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Foreign Workers at Canadian Resorts...

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Having been surprised by the responses to the Foreign Workers at US Resorts thread (http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=26699) I thought I'd ask and see what the view is on the other side of the border.

So, what do you have to say about the foreigners working at Canadian resorts?

post #2 of 21
I've always appreciated the cosmopolitan flavor of both staff & clientele at the Canadian ski resorts I've had the pleasure of visiting.

The Statue of Liberty's message notwithstanding, Canada seems, at this point in world history, to be a far more welcoming, less xenophobic country than its southern neighbor (yes, I know that's a blanket generalization-- still, it's not for nothing that websites like the following got a lot of attention after the 2004 US elections:
http://www.stepbystepimmigrationcanada.com/
post #3 of 21
It's the commonwealth right! People from the commonwealth all over the world get special treatment to travel and work. In return Canadians can go there as well. Americans can not easily be lifties in Canada. They (the RCMP) keep an eye on us and check to see how long we are staying.

I used to live at Whistler back in the old days and even then they were strict. The cops did not like my NY plates! I got my landed immigrant status so then I was OK.

They are much tougher that the US imo.
post #4 of 21
When I we were at Red Mountain almost all the people we met working at the resort were from Australia with a smattering from other Commonwealth counties. That's fitting since Australian were more common than Canadians and Yanks on the slopes.
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchool
So, [b]what do you have to say about the foreigners working at Canadian resorts?
I say that it's Canada's business, not mine. There sure are a lot of them, though.
post #6 of 21
"at this point in world history, to be a far more welcoming, less xenophobic country than its southern neighbor (yes, I know that's a blanket"
-probably to make up for all the Canadians moving to the USA to get a way from our punitive tax laws. Our fed government will accept anybody in the off chance they will become a taxpayer and vote Lieberal.
-most Canadians of liftee/service age are too busy trying to get to Thailand/Australia/Costa Rica/anywhere warm before they go to school to join the huddled masses. Plus that same Canadian kid has probably spent enough time standing around in winter waiting for the school bus to want to do the same thing with a chairlift.
-Canadian resorts pay crapola(except Kimberley I think because it's unionized) to be taken as a career choice but for a transient worker on their way around the world it's probably enough for dope and beer.
post #7 of 21
A lot of New Zealanders work at Canadian areas, and the Canadains come work at our areas - work visas are easier, I believe, because we are all part of the Commonwealth. If you are under 28 it is reasonably easy for a New Zealander or an Aussie to work for in Canada winter.

Some areas have close ties with a specific area, for example, Craigieburn and Sunshine have a relationship for staff sharing. Several Craigieburn staff work at Sunshine every NZ summer, and several Sunshiners come to Craigieburn each year.

It can't be too hard for NZ'ers to work in the US ski areas either cause the ski areas come to NZ every winter down under and recruit students for the following northern winter. Our summer university (Dec/Jan/Feb) break coincides with your winter. The reason I heard that they recruit down under is that no locals want to do the work for the low pay offered. When our dollar was worth a measly 40 cents USD it made it an attractive holiday job but now it is over 70 cents, it won't be so enticing for the students as any money they bring home won't go far. But then a lot just go to mix travel and holiday work.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by julie from nz

Some areas have close ties with a specific area, for example, Craigieburn and Sunshine have a relationship for staff sharing. Several Craigieburn staff work at Sunshine every NZ summer, and several Sunshiners come to Craigieburn each year.
Interesting; didn't know that!

Quote:
When our dollar was worth a measly 40 cents USD it made it an attractive holiday job but now it is over 70 cents, it won't be so enticing for the students as any money they bring home won't go far.
The weakening US dollar is likely to bring about a number of unanticipated changes in the global ski-scape.... <sigh>
post #9 of 21
Too many bloody Australians in Canastralia ..... maaaattteee!!!

I think its the wet snow & rain that attracts them.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by philay
Too many bloody Australians in Canastralia ..... maaaattteee!!!

I think its the wet snow & rain that attracts them.
I would have guessed the reasons to be the beer and women from Quebec.
Not necessarily in that order.
post #11 of 21
I can't complain. All of the commonwealth girls are so friendly to me when I go to Whistler, I go often and stay long.
post #12 of 21
Been lurking for while & have decided to provide my comments, given I have been one of those 'foreigners'.

I worked at Big White in BC back in 93/94. I did it after finishing Uni & before returning to the real world. As previously mentioned most Commonwealth countries have (limited) working visa agreements. At the time we could travel & work in Canada up to 12 months as long as we were under 30. I enjoyed the experience, both from a skiing, and 'life' perspective.

Many of my friends & family have worked in the UK, where similar visa arrangements exist. As a consequence, my group of friends have married Canadians, Americans & Poms and we're becoming quite an international community.

It's a right of passage for some to leave Oz & work & travel the world. Given we're so far away from a lot of places, it's a great opportunity when we're young to get out & see the world.

