Friday, May 7

Congrats to our two new CSIA Level 4's!

Congrats to our two new CSIA Level 4's! Hero thumbnail
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May 7, 2021

Congrats to our two new CSIA Level 4's!

At Banff Sunshine Village we recently had two of our ski instructors become CSIA Level 4 instructors, the two new instructors are Ben and Alex. This is a huge achievement that took a lot of hard work and dedication over many years. We are all so proud to have such committed passionate ski instructors at our resort. Congratulations Ben and Alex! 


Not just anyone can become a level 4 ski instructor. It takes a vast knowledge of skiing and a great deal of dedication to perfecting the outdoor sport. 


If you are not familiar with CSIA, here is a little Q & A to help you learn more about the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance, and what a significant achievement it is to become a Level 4 Ski Instructor.  


Q: What is a CSIA?  

CSIA stands for Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance, which provides the internationally recognized ski instructor course. The CSIA has 4 levels of certification, each one more difficult than the last.  


Q: What is CSIA Level 4 Certification?  

A: Level 4 of the Canadian Ski Instructor Alliance aims to train and develop expert instructors by perfecting their teaching abilities as well as their skiing.  


Successful candidates will display the highest level of teaching and skiing ability. This certification means you can teach all levels of skiing on all terrain and train future instructors.  


This is the highest level of certification a ski instructor can achieve.  


Q: How long does it take to become a CSIA Level 4?  

A: It takes many years of full-time commitment to complete the training to become a level 4 certified Ski Instructor. 





We caught up with Ben and Alex to hear more about their passion for skiing and becoming a CSIA Level 4.  


A little bit about Ben.  


Originally from Scotland, Ben learned to ski at Sunshine Village when he was 6 years old. He started out as one of our tiny tigers in 1999.   


SSV: When did your passion for skiing begin?  

Ben: I was fortunate to come here (Banff Sunshine Village) on vacation as a child. My parents booked a 3 day learn to ski lesson at the time. After the first day, they were not sold on the idea of skiing. However, they returned for the 2nd day and by that afternoon we were hooked by the skiing bug! While they were in lessons I was too and that's when it all began!  


SSV: How long have you been skiing at Sunshine?  

Ben: I first skied at Sunshine in 1999 - returning for many years on vacation. I started working here in 2012. To date overall I have skied at Sunshine for 22 years!  


SSV: How long have you worked at Sunshine?  

Ben: I have been working at Sunshine Village Ski & Snowboard School for the past 9 years. 


SSV: Why did you want to become a ski instructor?  

Ben: I have always had the ambition to be a ski instructor, since I can remember! I don’t really know why perhaps the fact that I enjoyed skiing and I realized I could try and turn my passion into a career! I also have always enjoyed helping others to learn and acquire new skills so they too can experience the joy of skiing as much as I do.  


SSV: What does it mean to you to become a CSIA Level 4 instructor?   

Ben: For me, achieving the CSIA Level 4 is a huge career milestone. It is the culmination of years of training, hard work, and dedication to continue to self-improve and develop. For me a big part of the Level 4 process has been growing my knowledge and skills, I am now able to share this with my clients and colleagues alike. As a young instructor entering the industry, I had never thought about one day becoming a Level 4. However, as I worked and grew within the industry, I realized that this step was becoming more achievable. I am still very committed to my training, and I want to continue my development within the industry. I also want to add that the ongoing training we receive at Sunshine Village is incredible. It is the hard work of Jen Collison & Kenji Morimoto on snow with our instructors, along with the support of our Ski & Snowboard School Director Stewart Laver & Assistant Director Colleen Collison. This is part of what makes our school and the instructors so successful.   


A little bit about Alex.  


Alex grew up in a small town in the heart of England called Oakham and learned to ski at the age of 7.  


SSV: When did your passion for skiing begin?  

Alex: My parents took my brother and i skiing for the first time when I was 7 to the Italian Dolomites. Other than a first-day tantrum, I was instantly hooked.  

SSV: How long have you worked at Sunshine?  

Alex: I came to Canada in January 2014 on an instructor training program, where I got my CSIA level 1&2. I have been working for Sunshine since the following 14/15 season.  


Q: Why did you want to become a ski instructor?  

Alex: I absolutely love skiing and I have never had any desire to work in an office or corporate environment, so ski instructing seemed to be a perfect fit for me, and I haven't looked back, to be honest.  


Q: What does it mean to you to become a CSIA Level 4 instructor?   

Alex: It's quite hard to explain to people who aren't in the ski industry what it means to get your level 4. Simply, it's the highest qualification we have in our industry and not many people ever get it, traditionally the pass rate is <7%. All I can say is it's the culmination of 7 years of constant training and hard work, and I'm extremely proud of what I have achieved.