How to Work the 2023 Ski Season in Canada

Call us biased, but we think Canada has the best snow season in the world. Whether you’re an advanced skier or snowboarder chasing powder – or have never so much as looked at a pair of skis – there’s something for everyone. If we’ve piqued your interest, here’s how to work the 2023 ski season in Canada… 

Working a ski season in Canada will give you unparalleled access to some of the best ski resorts in the world!

Why You Should Do a Ski Season in Canada

Canada is called the Great White North for a reason. For starters, Canada boasts one of the longest ski seasons in the world (a whopping six months). Working a ski season will allow you to take your time experiencing all that Canada has to offer. Basically, expect deep snow, soaring mountains, authentic ski towns and world-class skiing – both on and off-piste. Plus, you’ll get really good at skiing and/or boarding.

Apply for the 2023 Canada Working Holiday Visa

Before you start packing your winter gear, you need to apply for the IEC Working Holiday visa. This is a temporary work permit allowing youth from participating countries to work in Canada. Find out which nationalities can apply for the Canada Working Holiday visa.

Eligible to Apply? Create Your IEC Profile Now!

Canada issues invitations to apply (ITA) through a ‘pool’ system, which selects IEC profiles through random weekly draws. Your chances of an invitation vary depending on a country’s quota of visas, the number of people in the pool and the time of year. So the earlier you can get your name in the pool, the better!

On our Canada Ski Working Holiday program, we will walk you through the entire application process, so you can secure your 2023 Canada Working Holiday visa with ease.

Stepwest participant Karolina explores Blackcomb Glacier during the ski season in Whistler.

Where to Work a Ski Season in Canada

Once you’ve secured your Working Holiday visa, it’s on to the fun stuff. Starting with picking a mountain!

Spanning a whopping ten million square kilometres, Canada boasts 294 ski resorts, 3,976 kilometres of slopes and 855 ski lifts. That’s a whole lot of choices. So, if you’re scratching your head about where to work a ski season in Canada, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite ski resorts in British Columbia and Alberta:

Where to Work a Ski Season in British Columbia

If you’ve done your research, chances are you’ve heard of BC’s Powder Highway, encompassing eight world-class ski resorts along the Kootenay Rockies. This includes Panorama, Kimberley, RED Mountain, Whitewater, Fairmont Hot Spring, Fernie, Kicking Horse – the ‘Champagne Capital of Canada’ – and Revelstoke, home to the longest ski run in North America. Outside of the Powder Highway, explore Big White, Sun Peaks and Whistler Blackcomb.

Canada's snow season is characterized by consistent snow, deep powder and incredible terrain!

Where to Work a Ski Season in Alberta

In Alberta, most holiday workers opt to work during the Banff ski season. This will put you on the doorstep of some of the best ski resorts in Alberta, including Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Kananaskis. Not forgetting BC’s ski resorts, which are all within driving distance for some epic weekends away. Otherwise, other popular local resorts include Norquay, Marmot Basin, Nakiska, and Castle Mountain.

Stepwest participant Gabriel got to tick off ice fishing from his bucket list during his time in Canada.

It’s Not All Skiing…

Canada’s snow season is far from linear. Aside from skiing and snowboarding, you can go snowshoeing, dog sledding and seek out the northern lights. If you want to get the full Canadian experience, play ice hockey or ice skate on frozen lakes! Canada’s top ski resorts are also within driving distance of cosmopolitan cities like Vancouver and Calgary.

If you’re struggling to decide where to work for the 2023 snow season in Canada, get in touch! We can advise you on the best options according to your interests.

How to get a 2023 Ski Season Job in Canada

Next on the agenda: find a job. The good news is that you will have a lot of opportunities to work! Canada’s ski resorts have seen a huge demand for the 2023 ski season and employers are on a hiring binge to keep up.

When to Apply For Ski Season Jobs in Canada

By June popular ski resorts such as Whistler, Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise are starting to hire. It pays off to be organized as the sooner you are ready for interviews, the more ski resort job positions you will be able to choose from. If you are a last-minute planner, there is no need to panic as we can secure you a job through our Ski Resort Working Holiday program.

How to Find Accommodation For The Ski Season

Finding affordable accommodation for the ski season can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Therefore we recommend securing a ski resort job with staff housing. Our Ski Resort Working Holiday program always includes guaranteed staff housing, as well as some incredible staff perks (think: discounts on food and retail, ski passes and other activities).

Live and work at Sun Peaks Mountain Resort during the 2023 Canada ski season and spend your lunch break sending it on the slopes.

Next Steps: Planning Your 2023/2024 Canada Ski Season!

Ready to get the ball rolling? Here’s what to expect…

  1. Contact us today to make sure you can apply for a Working Holiday permit. if you’ve already got a Working Holiday visa, we can start working together to get your ski season job.
  2. If you are eligible to apply, we will organize a free consultation to understand what type of job you are looking for and how we can help you.
  3. Submit your work permit application. Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through each step of your application to make sure it is perfect.
  4. Interviews with employers in Canada from the comfort of your home.
  5. Work permit approval and trip preparation.
  6. Hoorah! You’ve landed in Canada! After setting up for life in Canada, it’s time to move into your staff housing and start your Canadian snow season adventure!

Don’t Forget! Insurance for Winter Sports

You are required to get travel insurance in order to receive your working holiday permit upon arrival to Canada. Make sure that you include winter sports coverage with your insurance plan, as you want to make the most of the winter sports that Canada will give you access to!

As an international traveller, medical care in Canada is very expensive so do not risk getting the cheapest insurance, as if you really need it (we hope you don’t) it can turn into a huge headache and a very pricey problem! Find out what insurance our participants use.

Want to Learn More?

Now you have discovered how to work a ski season in Canada, you can start planning your 2023 ski season in the Great White North.

First, check to see if you are eligible, then get in touch to hear more about our Ski Working Holiday program, and how we can help you embark on the trip of a lifetime!


When does the 2023/2024 ski season start in Canada?

Canada boasts one of the longest snow seasons in the world. While the exact months vary each year, on average the snow season will run from mid-November to late-April.

If I apply for my Canada Working Holiday visa now, will I get It in time for the 2023/2024 ski season?

It depends on your nationality. If you are from a country with large Working Holiday visa quotas (like Australia, which has unlimited quotas!), then yes, you will make it on time. We will support you through the application process to make sure you get things running with no issues.

If you are from a country where the Working Holiday visa is more competitive – like Chile, Spain, Taiwan and France – we can get you ready for the 2024 IEC season, so that you can start planning ahead!

What destinations are available on Stepwest’s Ski Resort program for the 2023/2024 ski season?

We have so many options! You could work in a ski town or village – like Whistler or Banff – with lots of restaurants, great nightlife and close connections to cities like Vancouver or Calgary. Or would you prefer to work a ski season in the Canadian wilderness? Whatever your preferences, we can make it happen.

What are the ski resort staff perks or benefits?

As a general rule, you will get:

  • Staff housing at a discounted rate with an easy commute to work!
  • Discounts on food and retail purchases
  • Discounts in other hotels from the same group
  • Discounts on skiing passes and other local activities
  • Among other benefits! Each employer will have their own benefit plan for the season

How will I get to the ski resort if there is too much snow? Will the ski resort pick me up at the airport?

We have got you covered. We will organize everything – including your airport transfer – so that you can arrive stress-free and ready to go. 

On arrival, you will stay in the closest city for a few days so that we can get you ready for work. This includes sorting your SIN, free bank account, Canadian cell phone plan, and anything you might need before heading to the resort.

What are the average working hours for a ski season job in Canada?

You can generally expect to work between 30-40 hours. Want to work more? Your work permit will allow you to get a side job!

Afraid of taking the step because you are travelling on your own this upcoming winter season?

Don’t be! Did you know that 95% of our participants travel alone to enjoy their gap year in Canada? Our Ski Working Holiday program is the best way to get to meet people as you will get to live and work with working holiday travellers with the same interests – to have an epic 2023 ski season in Canada!