The appeal of Canada for Aussies is the snow & mountains, both, typically, being better & bigger than anything here in Oz, and the somewhat ease of working there.
I now have to work out how to get a job in Vancouver or Interior BC, ski more, and support the family ....
post #13 of 21
The commonwealth working visa is for those under 30 (grrr)... and a funny offshoot is that it makes it quite tricky to get a sponsored work visa if you are over 30 and haven't worked there before.
Seems a very user-friendly system for the under 30 folk however, especiallly for the "year out" that most commonwealth countries do (the year in between leaving school and doing something serious like uni).
post #14 of 21
When we were at Whistler the SuperBowl Coincided with Aussi day which was quite a party considering how many Aussies worked on the mountain. I loved the party call, Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oih oih oih!
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyP
I now have to work out how to get a job in Vancouver or Interior BC, ski more, and support the family ....
Be warned:
Vancouver might be the most beautiful city in the world, but it isn't much socially.

If you have Aussie comrades here in Vancouver, you should have a decent social time. There are Aussies here - I live close to an Aussie social club (all welcome, of course!)...but without friends already here, it can be tough.

It might be due to the UK and Hong Kong influences (both stand-offish cultures), or to the fact that it is pretty small, or something else - whatever it is, it's enough of a 'thing' that it is one othe things my wife and I consider most seriously now that we are deciding where to settle.

Calgary is closer to more great ski resorts, and the people are very friendly, and while it might not be like living in a stunning garden (Vancouver) Calgary (photo below) is plenty pretty, with all those bridges and the mountains in the distance...


Vancouver real estate is pricey: West End and West Side average more than $650,000 for a single detached bungalow, EastSide ("the other side of the tracks") is over $450,00.
post #16 of 21
I have not been to Whistler in about 5-6 years but went there 4 times in 10 years before that (see what marriage, child and carreer can do, do real skiers have real jobs?). There were plenty of Aussie's there and all seemed friendly. My first time at Whistler at the end of the day we skied to a point that we had to take a cat track for a long way to the other runs. We were quite a ways from a lift that just closed looking at a map to see if there were any other options and a lift op walked all the way to us to ask if we needed and help. That was amazing, especially since I skied Squaw frequently then (they have improved a lot) and there is no way that would happen there and you would have been lucky to get an answer if you asked.

My wife is a Canadian citizen and she did a work exchange to Australia for six months and loved it there.
post #17 of 21
Thanks for the advice Old School.

I'm not too keen on Calgary, as I've lived in Alberta previously, in Fort Saskatchewan (hope I spelled it correctly) just outside of Edmonton. I like the idea of being able to go outside in winter. This was way back in 1982 mind you...

Housing prices here in Melbourne, and Sydney, are also quite ridiculous (over priced) at present, although have stabilised over the past 2 years.

My friends in London have found getting to know locals quite a challenge. It seems the expats all hang out together, and rarely mingle with the locals. But you hang around a place long enough.

I just like the idea of living in a major city with ski fields viewable from the cbd! The nearest decent hill to melbourne is Mt Buller which is a 3 hour drive.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchool
Be warned:
Vancouver might be the most beautiful city in the world, but it isn't much socially.

If you have Aussie comrades here in Vancouver, you should have a decent social time. There are Aussies here - I live close to an Aussie social club (all welcome, of course!)...but without friends already here, it can be tough.

It might be due to the UK and Hong Kong influences (both stand-offish cultures), or to the fact that it is pretty small, or something else - whatever it is, it's enough of a 'thing' that it is one othe things my wife and I consider most seriously now that we are deciding where to settle.

Calgary is closer to more great ski resorts, and the people are very friendly, and while it might not be like living in a stunning garden (Vancouver) Calgary (photo below) is plenty pretty, with all those bridges and the mountains in the distance...


Vancouver real estate is pricey: West End and West Side average more than $650,000 for a single detached bungalow, EastSide ("the other side of the tracks") is over $450,00.

Gack!!!!

What a nice picture of a beautiful town.

The weather is better in Calgary isn't it?
post #19 of 21

The view from Calgary

Nice picture, that's what I get up to every morning (except since I live on the west side of town there are no unsightly skyscrapers between me and the mountains). 45 minutes to the mountains, 90 minutes from my doorstep to the gondola at Sunshine (including putting on equipment, bathroom break, and grabbing breakfast to go at the base).

It's a tough life!

You have my sympathy MattyP. Fort Saskatchewan is the location of some major oil refineries just downwind of Edmonton. On the bright side there is a bus to Sunshine from Edmonton, you just have to get up at 4:00 am to catch it.

Listening to the conversations in the gondola on the way up the mountain I've noticed that a lot of our guest workers from down under appear to be staying a little bit longer than the one year. Must be something about that view (which is even better when you're in the mountains).
post #20 of 21
As all resorts strive to and inevitably attrace visitors from around the world, would not they attract employees that reflect that?
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by okolepuka
What a nice picture of a beautiful town.

The weather is better in Calgary isn't it?
No, Vancouver has the warmest weather of the Canadian cities close to serious ski resorts. Victoria is warmer and beautiful, but on Vancouver Island.

Vancouver: city is like the Garden of Eden vegetation-wise, warm weather, dark dark warm winters, Whistler, Big White, Silver Star, Sun Peaks...not to mention Cypress Bowl, Grouse, and Seymour I can see all three out my window - they're that close.

Calgary: pretty city, interesting weather (chinooks!), sunny winters, friendly people, Lake Louise, Sunshine, Kicking Horse, Fernie, etc.

Montreal: great and unique city, great life, cold but gorgeous white winters, Tremblant, Le Massif, Jay Peak, Killington, Mad River Glen, Tuckerman's, Stowe, etc.

Toronto: great for banking and stuff.
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