It’s great to see the Canuck Splitfest heading into its 7th annual event! What led to the initial event back in 2011?
Wade Galloway (aka TreePilot) is the founder of the event, he was a well-known splitboard guru who participated to many online debates on splitboard.com. Unfortunately he passed away on Saturday, February 15, 2014, he was swept away by an avalanche on Mount Rowe at Waterton Lakes National Park.
Wade started the Canuck Splitfest as the first splitfest in the whole of North America, his dream was to unite people who shared the same passion for splitboarding, mountains, and Revelstoke.
Emilie, tell us about yourself and how you became the events organizer.
I worked for Prior Snowboards from 2011 to 2015. I missed the first Canuck Splitfest but got involved in the event right away as Prior was the representing sponsor at the time. As the splitfest got bigger, I started supporting Wade more and more. When Wade passed away in 2014, Jennifer George from Avalanche Canada and myself decided that this awesome event had to keep going in honour of Wade, as it was and is the biggest gathering of splitboarders in the world. In 2015 I started working for Chromag Bikes, but I was able to maintain my involvement with the event. We are also stoked to announce our new representing sponsor Trapper Snowboards, their help this year has been amazing and we are now a team of 4 working to get the event bigger and better!
It appears the event has continued to grow with more sponsors and attendees each season. How have you seen things change over the years?
Absolutely. Each year there is a silent auction and raffle, and we have seen the proceeds grow annually. In the past 6 years, the event raised a total of $28,600 for Avalanche Canada, and we are hoping to bring this number up much higher in the next few years! We are supporting Avalanche Canada through the Avalanche Canada Fund and the Craig Kelly Memorial Scholarship. The Avalanche Canada Fund promotes public avalanche education and facilitates the creation of avalanche bulletins across Canada. The Craig Kelly Memorial Scholarship is set up for snowboarders pursuing a career in guiding or avalanche protection to assist them with furthering their training.
In the past 6 years we have also seen more and more sponsors and attendees show up at the event, male and female. This makes the event so special as we feel that it is really gathering like-minded people from the industry who share the same passion for splitboarding, powder, and the mountains.
For those of us who have never attended the Canuck Splitfest, what should splitters expect? Can you give an itinerary of the event?
First of all, you should block the dates of Jan 13-15 and come join us! You should also connect with our Facebook page ‘Canuck Splitfest’ as we share a lot of information on there. We for example offer discounted hotel rates at Sandman, and we already shared the links in order to apply for the Winter Permit at Rogers Pass, and/or to book a guide with Capow!
This year, $5 entry tickets will be sold for the Jan 14th Saturday night event at the Rec Centre. Cash tickets are now available at Revelstoke’s local establishments Society Snow & Skate, Tantrum, and Free Spirit Sports.. You can also call Avalanche Canada directly with a CC on 250-837-2141 ext 107. Also the Rec Centre itself is selling tickets up until 3pm that Saturday. You need to purchase the ticket in advance in order to be allowed in, so please spread the word!
On Friday Jan 13th, Trapper is holding an open house at its factory from 5-10pm. There will be burgers, beer, and music, so you should definitely come by and meet us all. We will be selling the $5 cash tickets there as well.
Saturday Jan 14th is the main night of the Splitfest, which takes place at the Rec Centre (600 Campbell Ave, Revelstoke, BC, V0E 2S0). The night starts at 4:30pm with a sponsor tradeshow and free splitboard demos. The silent auction and raffle ticket sale will be set up from 5pm to 9pm.
The presentations will take place between 6:30pm and 9pm, and we are stoked that Mark Hartley will be our MC for the night again. Joe Lammers will present Avalanche Canada’s Cherry Bowl project, Nick Irvine will show us Parks Canada’s winter information system and new access at Shaughnessy.. John Buffery will tell us about the risk maturity avalanche course held for pros (such as Travis Rice) at Baldface. We are also lucky to have Matt Macdonald with us again to talk about how last winter’s El Niño played out and to give us an update on this winter’s La Niña.
Beer and pizza will be available for purchase, and the big raffle will be launched at 9pm.
We’re looking forward to it!
We’ve heard that this season’s event has been moved to the Revy Rec Center. Did we outgrow the last location or did Rance and Larry’s unruly behavior lead to the location change?
Haha! Rance and Larry are amazing and I feel honoured to get their annual support and attendance. If you haven’t met these two you should make sure you do this year. They are both legends and have succeeded at prioritizing powder and splitboarding in their lives. If you see a sausage party on the parking lot at Rogers Pass they are definitely involved!
But yes, we outgrew the Hillcrest, it became a bit too crazy, everyone was jammed and it was way too hot! We are stoked to hold this year’s event in the Rec centre and are looking forward to seeing the crowd!
We’re stoked to see this year’s title sponsor is Revy based Trapper Snowboards. What role do Dave Pearson and Greg Fortier – Trapper Snowboards have in the event, and what do they have in store for the Canuck Splitfest?
Trapper has been supporting the Canuck Splitfest since day one, and has been hosting their open house on the Friday of the event since quite a while. They also always have demo boards available and are ready to help where they can.
This year, they increased their involvement quite a bit by participating in the organization of the event. With the growing numbers we needed more hands on deck and thankfully Trapper was there to jump in. Greg and Dave will also help us during the event itself, and we will be working with volunteers as well, so anyone who is keen to help can contact us through our Facebook page!
We are stoked to have Trapper on board and don’t know how we would have done it without them this year as it’s promising to be a busy Splitfest!
Who are the sponsors that are making this event happen? What kind of goodies can splitters look forward to seeing during the raffle?
We have more sponsors every year, which is bringing us closer to our goal to bringing together the entire splitboard community annually!
Here is an overview of our sponsors:
Representing sponsor: Trapper Snowboards.
Gold sponsors: Eagle Pass, Mervin, Prior, The North Face, Splitboard HQ in cooperation with G3 and Olive Snowboards.
Silver sponsors: Alpine Club of Canada, Arc’teryx, Burton, Intuition, Kind Snacks, Never Summer, Spark R&D, Whitewater Ski Resort.
Bronze sponsors: Almond Mfg, Capow!, Cheetah Factory Racing, Chimera, Free Spirit Sports, Nibz, OR, Pallas, Revelstoke Mountaineer, Sandbox, Snowboard Addiction, Society Snow and Skate, Splitboard.com, Stoke FM, Stoke Roasted, and Tantrum.
We are revealing prizes 3 times per day on our Facebook page, so go check that out to know more about all the goodies you can win!
Everyone I’ve spoken with refers to the Revelstoke area as a magical place. How do you feel about the area and why should splitters come check it out?
Revelstoke is magic because of many reasons. First of all, the local community is very special and down to earth. Second, the snow is always fresh, fluffy, and dry. Finally, the easy access to so much amazing terrain just makes it the perfect place for a gathering of splitboarders!
What do you hope to achieve with the Canuck Splitfest this season?
I’m hoping to see more people join the event again this year and to see many happy faces! I also hope that we’ll again surpass last year’s proceeds, because the ultimate goal is to support Avalanche Canada.
In the long run, I’m hoping to get every company on board that has something to do with splitboarding, and to get more splitboarders to join from Canada, the States, and the rest of the world. My ultimate goal really is to have an annual gathering of people that are involved with splitboarding so that they can stay in touch and share information and stories.
Here is a look back at event flyers over the years: