Winter sports growing in popularity 

More people skiing and snowboarding

According to research by the Canadian Ski Council, more Canadians are skiing and snowboarding these days.

Led by an incredible snow season in Eastern Canada last season, there was an overall 2.2 per cent increase in the skier/snowboarder volume in 2000-01 over the previous year. In 1999-2000, over 17.4 million skier/rider visits were logged at Canadian ski areas. In 200-2001, that number grew to 17.8 million.

"It’s really good to see skiing and snowboarding participation rates healthy in this country," said Collin S. Chedore, president of the Canadian Ski Council, which announced its end-of-year figures on Oct. 29. "When it comes to winter activities, there’s no place like home."

With a near-record snow season, Quebec led the way with 6.8 million skier/rider visits, and a 20 per cent rise in participation.

Ontario, which was literally buried in snow compared to previous years, posted a 18.7 per cent increase in participation with 3.2 million skier/rider visits.

The Maritimes also saw significant increases in participation, with number growing by 25 per cent in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and PEI, and 31.2 per cent in Nova Scotia.

"It was an incredible winter for skiing and snowboarding in the eastern regions," says Chedore. "We can only hope for a repeat of good conditions again this season."

Conversely, numbers were down in Western Canada, which struggled through one of its worst winter droughts in years. Skier/rider participation in B.C. and the Yukon decreased by 11.5 per cent over the previous season. Alberta numbers were down a whopping 25.5 per cent, and numbers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, where the droughts continued well into the summer, were down 15 and 23 per cent respectively.

Participation Statistics

Skiers:

10 per cent of Canadians 12 years of age and over (2,620,000) downhill ski

14 per cent of Canadians are skiers and/or riders (3,633,000)

21 per cent of skiers/riders (515,000) are between the ages of 12 and 17, 19 per cent (503,000) are 18 to 24, 20 per cent (536,000) are 25 to 34, and 30 per cent (760,000) are 35 to 49.

Approximately 57 per cent of skiers/riders are male, and 68 per cent are English speaking.

Snowboarders:

Four per cent of Canadians 12 and over (1,013,00) snowboard, and over 76 per cent of boarders are between the ages of 12 and 24.

10 per cent of riders are between 35 and 49.

64 per cent of riders are male, and 64 per cent speak English.

Cross-Country Skiers:

Seven per cent of Canadians 12 and over (1,760,000) cross-country ski, almost half of which are between the ages of 25 and 49.

23 per cent of cross-country skiers are between the ages of 12 and 24.

48 per cent of skiers are male, and 68 per cent speak English.

The Canadian Ski Council used statistics from the Atlantic Ski Areas Association, the Quebec Ski Areas Association, the Ontario Snow Resorts Association, and the Canada West Ski Areas Association.

The full report is available at www.skicanada.org.

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