Fundraising Fiesta | Skiing | CBC Sports

Fundraising Fiesta

Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 | 03:54 PM

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Canada's Kelly VanderBeek, centre, with B.C. Alpine athletes Ford Swette, left, and Broderick Thompson, right, at the Vancouver Gala. (Robert Kwong) Canada's Kelly VanderBeek, centre, with B.C. Alpine athletes Ford Swette, left, and Broderick Thompson, right, at the Vancouver Gala. (Robert Kwong)

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'Tis the season to...attend fundraisers. The tour of gala, media and dinner functions across Canada have neared completion as Canada's Alpine Ski team has gotten to meet, greet, and share a few drinks with some incredible people. The events have spanned from Montreal to Vancouver and will wrap up on the Nov. 21st in Calgary.

'Tis the season to...attend fundraisers.

The tour of gala, media and dinner functions across Canada have neared completion as Canada's Alpine Ski team has gotten to meet, greet, and share a few drinks with some incredible people. The events have spanned from Montreal to Vancouver and will wrap up on the Nov. 21st in Calgary.

This is a time to reconnect with our supporters, grass route programs, fans, volunteers and media. It's not only a vital time to raise funds for programs, it's also a time to reestablish and maintain relationships that keep our sport ticking here in Canada. The events started off in Toronto with Michael Landsberg introducing the team. It then moved onto Montreal where it's always a fun and fashionable event.  From there, Vancouver's gala is a more relaxing evening showcasing some great wine and fish.

This years' tour has also been a sort of coming out party for Alpine Canada its rebranding is now being showcased through their new logo, website, and imaging. We are all attune to the reality of this competitive market as sports compete for attention and sponsorship dollars.  It takes more than just an incredible sport, it takes a good brand.

I like the look of this "new" Alpine Canada and I'm hopeful it will help attract the attention this sport deserves. This will also lead to more successes like Erik Guay and John Kucera's world championship titles as well as countless World Cup podiums. Because, as the Vancouver Olympics proved, winning support creates winning results.

Cultural legacy

When ski racing is well represented I believe it can't help but win over fans and sponsorship dollars alike. This is a main stream extreme sport, with a winning cultural legacy here in Canada. 

As ACA works to support a winning program, athletes are left to find personal sponsors. Here too, branding and creativity are a must to help you stand out in a crowd. Mike Janyk (world championship bronze medallist in Slalom) has done a great job doing something I'd never seen before. Check out his video to see what I mean.

Currently our teams are spread out between Nakiska, Panorama, and Colorado doing final preparations for the season. After a solid start in Solden by Gagnon and Roy, I'm excited to see what awaits our team this year.

At the end of the day, everything goes towards helping create stars kids can look up to and our nation can proudly cheer for. As athletes, it's our job to be entertaining, fast and devoted - hopefully you'll tune in to enjoy the ride with us.

It'll begin in earnest next week as the Lake Louise, Alta., World Cups are officially ready to go - let the whirlwind begin!

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