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Story Starters

Sun Peaks Story Starters help you uncover what makes Sun Peaks… Sun Peaks. Whether you are intrigued by our mountain lifestyle, captivated by our charming alpine village, curious about the personalities who call Sun Peaks home, or yearning to discover the foundations from which Sun Peaks has grown, we want to be sure you have the inside scoop to share Sun Peaks with your audience.

Sun Peaks is a resort community located in the interior of British Columbia. Located just 45 minutes from Kamloops, it is the second largest ski area in Canada and a year-round destination for guests in search of a welcoming, accessible, stress-free mountain experience. Consistently recognized as one of the top ski resorts in North America, thanks to its massive terrain and confidence inspiring design, Sun Peaks offers a European-style ski-in, ski-out, pedestrian village with locally-owned and operated shops, restaurants and lodging. Spring, summer and fall offers guests a wide range of leisure activities, featuring an 18-hole, par 72 Graham Cooke-designed golf course, a lift-accessed downhill mountain bike park, cross-country mountain biking, alpine hiking trails, and a year-round line up of concerts, events and festivals. Sun Peaks has been recognized for its environmental policies and practices, as the first resort in North America and the only resort in Canada to earn the ISO 14001 designation for environmental management. Sun Peaks can be accessed from airport gateways in Kamloops (45 minutes) and Kelowna (2.5 hours), and by car, with only a four-hour drive separating Sun Peaks from Vancouver, B.C.

Story Starters

Why walk when you can ski

When the Sun Peaks Education Society first formed in 2010, they set out with visions of building a school for the children of Sun Peaks. But it was not just about building a school, it was a steadfast goal to create the ‘most stimulating educational experience in B.C. to children in a spectacular mountainside community.’

The inaugural year saw 18 students from kindergarten to grade 5, supported by an Open Learning teacher and many volunteers, pass through the doors of Sun Peaks’ first local school. In the 8 years since, this extraordinary education opportunity has seen significant growth with approximately 135 students enrolled across two schools from kindergarten to grade 12 for 2018-2019.

Now in partnership with the local school district, Sun Peaks Elementary offers a not-so-traditional learning opportunity to students up to grade 7, including a ski-in/ski-out school where students arrive via the Village Platter lift. For older students, Sun Peaks Secondary Academy provides a unique schooling model, focused on BC curriculum in the classroom while continuing to encourage a healthy outdoor lifestyle for students to take away with them after grade 12.

With perks including a four-day school week, Friday’s free for ski club training, and PE classes on the slopes, it is no wonder this mountainside school continues to draw attention and attract more young families looking to lay roots in a true mountain town.

Sharing excellence in skiing

Possessing a superior Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance (CSIA) training program and outstanding reputation, it is not surprising that Sun Peaks’ Sports School has the opportunity to hand-select instructors from the hundreds of applications they receive every winter.

Eager new instructors don’t just flock from Canada. Sun Peaks Sports School also welcomes aspiring international instructors through partner organizations such as Wintersports (UK) and Snowminds (Denmark). During the 2017-2018 season alone, approximately 140 students completed their Level 1 CSIA training in Sun Peaks. Select students then moved on to join the Sports School to teach their new trade alongside seasoned CSIA instructors hailing from 15 different countries and offering lessons in 11 languages. From foundational skills on the beginner slopes, right up to off-piste and backcountry skills, the Sports School truly caters to the full spectrum of skiers and boarders.

Did you know? Selected as one of Canada’s top 10 ski instructors, Luc Neron, a ski instructor at Sun Peaks Resort, will be travelling to Pamporovo, Bulgaria in March 2019 as a member of the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance (CSIA) Interski Team. The Interski Congress, held every four years, brings together the top instructors from skiing nations around the world for workshops, demonstrations and discussions focused on the betterment of snow sport instruction. Read more

Celebrate Sun Peaks' 1st Annual Cider Fest 

The nutrient-rich soil of British Columbia’s Thompson-Okanagan is celebrated for the abundance of premiere grapes, sun-ripened stone fruits, and crisp apples it yields each year. Tasting rooms abound throughout the region, where producers invite guests to sip their latest infusions. Celebrating the thirst for local summer fruits and fall harvest, Sun Peaks will host the 1st Annual Sun Peaks Cider Fest on Saturday, September 8th. Discover the delights of the region's cideries and craft breweries under one roof, while enjoying live music and learning from industry experts in an intimate mountain atmosphere.

