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

We Climb Every Mountain…

Dear friends,

I am writing to you at the very challenging time , the time of disruption for our life and our club’s activities. On Saturday April 25 we would have 70th Anniversary Snow Ball and Awards Ceremony to honour our stellar volunteers who run our club. As we are celebrating Canadian National Volunteers week I want to thank all volunteers for making our club a successful non profit organization that inspires and enables our members to enjoy winter snow sports. I also want to thank all our members for being part of our club, our very special friendly and all inclusive community, for supporting each other and at this time and for staying home to help us all to make our life stellar again. Although at this time our government warns us that “Normal is a long way off” and we have to be careful and patient we can dream now and ski, ride and travel later, eh? We the True North strong and free!

Our friends at Switzerland. share hope with Canada! The Matterhorn was illuminated with the Maple Leaf and flags of other countries impacted by coronavirus. The Zermatt Matterhorn wants to give hope and solidarity to all of you. #DreamNowTravelLater #WeWillTravelAgain

On Thursday April 30 we would of get together in person for the Election night. Instead we’ll tune in to be together virtually, to vote for the new Board of Directors to lead us as the club through the new challenges, to climb every mountain even higher. Please join & vote!

During the two year term of our current Board we’ve addressed many steep challenges. We’ve accomplished the 20% increase of membership (after 10 years of slow & steady decline), we brought new generation of members to the club. We’ve guaranteed and filled the downhill day trips buses.  Our cross country day trips were sold out ahead of time with many two bus trips. We’ve implemented a new payment system and mobile App. We’ve improved our finance system and streamlined our processes. Our popular overnight trips were sold out under 1 min and we have doubled the size of the groups based on demand and the wait lists. We’ve moved the progress forward with the office virtualization project, which will allow us to save money for the club in the near future. We’ve embraced technology and have fostered the culture of innovations and continuous improvement. We had to address the coronavirus challenge with travel cancellations and worked very close with our business partners to get the best possible solutions for our impacted members. I am very proud of our Board’s work and results.

Dream Mountain… Trees in High Park are the gift of Japan to Canada. Today more than ever we are all united.

The Japanese cherry trees will blossom in High Park again soon. We’ll be dreaming about white snow while looking at High Park via web cameras. We may not always ski in High Park, although we love High Park, our club, our city, our province, our country, our people and our world! Cheers, for many winters to come!

Stella, HPSC Volunteer President

HPSC Uniforms… So… Do you ski in High Park?

Do you recognize your favourite instructors?
Uniforms from different decades, saved thanks to Don The Legend….
Club Med Instructors – Ready to serve HPSC!
Do you recognize your favourite instructors? Back in 1970s….
One tradition never changes, the question: “So… Do you skin in High Park? ” “We ski everywhere!”

Staying at home… Staying alive…

Dear friends,

Our new social responsibility to stay at home is our new norm. We are at the state of emergency declared by the Canadian government. As skiers and riders we know the importance of the discipline very well. When it’s minus 30 outside and there are 56 members going together to do what we enjoy the most and also to take the risk together – we are all for one and one for all. We also know the importance of keeping safe distance on the snow. We deeply sympathize with those who are not well, who are quarantined at home, who are taking care of loved ones, who can no longer travel, who have lost money because of the travel cancellations, who had to postpone professional and personal projects or give up precious evenings with family and friends. Canadian Government and Health officials have repeatedly shared important information about the actions we need to take to protect ourselves from coronavirus and to help slow the spread of the virus. These include non-essential travel, and practicing social (physical) distancing. Homes are our own castles, where we are in full control. So let’s do what we enjoy doing at home the most, relax in your own thrones of games, enjoy the life ride and it’s unexpected turns, sip smoothie or cocktail and dream about new adventures and travels… Let’s all act together to keep everyone safe! At the same time we have to stay connected to support each other. Join us for the on-line socials and the most important – Election night on April 30. Registration is open, please register in advance and do attend, we’ll need a quorum. Read bios of the candidates who are stepping forward to lead us higher!

Together we’ll climb every mountain. Stay strong, be well, carry on…

Stella, HPSC Volunteer President

Social & Election – Zoom From Your Home

Quebec City during New Years trip – 2016. We’ll be back soon for in-person Apres Ski!

Connect with your winter friends during this challenging time of social isolation.

We’ll be conducting Election night on-line on April 30 – from the comfort of your home. You can register now here: https://hpsc.ca/event-3751842 You’ll receive an email with invitation to join Zoom meeting. The limit of participants is 100, we’ll need a quorum!

