Edition of June 2024

by | Jun 12, 2024 | CSIA



Gunars Kazaks, New CSIA Chair of the Board

Gunars Kazaks took over as Chair of the Board for the CSIA from Colin Borrow. A member since 1993 and a Level 4 instructor, Gunars has a background in building organizations and creating high-functioning teams. He looks forward to working with the Board to complete the governance structure review and implementation.

Gunars hopes to help the CSIA evolve with the industry and work in parallel with the other certifying bodies and organizations to support the ski industry while strengthening the ski instructor profession in Canada. This will in turn support the resort owners in delivering value to their guests. 

“Every CSIA member contributes to the organization’s value daily, by doing what we do best…teaching skiing,” says Gunars.

The Board is focused on providing guidance and supporting the staff as they manage the organization while ensuring that the CSIA is delivering on its strategic plan. The Board will remain relatively intact over the next few years and sees this as an opportunity to bring the organization’s internal stakeholders together and execute the vision, not only to certify ski instructors but to be an integral part of this industry we love. 

If you happen to be in the Ottawa region and on the slopes at Calabogie Peaks Resort, you might spot Gunars teaching a class next season. Stop and say hello! 

Your full Board of Directors

While the members of the Board have been mostly the same since the November 2023 AGM, their roles and responsibilities have shifted slightly. Here is the list of your Board members and their functions.

  • Gunars Kazaks – Chair and Ontario Representative –Replaces Colin Borrow (chair since 2023)
  • James Lindsey – Vice-Chair and Central Representative – Replaces Gunars Kazaks (vice-chair since 2023)
  • Lucia Glasse-Davies – Secretary and BC Representative – Replaces Eric Bonin & James Lindsey (co-secretary since 2023)
  • Nathan Reece – Treasurer and Atlantic Representative – Remains treasurer (since 2022)
  • Colin Borrow – Alberta Representative
  • Eric Bonin – Quebec Representative

Board advisors:

  • Serge Fortier – Finance Advisor
  • Jeffrey Harder – Governance Advisor


As mentioned in the last edition of the Communiqué, the board, regional chairs and committee chairs met in early May. A portion of this meeting was spent on a workshop for the CSIA’s next strategic plan.  It soon will be your turn to help! Next week, all active members will receive an eblast to provide feedback on what has been worked on so far, and input into the next steps of setting initiatives and priorities.

Therefore, check your emails next week and help shape the future of the CSIA!


By Betsy Linnell, CSIA Program Manager

With the 2023-2024 season in the rearview mirror, I want to take the opportunity to reflect on this past season and share plans and projects that we are working on moving forward.

2023-2024 Season

It is safe to say that across Canada, every resort in every region was faced with operational challenges caused by the weather. We saw everything from unseasonable and unpredictable to unprecedented! Despite weather challenges, our partner resorts, snow schools, course conductors and members made it happen and delivered experiences to guests that share a passion for our sport. That is what the CSIA is all about.

Our membership and program registration numbers confirm that we are a resilient and dedicated group. As of the end of April, total membership for the season was flat (down by .7% or 145 members), while program participation was down 3.8% or 624 registrations, compared to the previous season.

As we close this 85th anniversary year, I encourage you to be proud of your association with the CSIA, our rich history and our legacy of excellence and look ahead to all that we accomplish as we move forward +Together / +Ensemble.

Looking Ahead

Last November, the National Board of Directors, various committees, staff, and members gathered in Lake Louise to kick off the 2023-2024 season. Since then, the National Board has been working with a third-party consultant on the development of an updated Strategic Plan for the CSIA. This project is now well underway with a schedule for completion this summer.

The Technical and Education Committee also mobilized and identified key projects informed by member and course conductor feedback.  Sub committees were formed, and worked through the winter on a range of projects.

More recently, this past May, the National Board, with regional and committee chairs, the Technical and Education Committee, Women in Skiing Committee and staff met in Montreal for a range of meetings designed to move us forward as an organization. The Operations Team spent two full days together to take the themes identified in the strategic planning stakeholder survey and the recommendations from the Technical and Education Committee to develop an Operations Plan for the 2024-2025 season. This plan includes the following key projects now underway for the 2024-2025 season.

Operations Team Projects

A major win was the creation of a National Programs Calendar. Setting the tone for a proactive approach, dates are now set for many of our key programs and events allowing us to start building regional calendars that better meet demand and maximize our resources. Some of the key early season dates can be found below.

