2022 Bikes for All campaign gets 55 bikes into the community!

“Bikes for All” 2022 was a great success! 







The program saw 55 bikes provided to members of our community who would benefit from having access to a bike. With recipients ranging in age from 2 and up the impact on our community will be felt for years! To help get kids started young so they can build a passion and spend a lifetime riding bikes is a gift that cannot be measured in impact.

This year saw another 55 bikes get into the community, which brings the two year total to over 100 bikes! We saw the bikes again getting out to a wide array of families, with more teenagers receiving bikes this year to help them get to and from school and work as well as helping them socialize with friends. Through the support of BikeWays and their team that we were again able to provide the right size bike to all the applicants rather than having to select who would get a bike and who would not. Their support this year helped us secure the needed number of larger bikes that we otherwise would have had to say sorry to.

Some of the more impactful situations that come to mind when we reflect on the families and individuals we met through the program was a Ukrainian family of 6 where all 4 daughters and the parents were able to get a bike, two different Syrian refugee families whose kids grew out of the bikes they got last year, and a mother and son who live a 40 min walk to the nearest bus stop with no vehicle who can now ride to the bus stop and beyond and reclaim a significant amount of time in their lives!

This year we saw the talent of mechanics from Smith Creek Cycle, Cyclepath, Shred Shed, Bikeways and a few experienced mechanics from the community donate their time to help make sure all the bikes were going out in good working order, and the team at Cyclepath took the time to put many of the bikes through their bike wash station to have them looking as good as they could before they went out to the recipients.

With helmets being provided by the team at Brain Trust Canada this program truly is a community coming together to make magic happen for the holiday season.
The Bikes for All program was sparked by Brian at Smith Creek Cycle who saw the need in our community and saw a way that we could come together and make a difference to help get more people on bikes.

Each year the “Bikes for All” program starts to accept bikes by donation at Smith Creek Cycle or the Elevation Outdoors office in September – November, and are then tuned up by a team of volunteers powered by pizza and refreshments. Nominations also open in Sept and run through Dec 1st so we have time to match the bikes with recipients and get them in their hands for the holiday season.

“The bicycle is a simple solution to the worlds most complicated problems.” unknown

If you would like to get involved in this program in the future as a mechanic, donate a bike, financial support or otherwise please send us a message at [email protected] and we will be happy to speak with you.

On The Lawn powered by BDO is back for 2022!

April 20, 2022 – For Immediate Release

Kelowna BC – After a two year hiatus, Elevation Outdoors is excited to announce that On The Lawn powered by BDO, the summer’s favorite charity event, is back for its 6th year!

Presenting Sponsor BDO has renewed their sponsorship of the lawn bowling tournament for another year, helping bring back one of the hottest events of the summer! BDO and Elevation Outdoors are thrilled to host this event within the community with bowling, BBQ, Bevies, Friends, and a bit of friendly competition.

Michael Smith, Senior Manager at BDO stated, “We at BDO could not be more excited for the return of On The Lawn, as well as to continue our work and support of Elevation Outdoors. This event brings such great awareness to an amazing organization and the significant impact that Elevation Outdoors has on youth in our local community.”

In 2019 the OTL team expanded the event from 3 to 4 weeks, opening it up to another 14 teams, and 2022 will see that format continue as a four week event hosting 40 teams of 4, over the four weeks.

The 6th annual On The Lawn powered by BDO brings four evenings of entertainment, networking, and socializing in the form of a lawn bowling tournament. 20 teams of four will bowl it out each week in one of two brackets, either July 21st and July 28th or August 4th and August 11th; or bowlers can sign up for all 4 weeks! Bowls, music, BBQ, wine, beer, and cocktails are all part of this truly awesome event, taking place at Kelowna’s downtown lakeside sun-drenched Bowling Club.

Since its first year On the Lawn has raised over $100,000 for Elevation Outdoors, and the underprivileged youth of the Okanagan. The proceeds from this year’s Event will assist Elevation Outdoors in providing over 85 full scholarships to deserving participants.

