Historic Edmonton Ski Club Receives Major Funding Boost

Press Release:

March 7, 2018

Edmonton, Alberta – Edmonton Ski Club has received $1.1-million in funding commitments from the Government of Alberta and City of Edmonton allowing it to continue operating and pay for much needed upgrades at the historic 107-year-old ski hill.

“The Edmonton Ski Club has been a pillar of our community for over a century, so I’m proud that the City and our government were able to come together to secure the future of the Club. I hope it will continue to be a place where Edmontonians of all ages can get some fresh air and enjoy our amazing river valley,” Alberta Cabinet Minister Marlin Schmidt said at a press conference announcing the funding on Wednesday morning. Schmidt is also the MLA for Edmonton-Gold Bar.

The multi-year funding will help the unique urban ski facility move back to full-time operations next season and make much-needed capital investments for the first time in several decades. The plan is to add a Magic Carpet to assist younger skis and those new to skiing access the hill. The T-Bar will be refurbished to allow quicker access to the more challenging terrain at the ski club.

Currently, the club is operating on limited hours until the season ends on March 31. Only the smaller hill is open to users. Lift passes are $10 per day.

The Edmonton Ski Club has been operating in Edmonton’s downtown river valley since 1911. Founded by a group of Norwegian immigrants, it has been a hub for ski instruction and athlete training ever since and is one of the oldest continuously-operating ski clubs in Canada.

Located minutes from downtown Edmonton, the facility offers prime views of the city’s skyline, river valley and neighbouring Muttart Conservatory.

In recent years, the Edmonton Ski Club, which is governed by a volunteer board, has
experienced financial troubles.

“These generous government grants will help get our beloved Club back on track and make some much-needed upgrades to our facility so that people of all ages can continue to use it,” said Monty Worobec, the Edmonton Ski Club’s volunteer president. “This has always been the Little Hill That Could.”

Worobec wants the Edmonton Ski Club to expand its offerings, including adding fat bike rentals and artificial curling rinks to draw more people to the facility. During a normal ski season, about 750-1,000 people use the ski hill every week.

For more information, please contact:
Jenny Adams


Q) How much grant funding has the the Edmonton Ski Club received from the
Government of Alberta and City of Edmonton per year?
A)Government of Alberta
$300,000 – 2017/18
$150,000 – 2018/19
$150,000 – 2019/20
Total: $600,000

City of Edmonton
$217,000 – 2018
$242,000 – 2018/2019
Total: $459,000
Grand total: $1,059,000

Q) When was the Edmonton Ski Club established?
A) The club was founded by a group of Norwegian immigrants in 1911. In 1934, it was incorporated as a not-for-profit to provide downhill ski facilities to the general public and racing groups. Over the years, several professional athletes and future Olympians used the hill, including Jennifer Heil.

Q) Who runs the Edmonton Ski Club?
A) The facility is governed by a volunteer board.

Q) Does the Edmonton Ski Club own the land its operates on?
A: No. The Club occupies leased land from the City of Edmonton and is located between two other parcels of land owned by the City: Gallagher Park to the east and the Muttart Conservatory to the west

Q) Will construction on the Valley Line LRT affect Edmonton Ski Club operations?
A) There have been minor disruptions to small portions of the facility, but it doesn’t have to shut down during construction. When the Valley Line LRT line opens, the Edmonton Ski Club will be the only ski facilities in North America accessible via light rail transit.

Edmonton Ski Club to Open February 17th

ESC Closes after Saturday, March 24th, 2018

Due to generous grant funding from the City of Edmonton and Alberta government, the Edmonton Ski Club will be opening the Family Hill (west portion of the ski area) for three days a week from now through March24th! Perfect for spending time as a family, hanging out after school and practicing your ski and snowboarding skills!

Our hours of operation are:
Thursday: 4:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Friday: 4:30 – 8:00 PM

Saturday: 11:00 AM – 4:30 PM

All lift tickets at $10/day for the rest of the season. Rentals are available. View equipment rental rates. Unfortunately, we will not be offering lessons.

We hope to see you on the hill!

Notice of ESC Annual General Meeting

Please be informed that the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Edmonton Ski Club will be held as follows:

Date: Thursday, September 7th, 2017
Time: 7pm
Location: ESC clubhouse at 9613 96 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6C 2B3


  • Call Meeting to Order
  • Adoption of Agenda
  • Executive Board Reports
  • Executive and General Board Election
  • Other Business
  • Adjournment

Please circulate this to all our membership and those interested in attending.

