Big White Ski Resort

Canadian ski legend gets entire memorial bridge at Big White

Kelowna - The ski bridge was named Jimmie Spencer Memorial Bridge in his honour

Big White Ski Resort is honouring a Canadian legend by dedicating an entire ski bridge to his legacy.

On Sunday, March 17, Big White Ski Resort Ltd. honoured the life and legacy of Jimmie Spencer with a special bridge dedication ceremony. The skier bridge over Hummingbird run was named the Jimmie Spencer Memorial Bridge, with a plaque commemorating the man who developed the Canada West Way, according to Big White in a news release.

“I had the privilege of meeting with Spencer and my grandfather, my uncle, and a few times on my own,” says Peter Plimmer, president and CEO of Big White Ski Resort Ltd. “I left every meeting knowing more about our industry and how important it is to maintain a long-term vision for growth of a mountain resort. Our family is honoured to name the Village bridge in memory of Jimmie Spencer.”

READ MORE: Big White looks to top 2018

Spencer, who died on July 16, 2018, moved to Canada from Great Britain in the 1970s and took over the helm of the Canada West Ski Areas Association in 1979 – a position he held until 2011. During his tenure, he developed strong and lasting relationships between ski area operators, industry leaders, governments and winter sports enthusiasts throughout Western Canada, the release said.

“Few people have influenced and propelled the Canadian ski industry as did Spencer,” says Christopher Nicolson, president and CEO of CWSAA. “And, few leaders have mentored so many personal lives for the better. Jimmie challenged us to be better than we thought we could be. His legacy will continue through the future leaders of our industry.”

READ MORE: Opening day at Big White

“As a family, it’s absolutely amazing,” Spencer’s wife Andy says. “It justifies everything he stood for his entire life.” Spencer wasn’t concerned about the marketing side of the ski industry, his wife adds, but in “making the ski areas work cohesively.”

“If you learn to ski on your small, home hill, and then go to a larger resort, there’s been a link,” she says.

In 2011, Spencer was inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame for his limitless contributions to the development of winter sports in western Canada.

Spencer served in the British Army for 32 years, and represented Great Britain in cross-country skiing at the 1952 and 1956 Olympic Winter Games. Spencer’s European background also influenced the way resorts developed in Western Canada. “Dad got them thinking of the European flavour of skiing,” says his son Iain. “You know, walk to the lifts, that kind of stuff.”

READ MORE: VIDEO: Another Aussie Day arrives at Big White

READ MORE: A chilly Australia Day on SilverStar

READ MORE: Australian dog and owner duo travels Okanagan, North America


edit@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Apparent gas leak on Highway 33 in Kelowna

Emergency crews have taped off access to Centex Gas on Highway 33 near Asher Road

Kelowna RCMP plan mini parade past KGH to recognize health care workers

Kelowna officers will flash lights and sounds both Saturday and Sunday night

Perry and Stanley awarded top UBC Okanagan rookies

The volleyball star and soccer star won the prize over Heat’s virtual awards banquet

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

Second Vernon-area high school exposed to COVID-19

Kalamalka Secondary School staff, students urged to self-isolate if showing symptoms

UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

This is a running list of events cancelled across the Okanagan

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

Okanagan woman baking for those in need amid COVID-19

Vernon’s Crystal Hedlund launched a GoFundMe page to generate funds for baking materials

Okanagan distillery hands out thousands of sanitizer bottles, needs help in COVID-19 fight

Okanagan Springs is donating hand sanitizer to help fill COVID-induced shortages

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

Most Read