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

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

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. 

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

President’s Report – Moving Ahead!

“Towards the Future”, High Park, August 2020 Photo by JK Graham

Dear HPSC Friends

This past weekend I was lucky enough to sit in the sunshine at a Blue Jays game, and I am really looking forward to later this month when my beloved Argos again play at BMO Field.  The point I am trying to make is that the province is slowing starting to re-open (figures crossed).  And the more people who are fully vaccinated the quicker the province will be able to move forward. 

With reopening and returning to a more ‘normal’ environment, the work of your HPSC Directors and volunteers continues on to plan for the upcoming season.

The Long Trips Committee is hard at work finalizing the details for our schedule of long and charter trips. Details of the trips should be posted by early September.  By the way, we are also looking for a new east end long trips pick up location since the one at U of T Scarborough will not be available to us.  If you have any suggestions, please contact Director of Long Trips, Bill Bates, at longtrips@hpsc.ca .

Both the Cross-Country and Downhill teams are busy working with their resort partners in planning for the upcoming year.  And we are very hopeful we will be able to host some in-person information events and different social events throughout the season.  And the return of our traditional year-end Last Tracks dinner-dance in April 2022 to celebrate our 70th+2 Anniversary. 

As well, with a more normal season, we also anticipate once again returning to providing you with a regular schedule of SnoBiz starting with this edition.  Please read through the articles in this edition and click on the links to the longer articles in the club Blog.

Cheers!

Justin Graham, President, HPSC

HPSC President’s Report: Please get the jab!

Dear HPSC friends

I sincerely hope that you and everyone in the HPSC community has had a safe and healthy spring!

There really appears to be a light at the end of this crazy year that we have all experienced.  Over the last few months, individual Ontarians have done a fantastic job of moving quickly to get vaccinated when eligible, including many HPSC members. It appears that whoever wants to be vaccinated will be able to get both shots by the beginning of the fall in September (if not sooner). 

Your HPSC board are moving forward with planning for the coming year based on the assumption that we will be able to have a much more normal season.  However, not everything will be exactly as it was in previous years. Like most organizations will have to, we have had to make a decision regarding who will be able to participate in club events for at least the upcoming 2021/22 season.

After consultation with our lawyer, the HPSC Board, in order to do our best to protect the safety of ALL HPSC members, have come to the decision that for the upcoming season in order to participate in any event involving enclosed spaces such as buses, planes, trains, hotels, restaurants etc. we will ONLY ALLOW THOSE WHO ARE FULLY VACCINATED TO PARTICIPATE.

We will be asking members to attest to their vaccination status and anyone who falsifies their status will be considered in breach of the HPSC Code of Conduct and will be subject to disciplinary action. 

The bottom line is that only those who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to book ANY of the Long or Charter trips, take the bus for daytrips, or attend any social events held indoors etc. 

Our lawyer has advised us that we need to provide some form of accommodation for members who CANNOT be vaccinated due to a health or religious reason.  Since transmission of COVID is much lower in outdoor settings (especially when masked) these members will still be able to participate in events held outside.  So, for example, they will be allowed to drive up for a daytrip, and take a lesson, but will not be able to take the bus. We will require these members to provide some form of proof from their doctor simply stating that for a health reason they cannot be vaccinated. 

Our specific policies on how day trips will be run will be worked out with our resort partners as they become clearer later in the summer and fall and will be communicated as soon as we can prior to the season.   As has been the case since the start of the pandemic HPSC will also monitor and follow the public health guidelines for Toronto and the location of any destination we are going to. 

While the future does seems brighter, what we have learned over the last year is that nothing is guaranteed. But getting vaccinated appears to be the best option for our society and for HPSC to get back closer to the normal we were accustomed to prior to the pandemic.   I urge all members to get both their shots as soon as they can! 

I am really looking forward to talking with as many HPSC members as possible in person during the coming season.

Cheers!

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

SkiFit starting on September 12th in High Park

SkiFit is on for this season!  Starting as usual on the first Saturday after Labour Day, September 12th at 9am.

However, due to the ongoing pandemic we have had to make a few slight adjustments.  For this season, we are requiring that members register online to participate in the weekly SkiFit session.  It is still free but just need you to register.  The sessions will be listed under the Social tab on the website. 

Weekly registration will open on the Tuesday prior to the session and will stay open until the start of that week’s SkiFit on the Saturday morning.    

To ensure we are able to organize and maintain the required physical distancing, we are restricting the number of weekly participants to just 25. 

The Grenadier Café is not currently open on the weekends, so we will not be brunching after SkiFit this year.

Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club