With only 100 days to go before the FIS alpine season-opening World Cup races in Soelden, Austria, Alpine Canada is unveiling its plans to celebrate 100 years of Canadian ski racing history through the 2019-20 season.
Canadian ski racing officially began under the umbrella of the Canadian Amateur Ski Association, which was incorporated on Dec. 20, 1920. The 100th anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the country’s rich history and tradition of excellence in ski racing during both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.
“We wanted to create very special opportunities that allow the nation and the Canadian ski community to come together to recognize the past as well as honour our current generation of athletes who are representing the Maple Leaf in alpine, para-alpine, and ski cross competitions around the world,” said Vania Grandi, Alpine Canada’s CEO. “We’re inviting all Canadians, and the international ski community to join us in these celebrations.”
The 100th Anniversary celebrations will kick off in November with an opportunity for fans to meet this year’s national team athletes in person at fundraising galas in Toronto (Nov. 6) and Montreal (Nov. 7), where some of the sport’s most recognizable names will gather alongside the new crop of alpine, para-alpine, and ski cross athletes for an unforgettable evening that allows attendees to mingle with the best of the past and present of Canadian ski racing. Celebrating both high-performance and grassroots ski racing, the 2019 winners of the Audi Canadian Ski Racing Awards presented by Helly Hansen will be presented at the galas.
Canadian Alpine Ski Team alumnus and artist Patrick Biggs of Ottawa, Ont., is already hard at work to create a painting that will be auctioned at the November gala in Toronto. Pulling from his experience as a two-time Olympian and nine-year member of the national team, as well as his family’s deep roots in the sport, high-quality reprints of Biggs’ final piece will also be available for online purchase in limited quantities.
“I’m very honoured. Skiing has been such an important part of my life, and it runs deep through multiple generations of my family that have developed this love for skiing,” said Biggs who traces his family’s passion for the sport back to his grandparents. “I think skiing is so important and being able to celebrate that and contribute by bringing a spotlight on some of these incredible people who were part of shaping that history is really cool.”
In Western Canada, exclusive VIP ski experiences are being developed to allow Canadians an opportunity to get an up-close and unique view of the World Cup race action at the Lake Louise Winterstart Audi FIS Alpine speed races, and at the Audi FIS Freestyle Ski Cross World Cup’s Canadian stop at Nakiska. Three levels of packages – gold, silver, and bronze – are available for purchase and include lift tickets, course tours, and VIP viewing areas along with special access to team meet-and-greet events and the bib draw.
Commemorating both Canada’s ski racing centennial and the 10th Anniversary of the last Olympic and Paralympic Games hosted on Canadian snow, Whistler, B.C., will play host to an intimate celebratory dinner with 2010 medallists such as Ashleigh McIvor and Lauren Woolstencroft. Full event packages for the exclusive weekend include accommodation at the Fairmont Whistler, lift tickets to the world-famous Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort, and special gift packages.
Packages will be developed for this season’s combined alpine and ski cross Canadian championships in Panorama, B.C., in the spring of 2020. Canada’s national team alpine and ski cross athletes will head to Beautiful British Columbia to close out the 2019-20 season and vie for national titles alongside the up-and-coming crop of provincial racers looking to make their mark on the nation’s ski racing community, providing an excellent opportunity for fans to see this year’s World Cup heroes in action and catch a glimpse at the nation’s prospects in the sport.
All net proceeds from the two gala events, artwork sales, and all VIP packages will go towards supporting Canada’s national team programs.