SkiBig3 Snow School Team

Travel to Canada - What to Expect

SkiBig3 Snow School Team

The SkiBig3 Snow School team are top-level CSIA and CASI certified instructors. Some of our team members have been teaching with SkiBig3 for over 20 years! Learn their stories and what they love most about Banff and Lake Louise. 

SkiBig3 Snow School Anna Steckle

Anna Steckle | Ski

Anna was hired to teach Nonstop for SkiBig3 in 2007. Two years later she became the lead instructor. In this role, she helped with the development and training of the program – she is responsible for all operations and she is the anchor of Nonstop. 

Nonstop is a program that runs all over Europe and in Canada. Anna ties us with the Fernie Nonstop program to ensure the Canadian program is aligned.

Along with the instructing side, Anna is fondly known as the “mother hen” of Nonstop, ensuring all clients in this program are well taken care of during their time in Banff. Anna is a true mentor and ambassador for SkiBig3 and has helped hundreds of students in their “gap” year gain their level 1 & 2 Ski Instructor certification.

CSIA Level 4 Instructor

Brian BakeR | Snowboard

Brian started with SkiBig3 in the 1998/1999 season and has been with us consecutively every season since, making him the longest-standing SkiBig3 employee ever, at 21 years. 

This is the longest-standing job of Brian’s life and he says it has been an incredible journey. First starting out with Club Snowboard, Brian has also been a part of the earlier Fairmont private lesson program and has been with the Nonstop program since it began in 2005. Brian is incredibly passionate about his sport and said that he has met so many talented, awesome people and made lifelong friendships.

CASI Level 4 Instructor

SkiBIg3 Snow School Brian Baker
SkiBig3 Snow School Charlie Valentine

Charlie Valentine | Ski

Charlie has been a passionate skier for years, with 15 years of teaching experience under his belt. He has skied worldwide, including places like Europe, New Zealand, Argentina and Chile. For guests looking for a bilingual instructor, Charlie speaks English and Spanish. What’s Charlie’s insider tip? Take the shuttles to the resorts for the best parking and “snooze options” after a hard day of skiing. The ski shuttles drop you off right at the resort’s doorstep!  

CSIA Level 3 Instructor, ACA-CSC Level 2 Coach 

Dave Honeyman | Ski

People call me Dave ‘DK’ Honeyman, and I currently live in Banff, but I’m a lifelong resident of Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. I’ve been a member of CSIA for 40 years and I’m a CSIA Course Conductor, ACA Course Facilitator and NCCP Coach Theory Course Facilitator. Living here in Canada’s best mountains and one of North America’s longest snow seasons, I enjoy and look forward to our unique seasonal changes most. In the summer I am an ACMG licensed national park Summer Guide. What’s my local tip? Hire a guide with local knowledge to get the most out of your experience.

CSIA Level 3 Instructor, ACA Performance Level Coach, CSIA Course Conductor

SkiBig3 Snow School Dave Honeyman
SkiBig3 Snow School Jake van Veggel

Jake van Veggel | Ski

This is my 10th winter ski instructing and 7th winter here in the Bow Valley. Originally from Oakville, Ontario, I’ve been skiing for as long as I can remember.  

My favourite part of living in Banff and Lake Louise is living among the wildlife. Seeing Lynx tracks in the fresh snow as I ride up the lift or the Bighorn Sheep staring down our vehicles as we drive up the mountain. I even love it when traffic is held up by a herd of Elk crossing the street. If you’re lucky enough to see one of these amazing creatures out in the wild, be sure to give them plenty of space!  

My local tip: look up what the prints and tracks of some of the local animals look like. The snow has plenty of stories to tell if you know what to look for.  

CSIA Level 3 Instructor

Jamie Robinson | Ski

I am a CSIA Level 3 Ski Instructor and Level 1 Course Conductor. What I love the most about Banff and Lake Louise is that I have over 8,000km squared of skiable terrain between the three-ski resorts. If I could give one tip it would be to bring snacks and drink lots of water! When you are in a playground as large as Banff and Lake Louise, little adventures can easily get bigger. So don’t forget the tasty treats and something to wash them down with!

