As a fourth generation “Rossland’er”, Catherine Adair has had front row seats to countless family skiing moments, many of them involving local or regional ski competitions.
Now, in her career as a Manager of Community Development for Teck Resources at their Vancouver head office, Catherine’s favourite topic may still be her Kootenay roots.
“I had a ski pass every year so it’s what we did as a family every weekend,” Catherine explained, about growing up on the slopes of Red Mountain. “I wasn’t much of a ski racer – I did the Nancy Greene ski league for a while – but my sister and my two cousins Jenni and Julia Delich raced competitively.”
During her youth, Catherine got to know many of the ski areas across the province when the family travelled to various ski areas in the interior and Coast, one of the perks of being in a skiing community.
“My grandfather on one side and great grandfather on the other side moved to Rossland to work in the mines,” she explained, when BC Alpine connected with her in March. “Then my grandparents [the Delich’s] operated “Delich Jewelry” in town for a number of years.”
All in the family
Catherine’s mom (Teresa) was a successful national-ranked ski racer, winning the Pontiac Cup in the 1970s, as she trained on the slopes of Red Mountain. And Mike Delich – Catherine’s uncle – was instrumental in the development of ski racing in both Rossland and Fernie. Mike, a long-time FIS Technical Delegate as well as the former Chair of BC Alpine, is a developer and builder in Fernie, where he laid roots in the 1980s, raising daughters Julia and Jenny, both former national team skiers for Canada as well as graduates of NCAA ski racing university programs in the United States.
For Catherine, her professional journey brought her back to Rossland in 2010 when she worked at the Teck Trail Operations Smelter – one of the world’s largest fully integrated zinc and lead smelting and refining complexes – for close to 10 years.
The experience allowed her to experience her hometown as an adult, including all of the outdoor pursuits and snow-filled recreations.
As a long-time sponsor and supporter of BC Alpine and ski club programs across the province, Teck employees are passionate and engaged in community activities. As Catherine explained, a large number of Teck employees live in the communities across the province where ski clubs exist.
“A huge part of living in BC, particularly in the rural areas, is the opportunity to recreate in nature and skiing is such a big part of that,” she said. “A huge amount of our employees are involved with ski programs in BC so we want to support what they are involved in.
Photo by Steve Hilts – freshshots.ca
“What our communities care about is where Teck wants to be.”
As a sponsor and engaged partner with various sports and arts programs across the province, Teck continues to nurture and help build these community connections through their involvement.
Catherine attended a BC Alpine Teck Coast Zone U16 race in Whistler in February, and was impressed with the skiing level of the racers and the hard working volunteers.
Catherine Adair (left) and Anders Hestdalen (BC Alpine CEO) in Whistler.
“I saw so many people helping with the races, and it seemed to me like a really fun and welcoming community,” she said. It was really fun, it was my second time skiing Whistler. Anders [Hestdalen] showed me around the mountain and it truly is a spectacular and world class resort … and to see the facilities that ski racing has set up there was really impressive.”
Ski racing in BC is no doubt a close-knit community and Catherine can appreciate the volunteerism and professionalism shown by the ski clubs and BC Alpine.
And the experience of growing up in Rossland was something Catherine certainly doesn’t take for granted.
“I was so lucky, it’s such a safe and welcoming community where everyone takes care of each other and there was always something fun to do outside … Rossland will always be home.”
Photo at top: The Teck U16 Western Championships were held at Red Mountain in March. Photo by Steve Hilts – freshshots.ca