Posted on: February 19th, 2019 by Protect Our Winters Canada
“And then there still is the so-called climate change. There is no proof for it. We have snow, in part even a lot of it,” he said. “I was in Pyeongchang for the Olympiad. We had minus 35 degrees Celsius. Everybody who came to me shivering I welcomed with: welcome to global warming.”
Gian Franco Kasper, President of International Ski Federation
Does the International Ski Federation think it’s cool to be led by a climate-denying dinosaur? Because those of us who make up the outdoor community definitely don’t. We don’t have time to tolerate that kind of prehistoric nonsense. 🦕
That’s why we’re calling for the immediate resignation of Gian Franco Kasper as President of the International Ski Federation in response to his denial of human-caused climate change.
Posted on: December 30th, 2018 by Protect Our Winters Canada
As Environment and Climate Change Canada releases it’s “Top Ten Weather Stories of 2018” it’s hard to believe anyone could read these stories and not be convinced of the need for massive action immediately. From wildfires in BC, drought in the prairies, tornadoes in Ontario and a deadly heat wave in Quebec, the effects of climate change were felt from coast to coast to coast in 2018. Here are two great articles highlighting the weather events of 2018;
Posted on: November 22nd, 2018 by Protect Our Winters Canada
Athletes and industry influencers are the core of the POW movement. They have the vested interest, social capital and drive to mobilize outdoor enthusiasts around the common goal of climate action. On Saturday November 17, we held our first (soon to be annual) Athlete Summit in Vancouver which saw an all-star cast of top influencers gather for a full day of strategy and training sessions. Sessions included the latest in climate science and modeling with Peter Wood from the David Suzuki Foundation, effective communications strategies presented by Origin Communications, orientation to the POW Canada strategic plan and the Passion Into Purpose athlete tool shared by Marie-France Roy and Mike Douglas.
Collectively, the athletes gathered at the Summit had a social media audience of 1.2 million followers without adding partners/sponsors into the equation. We have a real challenge ahead but we love challenge! Bring on the challenge! Bring on the change! Bring on the POW!
Posted on: November 20th, 2018 by Protect Our Winters Canada
We’re excited to announce a strategic partnership with Canada Snowboard, the national organization responsible for competitive snowboarding. Working with provincial and national organizations is a great way for POW Canada to extend its reach and bring more outdoor enthusiasts into the movement. The partnership will see POW Canada deliver climate and advocacy training to Canada Snowboard athletes and staff as well as the opportunity for onsite presence at World Cup events in Canada. Watch for the POW Canada logo on the national team uniform this coming winter!
From Canada Snowboard Press Release:
Canada Snowboard is pleased to announce a partnership with Protect Our Winters Canada (POW Canada) and The Chill Foundation (Chill). In addition to logo inclusion on the national team uniform, a first in Canada, Canada Snowboard riders will also be given the opportunity to participate in Chill Foundation initiatives and to receive specialized climate change education through POW Canada. Both organizations will also be present at major Canada Snowboard events throughout the season to showcase their causes. “Promoting sustainable snowboarding is imperative to our vision to be recognized as a world leading snowboard nation”, said Dustin Heise, Executive Director of Canada Snowboard. “Our riders grew up in our unique culture that is snowboarding, and spend much of their professional and personal lives outdoors. As such, they are perfectly positioned to deliver a positive message in regards to inclusion, diversity and the realities of climate change in relation to snowboarding. We are incredibly excited to collaborate with both these organizations this season and beyond.”
“The partnership with Canada Snowboard is a great opportunity for POW Canada to expand our alliance of top tier athlete ambassadors and provide them with the tools and training needed to become effective climate advocates”, added David Erb, Director of Protect Our Winters Canada. “Having our logo on Canada Snowboard’s National Speed team’s uniforms is a fantastic way to bring awareness to our organization and the work of our ambassadors.” Promoting inclusion and diversity in the sport of snowboarding from the grassroots level, The Chill Foundation currently operates in two Canadian cities – Toronto, and Vancouver. Chill is breaking down participation barriers to snowboarding and boardsports for youth by providing equipment and access to lift tickets, helping to make snowboarding more accessible. “We’re excited to work together with members of Canada Snowboard’s national team and alumni to help spread the message of diversity and inclusion in snowboarding”, said Mandi Parkes, Community & Inclusion Manager at Chill Vancouver. “Collaborating closely with athletes and sport administrators will help provide Canadian Chill participants with additional opportunities to grow both as a person and within snowboarding. We are looking forward to broadcasting our message on a national and international stage and to continue to make snowboarding more accessible to all. ”
About Canada Snowboard
At Canada Snowboard, we believe that embracing the culture of snowboarding combined with a commitment to excellence is the foundation of who we are. Performance at the highest level comes from an athlete-focused approach to training, programs and coaching. Our athletes are amongst the best in the world, and our goal is to continue to provide them the means to achieve their goals.
