Open Letter to Ski Community

Monday, 10 December, 2018

To members of the Inuvik ski community, Northern recreation leaders, and residents of the Town of Inuvik,

Our club would like to recognize the difficulties we are currently experiencing in our operations:

  • Low numbers of appropriately skilled volunteers;
  • Low numbers of program participants;
  • Insecure financial position and revenue streams;
  • Issues with coach/instructor development;
  • Events of theft and vandalism;
  • Issues with equipment and trail maintenance.

For these reasons, the club is struggling to meet demands and fulfil its obligations. These obligations are defined by our Objective:

The Association's objective shall be to promote, coordinate, and support cross-country-skiing, and to provide the Inuvik community with opportunities for growth, development and enjoyment through skiing, and to support other organizations that promote outdoor activities that complement skiing.

These issues have also made it difficult to maintain consistent communications with members, especially during the start of this season, and we are deeply sorry for failing to meet expectations. Despite a successful 50th Anniversary Top of the World Loppet celebration last spring, it is clear that our club does not currently have the capacity to offer consistent programming and services to its many users. Our small team of Board volunteers has had to make some tough decisions this past week that we hope will address the club’s problems in a holistic and sustainable way.

The club will suspend all services and activities until further notice. This will give us an opportunity to assess current problems and prepare for changes in the coming year. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Over the next two months (December 2018 - January 2019) we will analyze the club’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (a SWOT analysis). This analysis relies on the input of community members. Attached to this letter is an anonymous, online SWOT analysis survey which we encourage you to complete and share with others who may be interested. We are looking to have an honest and open discussion about the problems and potential solutions identified during the survey.

The current volunteer team is made up of individuals who are passionate about skiing, the outdoors, and community-building through recreation. We are confident in the ability of a ski club to have a positive impact on community wellness and individual health. We also recognize that the Inuvik Ski Club has a complex history in its ties to the residential school system. The club has operated as a primarily settler-run organization on Inuvialuit and Gwich’in traditional territories. Going forward, we would like to see a ski club that acknowledges its past and that is innovative and inclusive in its approach to community sport.

Please find attached the Inuvik Ski Club SWOT Analysis Survey, as well as the Volunteer Interest Form. For additional information on the club, please visit

Thank you in advance for your consideration of and contribution to this effort. As an all-volunteer organization, we are grateful to people for providing their skills, hard work and dedication -- past and present. We are hopeful for the future of our club!


Inuvik Ski Club Society Team

For more updates on club operations, see the Q&A with volunteer Holly, posted January 28th, 2019.