyd, Shannon Johnston, Charlie Locke and Doug MacFarlane. 

New & Improved SnowPass
Sign up for your ski area to participate in the 2024/25 SnowPass Program!

Responsible Stewardship Showcase
Panorama Mountain Resort recognized as finalist for Innovation in Sustainability by the NSAA Golden Eagle Awards

CISM Mountain Community
The Critical Incident Stress Management Mountain Community program has launched a number of new resources with the funding support of go2HR. 

Canadian Ski Hall of Fame
Community Ski Area Feature: Table Mountain 

Places & Faces
HeliCat and CAA Spring Conferences
Paul Green

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