The CSIA Certification Pathway represents the core purpose of the organization and how we deliver on our mission. There are several projects underway related to our certification:

  • Level 1 Certification program content is being updated to include a greater focus on skills related to teaching children.
  • A new L2 Terrain Park Certification is being developed to better meet the demands of members and industry.
  • The Level 4 Academy structure is being updated to remove barriers and streamline training. Selection Camp will be eliminated as an entry point to the Level 4 process. There will be training specific to expert level skier and teacher development and an updated assessment format to allow for increased objectivity and consistency.

Recognizing that developing new skills takes time and many of our members and snow schools are looking for training opportunities outside of certification, an updated Professional Development Pathway (Pro Days) will be launched for the 2024-2025 season. Program highlights include:

  • Programs to be offered directly through Snow Schools to support working members. Look for Teaching Children, Teaching Multi-Week Programs and Custom Training Sessions to meet the specific needs of our partner Snow Schools.
  • Programs with a technical focus such as Bumps / Off-Piste and Short Turns / On-Piste.
  • Programs specific to diverse learners: Women in Skiing and Learning Considerations.
  • Programs to apply skills in different environments such as the development of a Race Module.

Working with the Technical and Education Committee, Educational Materials supporting certification and professional development programs are being updated.  Members can expect updates to technical manuals, new video resources and online learning tools. 

These projects represent an ambitious and exciting target for the 2024-2025 season. We look forward to sharing more updates through the summer and fall and will add details as we go.

On behalf of the CSIA Operations Team and the rest of the CSIA Staff, we hope you have a great summer!


The Technical and Education Committee would like to express their appreciation to two departing members whose terms ended in May 2024: Josh Foster (BC) and AJ Leeming (ON).  Both Josh and AJ have been valuable members of the TEC and have shown exceptional dedication and commitment to advancing ski teaching in Canada.  The TEC would like to wish Josh and AJ well and look forward to their continued engagement with the CSIA.  As Josh as AJ depart, the TEC would like to welcome the newest regional representatives: Anne Terwiel has joined the TEC to represent British Colombia and Steve Young has joined to represent Ontario.  Thank you to the BC and Ontario regions for facilitating a smooth transition and we look forward to the experience Anne and Steve will bring to the TEC!



Most skiers in Atlantic Canada, except for those who did late-season trips to the West, hung up their gear in early April. For many, the attention turned to all the amazing outdoor activities the Maritimes have to offer. Ski areas like Wentworth, Poley and Sugarloaf have awesome machine-built trails and Ski Wentworth is set to become the first Atlantic area to offer lift-accessible riding.

With biking, surfing, golfing, sailing and so much more to keep everyone busy, there was still one more weekend of ski talk on June 1-2nd. The CSIA Atlantic Board met at Fossil Farm, in Pictou, for a weekend strategic planning workshop and we’re excited for the outcomes. The entire board attended, either in person or virtually. The event was facilitated by Dan Ralph, who skillfully steered the ship throughout the weekend. The emphasis of the sessions was focused on ways the board could become a more effective and cohesive entity, while best serving our CSIA membership and industry partners and stakeholders.

We’ll be sharing some of the specific takeaways in the near future, but one highlight was setting a clear vision for the next 2-3 years. The enthusiasm of each board member was contagious. Everyone shared what about the sport inspires them to be part of the board, and to volunteer their time and energy to grow the sport in the region. The answers were uplifting, with a common thread of passion and a desire to share that passion with other skiers and fellow CSIA members.


The CSIA Quebec Board of Directors met on May 26 and 27 to review the 2023-2024 season and plan our priorities and projects for next season.

– The “Playing on Snow” project was a resounding success this season, with 21 mountains visited in most of the regions, 76 sessions offered to nearly 650 participating instructors (an increase of 137% on last season’s 275). The team dedicated to this project will be working hard this summer to improve the product and have a greater impact next season.  The CSIA Quebec Board of Directors took care of all course conductors’ costs for these sessions.      

– Our governance sub-committee undertook an in-depth review of our policies and by-laws to bring them up to date. They’ve made a lot of progress, and we’ll be presenting you with the results of their important work this fall. 

– The long-awaited redesign of our website has officially begun. Stay tuned for developments over the coming months. 

– A representative of our Board of Directors took part in the ASSQ congress held in Saint-Hyacinthe at the end of May, with the aim of exchanging views with the province’s snow school directors to better understand their needs and challenges. A lot of useful information was gathered to help us better support our partners.