Slush Cup 2017 Was a Splash!

The Edmonton Ski Club held our 3rd Annual Slush Cup event on Saturday, March 18th.  Competitors were relieved to have sunny skies and warm weather for this splashy event!

The ski club was full of festivities all day including local band Potatohed pumping out the jams on the deck, Stawnichy’s flipping delicious Mundare sausage burgers and hot dogs on the grill, live yoga and fitness demonstrations from Fit for Life, fat bike demonstrations from Revolution Cycle, a Burton Riglet Park so the wee ones can learn to snowboard and of course, plenty of beer on tap from Blindman Brewery.

The Slush Cup competition kicked off in the early afternoon. Competitors raced down the hill to make the jump into the slush pond. The first competitors made the perfect show of winter water skiing by completely clearing the pond…but he was one of few who didn’t splash directly into the drink!

Prizes were rewarded for competitors who took the jump like a boss, who had the best costume, biggest air, biggest splash and some well-deserved honourable mentions. The overall winner of Slush Cup was Tanner, who came down the hill in a skirt and gave us an upside down moon crash landing!

Five-year-old Avery was rewarded overall honourable mention for her epic snowboarding jump in a princess dress.

Elyse stole the show with her incredible home-made shower get-up and won first place in the Best Costume category.


ESC ski instructor Sean more than deserved to win the Soaking Wet category with his yard-sale style flip off the jump that more than drenched the panel of judges.


Umberto won The Boss prize for braving the pond shirtless.

We were pleased to give prizes for epic performances to many other competitors and thank everyone for their bravery and adventurous spirit. We applaud you! (but next time can you keep more of that icy cold water in the pond and off the audience?)

Thank you to our judges for coming out and being great sports after getting soaking wet. We were honoured to have CBC Morning Live’s Mark Connolly, CRUZ FM’s Lochlin Cross, Global Edmonton’s Margeaux Morin, former Edmonton Eskimo Jed Roberts and Canadian Snow Battler, Terry Chatwin. Thank you also to our incredible Emcee, Donovan Workun, of Atomic Improv.

The festivities continued with Fat Bike races hosted by Revolution Cycle. These winter cyclists participated in a sprint and downhill race and even braved the slush pond! Special mentions go out to Molly for taking the jump in her bikini and for raising over $1000 for MS to do the jump. Way to go!

The Edmonton Ski Club is proud to be a hub for snow sports and community events in the heart of Edmonton. Thank you for joining us on Saturday. We will be open for our Spring Break Camps and throughout April, as long as we have snow, and we hope you join us on the slopes a few more times before the season ends!

Thank you to our sponsors: Winter City Edmonton, Capital GMC, Stawnichy’s, Swiss Chalet, HDF Insurance, Pacesetter Homes, Southwark, College Copy Shop, Servus Credit Union, Edmonton Freestyle Ski Club, Brand Alliance, Elite Sportswear, Revolution Cycle, Fit for Life BMX Edmonton, Blindman Brewery, Ocean Sports, Skiers Sportshop, Easy Rider Sundance Ski & Snowboard Shop, and Backside Tours.

Volunteers Needed for Slush Cup

We are looking forward to Slush Cup 2017 on March 18th from 12-4pm! Brave competitors will attempt to cross a massive slush pond in their best costume for awesome prizes. Plus, there will be live music, great food and a licensed outdoor patio. Come join in the fun and help us out too!

Volunteers are needed!

We need help with parking, security, ‘life guards’ to help fish competitors out of the water and other fun positions that will put you in front of the action!

Click here to sign up – https://www.volunteersignup.org/MAPHF 

SKI FLYERS Early 1900s

“If you get the right angle to float on top of the pressure of the wind you get more distance.”(Clarence Sverold, Canadian Olympian)

The huge metal ski jump at the Stoney Creek Valley in Camrose is an impressive sight. It is the legacy of the daring Norwegian flyers who made Camrose the birth place of ski jumping in Alberta. Adolph and Lars Marland, P. Mikkelson and the Engbretonson brothers formed the Fram Ski Club there in 1911. It was named for the Fram, meaning “forward” in Norwegian, the ship that carried Roald Amundsen on his famous expedition to Antarctica.

