Welcome to Lake Louise, the proud jewel of Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Lake Louise Ski Resort is the sponsor of this exciting volunteer program in this special region of the world.
The Lake Louise Ski Resort was the first in the Canadian Rockies to introduce an Environmental Management Department, which oversees the day to day operations at the ski area to ensure environmental and Health compliance with all operations and development projects – e.g. water conservation, waste management and recycling endeavors, and the supporting of staff in graduate level research. Additionally, its Educational Services Department develops and supervises its interpretive programs and guided hikes.
The Volunteer Job
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Canadian and international volunteers will: learn, do, connect, and celebrate together; find personal inspiration and connection to nature, community and each other; explore and contribute to preservation, conservation and aesthetic resources beautification.
Volunteers take part in activities in Lake Louise in Banff National Park at the Lake Louise Ski Resort, and with local groups in Yoho National Park such as the Friends of Yoho and Kickinghorse Ski Club on Community based initiatives and on occasion trips into Kootenay National Park.
The perks of becoming a volunteer in Lake Louise
Free Accommodation with chance to meet other international staff
Grocery discount for staff in Lake Louise and $200 credit for ski resort stores
Central location to explore the Canadian Rockies and Alberta’s beautiful National Parks
Chance to meet environmental staff and see how a business operates within a National Park
Tons of exciting hiking opportunities and chances to see wildlife
You will live and volunteer where others pay to spend their vacation!
Start Dates 2023
Volunteer Placement for 4 weeks in Lake Louise
Living and Working in Canada Orientation (optional)
Welcome package (e.g. Volunteer Handbook, Lake Louise merchandise, employee name tag)
4 weeks of accommodation (meals not included) in staff housing in Lake Louise
$200 Gift Card to use in any of the shops in the ski hill area
Option to receive Banff & Lake Louise Ambassador Pass for tons of discounts in the area (valued up to $1,400 CAD!)
Certificate of participation
Support from the GO International Volunteer Team Coordinator in Vancouver while on your project
Emergency Contact number
What’s not included:
Airfare and transport to Lake Louise
Meals during the program
Hiking equipment (e.g. hiking shoes, day backpack…)
TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE PROGRAM:
- Canadian and international volunteers welcome!
- Minimum age required: 18 years
- You have to be eligible to receive a tourist visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)*
- Volunteers must be physically fit, have proper hiking gear and clothing, and able to hike in mountain areas for several hours.
- Have at least low intermediate English skills (you can take English classes beforehand if you are not there yet)
- Strong ability to work independently and as part of a team
- You will be required to fill out a medical form and disclose any pre-existing injuries or health issues
* Please note that we are not able to provide a Letter of Support for your visa application to Canada. You must be able and eligible to get a visa on your own.
Candidates should have strong interpersonal, communications, and problem solving skills, strong ability to work independently and as part of a team, and be an enthusiastic person who stays positive in less than perfect circumstances.
Candidates should also have a desire to work hard, make a difference, and a willingness to remain flexible and positive through ever changing project work, locations, and weather conditions.
Volunteers must be physically fit, have proper clothing and hiking gear (footwear must have tread suitable for trail hiking), and able to do some periodic heavy lifting and hiking in mountain areas. As a volunteer at Lake Louise you should be able to hike for several hours and carry your own equipment.
Please contact us if you have questions about footwear or what to bring. Candidates who come with footwear not appropriate for mountain activity will be required to buy it or will not be allowed to participate in group activities that require it.
All volunteers will have 1 full day of training in Lake Louise upon arrival including an introduction to the area, safety presentation, and overview of the types of activities that will take place during the 4 week volunteer period.
The LLSR Senior Manager takes the lead in managing the Volunteers during the program and the Team Leader for LLSR provides daily support and supervision during projects.
- Visual Aesthetics improvements through refurbishing (scraping, sanding, painting, and/or staining) infrastructures. Which in turn means reduction to the waste stream – an environmental contribution!
- Volunteers will be taken on hikes including to Skoki Lodge a National Historic Site and the birthplace of skiing in Lake Louise as well as sightseeing road trips.
- The volunteers play a critical behind-the-scenes role in visual aesthetics improvements because starting in 2022, Parks Canada in collaboration with Lake Louise Ski Resort moved its Park and Ride mass transit summer bussing program to the ski area bringing thousands of park users to a significantly upgraded Visitor Experience. Locating its bussing hub to LLSR is a significant conservation initiative that reduces vehicle traffic in important wildlife corridors in Lake Louise.
- Supporting small local businesses who survived the pandemic through the ski areas good corporate citizenship initiative. This involves a variety of tasks and is dependent on the business’s needs.
Starting in 2013, the ski area took over the maintenance responsibilities of the Friends of Yoho Commemorative Bench program. These benches are located in various marquee locations like Moraine Lake, Emerald Lake, Takkakaw Falls, and more!
- Assisting the Environmental department with their many hands’ support for reclamation, rehabilitation, and restoration projects such as erosion control, seeding and fertilizing disturbed areas, removal of invasive plant species, native landscaping and planting small trees or shrubs, and more.
- Litter removal and general clean-up on lift alignments, ski runs, and around built infrastructure and associated areas and/or in support of local small businesses and community-organized events.
The volunteer duties depend on the needs of the LLSR, collaborators, and partners, and the organizers do their best to make every day a unique experience! The best experiences occur when the groups GO WITH THE FLOW of the program.
Volunteers work 5 days on, 2 days off, 8 hours per day- this is usually Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm.
During their free time, volunteers can enjoy the beautiful town of Lake Louise and the surrounding area (the town of Banff is only 45 minutes away). Volunteers are encouraged to get involved in the community and experience the culture of Lake Louise, Field and Banff.
Arriving and departing Lake Louise is the responsibility of the volunteer. We recommend flying into Calgary, and taking a bus from the Calgary airport and using one of the airport services from Lake Louise back to the airport in Calgary.
Bus from Calgary to Lake Louise & Lake Louise back to Calgary:
Brewsters or Banff Airporter: www.brewster.ca / www.banffairporter.com.
There is also the option to take a Moose Travel Company bus tour from Vancouver to Banff: www.moosenetwork.com
Upon first arriving in Lake Louise, volunteers can check in to the Charleston Residence between 8AM – 6PM.
Detailed arrival information will be sent to the volunteer pre-departure.
Accommodation is provided by the Lake Louise Ski Resort, and volunteers will be accommodated FREE OF CHARGE in Staff Housing at Charleston Residence, right in the town of Lake Louise.
All volunteers will have a private room in a shared unit with spacious storage in each room (all linen included) and will have access to coin-operated laundry facilities. The benefit of being together in the same location is for team-building and sharing information.
Please note that the accommodation is offered free of charge as a courtesy of Lake Louise Ski Resort. Housing in the building is shared with other seasonal and permanent staff as well. This is not a 4* hotel and each group is responsible for keeping their unit clean and tidy during their stay.
You will also be within walking distance to the shops and services. Volunteers are responsible for purchasing their own food and cooking meals at the accommodation and can shop for groceries and other items in Lake Louise.
There will be occasional trips as a part of the program to Banff/Canmore where there are bigger stores to purchase groceries. You are encouraged to use this opportunity to stock up.
***Volunteers will also receive a $200 gift card which can be used in many ski hill outlets, including meals, beverages and souvenirs!