Mike Greer, Executive Director of Elevation Outdoors stated, ”We cannot wait to see everyone back On the Lawn again this summer. We have missed getting together and having a great time all for a great cause, and this year’s event is lining up to be the best one yet. The money raised helps us provide access to mentorship and recreation programs at no cost to so many deserving youth in our community that may otherwise never have a chance to gain the valuable life experiences our programs provide”

Team registration goes on sale April 21st at 9am and with the Event selling out in the past years within a day or two now is the time to get your teams ready! To register visit: (trellis.org/on-the-lawn-2022)

Wear your whites and take the green!

About On The Lawn

Designed for young professionals in Kelowna, On The Lawn brings four evenings of entertainment, networking and socializing with 20 teams of four bowling it out each week. On The Lawn powered by BDO provides bowls, music, BBQ, wine, beer, and cocktails, all at Kelowna’s downtown, lakeside, sun-drenched Bowling Club. All proceeds go to our chosen charity, Elevation Outdoors.

About BDO

BDO is a leading provider of professional services to clients of all sizes in virtually all business sectors. Our team delivers a comprehensive range of assurance, accounting, tax, and advisory services, complemented by a deep industry knowledge gained from nearly 100 years working within local communities. As part of the international BDO network, we’re able to provide seamless and consistent cross-border services to clients with global needs.

BDO is an international network of public accounting, tax, and advisory firms that performs professional services under the name of BDO. With over 73,000 people working out of more than 1,500 offices in over 160 countries, the network generates worldwide revenue of $10.3 billion.

Landmark 6
1631 Dickson Avenue, Suite 400
Kelowna, BC V1Y 0B5
Tel: 250 763 6700
Fax: 250 763 4457

About Elevation Outdoors

Elevation Outdoors was founded in 2007 by Tori Hanson and a small group of dedicated individuals who recognized a need in our community. From our first ever Learn to Shred program with 6 participants, our focus has always been on breaking down barriers and helping young people find a passion to help them lead a healthy, happier life. Since then, we have expanded our program offerings to include snowboarding, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking and sailing.

All of our programs have full scholarship seats available for any eligible youth or families to ensure all young people have an opportunity to develop a healthy passion. Starting in 2019, we have expanded who can access our programs so that families that do not meet our eligibility criteria can now pay for a seat in our programs as we believe that everyone deserves an opportunity to find a passion and learn from our amazing mentor team.

Elevation Outdoors provides all the required equipment for its different programs so all participants need to do is show up with a positive attitude and a willingness to try something new. Transportation from a common meeting point is also included in our programs to ensure that each youth has an opportunity to participate. Each program is facilitated with the help of our team of volunteer mentors who are there to share their passion for the activity, and to build a positive relationship with the participants. We strive to keep ratios in our programs at 3:1 or lower so that our volunteer mentors and participants are able to have quality conversations and build a relationship while in our programs.

Since our first program in 2008, we have been able to help hundreds of young people find a new passion and develop more healthy lifestyles while learning skills that will stay with them for life.

For PR and Sponsorship Inquiries:

Corrine Wilson
[email protected]
250-870-9094 ext 4

Stability- As helpful for a charity as it is for our participants


For everyone this means something different. For some it is all they want in life, for others it is something to avoid as they seek out new adventures around every corner. When you are snowboarding you want to be strong and stable on your board to manage the terrain as it comes, while on a mountain bike rolling over uneven terrain you are constantly moving and adjusting to the changes under your bike and remaining stable in one position would present some real challenges to staying on your bike.  As with anything in life there are pros and cons.

As a charity stability is something we seek.  From our volunteers we want them to commit to showing up each week so they can build strong relationships with our participants as mentors and positive role models.  From our participants we love seeing them show up each week as that steady attendance is what allows them to build on the knowledge from the week before and see progression in their ability.

