As the snow-line recedes, winter jackets and pants get washed and stored away while storage wax is applied to ski bases before their hibernation season begins. Skis are replaced with mountain bikes and golf clubs, and winter wear is switched out for shorts and t-shirts.
But while the majority of the population is focusing on all things summer, the world of winter still remains front and centre for HeliCat Canada (HCC).
As the trade association for the industry, HCC makes it a priority to support research programs, lead the education around current trends in safety and risk management, and overall to promote the continual improvement of the industry.
There were several key successes through the 2016-17 season and HCC is continuing to strengthen its relationship with stakeholders and government on a variety of important issues.
HeliCat has been working with government officials for more than a decade to establish best practices and procedures for outdoor operators to minimize their impact on species-at-risk. Conversations with government are intended to offer industry insight and perspective, to find collaborative ways to work together to protect species-at-risk. In February 2017, the BC Government announced a significant cash injection into a comprehensive caribou recovery plan — $27 million over three years. HeliCat looks forward to continuing the conversations and supporting this project.
HeliCat operator tenures overlay close to 10 per cent of the provincial land area; this terrain playing a vital role in BC’s ability to provide internationally renowned helicopter and snowcat skiing. This means there is an ongoing need for thoughtful and detailed conversations with government officials and other stakeholders on the land base. HCC continues to advocate for collaborative work between our sector, government, and many other stakeholders. Working together towards sustainable land-use and socio-economic benefits for all is a top priority.
The HeliCat industry hosts more than 110,000 skier days each year, representing more than 10 per cent of the $1.2 billion adventure tourism industry in BC. HCC’s 2016 socio-economic impact assessment also pointed out how the industry is drawing international clientele to rural areas of the province. The association will continue to update those numbers and work closely with government and tourism officials to promote positive benefits and win-win solutions for all.
Ongoing efforts by HeliCat Canada to stay connected and engaged with government, stakeholders and to support the continual improvement of the industry gives operations the confidence they need to focus on providing the ultimate, safe guest experience when the snow starts flying and ski season kicks off for 2018-19.