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  1. #1
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    Job help in Canada (Alberta or BC).

    Hi all,

    Moving to Canada soon for a year (maybe more if it all goes well). I've booked my flight for Calgary on Sept 21st, going to be staying there the first few nights. I would like to get a job there, or in a small mountain resort in somewhere like Canmore, which I would prefer. What is the job sittuation like out there at the moment? Will I struggle getting a job in either area?

    The area I'd like to work in is the ski, bike, or general outdoor sports area. I'm a qualified ski instructor and I've also planned to do a ski technician and boot fitting course before i go away. Hopefully I will have the first level in the Mountain Bike Leader Awards by then as well. I also hold an emergency first responder cert which I think could be relevant with these jobs.

    I don't know anyone in Alberta, so that could make things harder job wise.

    (I should probably say I would be happy to change my flights to Vancouver if there is better job options there and the surrounding area).

    If anyone could offer any advice or help that would help me a lot.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Damitletsride!; 08-16-2011 at 12:08 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Have you sorted out your work permit in advance? You'll need that to get any sort of employment

    http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/informa...tions/work.asp
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  3. #3
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    Yeah I have my work permit sorted thanks.
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  4. #4
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    At least that's a bit easier if you're a member of the Commonwealth, you're good for the hunt.

    Alberta's economy is going pretty well right now, the cost of living is still about 20% lower in the peak popularity areas in Alberta compared to the recreation areas in Central BC and the Lower Mainland or Whistler. The Banff, Canmore, Nakiska and Lake Louise area is where you'd want to look in Alberta, as you get further north into Jasper the winter tends to be bit more unrelenting.

    In BC you'll be competing with hundreds (thousands?) of Aussies for jobs in and around ski resorts or resort towns, but you do have three local ski mountains in North Vancouver, you have Whistler where everyone looks and a huge whack of ski hills in the south and central interior of BC so there's more choices for skiing.

    You're likely going to want to do online searches through the Alberta and BC ski resorts to make job applications now as many are likely lining up their winter staff right now. The bike/ski shops don't usually have huge seasonal swings in staff count so they aren't as far out in front of the season, they'll make decisions as the summer/winter weather develops.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

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    Jobs are easy to find in Canmore but the cost of living is high. A business in Canmore does not have to provide staff accomadtion. In Banff staff accomadation is a requirement for a business. Pay is not great in Canmore unless you can provide suitable expertise. As stated earlier by rocky, if your looking for a ski job start sending out the resumes.

    The bike shops do not change staffing levels during the ski season. Also you might want to try a number of the helisking companies such as CMH, Mica....They all had good seasons last year and are looking to improve this year.

  6. #6
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    Thanks, although i'm not sure if my ski instructor qualification is high enough to work with a heli ski company.

    Good to know jobs are easy to find in Canmore, its one of the main places on my list. Accom might be a problem though as you mention.
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    I think Canmore has subsidized housing for people who are employed in the area.

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    the mountains will not have many jobs until Nov 1 at best, or mid Dec really. The issues is accom fills up fast. in banff or canmore, no job HAVE to come with acc'm but some do. worth not having your job and acc'm from the same person, loose one, and you have lost the other...

    fall can be a great time to hike, bike etc. but just dont count on a first paycheck until early dec at best...
    good ski/bike deals at www.mntlion.com

    My life is better than your vacation.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damitletsride! View Post
    Hi all,

    Moving to Canada soon for a year (maybe more if it all goes well). I've booked my flight for Calgary on Sept 21st, going to be staying there the first few nights. I would like to get a job there, or in a small mountain resort in somewhere like Canmore, which I would prefer. What is the job sittuation like out there at the moment? Will I struggle getting a job in either area?

    The area I'd like to work in is the ski, bike, or general outdoor sports area. I'm a qualified ski instructor and I've also planned to do a ski technician and boot fitting course before i go away. Hopefully I will have the first level in the Mountain Bike Leader Awards by then as well. I also hold an emergency first responder cert which I think could be relevant with these jobs.

    I don't know anyone in Alberta, so that could make things harder job wise.

    (I should probably say I would be happy to change my flights to Vancouver if there is better job options there and the surrounding area).

    If anyone could offer any advice or help that would help me a lot.

    Thanks.
    I haven't lived in AB for years, but my last 3 years were spent in Banff/LL. I had an amazing time, awesome memories. There are always jobs in Banff if you're willing to work anything. Restaurants and bars and hotels are always on the lookout for staff as it's a pretty transient population. If you want a job instructing, key is get to know the guy who runs the ski school if possible. I got lucky my first year hunting for a job instructing at LL bumping into the director of the snowboard school on the lift and sharing a smoke break with him. Acomodation, like the others mentioned is hard to find and expensive when you do. Back in '94, I lived in a laundry room for a few months and paid $450/month for the privilege. Man, I miss the AB Rockies. I envy you, you're gonna have such a good time you just might never leave.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1+1 View Post
    I envy you, you're gonna have such a good time you just might never leave.
    Thats the plan anyway! I'm hoping to find some kind of job that will let me get a work permit, if i like the place of course.
    So accom in Banff sounds expensive, but on the other hand, accom that companys provide with the job might not be suitable for a road bike and turbo trainer. Ive seen pics of rooms with two bunk-beds and very little floor space.
    My own accom might be best, if i can find some thats not too expensive.

