• By: Tori McNeely

Erik Guay attends Gatineau’s Winterlude to introduce children to alpine skiing and snowboarding

With 10 more days to go, Winterlude is officially in full swing! Yesterday, festival goers at Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau received a special visit from recently retired decorated skier Erik Guay to launch the MySnow Experience – free ski and snowboard initiation activity for children aged from 5 to 8. 

MySnow Experience is a program set up by the Quebec Ski Resorts Association (ASSQ) to introduce children to skiing and snowboarding. For the remainder of Winterlude, kids will have the opportunity to practice skiing and snowboarding with the help of an instructor to learn the basics of these sports while appreciating the joys of winter.

Accompanying Guay was Paul Pinchbeck of the Canadian Ski Council and Yves Juneau of the ASSQ.

"The ASSQ and all 75 ski resorts in Quebec are proud to share their love of winter by promoting sliding sports and healthy lifestyles," said Yves Juneau, president and CEO of the ASSQ. "Our introductory activity increases the accessibility to board sports and, as a result, increases the number of visits to the ski resorts."

More than 3,000 children will benefit from this free-of-charge activity to try skiing and snowboarding.

Every winter, the ASSQ offers the MySnow Experience at various locations, presented by Sports Experts. Located in urban areas, these mini-ski resorts allow skiers and snowboarders to discover the sensation of sliding, get a first encounter with ski and snowboard equipment and make their first turns in a safe environment.

At the end of the initiation, each child receives a "MySnow Experience Package" which allows them to reiterate the experience in one of the participating resorts, at a cost of only $25. This package includes a 60-minute lesson, full equipment rental (including a helmet) and access to the ski school area of ??the mountain. Many ski resorts offer this package, including Mont Cascades,Mont Ste-Marie, Camp Fortune and Sommet Edelweiss in Outaouais, as well as Calabogie Peaks Resort and Mount Pakenham in Ontario.

In addition to the Gatineau site, the MySnow Experience program is also available in Quebec City, Longueuil and Laval. Last winter, the ASSQ programs that target the next generation, introduced nearly 50,000 new skiers and snowboarders. These initiations are made possible thanks to the support of all ski resorts in Quebec.

This program is available in Jacques Cartier Park from Feb. 7-10 & Feb. 14-18, 2019, and is completely free, for both equipment rentals and the one-hour lesson.

About the Quebec Ski Area Association

Founded in 1979, the ASSQ is a non-profit organization grouping all ski resorts in Quebec. Its mission is to promote and defend the interests of the resorts, to promote the development of the young generation and to support the industry in order to offer skiers and snowboarders memorable experiences at the mountains. Alpine skiing and snowboarding are practiced by approximately 1.4 million Quebecers. The different ways to enjoy the ski resorts of Quebec are listed herewww.maneige.ski.