Our members are our Provincial and Territorial Associations. They are the backbone of the competitive snowboard pathway. From a young rider’s first event, to joining a club, to progressing to the national team, our Provinces and Territories are key to developing our future high performance athletes. Our goal is to support our members to work together to provide the best possible system for competitive snowboarding on the planet. From coaches to officials, judges to events, sport development to high performance, creating strong alignment from coast to coast will allow us to offer the best possible experience to each participant from park to podium.
About The Chill Foundation Chill’s mission is to inspire youth to overcome challenges through board sports. The organization’s programs focus on six core-values: Respect, Courage, Patience, Persistence, Responsibility, and Pride. Chill serves 1,400 kids between the ages of 10 and 18-years-old each year in North America and has impacted almost 24,000 kids since it was started in 1995 by Jake and Donna Carpenter, owners of Burton Snowboards. The Foundation serves youth facing a multitude of challenges such as poverty, addiction, and mental health issues and gives them the chance to break boundaries and find their opportunities to be successful in life. More than that, Chill helps them look forward – to see beyond the circumstances of today and encourages them to focus on positive alternatives for the future.
Posted on: November 19th, 2018 by Protect Our Winters Canada
In the second installment of our Up-Close series, Kye Petersen talks to Anna Segal about growing up in the Sea to Sky, climate change in his backyard and rumours of a starting a new company. Photos credits to Athan Merrick and Jia Condon.
Fast facts: Professional skier, born in Whistler, currently living in Pemberton, BC
What’s your goal in being involved in Protect Our Winters Canada? My goal is to simply raise awareness of the world climate change crisis and in particular, our local British Columbian and Canadian large scale environmental issues that need to be fought in order to see change.
You were born and raised in the Sea to Sky and had more exposure to the mountains in this area than most locals twice your age. What are the biggest changes you’ve noticed in the mountains? That’s a hard question in the sense that there are so many changes it’s hard to say which is the biggest. The simplest and broadest answer is the disappearance of glacial ice and Névé snow.
We used to see large amounts of snow falling at a consistent rate throughout winter that would stack up. We now have large fluctuations in temps, cold and warm. Extended below seasonal temps with extreme winds from the north now continue for abnormally long periods and come more often. Additionally, we see even more extreme warm temps that arrive earlier than normal in spring. These high-pressure systems allow the mountains to melt and fall apart, allowing the snowpack to melt faster than normal.
All this tends to make our snowpack more dangerous and less consistent. By spring we used to see the snow go into an isotherm pattern (below freezing air temps at night and daytime sun that heats the surface above freezing). This allowed that snow from the winter to turn to fern snow over spring and summer, eventually morphing to glacial ice. However, more recently we’ve seen above freezing temps through spring and summer nights, which in turn allow the glaciers to recede faster than ever before.
One of the other larger changes that we’re seeing is that at low elevations in the valleys, where we always had snow as kids, now rarely retains snow that lasts throughout our ski season. With all these changes we basically see our spring and fall seasons disappear and we just have a winter season with sporadic swings of hot and cold temps that abruptly turns into summer. Then by mid summer the glaciers, peaks and forests are so dry that they cannot recover.
Summers are dryer to the point that we have fires in West Coast rainforests that have never ever burned before five years ago, and Falls that have extreme floods and ice storms we also never used to see. All in all ‘extreme weather’ is the phrase to use for these changes.
