Industry News

Just in time for the winter season, SnowSeekers releases its 2.0 smart phone application – a free digital concierge for 19 destinations across Alberta and British Columbia.

- Dec. 7, 2010

EDMONTON, ALBERTA — Over $150,000 has been invested by SnowSeekers in the past 12 months to bring snow seekers around the globe a smart phone application that unlocks the best of Western Canada’s winter destinations.

“Our focus groups told us they wanted all the bells and whistles in this app and that they wanted it for free. I am confident we are delivering on their request,” said Jim Barr (aka Doc Pow), president of SnowSeekers.  

“Last season the app acted as a digital guidebook, this new 2.0 version will be more of a digital concierge,” said Barr. “This year’s app really takes you by the hand and directs you to where you need to go and what you need to do in order to maximize your time in Western Canada. And that goes for both locals and international travellers.”

Major upgrades include:  

The guides are GPS sensitive delivering real-time information to the traveller as they are in X destination. It acts as a great pre-planner too as you can thumb through any of the destinations before even setting out.

A digital coupon book along with push notifications of exclusive offers. That push feature services powder hounds in a big way by delivering a message should the destination or destinations you follow receive over five cms of snow in the last 24 hours. “This note with a little alarm will land on your phone around 7 a.m., just in time to get you out of bed and into the POW,” says Barr.

A real-time heat map allowing travellers to check into their hot spot of choice, each destination featuring a comprehensive list of pubs, clubs and night spots.  “One of the big requests we had from our focus groups was the app should unlock special events and the hot locations in town,” explains Barr. Check-in to the location you are at or the location you are going to be so other travellers can look at the map and know “what’s hot.”  

Comprehensive guidebook listings –“We've invested over 800 man hours to develop shopping, accommodations, après, nightlife and dining directories for the 19 destinations represented in the app,” said Barr. Includes Google Maps, descriptions, phone numbers and web addresses.

Other features include current weather supplied by The Weather Network, snow conditions, a digital trail map and the app’s chocked full of locals’ tips.

Through the support of the Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures program and The National Research Council of Canada, SnowSeekers partnered with one of North America’s leading mobile application developers, Calgary-based Robots & Pencils, resulting in this free application for iPhone, iTouch, iPad, BlackBerry and Android set to launch in stages starting this month. The iPhone, iTouch and iPad version is available on the iTunes now.

Launched September 2009, SnowSeekers’ first entry into the mobile market, the 1.0 SnowSeekers Go-Guide iPhone app, was recognized by Digital Alberta as a finalist for “Best New App” in the province. However SnowSeekers, one of North America’s leading snow-minded new media companies, isn’t a company that rests on its laurels.

 “One of the reasons we’re so excited about this application is that it allowed us to work with Robots & Pencils and Michael Sikorsky,” said Barr. Sikorsky has been deemed an ‘Internet revolutionary’ by Profit magazine, and a ‘CEO to watch’ by CNN Money. 

In addition to speaking at conferences throughout the world, he has also spoken at Harvard Business School, MIT, and Stanford. Selected as the #4 best Web2.0 Company across Canada by Backbone Magazine and KPMG. Robots & Pencils continues to work with its clients to release apps reaching the top downloaded list the world over.

“What we’ve built here stands unique because of the thoughts on how to use mobile + social features with a self-server ad program, it all added up to brilliance for us,” said Sikorsky.

SnowSeekers and Robots are hell bent on offering the best snow-minded app on the market.

Who is SnowSeekers? 

SnowSeekers’ goal is to produce new-media efforts to further its community and produce exciting snow-minded content. That goal is achieved through quality content production and delivery on a variety of Alberta and British Columbia’s winter destinations across TV, online, smartphones and through its thriving on-line community.

Since launching in January of 2009, SnowSeekers has been acknowledged by the Alberta and Federal Governments as one of the country’s most innovative companies.

Contact:   Jim Barr (aka Doc Pow); President- SnowSeekers

780.983.9913 mobile

For additional details on the app please visit,



Three new members inducted into ski Hall of Fame

Canadians' Hans Niederhauser, Hugh Smythe, and Jimmie Spencer, have been named to the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame

– Feb. 10/10

OTTAWA, ON — Heinz Niederhauser, formerly of White Lake, Ontario, played a critically important role as a cross-country coach at all levels, from the early 1970s until his death in 2008, at age 72. He committed huge amounts of energy, most of it as a volunteer, coaching at the club, high school, divisional, provincial, national, and international levels. 

Among his many roles were cross-country Head Coach and Technical Director for the Canadian Snowsports Association, Master Coach for Cross Country Ontario, and founder and coach of the Pakenham Ski Club. Over the many years he devoted to excellence in cross-country skiing Heinz shaped the athletic careers of many members of Canada's National Team.

Hugh Smythe, of Whistler, BC, is a visionary in the ski development business. Starting out as a professional ski patroller at Whistler Mountain in 1966, he went on to become Mountain Manager there, President of Blackcomb, and as a senior executive at Intrawest, he was responsible for virtually all operations at some 10 major ski areas in Canada and the US. Winner of many awards, Hugh's skill and commitment to excellence has had a major impact in Canada and the US on the efficiency of ski lift operations, customer service, and on the number of active skiers.

Jimmie Spencer, of Vernon BC, has played a pivotal role in the growth of the ski industry in western Canada and throughout the country. As President of the Canada West Ski Areas Association for the last 30 years, he has harnessed the skills and other resources of ski areas in western Canada and made them globally competitive. His leadership in such areas as the development of codes of industry ethics, safety standards, responsibility codes, and college education programs in ski resort operations and management have been vital to the success of ski resort operations not only in the West, but also across Canada.