– A prize draw was held among all participants in this season’s survey. Each of the three winners received a prize worth $150 in CSIA promo code applicable to training, exams or other sessions which will be available on snowpro.com during the 2024-2025 season.


  • Victoria Sabat (Mont Avila),
  • Audrey Damours Bryson (Vallée Bleue) and
  • Alain Potvin (Mont Ti-Basse)!

We invite you to stay in shape this summer and to contact us by e-mail or on Facebook if you have any suggestions or comments to share!


CSIA Ontario 2023-2024 Grants, Scholarships and Bursaries

With thanks to the Scholarships and Bursaries Committee, Anne Hogarth, Rob Mathers, Rhys Lanskail and Vice Chair Jiao Jing, we are celebrating those CSIA Ontario members who have been awarded 2023-2024 Scholarships and Bursaries.

Congratulations to:  

Zhiyong Yu, Yuan (Nikita) Zhang, Xin Meng, Xiaofen Yang, Stephen Fennell, Shuo Chen, Ruoning Guo, Raphaela Kim, Paolo Paglialunga, Mackenzie Rose Cruz, Karolyn Zeng, Karen Houle-Tymeeczko, Jill Sparks, Hannah Winstone, Gracie Gilbert, Derek Hou, and Bill Deng ALL of whom increased their knowledge and skills during the 2023-2024 season.

CSIA Ontario under the leadership of Kevin Bulmer, and with the support of James Scott, provided support to four CSIA snow pros from Northern Ontario to participate in their L2 course.

CSIA Ontario is also delighted to report that $20,250 has been awarded to five CSIA Ontario Professional Development & Innovation Grant Program recipients:  Hockley Valley, Glen Eden, Mount Jamieson, Snowland Outdoor Club and Snowy Action Club.  We will be providing updates on the ski school programs in the upcoming ski season.

Watch for details this fall regarding the 2024-2025 Grants and Scholarships & Bursaries programs.

CSIA Ontario 2024 AGM & Annual Awards Banquet

All CSIA members residing in the Ontario region are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting of the members of the CSIA Ontario, to be held in person on

June 21, 2024, at 7pm at the Hocley Valley Resort.

The notice of meeting, agenda, documents, and proxy are available at this link.

The CSIA Ontario 2024 Annual General Meeting will be followed by the Awards Banquet which honors the following Award winners:

  • Snow School Awards of Merit
  • Course Conductor of the Year
  • Outstanding Service Awards
  • CSIA Ontario Hall of Fame – Len Chapman (Posthumously) and James Scott

Interested in Getting Involved with CSIA Ontario Committees or Working Groups?

CSIA Ontario is always seeking members who are interested in contributing to CSIA Ontario by serving on a committee or a working group.

  • Finance Committee
  • Communications working group
  • Fun Days working group
  • AGM planning working group
  • Grants/scholarships working group

If you are interested in getting involved, please email info@csiaontario.com.



By Frédérick LépineCSIA Level 4 Instructor, CSIA Level 4 Course Conductor 

For some people, weight training is a real pleasure, while for others it requires more motivation. In adulthood, there are two conditions we want to minimize: sarcopenia and muscular atrophy. For optimal results, it’s all about developing muscles within a functional, organized framework.


The key specification of a sports-oriented weight training session is to develop overall movements. For example, squats, lunges and deadlifts are functional exercises that we all perform as part of our daily lives. It therefore becomes worthwhile to prioritize exercises that are not performed on equipment, to reap the benefits of transferring your developed skills to your other physical activities.


Control means acting instead of reacting. With cognitive attention, strengthening exercises need to be consciously performed within a spectrum of movements that are both stable and mobile. Typically, slower execution promotes greater muscle awareness. FYI, eccentric and isometric muscle contractions require more control than concentric ones. Better take your time.


Quality always takes precedence over quantity with specific exercises. Proprioception is the key to precision and strengthening. For instance, when performing a squat, the person’s kinaesthetic sense must consider posture, ground contact, exercise tempo, range of motion, spatial orientation of the joints and muscles involved. In other words, a classic exercise can become a doctoral thesis project.



Creating longer-term adaptations requires stimuli and variety. Start by pushing yourself to your limits, gradually increasing intensity and eventually strength. Next, a large number of variables can be applied: number of repetitions, number of sets, tempo speed, recovery time and so on.

In a nutshell, optimal muscular strengthening takes place within a progressive framework. Consequently, satisfaction becomes the reward through recognition of the benefits, including increased strength and energy levels. All in all, you’ll feel more confident in your abilities.