Cross-Country Skiing: Building Community in Canada’s North

Cross-Country Skiing: Building Community in Canada’s North

Boasting the world’s most northerly golf course, Ulukhaktok is a small hamlet on the west coast of Victoria Island, located in the Inuvik Region of the Northwest Territories.   “We’re fly-in only,’’ reports Bryan Stone, a teacher at Helen Kalvak Elihakvik school, and an avid cross-country skier. “Four hundred people, total. So, yeah, it definitely qualifies as a remote community.   “It can feel pretty isolated. I remember in my early high-school years,...
We All Belong on the Trails and No Skier Left Behind

We All Belong on the Trails and No Skier Left Behind

We All Belong on the Trails and No Skier Left Behind   The idea began to ferment in Donald Wright’s mind as far back as 2016.   “That year Fredericton received, as did many parts of the country, a lot of Syrian refugees,’’ recalls Wright, president of Wostawea Cross-Country Ski Club. “My daughter (Harriet) and I became a host family through an initiative called First Fredericton Friends.   “We adopted a Syrian family, the Albrdans, two parents and...
Hometown Hero: Alison Mackie Strides into Canada Winter Games with Edmonton in her Heart

Hometown Hero: Alison Mackie Strides into Canada Winter Games with Edmonton in her Heart

The ritual of heading over to Brio Bakery post-training-session for a slice or two of Todd Barraclough’s artisanal bread alongside he and wife Sian’s two daughters and fellow cross-country ski enthusiasts Annie and Ngaire is only one example of what makes cross-country skiing in her hometown so special for Alison Mackie. The understanding of the 17-year-old’s high school, Ross Sheppard, located in the northwest section of the city, allowing her to incorporate...
Hometown Hero – Martin Richer: Growing Cross-Country Skiing in Schoolyards through Coupe des Fondeurs

Hometown Hero – Martin Richer: Growing Cross-Country Skiing in Schoolyards through Coupe des Fondeurs

The size, the scope, of what he took on a quarter-century ago continues to astound Martin Richer. “Some parents,’’ he laughs, “joke to me: ‘Hey, Martin, you cost me a lot of money! “‘Since Coupe des Fondeurs, the whole family skis!’’ No offence taken. The teasing is wholly good-natured. Because everyone in town understands the three weekends of the Coupe des Fondeurs school-age cross-country ski races have become a staple of winter life in Saint-Jérôme, a city of...
Hometown Hero: Kevin Pettersen – Creating Nordic Magic in Prince George

Hometown Hero: Kevin Pettersen – Creating Nordic Magic in Prince George

It is closing in on 14 years since then-Caledonia president Doug Cadden tapped Kevin Pettersen on a shoulder, wondering if he’d be interested in joining the local Ski Club’s board of directors. “And I’m thinking: ‘This is the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of giants. The people who had built the Nordic Centre here in Prince George (B.C.) up,” Pettersen is reminiscing of that day in 2009. “I just thought: ‘If there’s any small thing, I can do to keep the...