Aerial view of Mount Cain. (Submitted photo)

Aerial view of Mount Cain. (Submitted photo)

ICET’s VOICES presents: Jennifer Lash talks Mount Cain

ICET’s VOICES is a space for grant recipients to speak about their projects.

Jennifer Lash is passionate about skiing, her community and ensuring the health and safety of those who work, live and play at Mount Cain. She makes a weekly winter trek to her backcountry sanctuary for some much-needed, safety-regulated outdoor respite.

Today, she she shares her thoughts about the “Mount Cain 2020/21 Season” project and the $14,390 it received from Island Coastal Economic Trust to ensure Mount Cain could safely meet all health and safety requirements.

Safety precautions at the Mount Cain Alpine Ski Resort have allowed people to momentarily escape into a safe, snowcapped bubble.

Mount Cain is about keeping skiing affordable and accessible for people on the North Island. Thanks to this grant, we’ve able to continue doing that.

Launched in April 2020, ICET’s Small Capital Restart Funding is a rapid response, recovery initiative helping local business and industry in business restart, resilience and sustainability. Over the past 11 months, it has helped support over 20 projects, from across the region, to deliver immediate and innovative on-the-ground recovery impacts.

Project activities on Mount Cain included structural modifications to maximize the safe use of several buildings, including staff accommodation, the Kapitany Lodge, the Day Lodge and the ski shop/ticket booth; the purchase of two sea cans for additional storage and all required COVID-related safety equipment and supplies, including signage.

It’s been amazing to have ICET’s support in ensuring health and safety modifications to keep our staff safe – whether that be at the lodge, ticket booth or staff accommodations. We were able to keep employing our kids on the hill, running lifts, snowmobiles…

It’s more than just a work experience or sports exposure for them. While they probably wish they could hang out and party a bit more, we are able to provide safe employment and accommodation.

Having the beer garden has also made a huge difference in creating a really nice place to stay for a quick beer, in a safe space.

We have been able to forget, for a moment, that we are living in a pandemic. Initially, this was the scariest for us, because we’re a not-for-profit and have no buffer for times like this. We had to seriously downsize the space we would normally rent out to guests, while increasing our costs to make the environment COVID safe.

We feel lucky, as the season has been really busy with a great turnout of people who have shown so much resilience and responsibility (in wearing masks) and watching out for one another.

Sointula’s Jennifer Lash is Mount Cain’s Director of Communication. For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

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