CSIA Level 3 Instructor, CSIA Level 1 Course Conductor

SkiBig3 Snow School Jamie Robinson
SkiBig3 Snow School Linda Scaravelli

Linda Scaravelli | Ski

Linda is a Level 3 CSIA Ski Instructor and a Level 1 ACA-CSC Ski Coach. Linda’s family learned to ski together on a family vacation when she was six years old. She still remembers her first instructor. Since then, she has been a ski racer, coach, instructor, instructor of instructors and most importantly, a ski mom. Linda has called Banff home for more than thirty years. She loves sharing her passion for skiing and always starts the day with this goal in mind: “To help clients create the most efficient turn with the least amount of effort”. A local tip Linda would give to visitors is to download the “Aurora” app. It wakes you up to let you know your chances of seeing the northern lights if they are good. It’s amazing!  

CSIA Level 3 Instructor, ACA-CSC Level 1 Coach 

Maja Beck | Ski

I am a long-time resident of Banff and I enjoy the healthy and active lifestyle in the Rockies to the fullest. Born and raised in the Swiss Alps, skiing is second nature to me. I was a member of the Swiss Development Ski Team and then afterwards decided to share my understanding of the sport as a ski instructor. I obtained my full Swiss ski instructing qualification followed by the CSIA (Canadian) Level 3 certification. Working with people and sharing the excitement of learning how to acquire the skill and enjoy the sport at any level is my passion. With my background in business I understand customer relations and love to show guests the best our resorts have to offer.

CSIA Level 3 Instructor

SkiBig3 Snow School Maja Beck
SkiBig3 Snow School Marc Tanguay

Marc Tanguay | Snowboard

Originally from Montreal, QC, I speak both French and English. This is my 27th season teaching and coaching snowboarding in Banff and Lake Louise. I love chasing deep snow at Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise Ski Resort and Mt. Norquay and making sure SkiBig3 guests experience fresh tracks regardless of their ability levels! When I’m not at the resorts, I’m typically in the backcountry snowmobiling.

Snowboarding is a lifestyle that I love sharing with people. From the equipment, the apparel and of course the on-snow technique, turning guests “on” to snowboarding and into lifelong snowboarders is a real passion. This area offers such great snow, awesome snow parks, amazing views, no crowds and an overall casual laid back vibe that keeps people coming back year after year. Looking forward to riding with you and assisting with all your snowboarding needs and sharing all that this area has to offer!

CASI Level 4 Instructor, CASI Evaluator

Mark Wilcox | Ski

A skier for life, I was born on skis at 2 years old and I’m still chasing the turns at 41. Every winter weekend throughout my childhood, the entire family would pile in the old station wagon and head up to Mansfield Ski Club in Southern Ontario.  From the ages of 5-18 I was part of a race program, then when I turned 18, the athlete became the coach and I achieved my CSIA and CSCF Level 1 certifications.  Since then, I have become a CSIA Level 4 Instructor, Level 2 Examiner and a CSCF level 2 coach.

Skiing and sharing my love for the sport has always been my motivation – absolutely nothing beats the feeling you get in your body and soul when connected to the mountain with the wind in your face as you learn to fly. The excitement of sharing these moments never fades. My life as a ski professional has taken me to so many fantastic resorts and connected me with many lifelong friends. After working at Park City, Utah, and Whistler Blackcomb, BC, I knew there was something special about Banff and the three resorts in the National Park. There is a shared feeling among all that live and visit here that the natural world is worth protecting. The deep, dry powder and incredible variety of terrain will fulfill the desires of any skier or snowboarder that visits.

My local tip is to really take the time to explore Banff: grab some skates and head out to Johnson Lake, grab the cross country skis and head out to the trails at Lake Minnewanka, or jump on the Sulphur Mountain gondola and head up to the Sky Bistro for lunch and really see a view that never gets old.

CSIA Level 4 Instructor, CSIA Level 2 Examiner, CSCF Level 2 Coach

SkiBig3 Snow School Mark Wilcox
SkiBig3 Snow School Mike Debrisay

Mike DesBrisay | Ski

My love of Banff and the Canadian Rockies began many years ago when I was here for the Canadian Ski Championships from Eastern Canada. I then moved to the mountains to pursue my passion in the ski world, after retiring as a competitor. I have many years of high-level ski racing, coaching and teaching experience which gives me a wealth of knowledge to help clients begin skiing and/or improve their skills at all levels. I take great pleasure in teaching clients in a simple, non-technical way that is fun and enjoyable.

What I love most about Banff and Lake Louise is its protection by Banff National Park and that it has visitors from all over the world, giving it a cosmopolitan feel (along with being a fabulous year-round playground). 

I’ve been working with SkiBig3 for over 20 years and I’ve had my CSIA Level 4 for over 50 years! Over the years, I’ve been heavily involved with the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance (CSIA) and I was chair of the CSIA Alberta Committee from 1974 – 1976. I was also on the national board of directors from 1991-1999, while also being the president of the CSIA from 1995-1999. 

I am honoured to have been inducted into the CSIA Hall of Fame in 2006.

CSIA Level 4, CSCF Level 3

Peter Rothery | Snowboard

I’m a CASI Level 3 Instructor, CASI Park Level 2 Instructor, and a CASI Level 2 and Level 1 Park Course Conductor. I have lived and worked in many different areas but there is something very powerful about these mountains. I look forward to the seasonal changes, the big snowfalls, the sunny park days and the glimpses of wildlife while snowboarding. In our modern world, there are few places left where you can just enjoy the sounds of nature. What’s my local tip? Don’t forget to stop and appreciate your surroundings, breathe deeply and feel the energy of this place. After a hard day on the slopes, go for a soak and relax at the Banff Upper Hot Springs. Your body will thank you immensely.   

CASI Level 3 Instructor, CASI Park Level 2 Instructor, CASI Level 2 and Level 1 Park Course Conductor  

SkiBig3 Snow School Peter Rothery
skibig3-snow-school-blise-cantin

Blaise Cantin | Ski

I’m a CSIA Level 3 Ski Instructor, Level 1 Course Conductor, and Snow Park instructor.

The things I love most about Banff National Park are the tight community, the 7+ months ski season, the 360° postcard views everywhere you go, and being isolated from the stress of modern society. I consider myself very privileged to call Banff my home, and I wish everyone could feel the awe of watching the sunrise and set over the Bow Valley, admiring the Northern Lights from a balcony in town, or simply wandering in the mountains.

The biggest tip I can give to someone who just arrived in the area is to quickly connect with the locals. They will send you to the best places to eat, find you the best deals in town, and often take you on crazy adventures with them. Say hi to people, don’t be a stranger, and keep the stoke alive!

CSIA Level 3 Instructor, CSIA Level 1 Course Conductor

Carlo Riveroll | Ski & Snowboard

Carlo has been with SkiBig3 since 2002 starting in Club Snowboard, only having a break for three seasons to gain experience elsewhere. He came back to us in 2006 where he has remained ever since. This makes a total of 15 consecutive seasons on the SkiBig3 Snow School team. Carlo speaks fluent English and Spanish. 

Having fallen in love with the job of passing on his passion for snowboarding, working with the SkiBig3 snow school team has changed his life forever.  

Carlo is one of our only multi-certified instructors and is a level 4 snowboarder and a level 2 skier. His connection with his guests is admirable and it shows and his passion for the sport and teaching is infectious.

What Carlo loves most about Banff and Lake Louise is how “nature rules”! His  local tip is to always be prepared for fast changing conditions (both internal and external).