We have also planned on-line social gathering this week – Thursday April 9 at 7 PM. Register to receive the invitation. Prepare your delicious cocktail and share the recipe, share the pictures from club’s events. It’s the new way for us to stay connected! #TBT https://hpsc.ca/event-3807645

Front-of-the-Line (FOTL)

Coronavirus cancelled charter trips C7 France and C8 Taos. Members on these trips are now waiting for their insurance claims to be processed. It will be a lengthy process to get their money back due to the many thousands of claims from passengers all around the world on ski trips, vacation packages, cruise ships, flights, etc. But there is a small bit of good news for these members; they will be getting a FOTL privilege for 2021. When we reschedule the Club Med and Taos trips for 2021, the FOTL privilege will be used to get a jump on the rest of the membership to register before these trips go on sale. Since some C7 and C8 members received a credit instead of claiming a cash refund, the FOTL privilege will ensure that they can use their credit to get onto the trip.

What’s your next dream ski vacation destination?

Travel Insurance

This unprecedented stop of travel has highlighted the need for proper trip insurance. With 84 members affected by C7 and C8, we discovered that some members did not have cancellation insurance. With cancellation insurance, there will be full recovery of the amount paid or most of the amount paid. Without cancellation insurance, there is only a credit. Hotels and airlines are not obligated to give cash refunds. Where a refund is offered that is a bonus.

One member wrote, “Going forward, HPSC might want to re-emphasize the need for trip insurance and refer to this spring’s experience and remind club members that in most cases they will have to rely on insurance to get cash back and be the ones who have to chase after their refunds as the travel agents, resorts and airlines are not likely to refund payments and, at best, provide credits, often with deductions. Further that it is the members themselves who will have to do the bulk of the legwork and spend a lot of time chasing people and filing claims and then waiting for the refunds.”

HPSC has always strongly recommended trip insurance on our website and other documentation.  For 2021 we may insist that every participant must have it, ie, both medical and cancellation insurance. Without it, you could not register for a trip.

W8 Tremblant-March

Spring in Tremblant

Tremblant-March was planned to be our biggest and wildest trip of the season… but now cancelled! Boo hoo! Now be patient, refunds are coming. It’s a big job and our volunteers are busily working on it. You’ll see the refund back on your credit card by mid-April.

Thank you from the Downhill Snow School

We want to thank you for participating in our snow school lessons or guided skiing and snowboarding throughout this past season. While cut too short we had a great time on snow while we were able. We recently sent out a survey to understand your experience taking lessons. Your responses will help the snow school executive to make decisions around our 2020-2021 snow school strategy.

Your input is greatly appreciated. Survey link closes on April 12. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HYHJZ39

HPSC Election 2020 Candidates

The first in the history of the club virtual on-line election will be held on April 30 2020. https://hpsc.ca/event-3751842

Clark Seadon – Candidate for Finance Director

Skiing has been a huge source of adventure and excitement throughout my life. It really started with downhill ski racing for my local club in Edmonton, and grew to include cross-country, a little back-country and trips to Europe. I became a new member this year to do more XC skiing and have been delighted to find so many people who enjoy winter. I’ve had many enjoyable conversations, and look forward to meeting a lot more members. In terms of Finance I have some useful experience to share, having been Acting Treasurer for the Charity my wife is in charge of, having been a Commercial Banking Lender throughout my career, and being a CPA, CA. Overall I really look forward to helping others enjoy skiing and winter with the Club, while helping to ensure the Club remains financially sound for years to come.

Flying Clark – Local Edmonton Ski Club. “Those were the days my friends….”

Erika Clark – Candidate for Downhill Day Trips Director

When I moved to Toronto in 2017 I decided I wanted to learn to ski, and to meet new people, so I chose to join HPSC. I immediately felt at home and that I had created a new family of friends within the club. I began volunteering as a bus captain on downhill day trips and since then have also been a trip leader on the recent weekend Tremblant trip, as well as volunteering in other capacities with the club. I was the Downhill Day Trips Director for one season (2018-2019) and worked to increase the attendance on downhill day trips, partner with cross country to offer more buses, partner with new hills to offer members more variety to improve their ski and snowboarding skills, and continued to welcome and support members to get out on the slopes through our day trips.
For the next two seasons, my goal as the Director of Downhill Day Trips is keep the momentum going. I want to build upon the fantastic success of the previous seasons and continue to fill buses, encourage new members and returning members to attend day trips and expand our ski and snowboarding program with HPSC’s snow school. With the help of the downhill volunteers, my desire is that every member looks as forward to, and enjoys, going on a HPSC day trip as much as I do. Joining HPSC is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I began as a new skier and have now travelled around Ontario, Canada and the US enjoying the best of winter skiing with my HPSC friends. Becoming involved as a volunteer has led to many wonderful opportunities. I encourage all members to get involved in any way they can!

Nemanja Davidovic – Candidate for Communications Director

I am an outdoor enthusiast. I spend most of my free time skiing, cycling or hiking, depending on the season. As a member of a ski club in my hometown in Serbia, I have skied downhill in European ski resorts. The first thing on my list when I moved to Toronto was to find and join the local ski club in my new home. I discovered HPSC and joined the club together my fiancée. So far, I have skied on daytrips with the club, and discovered some fantastic places in Ontario. Furthermore, I started learning how to cross country ski with amazing HPSC instructors. I find the club to be a great place to meet likeminded people, make new friends and grow your network. I bring volunteering experience from my previous ski club and project management skills from my day job. Life is better on the slopes!