One of the most important areas for any charity to have stability is within our funding. Not knowing how programs will be funded, or rent will get paid, can lead to poor decision making where decisions are based on the right now rather than based on what is best for the long term interests of the organization and our clients.

Here at Elevation Outdoors we have been incredibly lucky to have amazing community partners that have supported our organization for many years.  Partners like the United Way of British Columbia and Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart program are amazing examples, and it is through the support of organizations like this that we have been able to increase our impact in the community.

If we rewind time back to 2016, we were an organization with 1 part time staff member and only offering 4 programs to the community.  Fast forward to 2021 and we are now able to support 1 full time and 2 part time year round staff with a team growing to 12 over the summer months when we are running a variety of programs.  We are now offering 6 different CORE programs, summer camps, mountain bike clinics and lessons, running a bike rental operation with our partner agency CRIS,  as well as working collaboratively with our local school district to help provide programming opportunities to some of their students to help re-engage with school in a different way.

Community groups like the Ogopogo Rotary Club , or the Mountain Bikers of the Central Okanagan have been another large part of our success and growth.  The members of the Ogopogo club, and several other Rotary Clubs in our community, have supported us not just financially, but also with time as volunteers helping at events, driving our bus to support our programs, or providing opportunities to our participants to learn about themselves in programs like Adventures in Tourism.

As we head into another year here at Elevation Outdoors we continue along our journey to find increased stability.  We have big dreams, but know we can only achieve them by moving one step at a time to ensure we build a strong foundation that can support us as we move towards our vision of what we can do, and the impact we can have in our community.  While we have seen amazing success over the past 5 years, none if that is possible without the countless number of individuals an organizations that have supported our work and our mission to break down the barriers that many in our community face to finding a passion for the outdoors.

If you , or you business, would like to join us on our journey and help provide that much needed stability that is needed to chase dreams please reach out to our team and we will be happy to discuss how you can get involved and help us take the next step on our journey.  If you prefer to remain anonymous you can always make a donation and know that we your support helps create memories and experiences that would otherwise not be possible for many young people in our community.



The Great Kelowna Scavenger Hunt is back!

The Great Kelowna Scavenger Hunt presented by Urban Elegance Homes returns for its second year.

The Great Kelowna Scavenger Hunt presented by Urban Elegance Homes, and hosted by Elevation Outdoors and the BC Wine, Cider and Spirits Festival is a day long event to support some of the many businesses impacted by Covid-19 while raising funds for Elevation Outdoors and the Rotary Club of Kelowna Morningside.

The Great Kelowna Scavenger Hunt impacts the community in a number of positive ways. With the way the event is set up, the impact is quickly felt beyond the positive impact on Elevation Outdoors.

With 30% of all the money raised being invested back into our local community through the purchase of gift cards to locally owned and operated businesses (which are then used as prizing for the event) there is a direct benefit to those businesses. In 2020, this event raised a total of $12,993.00, $3900.00 of which was used to purchase gift cards.

The more money that is raised, the more support our local business and the charities receive; and the more prizes there are for participants to find!

Additionally, part of the proceeds from the event also support the Rotary Club of Kelowna – Morningside (a $2000.00 donation in 2020) and the work they do in the community.

“With the negative impacts of Covid-19 still being felt all across our community we are so excited to bring back an event that not only raises funds for Elevation Outdoors, but also gives back to our community” – said Katherine Bramall Founder and General Manager of the BC Wine, Cider & Spirits Festival.

On Saturday August 14th all players will receive an email with the first round of clues at 11:00 a.m. to help you locate the downtown Kelowna area prize locations. As the day goes by additional clues will be released, making it a bit easier each time to find the remaining prizes.

An addition to the event this year will be hidden tastings offered by members of the BC Wine, Cider & Spirits Festival. Those who are 19+ and can figure out the clues will be rewarded with complimentary samples.

