President’s Report – Optimistic news regarding the upcoming season!!

October 27th, 2021

Dear HPSC Friends!

Since the last SnoBiz there have been some major positive public announcements that impact our upcoming season!!

The American government has finally announced the re-opening of the land board for non-essential travel as of November 8th for those fully vaccinated (including mixed vaccinations).  This means we will be able to run our bus trips to Holiday Valley (NY), Killington (VT), and Jay Peak (VT)!!! And on a personal note, I will finally be able to visit my best friend Tricia and her family in Pittsburgh for American Thanksgiving next month! 

Long trip sign up is this coming Thursday October 28th at 8pm sharp and I am hoping to get on the Holiday Valley trip! (I have already used my one Front of the Line privilege as President for the St. Mortiz trip in March).   There are a lot of great trips to consider. 

The vaccination passport system is now in place with the Ontario QR code document now available for download; please do so ASAP.

The Ontario government has announced plans for further opening up, with the aim to have all COVID restrictions lifted by the end of March 2022.  This week, capacity limits are being lifted for restaurants and bars, which means that we can finally start planning for some indoor social events hopefully in November and December.  Please stay tuned!

With this announcement, our local resorts have a much better sense of how they will need to operate this season.  This means that we will also be able to provide you with a better sense of how we will be running daytrips shortly. 

Given these announcements and the high level of vaccination rates in Ontario, finally, there appears to be a light at the end of this extremely long tunnel. I am very optimistic that this will be a great season for HPSC!!   

Cheers!

Justin Graham, President

What we currently know about the rules for cross-border and international trips

As of November 8th, we will be able to cross over the U.S. land border.  This is fantastic news for the club since we have planned three bus trips to U.S. resorts. 

What we know at this point is that crossing into the U.S. will require both your passport and your proof of full vaccination.  On October 15th the U.S. also announced that they will accept mixed vaccination of WHO approved vaccines. 

When flying (including domestically) you will require your QR code vaccination document (and a photo ID/Passport). 

However, currently, when returning to Canada, all travellers need to provide the results from an accepted COVID Test result taken within 72 hours of arrival at the Canadian border.  (Rapid tests are not accepted.) If your trip is less than 72 hours (i.e. our Holiday Valley weekend trip) you can get a test done at home prior to leaving and use it on your way back home. 

For longer trips, if the same rules still apply, you will need to have a test done while out of the country. Please remember that most of our international trips are not running for another 4 to 5 months, in late February or March 2022, so the requirements when returning to Canada may have changed by that point.    Just think back to the quarantine requirements that were in place five months ago last May.  

Club Med has indicated to us that they will be able to arrange these tests for our members (at a separate cost to members.) For our U.S. trips we have not been able to confirm exactly how the process will work.  With the border closed last season, the resorts did not have to deal with this issue, so this is something new for them, and therefore still in flux.

The Long Trips Committee and those who have stepped up to be Trip Leaders already have a lot of responsibilities and things to keep track of even in a normal year for trips. While the club tries to provide as much information as possible, ultimately, it is up to the individual to understand what the travel rules and requirements are for their personal situation. 

If there is anyone who would like to volunteer to help out the club by researching and tracking this topic it would be greatly appreciated.  Please contact longtrips@hpsc.ca.

President’s Message – It’s already the end of September!!

September 29, 2021

I can’t believe we are almost at the end of September already!! It seems like just yesterday that I was looking forward to our first SkiFit of the year.  And now we are coming up to our fourth session this coming Saturday!  (FYI Registration opens each Tuesday.)

The most important item on the upcoming HPSC schedule is the Annual General Meeting on Thursday September 30th.  I had sincerely hoped that by the time this year’s AGM rolled around we would be able to return to an in-person event.  However, we will once again be restricted to a Zoom call.

If you haven’t already registered for the AGM please do so (https://hpsc.ca/event-4489401).  We are restricted to just 100 participants, so if the event is full, please put your name on the waitlist.  If you have registered but cannot attend, please cancel yourself out by clicking on the registration button and then on “more details” where there is a cancel button.  This will allow other members to join the meeting. If you cannot attend but would like to send a proxy, the form is available on the website (https://hpsc.ca/club-documents).

The zoom link will be sent to all registrants on Thursday September 30th. And the club Annual Report will be posted to the website on Thursday as well. 

