Canada Ski Working Holiday: 2022 Guide

December 2, 2021
Posted in How To Guide, Working Holiday


Are you keen to work and ski in Canada during the winter 2022 season? Every year we place working holiday travellers from around the world in ski resort jobs in Canada through our Working Holiday Resort Job Program. These travellers come from any one of the countries included in International Experience Canada‘s Youth Mobility Agreement, which allows travellers to live and work in Canada for up to two years, depending on your nationality. We’ve compiled some of our most common FAQs about the great Canada ski working holiday so that you can arrive suited, booted and ready to hit the slopes!

When Does The Canadian Ski Season Start? 

Depending on the snowfall at the beginning of the season, the ski resorts will open between mid-November and mid-December. The hiring season for ski working holiday jobs begins as early as July through to early October, and you will be required to be in Canada before the opening of the ski resort to attend your training.

In addition to working at ski resorts, you can also work in winter mountain resorts or ski towns that host tourists for the ski season. They have hotels, cafes, restaurants, retail and tourist shops where you can work. 

During your consultation, we learn about your preferences for where in Canada you would like to work. Even if you don’t have a specific preference, we will break down the pros and cons of each ski resort location in Canada that we work with to give you a better idea! Before we notify you of an upcoming interview with a resort or hotel in Canada, we send you a complete guide containing everything you need to know about the employer. This is to ensure you are fully prepared to succeed in your interview.

On Stepwest’s Working Holiday Resort Job Program, we’ll secure you a job as early as July, so that we can prepare the other aspects of your ski working holiday in Canada before the snow starts falling!

Get ready for an epic ski season in Canada with the help of Stepwest!

When Do I Need To Secure My Working Holiday Visa For The Winter 2022 Season?

As early in the IEC 2022 season as possible. The reason is that because the process to secure a working holiday visa is by invitation (ITA), you not only need to keep in mind the processing times but also the time it might take you to get an invitation. 

We recommend that you become part of the IEC pool from your country of nationality as soon as IEC 2022 opens, so that way, once the Government of Canada starts to send invitations, you are part of those rounds! The more rounds you are present in, the higher your chances… no science there!

Please consider what applying for a work permit involves and start your process with time. Do not wait until the last minute to plan your working holiday in Canada!

sun peaks ski resort canada
You could be spending your winter navigating the off-the-beaten-path mountain resort Sun Peaks!

Do I Need To Know How To Ski or Snowboard To Work a Winter Ski Season in Canada?

Not at all! We host a lot of participants from countries where winter sports are not that popular. In fact, many participants have never tried either sport! Working a winter season in Canada is a great opportunity to learn how to ski or snowboard.

We have worked with participants like Oscar from Spain who is a backcountry skier with plenty of experience skiing and snowboarding in the Pyrenees in Europe. We have also helped participants like Gabriel, a chef from Costa Rica, who had never experienced a winter like a Canadian one before!

Stepwest Working Holiday participant Oscar from Spain enjoying the ski slopes at Revelstoke Mountain Resort in Western Canada.

Where Should I Do A Ski Season in Canada?

The most popular provinces to do a ski season in Canada are British Columbia and Alberta. The most popular ski resorts are Whistler Village and Banff. Other ski resort towns are Revelstoke, Vernon, Kelowna, Nelson, Rossland and Jasper to name a few. All of these destinations host a wide variety of winter activities. Read on to see a breakdown of the two different provinces to see which is right for you (you can also schedule a call with one of our experts for more guidance on finding the perfect fit!).

The Rocky Mountains divide the two Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta and make them equally worth exploring on your working holiday in Canada.

British Columbia – Whistler, Sun Peaks, Powder Highway

The province of British Columbia is a great destination for your working holiday experience. Here, you can experience nature’s finest first hand: the ocean, mountains, pristine lakes, waterfalls, hot springs, Olympic ski hills, and big cities too. There is a wide range of resorts that hire during both the summer and winter seasons. Across British Columbia, the most famous resort destinations are Whistler Blackcomb, Sun Peaks, Mount Washington, Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, Big White, Apex, Red Mountain, Whitewater, Silverstar, Fernie, and Kimberley.

Once you start to research BC, you might read about The Powder Highway. This is a route through BC’s Kootenay Rockies that passes by eight ski resorts! Check out this amazing video of one of our favourite resorts, Sun Peaks by the Matador Network.

Alberta – Canadian Rockies

A working holiday experience in the province of Alberta will place you in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. It is home to some of Canada’s most famous sights, including Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, and Waterton National Parks. The most popular ski resorts are Lake Louise, Sunshine, Norquay, Marmot Basin, Nakiska, and Castle Mountain.