The Fram Ski club began construction in the fall of 1911 on a fifty-foot scaffold tower with a long slide in the Stoney Creek valley. Anticipation mounted for the club’s first ski jump tournament held in January 1912. People came from miles around in sleighs and cutters and happily paid the 25 cents entry fee. Adolph Marland soared seventy-four feet through the air to be acclaimed the winner.

Ski tournament, Edmonton, Alberta, 1914 (Glenbow Archives, NC-6-1308).

The Fram Ski Club soon had competition. Not to be outdone, Edmonton also formed a club in 1911, and built a bigger jump at Connor’s Hill for the 1912 season. Camrose hosted the first tournament between the two clubs on February 17th 1912. Edmonton’s John Hogan outdistanced the Camrose team with a jump of 87 feet. On the same day the Fram and Edmonton Ski Clubs formed the National Ski Association of Western Canada. Its purpose was to “to create, develop and sustain interest in the sport of ski running and ski jumping.” It set out the rules and scoring system for combining points for length of ski jump, landing, and aspects of style to determine the overall winner. The distance is still measured today from the edge of the take-off to where the jumper touches the landing slope below.

A week later the two clubs held a return competition at Connor’s Hill and John Hogan once again made the longest jump. “The spectator would gasp,” noted The Edmonton Journal, “as a skier came whizzing down the long wooden slide, hit the take off platform, doubled up like a jack-knife and then flew out into space, landing on both feet in the snow, and speeding down the hill.”

Spectators at Camrose Ski Jump, 1954 (Provincial Archives of Alberta, PA237.1).

Although ski running, soon known as cross country skiing (or Nordic skiing) was becoming popular, it was ski jumping that captured the public’s imagination. In 1913 over 5,000 spectators watched John Hogan set a new Canadian record with a jump of 109 feet at Connors Hill. It was a major event attended by the Lieutenant Governor Bulyea, Mayor McNamara, and the Norwegian consul.

The ski clubs often had to repair or replace the first ski jumps because they were generally built from wood and deteriorated quickly. Although the Connor’s Hill jump survived the 1915 flood on the Saskatchewan River, it gradually weakened. Finally deemed unsafe by the City, it was dismantled in 1926. The Edmonton Ski Club rebuilt it in 1935. When the first jump at Camrose blew down, it was replaced in 1924. This in turn was replaced by a third one in 1930, in time for the western Canadian Championships in 1932.

The Camrose Ski Club Club, as the Fram became known, remained at the heart of ski jumping in Alberta through the 1950s. The Servold brothers, Clarence and Irwin, who represented Canada at the 1956 and 1960 Olympics, continued the tradition of those early Camrose jumpers who mentored them. Nevertheless, despite club ski jumps at Devon and Athabasca, ski jumping fell somewhat out of vogue during the 1960s. The Camrose ski jump was taken down, and Edmonton’s last ski jumping tournament was held on Connor’s Hill in 1975, although the jump remained as a city landmark until 1978.

Fram ski club tournament, Camrose, Alberta, February 17, 1912 (Glenbow Archives, NA-2537-13).

As a spectator sport ski jumping had less appeal than alpine competition through the 1970s. There was a resurgence of interest during the 1980s when a large concrete ski jump took shape at Calgary Olympic Park as the city prepared to host the Olympic Winter Games in 1988. Clarence Sverold designed a new ski jump constructed from welded pipes with a wooden slide surface for the Alberta Winter Games held in Camrose in1990. Because athletes’ ability and equipment has advanced so much, longer landing lanes are needed than in 1990. The Camrose jump does not meet current standards and is no longer used. The largest jump at Canada Olympic Park is no longer used for the same reason. The national ski jumping team still trains on the smaller ski jumps.

Today, the International Ski Federation holds events in three types of ski jump competitions: normal hill, large hill and ski flying hill on which incrementally longer distances have been achieved. The current Ski Flying World Record of 246.5 metres (809 feet) was set by Johan Remen Evensen of Norway in 2011—well over ten times the distance flown a hundred years earlier by Adolph Marland of Camrose.

Posted in Historic Resources Management BranchUnsorted on December 18, 2014 by editor, RETROactive.

