Working at a Canadian Ski Resort
This October, I’ll be heading back to the Big White Ski Resort for another 6 month stint working in the snow. As this has become a popular working holiday for many young travellers, I thought I’d share with you the process I went through to set myself up in Canada.
Obtain a Working Permit
A working permit is needed if you wish to work in Canada. The requirements and terms of your permit will depend entirely on the country you’re from. To find out more, it’s best to contact the Canadian consulate in your country.
As I’m an Australian citizen, I obtained a working permit through the WHP (Working Holiday Program) website. This website provides information you will need to make your application to the Consulate General of Canada in Sydney.
Get a job
As there are a bunch of different jobs available in a range of fields, the chances of finding employment for the season is quite high. There are two ways you can find a job. You can either seek employment before departing or you can start the search once you arrive in Canada.
If you prefer the first option, there are a few Australian companies which can assist you with this. Overseas Working Holidays is one which can arrange for you to have a job interview with a Canadian resort while you’re still in Australia. If successful, they’ll offer you a job before you even leave the country.
While it’s reassuring to know you have a job lined up before departing, I know many people who have found employment after arriving at the ski resort. Most resorts hold a job fair before the season begins which you can attend if you’re yet to find employment.
Travel insurance is a must. Not only will it save you thousands of dollars if you have an accident, it’s an employee requirement if you wish to work at a ski resort.
If you’re travelling on a budget, 1Cover and World Nomads offer ski and snowboard insurance at a fair price.
Register a SIN
The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number which is required if you want to work in Canada. To obtain a SIN, you’ll need to take your work permit and passport to a Service Canada office where you can apply. I applied for one in Kelowna and it was issued one on the spot. Get it done nice and early into your trip so you can start work without any hassles.
For more information about the SIN, visit – servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sc/sin/
I was provided with staff accommodation when I started working at Big White. The majority of the ski resorts in Canada offer a similar opportunity if you’re employed on the mountain. However, there was still private accommodation available if you wished to take that route. At Big White, the price of staff and private accommodation varies, but you’re looking at between $400 and $600 per month.
For those who haven’t grown up around snow, working in a ski resort can be an amazing experience. While it can be a little hassle getting everything sorted before you depart, you’ll soon realise it was definitely worth it.