    Nice one at getting the instructing job! Ive emailled a few resorts in AB with no reply back, regarding ticket attendent jobs, lift attendent, pot washer, pretty much everything!
    "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional"

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  11. #11
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    Yep Banff is expensive. If your really keen an Banff Try Brewster Brewster Travel Canada I Vacations & Tours in Canada I Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies. I've never worked there but know plenty that have. If you get in early they'll provide accommodation, plus perks.

    In the early 2000's I done what your going to do and yep, I'm now living in Vancouver (now married to a Canadian). On my first trip to Canada I tried to land jobs before I arrived but found it a lot easier once I got to my destination. And the fact your going to get there early season should position you well for opportunities/ accommodation. If your into the small town thing I highly recommend Fernie BC. Good job/accom opportunity, especially if you arrive in September, and the MTBing and snow is epic!! The resort is about a 5 min drive from town and very easily accessible, so when the mountain has a huge dump of the white stuff that certainly makes things easier.
    Last edited by bigcrs; 08-08-2011 at 03:04 PM. Reason: half asleep

  12. #12
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    bigcrs, what job did you find that allowed you to stay there? Or were you allowed get a work permit on marrying a Canadian.
    "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional"

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  13. #13
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    I don't know how people can call accommodation in Canmore expensive. You can rent a really nice condo apartment or townhouse for considerably less that something equivalent in the city (Calgary). Purchasing property is a different matter, and buying something in Canmore will cost you much more per square foot than the city.

    Depending on your situation, you can rent a nice condo apartment for around $700-800 per month (dirt cheap) or can move up to a larger, higher end product in a better part of town for around $1,500 and up.

    Here's an example of your starting point - 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom starting at $600+:
    Hector at Palliser Ridge

    And here's an example of a high-end 2 bedroom 2 1/2 bathroom condo apartment in Three Sisters Mountain Village on the edge of town renting for $1,590:
    Wilderness Ridge

    Definitely Canmore is a far better choice to put down roots, than Banff (very transient, noisy, lots of petty crime, etc.). Canmore is populated by real people choosing to live the mountain lifestyle, rather than be in a transient tourist town.
    Screw the shuttle, I'm riding to the top. You're all worthless and weak!!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damitletsride! View Post
    bigcrs, what job did you find that allowed you to stay there? Or were you allowed get a work permit on marrying a Canadian.
    Yeah, I'm a permanent resident. I didn't need a job to get my PR card. My wife's family sponsored me, basically it's a three sponsorship and after that three years I'm able to do everything a Canadian citizen can do except vote. For that I have to be a citizen.

    There are other avenues, like a skilled worker visa. I was going to take that path but then learned it could take up to 3 years to get in. But if you happen to be a Lineman or Power Cableman (I'm an electrician in the line trade) you could be processed in a matter of months with company sponsorship, seen it first hand.

  15. #15
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    Ok so far I've heard back from Hemlock and Hidden Valley about possibly setting up an interview. I don't know much about either, but Hemlock looks like a much bigger area.

    Everyone is still saying i need to go to Whistler, but people have said it will be harder to get work there because I'll be competing against a huge number of people for jobs.

    I don't really mind where I am, so long as I have fun out there.
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  16. #16
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    The responses have primarily focussed on Banff/Canmore and Whistler.

    There are many ski resorts in BC between those two points where accomodation will be easier and cheaper to find.

    Kicking Horse Resort
    Fernie
    Mt. Revelstoke
    Sun Peaks
    Silver Star
    Big White
    Apex
    Whitewater

    Then of course there are the hills to the north.

    All of these resorts are in places where there are restaurants, rafting, hotels, etc.

    Most will be cheaper than Banff or Whistler.

  17. #17
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    Hi yeah cheers, today I applied to Big White and Revelstoke. Already applied for a job at WhiteWater. Getting through all the resorts slowly but surely! I have my preferences that have been influenced by what I read see and hear, but I'm open to anything really.

    I'll check out those other ones you listed, hadn't seen Apex before.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damitletsride! View Post
    Hi yeah cheers, today I applied to Big White and Revelstoke. Already applied for a job at WhiteWater. Getting through all the resorts slowly but surely! I have my preferences that have been influenced by what I read see and hear, but I'm open to anything really.

    I'll check out those other ones you listed, hadn't seen Apex before.
    As an example, Big White ( which is 45 minutes from where i am sitting right now) is in Kelowna, which is on the side of a very large lake, so not only is there the downhill stuff, but there are lots of X-country facilities, mountain sports tourism in the other 3 seasons - MTB touring, etc.

    The town has lots of tourism related jobs ( hotels, restaurants, etc).

    Sun Peaks is the same story but about 2 hours away in Kamloops. lots of other facilities and opportunities for outdoors related work.

    Silver Star is in between, in Vernon but much the same story.

  19. #19
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    Whistler (accom & cost of living) is probably your most expensive option but the skiing/riding is epic. Banff/Canmore cost has certainly come down over the past couple of years for accom. Depending what you're looking for Banff can be a little more party and Canmore is pretty mellow. Riding in Canmore/Banff (mostly XC) has been good the past couple of years until about Nov. 1 and then skiing has started up within a week or two following. Golden is similar but accom will be cheaper and if you have wheels you are only 45min to lake louise, 1.5hr to Banff or Revelstoke. Skiing in the rockies is good but does not compare to Whistler, Fernie, Revelstoke, Nelson/Rossland. They just get way more snow than we do and temperatures are generally warmer. Revy and Fernie are great. Incredible riding (mix of XC & DH) and the skiing on hill and backcountry options are almost endless with huge snowpack.

    If you want some current Canmore/Banff accom options google:
    rocky mountain outlook classifieds (its the local paper)

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