CASI Level 4 Instructor, CSIA Level 2 Instructor, CASI Level 2 Course Conductor

skibig3-snow-school-carlo-riveroll
skibig3-snow-school-instructor-02-Brent Sawatzky

Brent Sawatzky | Ski

I have been skiing since I was 8 years old and an instructor since I was 16. I am a CSIA Level 2 Instructor and I live in Cochrane, between Calgary and Banff. My goal for instructing is to make people as passionate about the sport of skiing as I am. I love to introduce new people to the sport and then watch them gliding confidently around one of our beautiful resorts within a few hours. I also love taking experienced skiers to my favourite powder stashes, bumps, or glades. Just imagine being transported to the top of a mountain and overlooking hundreds of snow-covered peaks, valleys and ice-covered lakes! My local tip is to remember that each mountain is special in a different way. Try to find a mountain that speaks to you, like how the mountains speak to me. 

CSIA Level 2 Instructor   

Bruce Douglas  | Ski

I started skiing with the North Toronto Ski Club in 1970 where I soon became a club instructor. Since 2002, I have been an enthusiastic winter resident of the Bow Valley. I got my CSIA Level 1 certification in 2010 so I could help out at Nitehawk in Grande Prairie when their instructors went on holiday. Throughout my career, I have worked with a wide variety of clientele, from toddlers to grandparents to school groups. I have been teaching Saturday walk-ups at Mt. Norquay since 2013. In 2016, I got my CSIA Level 2 certification. My best advice is that skiing can be a gratifying lifelong learning activity. However, learning to ski is not intuitive. Taking lessons can immediately help all ages safely enjoy the experience.    

CSIA Level 2 Instructor

skibig3-snow-school-instructor-03-Bruce Douglas
Photo coming soon

Charlie Bryant | Ski

I am a CSIA Level 2 Instructor and I’m excited to get started with the SkiBig3 Snow School team this season. Previously, I instructed at Mt. Norquay. Originally from the UK, I moved to Banff in 2021. While I was here, I enjoyed my time so much that I decided to move out here permanently. I am lucky enough to have skied throughout Europe as I was growing up, however, nothing can top the experiences I have had in the Bow Valley. The sheer amount of available terrain and the variety it brings is truly unmatched. One tip I would give to guests is to try to experience all three of the resorts during your trip. They all have something different to offer; they are all stunning and so much fun. My background as a commercial pilot means I have a head for heights and a love of adventure, so skiing is the perfect fit and I thoroughly enjoy sharing this with guests.  

CSIA Level 2 Instructor  

Kelsey GahnSmith | Snowboard

I am originally from Niagara Falls, Ontario. I grew up skiing across the border in New York from a very young age. In 2002, I took my first-ever snowboarding lesson at Blue Mountain and was instantly hooked. This passion drove me West after finishing University in 2014, and I have been privileged to progress and help others to develop their skills within the sport ever since.  

CASI Level 3 Instructor, CASI Park Level 1 Instructor

SkiBig3 Snow School Kelsey GahnSmith
skibig3-snow-school-instructor-07-Patrycja Chodorowska

Patrycja Chodorowska | Ski & Snowboard

Originally from Poland, I am now living in the Bow Valley and have been for three years. What’s the best thing about the Canadian Rockies? A looong winter season and fresh powder! I can never have enough. During my 12-season-long instructing career, I have worked locally as a ski and snowboard instructor at Banff Sunshine and internationally in various resorts in the Czech mountains, the Polish Tatra Mountains and in the Austrian, Italian and Slovenian Alps. My students were mainly little shredders but I love to teach adults too. I can speak fluent English, Polish and Czech. On my days off you can find me on the first chair, cruising the powder, shredding the terrain park or working on my technique. In the evenings the yoga studio or CrossFit gym are my favourite places to go. Two fulfilling passions of mine are volunteering within our community and baking traditional treats at home. I look forward to meeting you soon!  

CSIA Level 2 Instructor, CASI Level 2 Instructor

Nicholas Hase | Ski

Hey all! I am a CSIA Level 2 Instructor as well as ACA Development Level Coach, working with the Banff Alpine Racers on the weekends. I’m from Ontario, where I grew up ski racing and getting the most out of every winter (and short slopes). I love living in Banff because it allows me to share my passion for winter with everyone who wishes to learn and experience this awesome place. My local tip? If you like arcing turns on steep groomers Mt. Norquay is the place to be!  

