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Posted: February 19, 2021

Snow science conference cancelled

Letter to the Editor

After careful deliberation, the International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW) 2020 organization has made the incredibly difficult decision to cancel the ISSW conference planned for October 3-8 (2021), in Fernie.

A year ago, due to the many uncertainties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, a decision was made to postpone the event from 2020 to 2021. Our commitment to the snow science community has never wavered, but the health and safety of the conference delegates, our event volunteers, and our host community has always been and continues to be a top priority.

To say we are disappointed is an understatement. However, we are proud of what we accomplished through these challenging times.

In the fall of 2020 – in partnership with Avalanche Canada – we hosted the first ever Virtual Snow Science Workshop, a very successful online conference with close to 1200 participants. The recorded sessions continue to receive thousands of views each month. In the face of uncertainty, we hosted a successful event that recognized the importance of the industry, our partners and sponsors.

Planning for ISSW 2020 began late in 2015, with thousands of volunteer hours since dedicated to the conference. As a non-profit organization, none of this would have been possible without the committed and dedicated support of individuals and organizations. We acknowledge and extend our deepest gratitude to all:

  • Numerous sponsors, including Presenting Sponsor C-I-L Explosives; National Supporting Sponsor Teck; and Supporting Sponsor MND Group.
  • Our steadfast volunteers (local and afar).
  • Committed local organizations & businesses including Tourism Fernie; Fernie Chamber of Commerce; Fernie Alpine Resort; and the City of Fernie.
  • Industry agencies including Avalanche Canada; Canadian Avalanche Association; Columbia Basin Trust; Community Futures East Kootenay.
  • And many others that contributed in a variety of ways.

And finally, many thanks to the ISSW Steering Committee, for putting your faith in a small mountain community, driven to provide a uniquely grassroots experience all under the roof of a good ol’ Canadian hockey arena.

It’s time to pass the torch and we look forward to our paths crossing again at the future ISSW in Bend, Oregon.

Elk Valley Snow and Avalanche Society Board of Directors

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