As of last Wednesday September 22nd, all Ontarians are being asked to provide proof of vaccination at almost all non-essential businesses and organizations.  As I have written before, we are not set up to just “show us at the door”.  I would personally like to thank the approximately 40% of members who have already emailed their document (vac@hpsc.ca) or shown up at an in-person location (or caught me at a TBC bike ride 😊.) To confirm, only the membership team is accessing the emails and we are not saving your documents.  Once it is reviewed and confirmed, the email and document is deleted.  

Justin Graham

President

President’s Message – The Renewal of Autumn

SkiFit is even for the President – September 2019

Dear Friends

Things are finally restarting!!  After a very long winter, spring, and summer, we have finally reached the point where things for the club are starting up again. 

The charter and long trip lists are posted; SkiFit has begun; the first trip signup is next week (for the Serre Chevalier Club Med, France trip); and the Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Thursday September 30th (official notification will be sent shortly). 

As President, it has been fantastic to meet up in person with members of the HPSC community over the last couple of weeks at SkiFit (including a number of new members) and at our various in-person vaccination poof events. 

Just a reminder to members who had their membership deferred from last year, you do not have to pay for this season, BUT we still require all to log into their website account and acknowledge the club Code of Conduct, Waiver, and your vaccination status.  To do this click on your name in the upper right of the main page after logging in, and then click on EDIT PROFILE.  It is on this page that you can read and acknowledge the various documents. 

For members under 26 years of age we also require you to read and acknowledge the Concussion Code of Conduct, as required by the provincial government (Rowan’s Law).  Although not required for other members, I would highly recommend reviewing it anyway just to understand concussions and what you should do if you suspect having a concussion. 

Once you have updated your profile, and for all new and returning members, we then require you to send in your vaccination proof to vac@hpsc.ca (or stop by one of the in-person events – please see below for locations). 

While some things are returning to normal there are other things that we still cannot do.  We would normally be holding a special volunteer event thanking our fantastic volunteers and handing volunteer awards for the previous season.  We would also have scheduled a number of information nights for the fall for new and prospective members to learn more about the club (and current members to reconnect).  And I was personally hoping to have a President’s pub crawl this fall.  So while things are improving somewhat they are still not back to normal.

As always, I hope that you will read all of the articles in this edition of SnoBiz to find out what is going on with the club!

Sincerely,

Justin Graham, President, High Park Ski Club

In-person Vaccination verification locations for September 16-28

Since our last SnoBiz the provincial government has finally announced that they will be creating a vaccination passport of some kind and will be requiring Ontarians to show their proof of vaccination starting September 22.  Just to confirm that when the provincial document is available we will also accept that as vaccination proof. 

I would like to thank those who have taken advantage of our in-person events to show us their documentation. 

For those who are uncomfortable emailing their proof to vac@hpsc.ca the membership team will be available for in-person vaccination verification at various locations throughout the fall, including almost every Saturday in High Park after SkiFit. 

Between September 16 and September 28, you can stop by to show your vaccination proof at:

Thursday September 16 Berczy Park by the Dog Fountain 5-6pm

Saturday September 18 (Post SkiFit) High Park – on one of the benches on the west side of the main Bloor St entrance 11:30am-1pm

Wednesday September 22 NW corner of Bloor St. and Church St. 5:15-6:15pm

Saturday September 25 (Post SkiFit) High Park – on one of the benches on the west side of the main 1 Bloor St. entrance 1:30am-1pm

Tuesday September 28 Yonge/Eglinton in front of the Skiis and Bikes 6-7pm

2020/21 HPSC Annual General Meeting – September 30

As per our official club by-laws, we will be holding our Annual General Meeting on the evening of September 30th.  An official notification will be sent to all members shortly. 

This is your chance to hear directly from the Board of Directors about the past year including our financial status, to participate in official changes to the club by-laws, and to ask questions of the board. 

While earlier in the summer I had hoped we would be able to hold the AGM in person this year, the current case counts and regulations make that very difficult.  Therefore, the meeting will be held virtually via Zoom for the second year in a row.  We will require you to register for the event on our website.  After registration and prior to the meeting a meeting link will be sent to you. 

https://www.hpsc.ca/event-4489401

SkiFit Returns on Saturday September 11th

Typical HPSC SkiFit warm up

This year especially, pre-season fitness will be extremely important for HPSC members. 

As always, we will be running our fun fall SkiFit program in High Park on Saturday mornings.  Come enjoy the outdoors and make new friends. This is a free, fun and social event with athletic activities to suit a variety of fitness levels. We have something for everyone who wants to start getting ready for winter.

And good news, Karen Evans and John McHutchion, have agreed to return to lead the sessions this year.  They, however, will not be available for the first session September 11th or on September 25th

New HPSC members are very welcome to register. However, as was the case last year, we will continue SkiFit as an HPSC members only event. 

We will also continue to require members to register each week for the session and will initially limit the number to 30 participants.  Registration will open each Tuesday for the following Saturday’s session.  The sessions are listed on the club Social page calendar. 

If you cannot make the session, please email president@hpsc.ca and I will remove your name and open it up to the next person on the waitlist. 

Unfortunately, the Grenadier Restaurant continues to be close on the weekends, so we will not be able to stay for brunch.  Hopefully by the end of the fall, this will change, or we might be able to find another nearby location to have brunch.   

Weekly Schedule

8:55 am Meet in High Park, under the trees on the north side of the Grenadier Restaurant parking lot. See map below.

9:00 am A fun warm up with introductions.  Includes agility and balance exercises.

9:15 am We head off to enjoy a variety of activities. Walk, run, Nordic pole walking…  We have groups for every fitness level.  Nordic pole walking guidance offered.  Bring your own walking poles.

10:45 am A stretching session led by our volunteers, and announcements of upcoming events.

11:00 am This year, we will not be arranging for brunch as a group at the Cafe. 

Ski Fit is a free program for all club members. Register and come check us out. We meet rain or shine. Wet weather can be even more fun as we benefit from the leafy tree canopy and park shelters.

Location: 180 Colborne Lodge Dr., Toronto. In the centre of High Park. Meet on the North side of the Grenadier parking lot, under the trees.

NOTE:  According the High Park website the park is closed to vehicles on the weekend, so if you are driving you will need to find a parking spot outside of the park. 

President’s Report – The Unofficial Start of the HPSC Year

Dear Friends

It is finally September!!  As it did when we were growing up, September signifies somewhat of an unofficial new year.  I hope that everyone has been able to stay safe and healthy through the off season and are looking forward as much as I am to this new year!

As I mentioned in the last SnoBiz, September is the time to start to renew your connection to High Park Ski Club.  For those who chose not to join last year for COVID related reasons, we understand, and sincerely hope that based on the actions and policies put into place by the club you will seriously consider rejoining us this season. 

For members who had their membership deferred last season, you do not have to pay for this season . . . but we do need you to acknowledge the HPSC Code of Conduct, waiver, concussion protocol, and your vaccination status.  You do this by logging into HPSC.ca, clicking on your name in the upper right corner, and then to Edit profile.  This will allow you to checkmark the appropriate documents.

For those who graciously invested your 2020/21 membership to the club, we again thank you, and hope you will rejoin this year.   

If you are fully vaccinated, you can then send in your vaccination proof to vac@hpsc.ca or meet up with a member of the membership team to show your proof.  Please see the article below for locations the membership team (including myself) will be available for you to show your document. 

This is also the time of year that we start to make announcements regarding the upcoming season – so PLEASE do read all of the articles in each of edition of SnoBiz to stay informed!

Cheers!

Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club

In-person Vaccination verification locations for September 2-16

Get the Jab – Graffiti Alley Photo by JK Graham

As announced in the last SnoBiz, the HPSC board has decided that we will need proof of full vaccination at some point during the fall to allow members to participate in almost all in-person HPSC events this coming season. 

While many other organizations can ask for proof “at the door” we are not able to do that.  However, for those who are uncomfortable emailing their proof to the special email address (vac@hpsc.ca) the membership team will be available for in-person vaccination verification at various locations throughout the fall, including almost every Saturday in High Park after SkiFit. 

If you cannot make it to any of the in-person events and are uncomfortable emailing your document please send a message to vac@hpsc.ca requesting a personal Zoom call to show us your document. 

