November 5, 2012 | Off season
Dan Brideau, ski and snowboard instructor at Sunshine Village Ski and Snowboard Resort
With 22 seasons as a ski instructor at Sunshine Village under his belt, Montreal native, Dan Brideau gives us the inside scoop on his storied career at the world –renowned resort.
What led you to a career at Sunshine Village?
I came out west on a mountain bike trip in 1990 and fell in love with the place. I was working as a draftsman, however a friend and ski instructor in Quebec noticed my affinity for teaching and recommended I make a career move. I was also a semi-pro skateboarder and a volunteer ski patroller, and after experiencing the beauty of the Canadian Rockies I decided to make the move out west.
Tell us a bit about your experience at Sunshine Village?
The environment is just amazing, with dramatic mountains and an abundance of snow. But what’s really kept me teaching is the things I’ve learned from my students, in learning how I can help them overcome obstacles and fears. You don’t realize the impact you have on people and nothing is better than teaching someone to ski and giving them the foundation for something that’s enjoyable and fun.
What’s the coolest thing about your job?
A lot of my students have very little expectations of what they can do and it is amazing to see them excel. One of my favourite parts of the job is working through people’s behaviors and seeing how they overcome obstacles. My students have been my greatest teachers and through my work it’s been very enriching.
What do you recommend to people who are thinking of taking a lesson?
I teach all ages and abilities and I would recommend getting out of your comfort zone and just do it. Even in you are an avid skier or snowboarder, we have programs (at Sunshine Village) like Mountain Freeriders that are excellent for refining your skills.
What is your favourite place to ski on the mountain?
My favourite area is Delirium Dive. The terrain is quite steep, the snow conditions are often quite good, and it’s more secluded. You really feel like you’re having a backcountry experience and it feels like you’re a little bit more in touch with the surrounding environment.
And finally, what is your favourite après ski activity?
After a successful day on the slopes I like to enjoy a great meal. That includes going out to dinner with friends or preparing a well-deserved meal at home.