Jennifer Beatty – Candidate for Marketing Director

(c)KenRockwell.com858 453-2099

I grew up in Calgary, Alberta and learned to downhill ski in Banff. I have skied several hill in Banff, as well as Golden, BC. And Whistler, BC. I moved to Toronto in October 2018 for a job in Marketing, and was looking for something to keep my active in the winter months. That’s when I discovered the High Park Ski Club and it’s been the best thing I’ve done since moving toToronto! Having never cross-country skied before this past winter, I advanced from Classic 1 to Classic 3. I also made some great friends, and had tons of laughs along the way! I’m a marketer in my day job, and also take marketing courses when I’m not skiing! – I’m excited at the prospect of using my skill set to further advance the HPSC member experience, and continue to attract new members to keep our club running strong for year to come!

Amy Lam – Candidate for Social Director

I love being active and being outdoors. In past winters, I casually went skiing with friends, but never took any lessons or joined a club. Last winter, I wanted to improve my skiing skills and meet other skiers. I googled “ski club”, and found High Park Ski Club’s website. Since being member, I have been blown away with the quality of lessons and trips the club offers. My skiing has greatly improved since taking lessons with the awesome HPSC instructors. This year, I started to volunteer as bus captain for Saturday alpine trips. I have such a blast meeting members, and being part of such a positive, active and winter-loving community. I recently completed my two year term as the Social Director for the Toronto Triathlon Club. I enjoyed organizing and hosting social events that bring together the community of athletes of all levels.  I love seeing the joy that social gatherings bring to members, after training sessions and at the finish-line of various races. It’s the best way to meet new friends and be inspired by their journeys to be active healthy. I hope I can use my “party organizing” skills to come up with ideas for social events and gatherings that bring our wonderful community of HPSC members together.  

Justin Graham – Candidate for HPSC President 

HPSC Volunteer of the Year – Silver Level – April 2019

Even before I started skiing as a teenager, I was aware of High Park Ski Club. I first learned about the club when it was profiled along with others in a local magazine.  It seemed like so much fun!  After graduating university, I talked a friend into joining with me, and was a member for about 6 years.  After not skiing regularly for about 15 years, I wanted to get back into the sport, and since my old friends had stopped, decided to rejoin HPSC, and have been a continuous member since 2007! 

I participate in most of the activities of the club (most weekends on alpine daytrips; a couple of snowshoe trips per season; a couple of long trips per season; SkiFit in the fall; Climb the Mountain each year; and many social activities) which has allowed me to develop a good sense of the various subgroups of members that make up our fantastic club. 

We really are only as strong as a club as the connections we make with each other!  Because of close friendships and a desire to give back to the club I started to volunteer.  I have realized that the portfolios that I have assisted with have something to do with bringing our members together and in helping to make these connections!  My desire as President is to ensure that our members continue to develop these friendships and as a result strengthen our club. 

To paraphrase JFK, “Ask not what your ski club can do for you . . . “   My HPSC Volunteer Experience

  • Alpine Daytrips team lead as Assistant Director of Alpine Daytrips (2019/20 season)
  • W6 Killington trip – Trip Leader (February 2020)
  • SkiFit group leader (Fall 2018; Fall 2019)
  • Alpine Bus Captain (2017-2020)
  • HPSC Volunteer of the Year – Silver (2018/19); Bronze (2017/18)
  • Alpine Daytrips – Bus Captain co-oridnator (2018/19)
  • Re-wrote Alpine Bus Captain Training Manual (2018/19)
  • Assisted Communications and Marketing teams by creating and editing a lot of the website content (2018/19)
  • Assisted Social Director in planning and organizing social events (Fall 2018)
  • Attended numerous HPSC Board meetings as delegate for Social Director or Alpine Daytrips director (Summer/Fall 2018)
  • Wrote SnoBiz articles for Alpine Daytrips and Social (2017-2018)

Profession and Education

  • Professional public opinion researcher for approximately 25 years
  • MA, Public Policy and Administration
  • Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing major  
HPSC Charter Trip to Salt Lake City – February 2018 – Alta, Utah

David Manning – Candidate for Downhill Snow School Director

David is a downhill ski & snowboard (double double) instructor. David is also the past President, who has led the club successfully through the first wave of transformation and demonstrated the mindful leadership and long term vision for the club. David is the best candidate for the role, nominated by the entire Snow School.

Check out here the bios of the candidates, who are current members of the Board: https://www.hpsc.ca/Board-of-Directors:

  • IT – Alex Radulescu 
  • Admin – Victor Schroter
  • Overnight Trips – Bill Bates
  • Membership – Ruth Schefter
  • Cross Country skiing – Heather Steel