CSIA Level 2 Instructor, ACA Development Level Coach  

skibig3-snow-school-instructor-010-Nicholas Hase
skibig3-snow-school-instructor-08-Wlliam Doorman

William Doorman | Ski

I am a CSIA Level 2 Instructor currently working on my Level 3 certification. I moved to Banff in 1998 for a job as Pastry Chef and I haven’t regretted that decision ever since. I have been skiing for about 12 years, and I look forward to meeting you soon!   

CSIA Level 2 Instructor  

Quynton McCleary | Ski

I am a certified CSIA Level 2 Instructor that has lots of experience skiing in the backcountry and just loves getting out on the snow. I have been skiing since I was about six years old, and I fell in love with it instantly. I love living in Banff because it is such a great community and everyone is here for the same reason – to get out and have fun on the slopes! A little locals tip is to get to the mountain early and dress warmer than you think you should.  

CSIA Level 2 Instructor

skibig3-snow-school-instructor-Quynton McCleary
skibig3-snow-school-instructor-04-Bryan Parker

Bryan Parker | Ski

I am a CSIA Level 3 Instructor. I started teaching skiing many years ago and then I took a career path in aviation. I have retired from flying airplanes around the globe and now returned to the ski world. I have lived in Banff and Canmore for the last 40 years. It’s a stunning area to live in and I enjoy the multiple recreational activities available. My local tip is to get out there and enjoy them all.   

CSIA Level 3 Instructor

Noah Whawell | Ski

I’m 21 years old and originally from the UK. I am a CSIA Level 2 Instructor and I have been skiing since the age of nine. I learned to ski in the French Alps, and I have since skied over most of Europe before coming to Canada to start work as a ski instructor. Banff is a fantastic place to live and I love the vast array of wildlife that the Canadian Rockies has to offer. My local tip is to use the bus (ROAM Transit) to get downtown on a cold day! It saves the fingers and toes from freezing off.   

CSIA Level 2 Instructor

skibig3-snow-school-instructor-06-Noah Whawell
skibig3-snow-school-instructor-05-Jack DeRoo

Jack DeRoo | Ski

I’m a CSIA Level 3 Instructor as well as an ACA Entry Level (L1) Trained Race Coach. I also hold my CSIA L1 Course Conductor status and certify new ski instructors, primarily at prairie hills in Edmonton and Northern Alberta. I started skiing on a grade 4 school trip to the Edmonton Ski Club back in the ‘80s and that led to a lifelong habit of skiing every winter. When life tossed me a curve ball ahead of the birth of my first child, I took what I thought would be a short-term job teaching school children in Edmonton to ski. This led to getting my Level 1 and 2 CSIA certifications that season, followed by a decade of full-time ski instruction for local school children. More recently, I’ve shifted to splitting my time between Edmonton and the mountains as I work towards my CSIA Level 4 Certification. This season marks my 15th consecutive season teaching skiing and I still look forward to being able to share my passion for skiing with students of all ages and ability levels.   

My tip for visitors is to park their car and walk up and down Banff Avenue. You’ll find many very Canadian offerings in the shops if you’re looking for a souvenir from your trip. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from that will meet almost any culinary desire you may have. I would recommend trying one of the local steak houses, as Alberta is known for its beef and bison. Also, no trip to Banff is complete without a stop at Cows for ice cream, even if it’s -20C (-4F) outside!  

CSIA Level 3 Instructor, ACA Entry Level 1 Trained Race Coach, CSIA Level 1 Course Conductor 

Gary Lewis | Ski

I am originally from the UK and I have been in Canada for 11 years. Right now, I live in Cochrane, but I love skiing all over Canada. I am a CSIA Level 2 Instructor and I have my Avalanche Skills Training (AST) Level 1 from Avalanche Canada. Since learning to ski all over Europe, I have been skiing for 39 years and was trained as a ski patroller in Scotland. My local tip for visitors is to see as much of the area as you can! It is beautiful.   

CSIA Level 2 Instructor  

Photo coming soon