To quote one reader’s message: “Hey, Ski Canada! The snow isn’t the only thing that’s all white on your pages!” No one disagrees. The more people can share, promote and feature the diversification of mountain sports, the better.
Together with his father, Stephen Beaudot learned to ski at Camp Fortune in Chelsea, Quebec, near Ottawa. Back then skiing for Stephen, now 20 years old, included fun school outings as well as with groups organized by his aunt where there were decidedly more black skiers. When he was old enough, he successfully completed his CSIA Level I and became the first “ski instructor of colour” at Camp Fortune. Stephen says he never felt discrimination, and through dedication and hard work from first to last chair, he improved his skills.
“It was fun breaking stereotypes actually!” Stephen laughs. “I even convinced my colleagues at a local restaurant to learn to ski, including a Syrian refugee who admits he would have never tried it but really enjoyed it. We need to share the joys of skiing.”
The lack of diversity in skiing is also something the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance (CSIA) is taking steps to change. “We want everyone to enjoy the slopes. It’s our goal to embrace all those communities that have been underrepresented in our organizations as instructors,” declares the CSIA’s official Diversity and Equality statement. The conversation has begun.