VIMSS Spring Gala Poster 2015 – June 6, 2015

Annual Spring Gala Fundraising Event

Celebrate spring and help raise funds for VIMSS at the annual spring gala taking place at the Alpine Lodge, Mount Washington.  Purchase tickets for this fun evening of dinner and prizes by emailing  Thank you for your support!

Tragic Accident Claims the Life of Cole Anderson, a recent VIMSS grant recipient

Our sincere condolences and hearts go out to the Anderson family (parents Terry and Michelle and sister Nicola) and now mourn the loss of Cole Anderson, the young person who lost his life at such a young age.

For more information, please see the the dedication on the Mt. Washington Ski Club website.

Athlete Grants 2014/15

The following athletes were awarded VIMSS grants for Winter 2014/15:

  • Maja Nymann,  Alpine Skier
  • Cole Anderson, Alpine Skier
  • Ross Lamon, Cross Country Skier
  • Alec Stapff,  Cross Country Skier
  • Connor McGrady, Cross Country Skier
  • Madeleine Guimond, Cross Country Skier
  • Tallon Noble, Cross Country Skier
  • Clinton Wood

VIMSS AGM and Fundraiser – October 16, 2014

AGM and Fundraiser VIMSS Oct 16th 2014

Telus Grant provides Mountain Centre with Adventure Gear – July 2014

The Vancouver Island Mountain Centre has received a $2500 grant from the Telus Community Action Team aimed at using new technologies to enhance youth learning and empowerment.  The money will go towards new safety based technology such as beacons, GPS units and solar power sources for use in youth based programs.  This support is essential to ensure the low cost access to all of the programs at the Mountain Centre.

VIMSS Gala April 2014

Help raise funds at the annual spring gala this year taking place at the Comox Valley Curling Club.  Purchase tickets by emailing  Thank you for your support.

Athlete Grants 2013/14

The Vancouver Island Mountain Sports Society (VIMSS) has awarded six Vancouver Island athletes travel grants for the 2013/14 winter season. These grants help to offset the costs associated with traveling off-island for advanced training and competition. In this way, VIMSS seeks to nurture local emerging athletes and help prepare them for provincial, national and international competition.

The following athletes were awarded VIMSS grants for Winter 2013/14:

  • Teal Harle, Freestyle Ski, Campbell River
  • Mei Pond, Freestyle Ski, Nanaimo
  • Avalon Wastenays, Nordic Ski, Campbell River
  • Thomas Bergvinson, Slopestyle Snowboard, Courtenay
  • Mel Pemble, Para Alpine Ski, Victoria
  • Maja Nymann, Alpine Ski Racing, Campbell River

“These grants will especially be useful this winter season as the athletes have to travel even more this winter due to the lack of snowfall on Vancouver Island”, said VIMSS Chair Karen Bonell. “We wish all of the Vancouver Island athletes success in their competitions and training this season and I’m sure the Sochi Winter Olympics will help inspire everyone.”

VIMSS Grant Recipient Bios:

Teal Harle, Campbell River, Freestyle Ski

  • Teal is a member of the BC Freestyle Ski Development Team. He requested funding to help cover the costs associated with traveling to the Canadian Jr. Nationals in Quebec, and a Canadian Series Event in Ontario. Last year, Teal was selected for the Spirit Award in BC Freestyle. This award recognizes an athlete who not only performs well at competitions but also embodies the true spirit of freestyle, which includes giving back to the sport, encouraging others and demonstrating good sportsmanship.

Mei Pond, Nanaimo, Freestyle Ski, 14

  • Mei is a member of the BC Freestyle Ski Development Team and trains in both moguls and slopestyle. She is currently ranked 3rd female in BC overall in moguls. She is a dedicated athlete and will spend much of this winter training and traveling to competitions. Skiing is her passion and she hopes to someday make the National Team and to go to the Olympics.

Avalon Wasteneys, Nordic ski, Campbell River, 16

  • Avalon is a member of the Strathcona Nordics Ski Club. She travels to many competitions and consistently lands on the podium.  Recently she attended the BC Cup #2 in Kamloops where she earned a gold medal in classic technique racing. She trains year round and is looking forward to attending National Championships later this year.

Thomas Bergvinson, Courtenay, Snowboard, 14

  • Last year Thomas had several podium finishes at BC Series Slopestyle Events. In July he was invited to join the BC Snowboard Development Team, which requires him to travel to Vancouver or Whistler every weekend throughout the winter for training. His funds will also be used to help cover the costs associated with traveling to provincial level competitions at Big White and Mt. Seymour.

Mel Pemble, Victoria, Para Alpine Ski, 15

  • Mel is a member of the Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports. Last year she attended the Western Canadian Para Alpine Championships and won all golds. In August she was invited to join the BC Para Alpine Ski Development Team. Her grant money will help her reach her goal of attending all the BCPAST development camps and races and the BC Winter Games.

Maja Nymann, Campbell River, Alpine Ski, 16

  • Maja is a member of the Mount Washington Ski Club. She has been training and racing competitively for several years and has many medals to show for it. This winter, her grant money will help cover the cost of race fees and travel expenses for events such as Provincials in Prince George, Apex Can Ams and Apex Speed Camps.

Alpine Wine and Food Festival

Friday, August 9, 2013 from 6 to 9 pm at Raven Lodge.