Last year we had a winter that many would describe as epic. Yet, this was followed by a summer of heat waves and devastating forest fires in the area. Do these weather patterns seem normal to you? No. Three years ago was the first time in my 29 years on this planet that we saw smoke from forest fires around the Coast. Every summer since then we’ve had almost a month that’s been so smoky you cannot even go for a bike ride. But as far as last winter season goes, I wouldn’t say it was epic…we had a big start and some large sporadic storms, but no consistency. We used to see one or maybe two arctic outflows, lasting for 3-4 days, that create cold, windy weather and facet the snow. But last year we had at least four arctic outflows and they stuck around for up to two weeks at a time. This made it really hard for the snow to bond to the steeps in the alpine. On top of that, our snowpack was below normal. The last couple years, regardless of the big dumps we have had, or snowpack depth, the snow melted early due to the first few high pressure systems in the spring. The last few good seasons I can remember, that reminded me of back in the day, were the winters of 2009/2010 and 2011/2012- those seasons were epic.
We used to ski powder snow on North faces right through April, May and even to June 1st, but more recently our big meltdowns are coming early in April when the first big high pressure cycle is now hitting. I think the biggest misconception with climate change is that it’s all warm; that’s wrong because it’s all extreme. For instance, we had one of the rainiest Septembers in history around my home, but we also had the driest August ever. As a young kid it would rain consistently throughout summer in Whistler, but not as much in a short period. And for winter as a kid we used to get a few long high pressures that would stay sunny and cold with a south wind, whereas now I can count on one had the sunny days we now get cold powder snow. It’s just extreme wet to extreme dry; extreme dumps to extreme droughts.
Have you made any lifestyle changes over the past 5 years that have been motivated by environmental sustainability? Yes, in many of the ways I live day to day. Mainly what I consume as food, how I travel and the materials I buy. For instance, I think more about where stuff is coming from and what is really necessary to own, or use, or abuse. Also, there are many things I’ve grown up doing, that some people that haven’t grow up in the mountains might not think about, like simply not over consuming, day to day reusing, recycling, rebuilding and leaving no trace while in the wilderness, etc. We all have a footprint and knowing what it is will help us each to decrease it. I’m constantly learning, evolving and supporting what is at the forefront of sustainability and renewable resources. None of us are perfect and there are many things in our lives that are bad for the environment. Some of these things we can easily change, some we can conspire to change going forward and then there are some that we just cannot get around. But, I think knowing what we can all change as individuals and just being conscious of that is what’s going to change the world, assuming the world does follow. The list goes on but consciousness of everything used and consumed, and what goes into it, is key.
Word on the street is you’re starting a new company. Has sustainability played a part in the manufacturing and materials you’re choosing to use? Yes very much so. It is still not public as to what kind of company I’m starting, but our motto is to ‘build the best product, implement new designs, shapes and materials in an effort to lessen our impact on the planet and improve the quality of ride on snow’. So first is to build the best product we can and then figure out how to do it with the least impact. We are a small group and a small company that aim to keep everything local.
When you choose to associate yourself with different brands as an ambassador or sponsored athlete, do your environmental ethics weigh in at all? Yes for sure, big time. Now more than ever because I can sort of afford to. But, at the same time I have to make a living. I don’t have any family money, formal education or other career to fall back on. So at times I’ve had to take cheques from brands that I don’t necessarily agree with in terms of how certain parts of their business is run. I’m trying to take this into my own hands so I have more control of it. That’s why I’ve been working with companies like Patagonia, whom I believe in strongly. Also, starting my own brands and film project are giving me more creative control, along with the control of our environmental footprint.
Posted on: November 1st, 2018 by Protect Our Winters Canada
We’re still riding the high from three packed out launch activations in three days including Toronto (x2) and Montreal! We were warmly and enthusiastically received by large crowds of outdoor enthusiasts wanting to mobilize to influence change.
A special thanks to our launch partners: MEC, Toronto Ski & Snowboard Show, Burton, Clif Bar, Salomon, Steam Whistle and Beau’s as well as our allstar crew of athlete amabassadors; Mike Douglas, Marie-France Roy, Greg Hill, Kelsey Serwa, Craig McMorris, Kim Vinet, Kim Lamarre and Alexi Godbout. Vancouver and Calgary, here we come!