Johnny Hougan – 1915 Ski Jumper at the Edmonton Ski Club

John (Johnny) Hougan was born and raised in the Telemark district in southern Norway, and started ski jumping when he was eight years old, winning numerous competitions. After moving to Canada in 1910, John Hougan began to show his talents and, in 1912, was the champion of northern Alberta – having won all the tournaments during that year. In 1913, John Hougan established himself as Canada’s premier ski jumper as he set the Canadian ski jump record of 109 feet. He went on to beat his own record in 1915 when he jumped 115 feet at the Edmonton Ski Club Jump on Connors Hill with over 5,000 spectators watching the event. John Hougan was the Canadian Ski Jumping Champion in 1913, 1914, and 1915. His final competitive performance came in 1942 in the Northern Alberta Championships off the Connors Hill scaffold when he was over 50 years old.

As a builder, John Hougan contributed to sports as a founding member of the Edmonton Ski Club was founded in 1911, and served as the club’s first secretary. He was a founding member of the National Ski Association of Western Canada in 1912. In 1956 the Canadian Amateur Ski Association appointed him as a judge and official for ski jumping and cross-country events. In 1956, John Hougan was awarded a Life Membership to the Edmonton Ski Club and in 1962 was inducted into the City of Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame.

John Hougan remained active his entire life, and went water skiing on his 80th birthday and skiing at Marmot Basin at age 90. John Hougan passed away in 1984 at the age of 94 years.


Kids Ski Free on Family Day

Kids under 12 ski free with the purchase of one adult lift ticket!

Looking for something to do on Family Day? Head to the Edmonton Ski Club for a day of family fun on the slopes! Pay for an adult lift ticket for yourself and your kids under 12 will ski for free!

Plus, we are offering $10 lessons AND $10 equipment rentals.

Family Day, February 20th, is the perfect day to introduce your family to skiing or snowboarding. Our Family Day hours are 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  We hope to see you then!

Note: youth & adult lift tickets are regular price, but all are welcome to $10 lessons and $10 equipment rentals.

Inner City Sprint Cross-Country Ski Races

The Inner City Spring is the very first cross-country ski spring race in Edmonton. Cross-country skiers, from tikes to seniors, will race on a variety of courses set on the Edmonton Ski Club’s property ranging from 200 metres to 750 metres in length. This event is free to spectators, but there is a small fee to participate in the races.

“This fast-paced sport if very popular in Europe and is a growing component of the sport here in Canada,” said Ken Saunders, Executive Director of the Edmonton Ski Club.  “We are very excited to host this event and invite everyone to come and watch. It’s just another great event that embraces winter in Edmonton!”

Schedule of Events

  • 09:00 am – Prologue (Juveniles and up)
  • 10:00 am – Bunnies
  • 10:20 am – JR 1&2 Relays 3x 300m
  • 10:40 am – JR 3&4 Relays 3 x 600m
  • 11:00 am – Mini-midget Sprint Relays – 2 skiers (2 x 600)
  • 11:20 am – Midgets Sprint Relays – 2 skiers (2 x 750)
  • 11:40 am – JV/JR B/G Sprint Relays– 2 skiers (2 x 1.5km)
  • 12:10 pm – Masters Sprint Relays– 2 skiers (2 x 1.5km)
  • 12:45 pm –JR/Open M/W Sprint Relays– 2 skiers (3 x 1.5km)
  • 13:30 pm Award Ceremonies

Registration Fees:

  • Bunnies Free!
  • Jackrabbits $6/team (That’s a twoonie each)
  • Mini-Midgets and Midgets $10/Team
  • JV’s to Masters $20/Team

Find more information by emailing info@edmontonnordic.ca

ESC’s U16 Athletes Qualify for National Finals!

U16 Athletes Qualify for National Finals | Thunder Bay, February 19th to 26th, 2017

Photo left to right: Mark Stein (coach); Ben Damant (Alternate); Carson Hoffman; Olivier Haley; Jacob Damant

The last time this event took place several years ago, a racer from dmonton Ski Club, Tony Naciuk, won the whole thing and was crowned Canadian U16 Champion!

Once again, the ESC is showing well. All three second-year U16 athletes (Olivier Haley, Carson Hoffman, and Jacob Damant) have qualified for Nationals. Ben Damant, a first year U16 athlete, is first on the alternate list and could end up competing as well. Good work team! Good work Coach Stein!

Learn more about the Edmonton Alpine Ski Racing Society here – http://easrs.ca/ 
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