WHY would you want to help VASS achieve its mission of “Making the Mountains Accessible to All”? Here’s a quick 30 second video explaining our reasons. We change lives and you can see it happen seven days week, from January through March on our North Shore Vancouver Mountains.
One of the significant advantages of partnering with VASS is the opportunity to witness firsthand the profound impact of your contributions. VASS relies on a diverse funding model, encompassing mountain partnerships, corporate sponsorships, grants, individual donations, and fundraising initiatives, to sustain its operations entirely. Our expenditures primarily revolve around four key elements crucial to delivering our services: lift tickets, training, staff, and equipment
Lift tickets are generously covered through our valued mountain partnerships, and we extend our deep appreciation to Grouse Mountain, Cypress Mountain, and Mount Seymour for their ongoing support.
At VASS, we take immense pride in our commitment to instructor training, surpassing all other adaptive snow sports organizations in Canada in this regard. Each year, we train a significant number—over 100—of new CADS 1 ski or snowboard instructors. This is achieved through internal investment in our experienced Instructors and leadership team of Course Conductors. To uphold the highest standards and remain at the forefront of our sports, this team consistently participates in annual training conferences hosted by esteemed organizations such as Canadian Adaptive Snowsports (CADS), Canadian Ski Instructor Alliance (CSIA), Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors (CASI), Ski Spectacular in Denver, and Mt Hood Ski and Ride Summit in Oregon.
We maintain a highly efficient and streamlined team of paid staff, consisting of an executive director who also holds one of the highest instructor trainer certifications in Canada. Additionally, we have a part-time Controller and Administrative Assistant. In total, we have just three dedicated individuals steering the multitude of activities that encompass our operations.
Our adaptive equipment, crucial in assisting individuals with disabilities, stands as a testament to our commitment to excellence. Among our substantial investments are sit skis, each averaging around $8,000 in cost.
Excitingly, in the 2021/22 season, we proudly incorporated the Tetraski into our equipment fleet—the first of its kind in Canada. This revolutionary sit ski can be controlled through a joystick or sip-and-puff technology. To realize this endeavour, we forged a valuable partnership with a university in Utah, marking a significant milestone as it officially launched in the 2022 season (see photo below).
We continuously explore and seek out new technologies that can enhance mountain accessibility for everyone. Recently, we acquired an iSkiBike to assess its potential benefits for our students.
To learn more about how you can help support VASS click here.