“Not only does this event raise some much-needed funds for Elevation as we navigate the impacts of Covid-19 on our own fundraising, but it provides members of our community with a great way to get outside and have some fun.” Says Mike Greer, Executive Director of Elevation Outdoors. “Last year the feedback from our participants was awesome, and being able to help support the many businesses in our community that struggled over the past 18 months creates a positive impact that is felt far more broadly than by just the participants of our programs.”

Solo adventures can participate for a minimum of a $20, while teams of up to 6 people can partake for only $40.

Tickets are available at https://trellis.org/thegreatkelownascavengerhunt

When registering yourself and/or team you will have the opportunity to suggest which locally owned and operated business you feel could use the event’s financial support in the form of purchased gift cards.

The event is currently looking for additional sponsors and businesses who would like to host a ‘secret scavenger hunt locations”, if you and your team are interested, please reach out to Mike Greer or Katherine Bramall, the Event Organizers for further details on how you can support.

About Elevation Outdoors

Elevation Outdoors was founded in 2007 by Tori Hanson and a small group of dedicated individuals that saw a need in our community.  From our first ever Learn to Shred program with 6 participants our focus has always been on breaking down barriers and helping young people find a passion to help them lead a healthy, happier life.  Since their inception they have expanded our program offerings to include snowboarding, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking and sailing.  All programs have full scholarship seats available for any eligible youth or families to ensure all young people have an opportunity to develop a healthy passion.  Starting in 2019 they have expanded who can access our programs and families that do not meet our eligibility criteria can now pay for a seat in our programs as we believe that everyone deserves an opportunity to find a passion and learn from our amazing mentor team.

Elevation Outdoors provides all the required equipment for the different programs so that all a participant needs to do is show up with a positive attitude and a willingness to try something new. Transportation is also included in their programs from a common meeting point, to ensure that each youth has an opportunity to participate. Each program is facilitated with the help of our team of volunteer mentors who are there to share their passion for the activity and to build a positive relationship with the participants.

Since the first program in 2008 Elevation has been able to help hundreds of young people find a new passion and develop more healthy lifestyles while learning skills that will stay with them for life.

Website  Facebook Instagram

About The BC Wine Cider & Spirits Festival:

The BC Wine Cider & Spirits Festival is bringing BC, multiple large-scale, whole sensory events, and consumer tasting experiences throughout the year. With 100+ members made up of BC Wine, Cider, Spirits & Beer producers each event is made up of a selection of members sampling and promoting their products in support of the BC Hospitality Foundation.

With the changes in event regulations due to Corona-19 the team at the BC Wine, Cider & Spirits Festival have momentarily switched directions focusing on community building events, and new and innovative ways to continue to promote their members and their amazing products.

Website  Facebook Instagram

About Urban Elegance Homes

Urban Elegance is a locally owned and operated business offering luxury building services in the Okanagan, specializing in renovations, new home builds, and infills. They are committed to working with integrity, care, and passion, ensuring 100% client satisfaction on every project.

Website Facebook Instagram

Elevation receives $10,000 from Jumpstart Sport Relief Fund.


As time passes and we get closer to a more “normal” life here in BC some things remain the same.  Since the start of the pandemic the demand for outdoor recreation has been at record levels, with some industries still trying to catch up to the sustained demand – if you have been in a bike shop lately you know.

Here at Elevation Outdoors we have faced unprecedented demand for our programs at a time when we are having to run smaller group sizes as we work to keep our participants, staff and volunteers safe.  With our ability to run fundraising events hindered by the pandemic this poses a real challenge as we work to continue to deliver our programs while adjusting to the altered funding environment.

This Spring the Jumpstart Sport Relief Fund notified us they have selected Elevation Outdoors to receive $10,000 to support our Live to Ride program over the summer and help cover some of our program staff costs over the Fall and Winter months.  We are proud to be one of the nearly 700 organizations across the country that have benefited from the fund helping over 70,000 youth across the country.

With the support we have received it will allow us to continue to deliver our Live to Ride program this summer, which will introduce new riders to the sport of mountain biking while connecting them with our passionate volunteer mentors.  With the program running twice a week for 7 weeks through July and August not only does it get the participants out and active each week, but also helps them develop life skills as we help them draw parallels between life and sport along the way.

Additionally the support we have received will allow us to retain our dedicated program staff to support our Fall and Winter programs.  As we increase our programming to include additional activities, deliver longer programs like our Leaders in Action program, and have to balance the ever changing rules and guidelines to keep our participants safe, having dedicated staff allows us to ensure our quality of program remains at a high standard.

According to the Ipsos, Jumpstart State of Sport Study 74% of kids are feeling lonely and isolated.  We believe that sport and outdoor recreation has the power to change that and help keep our youth engaged, healthy, and feeling connected to their community and are thankful that organizations like Canadian Tire and the Jumpstart Foundation share this belief and can support us and many other organizations across the country build sport back as we recover from the many impacts of Covid-19.

Mountain Bikers on Knox Mountain
A highlight from our 2020 Live to Ride program

The Importance of the Outdoors for all.

Social Bubbles, Physical  Distancing, Work from home, Daily Updates, sourdough bread, and homeschooling. Cancelled programs, smaller groups, ½ days at school, and change felt in almost all areas of our lives.

Throughout all of this one thing has remained constant, or even grown in its importance – Access to the outdoors for everyone in our community and across the country.  With many of the places and activities we never thought twice about suddenly becoming a possible health hazard or simply not being available, the ability to simply go outside and take a walk has taken on an increased significance.

No matter if you live in the Penthouse suite or the basement suite, if you’re living the high life or the #vanlife, the pandemic has truly highlighted that having equitable access to nature and the outdoors matters in all corners of the world.

While we cannot speak for everyone, since 2007 we have worked hard to break down the many barriers that young people in our community face to having access to the outdoors.  In that time we have seen ebbs and flows in the importance that society places on the outdoors.  There is nothing like being told you should not leave your home for anything other than the essentials to highlight just how essential time outside is to our mental and physical wellbeing.

In the early days it gave us great hope that a shift may be occurring as families found time each day to simply walk around the block together.  As things slowly opened back up our parks saw higher levels of use than ever before, everything from the smallest community parks to our Provincial and National Parks seemed busier than ever before.  Bikes, Kayaks, camping equipment, and recreation vehicles sold like toilet paper in the early days.  As we now lose daylight and move into the colder darker months it does not reduce the need for access to the outdoors.

We are working hard to ensure our programs are still available to youth in our community, and we are exploring what additional programs we may be able to add in order to create more spaces for youth to get outside.  Just this week in a poll on the Huffington Post it showed that 1 in 4 Canadians feel their mental health is in a worse off place than at the start of the pandemic.  We are doing our part to help combat the negative effects through getting youth outside, over 85% of our participants answered in our survey that their overall confidence improved as a result of taking one of our programs in 2020.  With improved confidence comes a greater resiliency and ability to manage hard times in life.

We believe that in anything negative there is always something positive to take away from it.  If nothing else we hope that one of the positive outcomes of the Covid-19 pandemic is that more Canadians will find a connection with nature that will turn into a lasting passion for getting outside.  It is only through having a passion for the outdoors that people will then protect and fight for nature, be it a green space in the new housing development or the development and protection of wild spaces so that future generations can also experience the awe of the wild and the powerful impacts that time spend in nature can have in their darkest moments.

Take a moment and consider what you can do in your community, region, or province to help others get outside.  Whether that is for a simple walk around the block or a cross country ski under the full moon, anytime outside is better than no time.  If you have the means, volunteer or donate to support local outdoor activities, programs or clubs. Clear out your closet or garage and donate that gear you don’t use to a cause that can pass it along to those in need.

Here at Elevation Outdoors you can become a monthly donor, donate that old snowboard, or join us as a volunteer and experience for yourself that our programs don’t only impact the participants, but can have a powerful impact on the lives of our volunteers. Helping out your local community will help us come through this stronger together.