The most famous resort destination in AlbThe most famous resort destination in Alberta for hundreds of working holiday participants is the town of Banff. Banff is a ski and mountain resort town, located close to Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Kananaskis! Several of BC’s popular ski resorts are not far from Alberta and can also be explored while you are based in Banff.

Watch the video below from Travel Alberta for a look at some of the awe-inspiring sights Alberta has to offer.

What Ski Resort Jobs Can Stepwest Help Me Secure in Canada? 

Our partner employers have many winter jobs in Canada available for working holiday travellers. Here are just a few examples:

  • Guest Services: Front Desk Agent, Night Audit, Bell staff, Spa Attendant, Driver, and Valet.
  • Retail: Ski, Snowboard Rentals, and Cashier.
  • Food & Beverage Department: Fine Dining Server, Server, Server Assistant, Coffee Shop Attendant, Barista, Busser, Banquet Server, and Hostess.
  • Gastronomy & Kitchen: Sous Chef, Chef de Partie, Commis Chef, Pastry Chef, Line Cook, Kitchen Helper, and Dishwasher.
  • Room Division: Room Service Attendant, Housekeeping, and Laundry Attendant.
  • General Maintenance: Ground Staff, and Houseman.

How Cold Does It Get in Canada?

Canadian winters, either in Alberta or British Columbia, are cold. That’s why they are so beautiful! Temperatures can fluctuate between -5°C (early in the season) down to -40°C in Alberta. So yes, you need to make sure to travel to Canada with your winter gear. Remember that all the accommodation and hotels are prepared for these temperatures with good heating systems. If your job requires you to work outside, the hotel or resort will provide you with a uniform to be prepared for the cold.

What if I Want To Work Both Seasons at a Resort in Canada? Will Stepwest Only Find Me a Job for One Season?

All of our partner resorts and hotels stay open all year. This means you can come for the winter season and stay for the summer season, or vice versa. Many of our participants use the shoulder season to travel and get to know Canada. You could take a trip to Toronto, Vancouver, the Yukon, or even go on a road trip to the United States, now that borders are back open! Need more ideas? We have many!

Wondering whether to stay in Canada for the summer season? Check out our Summer Working Holiday guide.

Will I Get Staff Housing for the Whole Year if I Decide To Extend My Stay to the Summer Season?

Yes, as long as you are able to inform your employer and the staff housing team in advance, you will be able to extend your stay for the summer season. We have had many clients that were sure that they only wanted to stay one season and changed their mind during the season! 

For you to be able to extend your stay it is important that you get insurance for the full duration of your work permit and not only for one season. This is because if you decide to get insurance for just six months, you will only get a work permit for six months. So, even if you decide you want to stay longer in Canada and even if your employer wants to keep you in their team, it will not be possible as the IEC permits can’t be extended!  We will give you all the details so that you do not miss a thing!

What Are the COVID-19 Requirements To Enter Canada on a Working Holiday?

As of January 15th 2022, you must be fully vaccinated with an accepted vaccine by the Government of Canada. You will not have to isolate or quarantine, which makes the arrival much easier than before. You can check the current arrival regulations here, where we explain it in detail.

Secure Your Canada Ski Working Holiday Job Before You Arrive!

Our Working Holiday Program is designed so you can focus on the excitement of your trip to Canada. You will have more time to enjoy your first few days in Canada while we make sure all your essentials are covered.

Our Working Holiday Resort Program guarantees:

  • A trip coordinator to support you throughout your entire stay. We answer all your questions and make sure you are ready for your working holiday adventure in Canada!
  • Pre-arranged job at a hotel or resort before your arrival in Canada or your money back!
  • Resume revision and preparation for your interviews with Canadian employers.
  • Assistance with your work permit application: Documents, biometrics, and each step after you receive your invitation (if needed).
  • Discounted staff housing guaranteed before departure.
  • Pre-departure orientation to get ready for your arrival to Canada and receive your IEC work permit, including all the new COVID-19 related requirements  (PCR Test, proof of vaccination, etc.).
  • First hostel night in downtown Vancouver. Meet travelers from all over the world while recovering from jet lag!
  • Welcome to Canada Orientation. Open your free bank account, get your SIN Number, and phone plan so you are ready to start working.
  • Support from our team during your work experience in Canada. If something comes up, we will be here to help you with unlimited support from our Vancouver office.
  • Plus many other benefits to help you settle into your Canadian work adventure!

When you work in Canada you become more than just a tourist. Spend more of your time seeing the breathtaking landscapes on road trips with your mates instead of sweating the logistical stuff. We’re here to save you time, money, stress and even the risk of returning home early. You can only get a Canadian Working Holiday Visa once. Make your time in Canada count and do the experience the right way.

Want to do a ski season in Canada? Book a FREE consultation with our team. Learn how we can help you make the most of your working holiday in Canada: