Happy Thanksgiving HPSC

President’s Message

Killarney Provincial Park – October 1, 2020. Photograph by JK Graham

At this time of year, we usually turn to our family and friends and give thanks for what we have and who we have in our lives.  I personally want to thank all of you for making the community of High Park Ski Club members and friends one that I truly value and am very proud to be a member of.   As I have said before, you may have joined HPSC to ski or board or snowshoe, but what keeps people coming back year after year are the friends that you make.   

I also want to thank all of you who have shown your faith in the club and have already renewed your membership in this very different year.  

While we are clearly in the expected second wave of the pandemic, the thing to remember is that the situation we face right now is not likely what we will be facing in two or three months time  when the season kicks off.  Or in four or five months when many of our charter and long trips occur.   Remember you don’t decide on what you are going to wear in January based on today’s weather. 

We are a resilient community who will find a way to thrive this coming season through being willing to adapt and change as the situation requires.  In many ways we need to approach this season like you would a double diamond run, especially here in Ontario . . .  you may have a plan on what you want to do, but in almost all cases  you need to adapt to the changing snow conditions, the patch of ice you didn’t expect, or the build up of heavy snow at the bottom.   

Stay healthy and safe!

Cheers

Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club

The pre-season is heating up!

President’s Message

As September turns to October, the HPSC pre-season is starting to heat up. 

SkiFit has been running for a few weeks now (with registration filling up early each week), the AGM was held on September 23rd to review last year and vote on a few changes to the By-laws, charter and long trip sign up is open or will be in the next few week, a special shopping event with Skiis and Bikes has been arranged (and for those uncomfortable about coming in person or those out of town a special discount code will be available for online shopping) for Wednesday October 28.  People in general are starting to prepare for the cooler weather.

I personally want to thank all of you who have show your faith in the club by already renewing your 2020/21 membership.   Our members are the reason we on the board are doing all the work to make sure we are ready to run a season under whatever guidelines we face.

This coming winter it is anticipated people will need and want to find ways to get outside, and snow sports will be a prime activity.  Much like many who got back on bicycles this summer after long layoffs, we anticipate a lot of former skiers will once again turn to our sports for winter fun. One of the best ways to find new HPSC members is by your word of mouth, so if you have family, friends, or colleagues who are former skiers or boarders, tell them about the club, show them the website, or have them to email info@hpsc.ca for more information.

Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club

Our first and hopefully only pandemic era AGM

2020 HPSC AGM via Zoom – September 23, 2020

Our first and hopefully only pandemic era Annual General Meeting was held viz Zoom on Wednesday September 23rd

We want to thank all of those who registered and who logged into the AGM.  While the meeting went off without a hitch, we sincerely hope that next year we will be able to get together in person to raise a glass to our fantastic club.  

A special thank you to long time member, snow school instructor, and former board member, Laura Shephard for acting as this year’s AGM Chairperson.

Thank you to past president Stella Rossovskaia and the rest of last year’s board for leading us through the review of a very successful year.  A year that helps set us up to better deal with the coming season.  The 2019/20 AGM Report is available for review on our website under About Us/Club Documents.  You need to be logged in to access the documents. 

We also want to thank the attendees for all of the questions submitted and asked during the meeting regarding last year and this year. A list of all questions and answers will be posted in the next few weeks on the blog. 

And finally, congratulations to Karen Snow for being approved as our new Director of Administration.

Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club

A Hint of Fall in the Air!

Fellow HPSC members

Labour Day has come and gone, which means our fall activities have begun!

This past weekend we had our first SkiFit of the season in High Park, with a good mix of old faces and a few new ones participating.  I look forward to meeting and catching up with a lot of you at SkiFit over the next 12 weeks.  Registration opens each Tuesday.

With the fall also comes anticipation of the unveiling of our overnight and charter trips for the season. Read up in this week’s SnoBiz regarding the trips and the different approach to trips we are taking to ensure our member’s safety. Take a look and decide what trip or trips you want to go on this season and note when sign up opens. 

September also means the club’s Annual General Meeting.  Which this year will be held virtually via Zoom next week.  In addition to hearing about last season – which was very successful despite the abrupt end – you will have a chance to ask questions of the Board about the club.  Please register online – the event is listed on the home page.     

Finally, I want to sincerely thank all of you who have already renewed your HPSC membership!  It is extremely satisfying to know how many have confidence and faith in the approach we have taken to ensure a great season despite the challenges we are facing.   

Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club

Fall is just around the corner!

Dear fellow High Parkers!

Labour Day is just around the corner, and it is starting to feel a little like fall. And with autumn comes time to renew membership in our club. 

In this week’s SnoBiz you can read about the special renewal rate for this season, as well as the plans the Board has been working on this summer for the upcoming season.  While somethings may be different this year, as many things as we can, will remain as close to normal as possible.  Including the ability to get out on the hills and trails with HPSC.

If you haven’t already, check out the HPSC website to read up on our overall approach for this coming season.    

Hope to see you all soon!

Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club 

98% of Members Report Satisfaction with the Club

First off, I want to thank all members who participated in the recent membership survey.  We received completed questionnaires from 477 members (41% response rate).   The responses have provided very helpful guidance for our planning of the upcoming season. 

Some of the highlights:

  • Almost all members (98%) report being very (80%) or somewhat satisfied (18%) with High Park Ski Club.
  • Six-in-ten (58%) members have gone on both long trips and daytrips during the last 2 years; 28% have only been on day trips (Alpine and/or Nordic); while 11% only went on long trips; 3% did not go on any type of trip for various reasons. 
  • In the last two years, two-thirds of members went on an Alpine day trip, while just over one-in-three participated in a Nordic daytrip.
  • The wearing of masks, and reduced numbers on the bus, are the most cited requirements for members to go on a day trip this season with HPSC for both Alpine and Nordic daytrippers.  However, one-in-ten report they will not be going on any daytrip bus this coming season.
  • Last season approximately one-third (32%) of Alpine members had an Ikon (16%) or Blue Mountain 5×7 (16%) pass.  Looking ahead at this season, the numbers are not far off, with about one-quarter having already purchased or planning on purchasing an Ikon (14%) or 5X7 (12%). 
  • Six-in-ten members indicate they plan on renewing their HPSC membership (FYI we usually have a renewal rate of approximately two-thirds).  However, not unexpectedly in this pandemic time, about one-in-five indicate they are uncertain.  Of those who were uncertain or report being unlikely to renew, the main reason appears to be the uncertainty of the pandemic situation.   

Planning for a ‘New Normal’ Ski Season

Dear fellow High Parkers,

As we suffer through a summer of record heat, your Executive has had their minds on snow and skiing and boarding and snowshoeing and making plans and decisions for the coming season.  

In addition to our regular board meetings we also held an lengthy Strategy session (via Zoom) on Saturday July 25th that included both the Directors and volunteers from each of the various teams, to focus in on the specific challenges we face this coming year.

I want to thank all members who participated in the recent survey.  We received completed questionnaires from 477 members, for a very good response rate of 41%.   The responses have provided very helpful guidance for our planning of the upcoming season.  We plan on conducting another survey in the fall, closer to the season, to further refine our plans. 

While we do not have a crystal ball to fully know exactly what we will be facing in 5 months time when the season starts, the main thing is that, short of the government and public health officials ordering another shutdown, there will be a HPSC season as close to normal as we can make it. Or let me rephrase that, as close to normal as the ‘new normal’ permits.  We will be providing more detailed information on our plans in the next month or so, but I want to assure you that we have all been working on plans, and contingency plans, and more contingency plans, to ensure a fun season. 

Hope to see you all soon.  Enjoy the summer and stay safe! 

Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club

Establishment of HPSC Diversity and Inclusiveness committee

Many of us in the High Park Ski Club have been moved by the George Floyd protests against police brutality and racial discrimination unfolding around the world, as well as here in our local communities.

The High Park Ski Club Board of Directors stands in support of the Black community and all minority groups. As a community-based organization, it is of paramount importance that we create an environment that is inclusive of people from all backgrounds.

To this end, at our June virtual meeting, the HPSC Board of Directors unanimously voted in favor of establishing a Diversity and Inclusiveness committee. This self-governing committee’s mandate will be to review our bylaws, policies, procedures, and practices for inclusiveness; and where opportunities for development are identified, provide recommendations to the Board.

If you are interested in getting involved with the committee please contact our Director of Membership and Volunteers, Ruth Schefter, at membership@hpsc.ca ..

HPSC Board of Directors

A Unique Election Night

It really does take a village to run the club.  Everything we do starts with volunteers to plan, negotiate, and run.

Thanks to all the members who logged into a unique electronic election night on April 30.  And thank you to Adrian, Colin, and Stella for ensuring the night ran smoothly. 

Congratulations to our new volunteer Board of Directors for the next two years:

President – Justin Graham

Director of Finance – Clark Seaton

Director of Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding – David Manning

Director of Nordic Skiing and Fitness – Heather Steel

Director of Long Trips – Bill Bates

Director of Downhill Daytrips – Erika Clark

Director of Social Activities – Amy Lam

Director of Communications – Nemanja Davidovic

Director of Marketing    Jennifer Beatty

Director of Administration and Corporate Secretary – Vic Schroter

Director of Membership and Volunteers – Ruth Schefter

Director of Information Technology – Alex Radulescu

At our first meeting of the new Board, as per our club By-Laws, Heather Steel was selected and approved as club Vice President. 

The board would like to thank the fantastic members who have who have chosen to step away as club directors . . .  

Laura Headon – who was able to add a stabilizing influence as Financial Director after a bit of fluctuation in the role. 

Colin Marsh – who did a fantastic job as Marketing Director and Vice President. 

Iuliana Ilie – for stepping in last season in the role of Social Director – unfortunately your work on the 70th Gala was not realized because of COVID-19.

Christine Bellerose – for handling both the snow school, as well as being liaison for the last season between the board and the alpine daytrips team.  Enjoy your new role with ski school. 

We would also like to congratulate and thank Stella Rossovskaia for her long-time dedication to the club as a trip leader, social director, and as President over the last two years. 

Without our volunteers, the club would not be able to operate.  Please consider volunteering some of your time.  If you are interested please contact our Director of Membership and Volunteers at membership@hpsc.ca

Looking forward and planning ahead

Sun Basin, Utah – February 2019

First, I hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy in this unprecedented time. I am looking forward to seeing everyone in person at some point in the future. When that time will be is still up in the air, but your new board of directors is forging ahead putting together preliminary plans for next season.

I am personally honoured to have been elected as your next President of High Park Ski Club and look forward to working with all of the newly elected and returning Directors in order serve you, our fantastic members, over the next two years.

None of us has a crystal ball to see what the conditions we will be operating under in six months or even in two months, but we must move forward with planning for next season.  However, with the understanding that we may need to adjust to the rules and regulations we are faced with.   As we have, we will continue to follow the advice of public health officials and government to ensure that our members remain safe. 

As a club, we will face numerous challenges over the next year to get back to what we have come to expect is normal or what we will come to see as the new normal.  But it is through the community of fantastic members, volunteers, and board members that I believe we can achieve this.  

Over the next couple of months, we will be soliciting members to better understand your feelings, plans, concerns, and suggestions for next season.  Your responses will help to guide plans for the coming year.     

I hope we will all be able to come together again, sooner rather than later,  in person to celebrate our club and catch up with all of our HPSC friends and raise a pint or a glass or two!

Cheers!

Justin Graham

HPSC President