#outsideisthebestside so let’s make it accessible to everyone no matter the neighbourhood, background, or socio-economic status.

Elevation Social Impact

Programming in a Pandemic

As we all know by now, life looks a lot different than it did a couple of months ago.  In the middle of March we were wrapping up our Learn to Shred program that saw our largest number of participants ever join us at Big White over the winter to learn to snowboard and improve their skills.  We were experiencing one of the deepest snowpacks in recent memory, and conditions had been amazing all winter long for the youth in our programs to learn on.  Our brand new Leaders in Action program was coming along nicely with a great crew looking forward to the Spring and all the fun that it promised to bring.



Then in what felt like an instant everything changed.

Now we all have new phrases like “flattening the curve”, “social distancing” and “Why can’t I buy any toilet paper?” burned into our brains.  Zoom meetings are the way to attend class, go to work, and host a happy hour, and the “new normal” is still a bit of a mythological thing.

Throughout all of this our team has been working behind the scenes to gain an understanding of what it will be possible for the coming summer.  With the Provincial Government announcing the re-opening plan earlier this week, it was a big step forward as it allows organizations of all types to really understand what it will take to be able to operate in some capacity in the coming months.

For us, we will be taking a slow approach to getting programs up and running again.  We take the responsibility of participant safety very seriously.  Not just in Covid times, but at all times as some of the activities we are introducing our participants to have a higher level of risk associated with them.

As we move towards our summer program schedule being open for registration, we wanted to outline some of the steps we are taking to help reduce the risks of Covid-19 for our staff, participants, and volunteers.

  • Changing the program to only have 5-6 participants.  6 only if multiple youth are from the same household to ensure that physical distancing can be adhered to on our bus.
  • Mandatory sneeze guards(bandana, mask, buff etc) worn over the mouth and nose at all times while on the bus.
  • Mandatory use of hand sanitizer before getting on the bus each time.
  • No sharing of equipment -example: participants will use the same bike each day of riding to limit the number of people touching each bike.
  • All bikes will be cleaned/sanitized at the end of each day.
  • Participants only touch their own equipment for each sport.
  • Increased spacing between participants during various activities (example: extra spacing when biking).
  • Limiting trail difficulty to ensure all trails are well within the skill level of all campers.
  • 0 tolerance policy for behaviours that put other campers at risk.

We will be adhering to all guidelines from the Provincial Health Office, so our policies may change/be updated as more information becomes available in the coming weeks and months.  We are also looking to industry leaders to see what steps they are taking to ensure we are following best practices where available.

In all of this we ask for your patience.  These are unprecedented times and we are working hard to ensure we do our part.

At the end of the day much of what our Provincial and National leaders have said demonstrates what Elevation Outdoors has always believed in.  Getting outside and being physically active is good for all of us, even in the middle of a pandemic.

We look forward to seeing all of you outside with smiles on our faces in the coming weeks and months.

Stay safe out there and remember #outsideisthebestside.

Little Things – Big Difference

It’s the little things that make a big difference.

Here at Elevation Outdoors we are all about chasing the big ideas. We believe that by introducing a young person to the joys of playing outside it can help them find a lifelong passion that has the ability to shape their future life choices. We believe in equality for all youth in our community and that all persons should be able to access sports regardless of their personal circumstances. We believe in the power of recreation and play to assist in improving a person’s overall mental and physical well-being.

Big lofty ideas are what organizations like ours are built upon, but the path to achieving any big idea is built on a number of small steps and achievements.

If you look at any one of the small steps we take to achieve our goals they may seem insignificant. Our first ever Learn to Shred program had 6 participants and that was the only program we ran that year. One could look at that and say, you only helped 6 kids in a whole year? What was the point of doing that? To us, that was the start of something great and this winter will see 40-45 participants come through our snowboard program and 130+ youth across all of our programs, all because we took that first step and ran a program one time with “only” 6 people.

