The Inuvik Ski Club is calling on members of the community to step up and help restore the club as it continues to struggle with a lack of volunteers and board members.
Holly Jones, the club’s volunteer program coordinator, said that there are currently five volunteers who sit on the club’s board of directors, but only she and two others have been consistently trying to restructure the organization.
“We need that pairing of an interested ski community and also people who are interested and able to do governance work,” Jones said. “To me, that’s what’s going to help us move forward out of this state of paralysis that we’re currently in.”
The club’s services have been suspended since December due to a number of issues, such as the lack of skilled volunteers and program participants. A survey was sent out to the public to determine how services can be improved, and while the feedback has been beneficial, Jones said that she needs more internal support on board to address such concerns.
“I don’t want to make those decisions, that’s why I want to people to come in and assume those governance positions on a board. We can decide together what we want to do with them,” she said. “I think it’s really important feedback in general… but you need people in place to implement those things and make those decisions, and right now we don’t have that.”
Jones is looking to establish a vision committee for the club, which would consist of individuals from various organizations and sectors working together to develop and implement a strategic plan.
“People who have a sport background, people who have a planning, finance or business background,” she said. “I think anybody – if they’re interested – there’s a role for you.”
Once a vision committee has been created, an immediate step would be to draft and implement a crisis management plan for the 2018-19 season, as well as an open call for the board of directors and additional members for the committee. With the end of the season only a couple months away, Jones is aiming to complete both objectives by March 15.
“It’s difficult for me to say if services will be running by the end of the season. I think it’s a bit inappropriate to comment because I don’t want to be the one making that decision,” she said.
She added that if the community wants to use the club’s services, residents must take some action.
“I can’t do it myself. I’d love to, but I haven’t been able to ski either,” she said. “If you want services up and running, let’s work together. I think we can do it.”
Mayor Natasha Kulikowski also urged community members to lend a helping hand, especially if they want to see Inuvik’s highly anticipated Top of the World Loppet annual skiing event celebrate its 51st year in April.
“The club would like to have people at least in place to make decisions before April because otherwise we’re going to lose a legacy event,” Kulikowski said. “It’s kind of emergent that people come forward now and help to get things going, at least to get through the season.”
Jones said that she hopes to see people take initiative and step forward soon to offer their skills or put their ideas to work.
“So many people have told me that they used to ski – if they can harness that enthusiasm they had at one point and redirect it to the ski club – if they want it, let’s go and do it,” she said.