Test your swing on British Columbia's highest elevation golf course

The Golf Course at Sun Peaks Resort welcomes guests to test their swing on the 18-hole, 72-par Graham Cooke designed course. At 1,200 metres above sea level, it is British Columbia’s highest elevation course, offering golfers of every level the serenity of panoramic views, fresh mountain air and even the chance of meeting Sun Peaks wildlife on the links. This season, the kids golf free special has expanded, inviting golfers 18 years and under to play for free when accompanied by a paying adult.

New nonstop service connecting Toronto to Kamloops takes flight 

This summer, it's faster than ever for guests from Ontario and beyond to reach Sun Peaks. Launching June 21, Air Canada Rouge's new nonstop service welcomed nearly 100 passengers on its inaugural flight from Toronto to Kamloops. The new service allows guests to leave Toronto and be in Sun Peaks in time to enjoy an afternoon in the mountains, be it a round of golf, alpine sightseeing, or soaking up the sun on one of the village's many restaurant patios.

Sun Peaks' August concert expands to two days featuring Dan Mangan and Bedouin Soundclash

On August 25-26, Music in the Mountains will hit Sun Peaks' slopeside, open-air concert stage for a weekend of free award-winning performances. Two-time JUNO award winner and two-time Polaris Music Prize listed musician and songwriter, Dan Mangan, returns to Sun Peaks to kick-off the weekend with his indie-rock tunes on Saturday evening. Bedouin Soundclash will round out the JUNO award-winning lineup when they hit the stage on Sunday afternoon.

Family weeks: free fun for the whole family

 

Back by popular demand, from July 16 to August 10, 2018, families can enjoy FREE kid-friendly activities during their summer mountain holiday. Three times daily from Monday to Friday, guests will have the opportunity to join the fun with activities such as art classes, sing-a-longs, pony rides, guided hikes and testing your swing at the driving range. Top off these free organized activities with other family-friendly pursuits including bike riding, or exploring the valley trails.

 

Alpine improvements for your summer adventures

The Sun Peaks Bike Park and hiking trail networks are growing! Over the coming months, the summer slopes crew will be hard at work on the first steps of a multi-phase plan to develop more terrain for new and intermediate riders, including a top-to-bottom lift-access beginner trail and a designated skills zone. Alpine hikers will soon have access to more picture-perfect picnic areas too. Those who didn’t pack a lunch can visit the newly renovated Sunburst Bar + Eatery at mid-mountain, for fresh summer fare and an ice-cold drink.

significant investment at sun peaks for 2018

Sun Peaks will be buzzing this summer, and not just from the bees in the alpine blossoms. 2018 will see over $60 million in activity completed, or underway, to improve Sun Peaks' overall guest experience. Highlights include: construction of a highly anticipated chairlift connecting the East Village area, planning for the multi-purpose Sun Peaks Centre, the transformation of the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel's 221 guest suites, and more. Visitors and residents alike are excited to watch the continuing evolution of Sun Peaks as a leading mountain resort destination. 

Mountain spirit festival returns for its second year

Following a successful trial year, the weekend-long Mountain Spirit Festival is returning to Sun Peaks, June 22-24, 2018. The wellness retreat will offer attendees a weekend of inspirational speakers, health and spirituality workshops, healing practitioners, and yoga sessions. Founder of Interior Wellness and creator of the Mountain Spirit Festival, Elizabeth Beeds, sees Sun Peaks as the ideal location for this transformational festival given the proximity to amenities, the trails and the unique energy that the mountain environment creates.