The Canadian Ski Hall of Fame, part of the Canadian Ski Museum, honours persons who have made distinguished and substantial contributions to the growth and development of the sport of snow skiing and snowboarding in Canada. The three new inductees will join some 150 other competitors, officials, coaches, trainers, instructors, and builders of the ski sport and industry who have been so honoured.

The Canadian Ski Museum's current plans are to hold an induction ceremony in 2011 for the above inductees and those that may be named later this year. The date and location of the ceremony will be announced later.



Discover a new way to stay active and have fun!

Pick up a discounted Discover Skiing, Snowboarding & Cross-Country Learn-to-ride Packages today!

Millions of Canadians everywhere know that the best way to spend the winter is on the slopes. Skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing aren't just fun and exhilarating sports but a great way to keep the whole family active and healthy. And if you ever wanted to give it a shot the Canadian Ski Council has you covered. Discover Skiing and Discover Snowboarding packages are now on sale at over 100 ski areas across Canada, giving everyone and easy and affordable way to try something different.

Jan Hudec, Lake Louise, 2007 Canada

If you are a first-time skier, snowboarder or cross-country skier visit one of the many participating ski areas coast to coast for amazing discounts on the Discover package. Your all-inclusive Discover Skiing and Discover packages give you everything you'll need; lift tickets, lessons and rental equipment. And if down hill isn't your thing - no worries - there is also all-inclusive Discover Cross-Country packages.

Packages start as low as $26 per person and include:

• A ticket for beginner lifts at ski areas and beginner trails at cross-country areas

• Rentals of ski, cross-country ski or snowboard equipment

• A one-hour group lesson from certified ski and snowboard instructors.

So what are you waiting for? Bundle up the kids and head for the closest hills. There is no better time to learn something new, stay active and most importantly have fun as a family. Pick up a Discover Learn-to-Ride package and discover a safe and affordable way to spend the winter.

Discover packages start from as low as $26 per person. Check your local ski areas as prices may vary.

For a complete list of participating ski areas visit the Canadian Ski Council's website at You can also call or visit your local ski area for more information on all-inclusive Discover Skiing, Discover Snowboarding and Discover Cross-Country packages. (In Quebec, these discounted programs are called Iniski and Inisurf)




This year trying something new is easier than ever

The 2010 National "Learn to Ski and Snowboard Week" kicks off Jan. 16 through Jan. 24

With the 2010 Olympics taking place in our very own backyard, soon everyone's eyes will be on the slopes. And rather than sitting at home thinking, "I wish I could do that", get out there and give it a try. Skiing and snowboarding is easier than you think and everyone can take a crake at it during this year's National Learn to Ski & Snowboard Week (NLSSW).

"National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Week is a celebration of winter, a Canadian tradition for over 30 years," said Colin Chedore, president of the Canadian Ski Council. "We want to encourage Canadians everyone to give winter sports a chance. Whether it's skiing, snowboarding, or cross country skiing, there is something for everyone."

Exciting and fun-filled events

This year's NLSSW runs from Jan. 16 to Jan. 24 and there are more activities than every. Bundle up the kiddies and visit your local ski area for free fun and exciting events including races, outdoor BBQs, on-snow concerts, jam sessions, halfpipes and Big Air competitions.

And while you are out there, take advantage of some of the great discounts being offered at many of the participating areas across Canada. In addition to discounts on lessons, during this week only they will be offering 50% off or "2 for 1" on packages that include beginner lift tickets, equipment rentals and beginner lessons. That's everything you need to be a part of Canada's most exciting and popular winter sports!

Ski areas across Canada

For more information on the National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Week along with a list of participating ski areas near you, visit the Canadian Ski Council's website at

This year try something different and join in on the fun!




Free skiing and snowboarding

Get outside, get active and save this season!

Pick up a Grade 4 or 5 SnowPass for your child and give them hundreds of reasons to stay active this winter.

Snow is on the ground and winter is here. Rather than staying inside this winter the Canadian Ski Council encourages you to get out and have fun hitting the slopes! Skiing and snowboarding are some of Canada's most popular winter sports and one of the best ways to stay active this winter. Once your kids feel the pride and exhilaration of zooming down the hills they won't want to stay home!

Some participating areas even offer a bonus grade 6 coupon that can be used next season - just another way we're keeping your grade 4 and 5 children out and active even longer! So this winter there is only one reason we should be finding you in front of the computer. Grade 4 & 5 SnowPass registration is now completely digital.

Just visit, complete the registration form, upload a photo, proof of age/grade and pay. Your child's very own SnowPass will be mailed straight to your door giving you hundreds of ways to save this season. Applications are open to anyone in grade 4 or 5 (or who was born in 1999-2000). With over 150 different participating ski/snowboard areas – 95 in the East (Ontario to Newfoundland) and 58 in the West (Manitoba to B.C) – everyone can take advantage of this amazing deal.

What's better than getting your child out and active this winter? The savings! The SnowPass program offers you hundreds of opportunities to get your children out of the house and onto the slopes!

Learn more about the Grade 4 and 5 SnowPass online at or You can also pick up an application form from your Child's grade 4 or 5 elementary school teachers or at Sport Mart, Sport Chek, Sports Experts, and Intersport stores Canada-wide. This year's program begins December 1, 2009.



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