In each SnoBiz we will announce where and when we will be available during the following two weeks for in person verification.  Between September 2 and September 16, you can stop by to show your vaccination proof at:

Saturday September 4

High Park – Look for us at one of the benches on the west side of the park near the main Bloor Street entrance

1-2pm

Thursday September 9

Bloor Islington Place (3280 Bloor Street West) – Bottom of the stairs below GoodLife Fitness

6-7pm

Saturday September 11 (Post SkiFit)

High Park – Look for us at one of the benches on the west side of the park near the main Bloor Street entrance

11:30am-1pm

Thursday September 16

Berczy Park – by the Dog Fountain (Front St. E and Scott St.)

5-6pm

So you are vaccinated . . . now what?

As announced earlier in the summer, the HPSC Board made the decision that to protect the health of other club members and volunteers, in order to participate in most in-person club events this season you will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID.  

The first step will be to attest to your vaccination status on your member profile page, at the same time you acknowledge the Code of Conduct, Waiver, and Rowan’s law declaration after September 1st when membership renewal occurs.  Any falsification of vaccination status will be considered as a breach of the HPSC Code of Conduct and will be subject to disciplinary review

However, without confirmation of vaccination status the Long Trips Committee will not be able to arrange roommates or run close to full buses, that allow us to control the costs of trips. Or allow other portfolios to ensure only those fully vaccinated are participating in events. 

Therefore, as a second step at some point during the fall, we are asking that members provide our membership team with proof of your vaccination status (i.e. 2nd shot vaccination certificate or federal vaccination passport announced last week) by emailing it to vac@hpsc.ca.  Only those on the membership team will have access to these emails and once they confirm your status by reviewing your document, all of your documents and emails will be deletedThe club will not be storing your private vaccination record.

PLEASE HOLD OFF SENDING YOUR DOCUMENTATION UNTIL AFTER SEPTEMBER 1 WHEN RENEWALS OPEN. 

For those concerned about privacy, on the vaccination certificate, we only need to see the following information: Name; Date of 2nd vaccination; Agent (COVID-19); Dose – 2 of 2.  All of the rest of the information can be blacked out. 

If you feel uncomfortable in emailing your documentation, we will also be arranging for numerous in-person events (i.e. after each week’s SkiFit; other nights during the week at locations around the city) when you can show the membership team your proof, and they will note your status.  If you cannot meet in person and are concerned about emailing your documents, we can arrange for a personal Zoom call where you can show your document.  We will NOT be recording or taking screen shots.

Please note that to register for charter or long trips at our signup nights in September and October you will need to have at least attested on your member profile that you are fully vaccinated. As with all members you will also need to provide your vaccination document at some point prior during the fall. If you are not fully vaccinated by trip signup night, you will not be able to register for trips until you are (if spots are still available).  If you have not had your second shot yet and want to sign up for charter or long trips, please arrange for your second shot so as soon as possible. At that point you can update your member profile page and send in/arrange to show us your vaccination proof document.

As mentioned earlier, you do not have to send in your vaccination proof right away.  If you feel more comfortable doing so when the Federal vaccination passport becomes available that is fine.  We just need to review your document prior to your first in-person event (please allow at least 5 days for our team to review and confirm your status – we are all volunteers so it might take time to get to).  If you are signing up for a long or charter trip it should be before full payment.

For charter trips, you will likely be required to provide the newly announced federal vaccination passport to our tour company partners. As well, last week the Federal government also announced that proof of vaccination will be required for travel, including domestically, by plane, train, etc. And it makes sense to assume that long distance bus trips should also be included. 

If you CANNOT be vaccinated due to a medical condition, and can provide a doctors note to our membership team simply stating this (without any medical diagnosis information) you will be able to have limited participation in club events this year, (i.e. drive up for a day trip and participate in lessons).  However, as announced earlier you will not be able to register for any long or charter trips, or to go on the bus for daytrips.

We acknowledge that members have the free choice to not be vaccinated; however, we as the directors of the club have the duty to protect the health and safety of our club members and volunteers to the best of our ability.  Until the pandemic is declared over in Canada, the best option for protection and moving to a more ‘normal’ environment is vaccination.  If you are dissatisfied with this policy, we are truly sorry.  We can, upon request, if you choose, to defer your membership for another year or refund your membership fee (however, your club seniority would be maintained), and we will welcome you back once pandemic measure are lifted.     

Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club