"When you take yourself out of your normal, regular, everyday life, and put yourself with people that are all there to grow and have fun, in one week's time you can have the same results as a year of therapy," commented Beeds. 

elate your taste buds: a recipe for history buffs

For locals and guests alike, Sun Peaks cinnamon buns have been a staple in the ski day for many years. Their sweet aroma wafts through the fresh mountain air to alert those skiing past that it is time for a morning coffee break, while those in the know are already waiting in line as the buns come out of the oven. The recipe was first introduced by Sandra Hudson, who joined the two-person bakery team at Tod Mountain’s Burfield Lodge in the late 1980’s. Over the years, new bakers have attempted to add their own special touch to the sticky bun recipe. With each attempt, there has been criticism from the masses, demanding the return of the original recipe.

Modest in her words, Hudson admits she kind of “winged it” in an effort to impress her mother-in-law, a baker and cinnamon bun aficionado. Now, 30 years later, Hudson finds it hard to believe the recipe remains coveted in the kitchens of Sun Peaks’ slopeside food and beverage outlets for guests to enjoy through the winter season.

Nancy's Dream Fund: Helping young athletes reach their dreams

On February 15, 2018, Sun Peaks Resort announced a new fundraising initiative to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Nancy Greene’s Olympic gold medal win. Nancy’s Dream Fund will ensure that promising young athletes have equal opportunity to reach their dreams and not be limited by the costs associated with competitions and training camps. Nancy, who has called Sun Peaks home for over two decades, has always expressed the importance of community support for young athletes. Her gratitude for the community of Rossland, BC, where Nancy began her skiing career, is well-known. The donations raised through community efforts allowed Nancy to reach the next level in her skiing career and ultimately, win Olympic gold.  

Snowbombing Canada Returns to sun peaks

Sun Peaks’ snowy mountain tops will come alive with the sound of music as Coors Light Snowbombing Canada returns for its second year April 5-9, 2018. Touted to be “the mother of all mountain music festivals”, Coors Light Snowbombing Canada made its North American debut in 2017. It welcomes festival goers to an epic weekend packed with world-renowned artists, like chart-topping American rapper Cardi B, performing at unique slopeside venues. The infinite entertainment continues beyond the music with unusual festival experiences including chairlift speed dating, snolympics and head turning costume themes. And the icing on the cake, over 4,270 acres of terrain for snow enthusiasts to explore between acts.

for the love of perfect corduroy: grooming requires year-round planning

While the appreciation of groomed runs from skiers is common knowledge, many are unaware of the year-round planning, maintenance and precision that goes into mastering the art of a perfectly groomed run. In Sun Peaks, unique grooming practices have been developed and because of this, Sun Peaks sees great early season skiing conditions.

As new runs are planned and old runs are scheduled for maintenance, the skier experience is the number one priority for the Sun Peaks Mountain Operations team as they prepare the ground for winter grooming. During the off-season, vegetation is removed, the ground is carefully graded and water bars are put in place to collect rain during the summer months to prevent erosion. Once the groundwork is complete, Sun Peaks’ trail crew works through the summer to ensure a flawless foundation for the experienced winter grooming team to create the masterpiece.

40th anniversary of the bc winter games

BC’s top amateur winter sports athletes will descend on the Thompson-Okanagan from February 22 to 25, 2018 for the 40th Anniversary of the BC Games. This celebration of sport, community excellence and camaraderie will see events held in and around the host city of Kamloops. High above at the host mountain, spectators at Sun Peaks Resort will be able to share in the excitement as they cheer the young athletes all the way to the podium in alpine, freestyle and snowboarding events.

The only world cup sanctioned speed skiing event held in north america returns to sun peaks

In 1989, a group of speed-seeking skiers came together to launch the Velocity Challenge, a come-one, come all, speed skiing event at Tod Mountain. Now, the Sun Peaks Velocity Challenge & the FIS Speed Ski World Cup are the only world cup sanctioned speed skiing events held in North America.

Each year, spectators watch elite competitors from around the world accelerate from zero to +175km/hr, in sleek rubber body suits and aerodynamic helmets down a 67 percent grade on Sun Peaks’ specially groomed Headwalls run. New in 2016, event organizers added “So you think your fast, eh?” , an opportunity for first-time speed skiers to test their courage and skill. Newbie speed skiers receive pointers from the world's fastest and have the opportunity to register for the main FIS Speed skiing event.

