BC Provincial Emergency Program

BC PEP has been a long time supporter of frontline avalanche safety operations in Canada.  Through their Organized Avalanche Responder course for volunteer SAR groups across BC to their continued support for new initiatives of the CAA, BC PEP plays a key roll in the CAA’s ability to provide programs and services for frontline avalanche safety programs in Canada.

Significant contributions of the B.C. Provincial Emergency Program include:

  • Elimination of provincial sales tax on avalanche safety equipment such as transceivers, shovels, probes and Avalung®.
  • PEP emergency funding for “Special Avalanche Warnings” during high risk periods of the winter when conditions are changing rapidly.
  • Enhanced cooperation between PEP staff and volunteers and other organizations involved in avalanche safety initiatives
  • PEP presentations at Canadian Avalanche Association public and technical meetings.
  • PEP representatives serving on steering committees for ongoing avalanche R&D projects.
  • PEP / CAC collaboration to deliver avalanche awareness programs for youth in communities across BC.

Association of Canadian Mountain Guides

The  Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) was formed in 1963 to train and  represent professional mountain guides in Canada. In 1972, the ACMG became the  first non European member of the International Federation of Mountain Guides  Associations (IFMGA), the international body that sets professional standards  for mountain guides worldwide. The ACMG currently has over 550 members.
ACMG  Mountain and Ski Guides spend a great deal of the winter doing snowpack  observations during the course of their daily work lives. Many avalanche  course instructors are ACMG certified and many ACMG guides contribute their  field-developed expertise to a wide variety of industry applications. In these  ways, the ACMG supports the CAA mission of bringing the avalanche community  together to develop knowledge and understanding of avalanches, facilitating  communication, promoting industry professionalism and providing quality  avalanche education.

National Search and Rescue Secretariat

The National Search and Rescue Secretariat (NSS) is an independent agency of government, reporting to the Lead Minister for Search and Rescue (the Minister of National Defense).The NSS was established in 1986 to support and promote the activities of the National SAR Program (NSP) as a means to achieve highly effective and economically responsible search and rescue programs throughout Canada.

In 1988 the New SAR Initiatives Fund (NIF) was established by the federal government. Managed by the NSS, NIF provides annual funding for new projects or initiatives that will improve the National Search and Rescue Program. Since 1991, NIF has provided over $3 million of research and development funding for avalanche safety projects.

Significant contributions by the National Search and Rescue Secretariat include:

Parks Canada

Parks Canada’s proud history of leadership in avalanche safety for Canadians stretches back for more than fifty years. Highlights include development of the avalanche control programs for the Trans-Canada Highway through Rogers Pass and Kicking Horse Pass, for Highway 93 from Radium to Jasper, and for the Sunshine ski area access road. Parks Canada pioneered avalanche control programs for all national park ski areas, and started Canada’s first public avalanche bulletin service in 1981.


TECTERRA is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to contribute to economic growth across Canada by investing in and supporting the development and commercialization of geomatics technology for integrated resource management and other geospatial applications. Our objectives are to generate a positive impact on the economic activity, the job market, the infrastructure and ultimately the prosperity and well-being of Canadians. We also work to facilitate and enable the development of geomatics technology tools that will be used to help save lives and bring positive impact to the management of our resources in the province and across the country.

TECTERRA is leading the development of a geospatial toolkit for use by avalanche safety professionals, industrial avalanche risk management, and public forecasters. The toolkit, called Spatial Avalanche Forecasting Environment (SAFE), will be a geographically referenced, database driven, and interactive software package that will allow visualization of, and interaction with, multiple layers of data and will be used to support strong, safe decision making.

HeliCat Canada

HeliCat Canada is a membership based association for organizations involved in commercial mechanized backcountry skiing operations.  Many of their members are subscribers to the CAA’s InfoEx Program and require their staff to go through the Avalanche Operations Level 1 and 2 programs of the CAA’s Industry Training Program. 

History of HeliCat Canada

Helicopter and Snowcat Skiing evolved in the 1960s. It is an extension of alpine ski touring, which uses a helicopter or snowcat instead of climbing skins and muscle power as the mode of uphill transportation. Since its inception, Helicopter and Snowcat Skiing have earned a reputation worldwide as the most exciting and challenging form of recreational skiing. It joins mining and logging, transportation as one of the few industries to operate in remote mountain regions during the winter months, but exerts minimal environmental impact.

Helicopter and Snowcat Skiing operations cover a large area. As various operators started their businesses, a natural partitioning of the BC mountain areas occurred. This was dictated by geographical and logistical considerations and a gentleman's agreement.
In 1978, the operators formed the British Columbia Helicopter and Snowcat Skiing Operators Association BCHSSOA to define standards and operating guidelines. One of the accomplishments of the association was the allocation of a run-based license of occupation in 1983 for a ten-year period. Most of these licenses have since been rolled over into an area-based tenure and renewed for an additional 20-year period.

The Association name was changed from the (BCHSSOA) to HeliCat Canada in October 2005.

Backcountry Lodges of British Columbia Association

The Backcountry Lodges of British Columbia Association (BLBCA) represents 28 backcountry lodges located throughout the major mountain ranges of B.C.  Our member lodges offer guests access to some of the most scenic and remote mountain environments in the world, all from the comfort and safety of a cozy mountain lodge. In the winter the bottomless powder, acres of untouched terrain and lack of crowds offer guests some of the best skiing and snowboarding on the planet.  In the summer, jaw-dropping mountain scenery, alpine meadows brimming with wildflowers and a diversity of wildlife viewing provide a Canadian wilderness experience like no other. Please visit our website for more information:

Canada West Ski Areas Association

Canada West Ski Areas Association is the representative body for the ski areas and heli and snowcat operations of British Columbia and Yukon, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

CWSAA Mission
To develop, coordinate and vigorously promote superior programs that educate and enhance the well-being of the ski industry and its individual members. This will be accomplished by:

  • maintaining a strong working relationship and promoting the legitimate interests and co-operation between all Ski Area Operators, Industry Suppliers and all levels of Government;
  • fostering the highest standards in operating procedures, education and skiing/snowboarding safety;
  • maintaining and promoting the proper utilization of resources, as stewards of the land, to meet the requirements of all Environmental Acts and the skiing public.

In doing so we will encourage and aid our members in striving to provide the best possible skiing and boarding experience in the world.