April 15, 2017

Denis Dion

Canadian Ski Patrol Life Member No. 62 (2014)

Denis is a 24-year patroller, fluent in English and conversant in French, who has served with passion and distinction in executive roles at all levels of the Canadian Ski Patrol organization, including in two zones, two divisions and nationally.

Denis dreamed of having all CSP swaps working together while also supporting and learning from each other. So he developed and trademarked the “Winter Extreme” brand for the CSP and executed a strategy to make it well-recognized nationally. Cumulatively, Winter Extreme is now the largest group of ski and board swaps in the world. The brand was reinforced by the creation of a national Winter Extreme website, all at no charge. Denis and his teams have personally managed 33 ski swaps.

Denis led GVZ as president from 1996 through 2003, and was uncommonly speechless when this zone was named the Canadian Ski Patrol’s Most Outstanding Zone in 1998.

As the CSP’s national VP of marketing in 2004, Denis oversaw the Canadian Ski Patrol Cycling C2C during which member Sandy McKay and daughter started in Victoria and cycled to Halifax. In 2005, they cycled from Halifax to St. John’s, Nfld. Raising awareness for the CSP throughout this campaign, Denis designed the routes, coordinated CSP events in zones along the way, prepared for local media coverage and managed the tour’s online presence.

In 2004, Denis took on an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to launch a new swap in Vancouver, as part of the new Vancouver Snow Show and a second annual swap within GVZ. To date, the zone’s Winter Extreme swaps have raised more than $1 million for GVZ.

In 2002, Denis served on the Vancouver 2010 health and safety committee, writing a portion of Vancouver’s bid book to win the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Based on that successful outcome in 2003, Denis chaired the CSP approach committee, successfully working to have the CSP named as a first aid provider for the event. Denis then chaired the implementation committee until 2008 when its functions were absorbed by paid Olympics staff. Hundreds of CSP members were able to provide services in 2010 due in large part to Denis’s preparation efforts.

Denis is a leader, a builder, a strategic planner and an enthusiastic supporter of the Canadian Ski Patrol. He is a team builder who encourages members to invest their personal expertise for the benefit of the organization we all love. He is a believer in replicating successes from one zone to other zones. No-one of us is smarter or more productive than all of us together. That said, Denis is a firm believer in respecting our member’s time. Time has to be viewed the same way as money, CSP members have a finite amount of it and whatever we ask our membership to do must be done thoughtfully and economically, maximizing the benefit versus the time required.