Celebrating Excellence in the tourism industry

Vivek Sharma, General Manager of the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel and Conference Centre, is standing proud. On November 29, 2017 he was welcomed to the stage to accept the Air Canada Business of the Year award which recognizes all-round business excellence in the Canadian tourism industry. “This award is an acknowledgment from the industry of our team’s hard work and commitment to our guests,” Sharma expressed. “It also speaks to the fact that there is still space for independent operators like us."

Two Decades of wine in the mountains

With humble beginnings in 2008 as a two day “Ice Wine Festival”, the Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival has matured with grace to the internationally recognized, ten-day celebration it is today. Celebrating 20 years in 2018 (January 12 to 21), the Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival will once again welcome visitors from around the globe to experience a quintessentially Canadian pairing of fine Okanagan wines and true north adventure in Canada’s Alpine Village.

Holiday traditions - a family affair

The holiday season is filled with traditions. For many locals and returning guests, Sun Peaks' New Year's Eve celebrations have become the hallmark. For over 20 years, family and friends have gathered at the top of the Sundance lift, joining 200 fellow skiers and riders to light up the mountain on their final decent of the year.

Winter Holidays in sun peaks

What do gingerbread houses made by Sun Peaks Elementary School students, ice fishing demonstrations and our Jolly friend from the North Pole all have in common? They are all part of the winter holidays in Sun Peaks. Explore the Artisan Market, indulge at the authentic Maple Taffy station and watch in anticipation as Santa arrives on his sleigh before hopping on his lap to whisper your Christmas wish list. 

heli ski prep program 

Sun Peaks Resort is conveniently located amid some of the finest heli and cat-skiing destinations in the world! Get the most out of your heli or cat skiing trip in this two- day camp designed and instructed by a CSIA certified instructor and Canadian Ski and heli ski guide. Warm-up and fine tune your powder skiing technique in Sun Peaks legendary Gil's terrain while developing the necessary backcountry skills before your heli or cat skiing destination. Avalanche awareness, companion rescue, tree wells and backcountry hazard recognition are invaluable skills to take with you into the trip of your lifetime! 

Grooming capabilities enhanced for winter season 

Sun Peaks has long been recognized for its summer grooming practices, which allow the resort to open earlier with less snow than other resorts with similar elevation. The overall winter grooming capabilities will be at an all-time high next season thanks to an upgraded snow cat fleet and the introduction of new grooming professionals. Also assisting in the production of our world-renowned corduroy, will be the installation of several new winch anchors on West Morrisey. These winches will allow for greater access for the snow cats on many of the steeper pitches on the mountain. Grooming efforts have been increased for the 2016/17 winter season with work done to the area surrounding the Crystal Chair, allowing for an improved gladed skiing experience. 

New housing development in the works amidst heavy demand 

As the destination grows so do the needs for additional accommodation options. A new townhouse development will add selection to the ever-growing demand of prospective homebuyers in Sun Peaks. A&T Ventures of Kamloops has acquired the site next to the Kookaburra Lodge to build a 26-unit townhouse complex. Real estate sales are soaring in Sun Peaks in 2016. As of June 27, the year to date sales have doubled from the same period last year and nearly matches the total amount of sales for the entirety of 2015. 

Guided Ice Fishing 

Enjoy the winter sunrise, some mid-day blue skies or a stunning sunset out on the hard water on a fully guided ice fishing adventure with Elevated Fishing Adventures. Join your local guide Campbell for a uniquely Canadian experience on one of the many mountain lakes surrounding Sun Peaks and try your hand at catching a few of the hard-fighting and great tasting wild Rainbow Trout. Everything from pick-up to drop-off is provided including door-to-door transportation to and from the lake, a heated ice fishing tent, a hot beverage and all the fishing gear you need. But the most valuable part is the knowledge of an experienced guide, making it easy for anyone to learn as they go with absolutely no experience required. With a little luck and a little skill, you could take home some fish for the frying pan. 

Tourism Sun Peaks Media Contacts

Contact our communications team directly for assistance with any media related matters or sign up for media updates to come directly to your inbox.

Rachel Roberts
Email: media@sunpeakstourism.com
Office: 250.578.5387
Cell: 250.318.3633

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