All proceeds from the Wine Festival Silent Auction will benefit VIMSS.

VIMSS at the Races

Annual fundraising event at Mount Washington on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at 6 pm

Spring Fundraiser Poster 2013

Athlete Grants 2012/13

Eight Vancouver Island athletes who compete in mountain sports have been awarded travel grants by VIMSS to assist them with training and competition expenses for the upcoming 2013 season.

An example of the athletes funded this year is nordic skier Alex Stapff who requested assistance in order to qualify for the 2012 Provincial Championships in Prince George and the National Championships in Callaghan Valley, BC. He’s the captain of his team despite many of his teammates being older than him, and in addition to training, competing and helping with his club’s fundraising, Alec “helps little kids with race prep and coach racers and people interested in the sport who would like to stay with it and race when they are older. “

The following athletes received travel grants:
·     Thomas Bergvinson, Snowboard, Courtenay
·     Kole Harle, Alpine Ski, Campbell River
·     Max Heard, Freestyle Ski, Duncan
·     Riley Heard, Freestyle Ski, Duncan
·     Keegan McKooey, Alpine Ski, Cumberland
·      Alec Stapff, Nordic Ski, Campbell River
·      Avalon Wastenays, Nordic Ski, Campbell River
·     Jamie Wastenays, Nordic Ski, Campbell River            

“All funds raised help these dedicated athletes to offset the travel and competition costs that are the price of success,” said VIMSS Chair Karen Bonell. “We wish all of the Vancouver Island athletes success in their competitions and training this season and we thank our sponsors and supporters who continue to support our fundraising efforts.”

VIMSS Grant Recipient Bios

Thomas Bergvinson, Comox Valley, Snowboard, 13
·     Thomas had 4 podium finishes (one gold and 3 silver) in regional competitions last season. He credits his other activities (wakeboarding, trampoline and skateboarding) as contributing to his successes.

Kole Harle, Alpine Ski, Campbell River, 14
·      Following up a successful 2011 season where he sustained multiple podium finishes, Kole qualified for Can/Am Westerns and the Canadian team for the Whistler Cup competing against athletes several years older.

Riley Heard, Freestyle Ski, Duncan, 17
·      Riley brought home two bronze medals from the 2012 BC Winter Games, in single and double moguls and was third overall in the 2012 BC Freestyle Series

Max Heard, Freestyle Ski, Duncan, 20
·      Max had an outstanding run during the last two seasons with a gold and silver medals at the Canada Winter Games followed up with gold medals at two key national and Can-Am competitions.

Keegan McKooey, Alpine Ski, 13
·      Last season Keegan had strong finishes against competitors two or more years older than her, often finishing in the top third of the competition. An active volunteer in her community, she strives to be a role model for younger athletes in the club.

Alex Stapff, Campbell River, Nordic Ski, 16
·     Alex has raced for the past four years and won the Coastal Cup in 2011 at Mt. Washington; he is the captain of the team, helps with fundraisers, builds race courses for his club and assists with coaching younger skiers.

Avalon Wastenays, Nordic ski, Campbell River, 15
·     This past season Avalon consistently hit the podium with a Gold, 2 Silvers and a Bronze medal at various provincial competitions including BC Championships and BC Winter Games (both Silver).

Jamie Wastenays, Campbell River, Nordic Ski, 17
·   Jamie was 5th in the 2012 BC Championships in the 10K event and was 3rd in his age category at the 2012 Vancouver Island 30 km Loppet. When not racing he helps young racer with tips on technique and racing, showing them how to wax their skis, and making sure they are prepared for the workout/race.


Andrea Lee to ski at World Championships

Last weekend, Nordic ski racer (and  VIMSS funded athlete) Andrea Lee of Black Creek clocked the fastest time in the women’s under 23 Skiathlon event at the World Trials and earned a spot on the Canadian National U23 Team. Later this month, Lee heads to Liberec, Czech Republic for the World Under 23 Nordic ski championships.

Lee says, “I’m very excited to head to Liberec. This is my first time representing Canada (and the Strathcona Nordics) overseas, and I know it will be a phenomenal experience. My goal is enjoy the experience, learn lots, and ski as fast as I can!”

Lee’s home club is the Strathcona Nordic Ski Club, where she trained and raced throughout her teen years. Lee’s former coach, Dave Battison says, “It is fantastic that Andrea has made the National Team! I hope that this is the catalyst that takes her on to international success.”

The U23 World Championships are a week-long event with five races over nine days. Some of the best skiers in the world will be attending this event, including future World Cup and Olympic stars.

For the past two years, Lee has been training with the National Team Development Centre in Thunder Bay, Ont. while attending Lakehead University and working towards a degree in biology.

Of the messages she has been receiving from friends and family on the island, Lee says, “It feels so great to hear so many words of support and encouragement from people from the club and ski community on the Island. It’s extremely motivating to feel so much support even when I’m on the other side of the county. Thank you!”

You can follow Andrea on the National Team Development Centre website at

With files from the Comox Valley Record


VIMSS Membership Opportunity

Want a say in the Vancouver Mountain Sport Society? Become a Member! Membership entitles the member you to vote a VIMSS meetings and stand for office. It’s easy to get involved, click here to download a registration form.