Our summer camps are another great example of the small things adding up to great success. When we launched our Intro to Adventure summer camps in 2016, and we ran our first ever week of summer camps with only 2 campers. We had a lot of fun, learned a few things, and at the end of the week thanked them for coming out, and as with any new venture quickly moved on to trying to figure out the next week and getting more campers signed up. In 2019 our summer camps sold out early, had a growing wait list, saw 38 campers come through, and contributed a strong return helping us fund full scholarship seats in our other programs throughout the year.

Live to Ride - Mountain Biking

Fundraising is a similar idea. Many people wonder, how much impact can my support create? A great example of this can be seen in our Monthly Donors. The first person to ever commit to being a monthly donor contributes $15/month. When this happened, it was something to celebrate for Elevation Outdoors as we had never had anyone support us like this before, and it was the start of something new. As we continue to grow and more community members support us, our monthly giving has been able to grow to where we now see 10-times that initial amount coming in each month. For many organizations this is insignificant, but for us this represents the power of the small things adding up. Over 12 months this amount coming in each month allows us to create 1 full scholarship in each of our Learn to Shred, Get a Grip, Live to Ride, Take a Hike, and Wind in Your Sails programs.

That scholarship funding equates to 5 opportunities for youth in our community to get out and experience something new, to make new friends and engage with our mentors to help them build skills that will last a lifetime. 5 opportunities to build a person’s self-confidence and improve their resiliency, 5 youth from our community who get a chance to see and experience first-hand some of the awesome things available right here in our own community. This all became possible because some amazing individuals in our community felt $10, $15, or $25/month was something they could contribute towards helping us achieve our big, lofty, ambitious goal of trying to change lives through outdoor recreation.

We challenge all of you to take a look around your lives and communities. What small thing can you do to help make it better? Can you spare 20 extra minutes to shovel an elderly neighbour’s driveway? Can you spare 4 hours a week to volunteer for a cause that you are passionate about? Can you skip buying a nice coffee 2x a month and donate that $10 a month to a worthy cause to help make our community a better place?

Together, if we all do a little, we can accomplish a lot.

Mike Greer
Executive Director

The return of winter.

As the season turns and the snow line starts to creep down the hills surrounding Kelowna we can’t help but to start getting excited for what is coming!

Each January sees the return of our longest running program, our Learn to Shred snowboard program.  This is the program that started it all for Elevation Outdoors, so for us the start of a new Shred season is a bit like an anniversary and something to celebrate.  Back in the winter of 2008 a small crew of dedicated volunteers launched the program and saw a group of 8 young people come out to learn. Fast forward to the upcoming 2020 season and we are looking forward to helping over 40 young people get out and spend time riding and learning about themselves at Big White.

For many of our team snowboarding is more than just something we do.  It is a lifelong passion, the reason we live here, and a way to get outside to spend time with loved ones.  To be able to share this passion with the next generation of riders and introduce them to something that has a chance to become a lifelong pursuit is why we get out of bed early on those cold dark January mornings to fire up the bus to get everyone up to the mountain.  Snowboarding can teach a person so much about life, but can also be a great escape to get away from all that life can throw at you. Some days we ride to celebrate a milestone or to share time with friends, other days we ride to get away from the challenges that life presents.  No matter what the reason you show up to the mountain and strap into your snowboard, for those hours nothing else matters and all can be right in the world.

See a video about the program here.

Within our Learn to Shred program we strive to teach the participants not only how to snowboard, but to also help them develop the skills that are needed to succeed at life.  The hours spent riding the bus to and from the mountain provide an amazing opportunity for our volunteers to engage with the participants and share not only their passion for the sport, but also life lessons and wisdom they have gained throughout their lives.  Time spent together riding a chairlift is a chance to reflect on the last run, but also a chance to reflect on what is going on in life and chat with new friends and mentors. Each week sees us focus on a new theme to help draw parallels between life and sport.  Patience. Resilience. Self Confidence. Direction.  These are all concepts that are needed not only to succeed in snowboarding, but to succeed in life.  By showing a young person these concepts and how they relate to success in sport can help them understand how they can also help them in life.