Posted on: October 25th, 2018 by Protect Our Winters Canada
We’re excited to announce the dates for our official fall launch tour! Each party will follow a similar format; Introduction to POW Canada, Film Screening (Short Doc from MEC “Escape” and Feature Film from Salomon “Curve of Time”), Q&A session with athletes and………………….. a party!
We’ll have awesome giveaways, cool athletes, great refreshments, rad stickers & swag, plenty of stoke and lots of opportunities to get involved.
Please click on the image below to purchase tickets and for more information about each event.
Invite a friend and come join us! Tickets are $10 (link to purchase tickets will be available soon).
POW Canada Launch Event Parties
November 17, 2018 @ MEC Vancouver (130 W Broadway) from 5:30 – 8:30 pm with Athlete Ambassadors Mike Douglas, Marie-France Roy, Greg Hill, Chris Rubens, Craig McMorris, Mark Abma and many more.
November 18, 2018 @ MEC Calgary (830 10 Ave SW) from 5:30 – 8:30 pm with Athlete Ambassadors Mike Douglas, Marie-France Roy, Greg Hill, Chris Rubens
Please join us at one of the above events to celebrate the launch of POW Canada! For now, the most effective way to help is to join the movement!
Posted on: October 12th, 2018 by Protect Our Winters Canada
As the first of our “Up Close” athlete interview series, Anna Segal sits down with pro snowboarder Leanne Pelosi to give us an inside perspective on what fuels Leanne and why she’s passionate about being involved with POW Canada.
Fast facts: Professional snowboarder and film producer based in Whistler, BC.
Favourite place to ride? Whislter!
Favourite snowboarding snack? Maple salmon, hummus and crackers and obviously chocolate too.
When and how did you become involved in Protect Our Winters? When POW started up in the USA I hit them up to be apart of it. Not sure what the date was!
What’s the biggest lifestyle change for the environment you’ve made over the past 5 years? I have lived in a camper the last two years, so with that being said there’s less of everything that I need to live. I’m trying my hardest to be conscious of my consumer living… I’m trying to live more simply, buy less stuff and also buy supporting brands and food companies who use little packaging. I cannot believe how much packaging there is on everything. Buying local can reduce waste.
As someone who has been working (snowboarding and filming) in the Whistler backcountry for the past 10 years, what are the most significant changes you have noticed? I have noticed more backcountry users, more garbage (although people are usually pretty respectful out there), more erratic snow conditions and glaciers opening up. Lots of changes out there.
I heard there’s been a new addition to your family….? Is she going to come out riding with you Bella! My puppy. She will be coming out. I am doing my OPS 1 (avalanche operations level 1) course this year so maybe I can enrol her in an avalanche dog course. That would be my dream – to have her capable of helping others.
I’ve also heard that you’re building a home. Have you discovered any new technologies or building techniques that will enable it to be more sustainable? Yes, I’m building 2,400sq ft. cabins in Ucluelet, where we will be using local materials and wood from the land to build decks and pathways. We are only removing the trees on the land that need to be cleared for the buildings as well, keeping the natural state of the site is very important to me. Using good windows and insulation is key, and solar panels are something I would like to use. We will be doing water catchment as well for grey water, and technology that can adjust the heating when we are not there to minimize our energy use.
Any advice to snowboarders that want to get involved with taking positive action towards the environment? The more you immerse yourself into the outdoors the more you will realize how valuable it is and the more you will want to protect it. I think making conscious decisions with your wallet is your biggest voice. As well as getting on board with POW!
Posted on: September 22nd, 2018 by Protect Our Winters Canada
The rumours are true, Protect Our Winters is launching in Canada! For the past 10 months, we’ve been working hard to lay the foundation from which we, collectively, will build a strong and vibrant organization to address climate change in Canada! We need you!
We’ll work on behalf of the outdoor community (enthusiasts, professional athletes and industry brands) to take real action against climate change by turning our collective passion into a movement.
Our vision is to be the voice of the entire outdoor community in Canada including all silent sports (snowsports, biking, hiking, running, paddle sports etc.) for positive climate action.
As outdoor enthusiasts, we believe our love of adventure in beautiful and natures places
demands our participation in the fight to save them.
In the following days and weeks, we’ll share information for how to get involved including dates for our fall launch tour and the creation of regional chapters. For now, the most effective way to help is to join the movement!