Kendall Robertson // PG Chamber of Commerce
In B.C.’s Northern Capital, it should come as no surprise that the local ski club is booming this season. In fact, the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club has about 1000 new members this year compared to the same time last year. This increase can be attributed to a few things: the COVID-19 pandemic, the club’s focus on creating new experiences for its guests, and the club’s commitment to giving back to the community.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought forward some unique challenges for the world-class Caledonia Nordic Ski Club this season as it was forced to cancel large scale competitions and reimagine past events. But with more than 55 kilometres of trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing, the club offers a safe way for residents to stay busy. “There’s a huge amount of space,” says general manager, Angela LeFebvre, “it’s not only great for physical distancing, but we’ve also got long operating hours that allow people to come out at times that work best for them.”
The club has been successful in creating new, COVID-friendly experiences that aim to keep Prince George residents healthy and entertained. For example, the popular Santa Ski was transformed from a one-day event to a more spread out, two-week scavenger hunt through the trails with holiday surprises hidden along the way. Not only that, but the brand-new Grand Tour of Caledonia (a weekly individual-led challenge tailored for all skill levels) is being extremely well-received. “It’s meant to be fun, [and] positive,” says LeFebvre, “I think these pieces are why we’re seeing the growth. We’re focusing on the person… on people’s experiences. We’re recognizing that we need to ensure a safe space.”
Thanks to the success of the season, the ski club is also offering a space for local nonprofits to fundraise free of charge. Hot Chocolate for a Cause runs every Saturday at Santa’s Cabin on the trails. Local nonprofits use the space to sell hot chocolate and other goodies and keep 100% of the proceeds. “We ourselves are a not-for-profit and we’re all about the community of Prince George… our focus is to create a healthy lifestyle through sport for life,” adds LeFebvre.
For more information about the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club and how you can enjoy the trails this winter, visit its website here.
About the author: After completing a Broadcast News diploma at SAIT in Calgary, Kendall worked in a small TV newsroom in Dawson Creek. She was delighted to move home in 2017 to work at the local TV news station, where she reported on a variety of stories that affect northern residents, anchored the evening program, and produced an hour-long documentary about the history and growth of Prince George called “This Place We Call Home.” Kendall is a huge supporter of all things local and enjoys working with business professionals in her role at the Chamber of Commerce.