2020 sees some exciting changes for Elevation and our Learn to Shred program.  For the first time we are now opening up spaces in the program to ensure that young people from all walks of life have an opportunity to come out and experience how awesome playing outside in the mountains can be.  For families that do not meet our criteria to access our scholarship opportunities can now take advantage of the limited number of fee for service seats that we have available. For families that may not have the time or the knowledge to introduce your children to the sport, you can sign your child up to spend 4 weeks riding with our program, and know that not only are you giving your child a chance to snowboard, but the money you pay for them to participate is also helping us create an opportunity for others in our community to snowboard as well.  That is about as win-win as it can get in our eyes.  For parents interested in a paid seat you can also feel comfortable in knowing our program is one of the best prices you will find to introduce your child to the sport.  At only $600 for a seat this is well below what it would cost for 8 days of riding, rentals, and instruction.  When you factor in the group learning, mentorship, and pizza you can’t go wrong.

For more information or to register your child for our Learn to Shred program for this upcoming winter visit https://elevationoutdoors.ca/programs/snowboarding/.  For any family outside of our eligibility criteria that find the full price is a barrier get in touch with us to speak to our team about our partial scholarship seats that we have available to ensure that any young person that wants to learn has an opportunity.  

For all participants the program provides transportation to and from Big White, equipment rentals, lift tickets, lunch or supper each day, lessons from the amazing Big White instructors, mentorship from our volunteers, and access to any outwear that is needed.  Smiles and good times are also included.

If you are interested in being a part of the program in any way, as a participant, sponsor, volunteer, or bus driver please get in touch with us at [email protected] and we will get back to you with any information you are looking for.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has helped make this program possible over the years, from our amazing sponsors, our dedicated volunteers, and the now hundreds of young people that have taken the leap of faith and joined the program.  We feel that by helping build a passion for the outdoors in the next generation we are doing our small part in helping make the world a better place.  

For now do your snow dances, and soon enough we will see you all out on the slopes!


Mike Greer

Executive Director

Leaders in Action program receives support from MEC

As we get closer and closer to the launch of our brand new Leaders in Action program we have recently received a huge boost in making this program possible.  Elevation Outdoors has been selected to be a recipient of a Community Grant from MEC to support the new program and help get more young people outside and active.

The Leaders in Action program is our latest effort to help local youth gain meaningful experiences in the outdoors, making it a great fit for MEC and their funding.  With participants in the program having an opportunity to experience snowboarding, rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking and more the program will be sure to create lasting memories.

The Leaders in Action program will run for 10 months starting in late August with an overnight camping trip to help the group bond and run on average 2x per week until June.  In addition to the sport based experiences participants will gain valuable experience to help them develop their own leadership abilities.  After learning how to do the above mentioned activities they will have opportunities to then help others learn the skill to help them get comfortable in a teaching role sharing their knowledge.  With our team of volunteer mentors working with the program through out the year it also provides opportunities for the participants to build meaningful relationships with some older role models that are there to share their passion for each activity and to help the participants grow and learn about themselves.


Other opportunities within the program will be to take part in 2 or more job shadow days to help them discover possible job/career tracks in both the outdoor recreation industry but also in other fields of interest, develop skills like budgeting, trip planning, designing and executing fundraisers, as well as an opportunity to learn from an array of guest speakers that will come in and speak with the group through out the year.

With the financial support from MEC confirmed we are now confident that the program will move forward and are looking for up to 15 participants to join us for the 10 month long program.  Leaders in Action is open to youth ages 15-18 with consideration for those that will turn 15 during the program.  No prior sport experience is required and we provide all the needed equipment to take part in each activity that is included in the program.  There are full and partial scholarships available for families that meet our eligibility requirements, as well as paid spots for those that do not qualify to ensure that all young people in our community have an opportunity to share in this experience.

If you would like more information click here, or give us a call at 250-870-9094 to speak with our team today!