Mountain Bike Tourism Symposium Takes Shape

Posted on March 21, 2013

Posted in: Categories Uncategorised

– Progressive themes and engaging speakers ready to help mountain biking sector grow –

Vancouver, BC – March 21, 2013The Western Canada Mountain Bike Tourism Association (MBTA) in partnership with Recreation Sites and Trails BC, Tourism British Columbia, International Mountain Bicycling Association Canada, Royal Roads University, and District of Sooke is proud to present the BC Mountain Bike Tourism Symposium at the Best Western Premier – Prestige Oceanfront Resort in Sooke, BC, May 26-28, 2013.  British Columbia has gained much attention worldwide for its significant role in mountain biking.  The program of the Symposium is entitled “Progression”. It speaks to the opportunity for stakeholders and experts to gather and share insights and knowledge about how to progress toward a more sustainable and viable mountain bike tourism sector.

The event officially opens in Sooke, BC with a welcome reception at the Sooke Regional Museum on the evening of May 26th.  The following two days of sessions will cover topics related to product and tourism development.  Sub-themes and topics for each day include the following:

Trails for All – Monday morning’s session will be introduced by keynote Scott Jewett – Red Bull Canada.  A Trails Panel Discussion involving some of BC’s top trail builders and planners will look at what makes a trail significant and best practices for sustainable trails.  Other presentations include:

  • John Hawkings – Rec Sites and Trails BC; Provincial Trails Strategy progress/expansion and impact of authorized trails
  • Mark Wood – North Shore Mountain Bike Association; Trail Adoption Plan (TAP)
  • Judd de Vall – Alpine Bike Parks; The Next Generation of Community Bike Parks

Partnerships and Community Building – Monday afternoon’s keynote is Dean Payne – BC Bike Race.  The afternoon session features a ground breaking panel discussion titled “Aboriginal Rights & Title, Mountain Biking & Reconciliation” involving First Nations representatives and the mountain biking community. Other presentations include:

  • Women in Mountain Biking – panel discussion

Caroline Depatie – Capilano University; Trust building, community engagement and the creation of healthy municipal land manager partnerships.

  • Mike Nelson – Cascade Environmental Group  / Todd Pope – District of Squamish; partnerships and collaboration at the community level

Storytelling – This innovative networking social event on Monday evening will capture the narrative behind mountain biking in BC.  Communities and groups are invited to share their stories and current projects in a poster board session followed by a number of new media projects highlighting stories from different locations around the province.

Strengthening the Brand – Tuesday morning will open with keynote Darren Kinnaird – Crankworx Whistler, setting the stage for topics related to branding and marketing mountain bike tourism destinations and experiences. Presentations will include:

  • Dr. Brian White / Ray Freeman – Royal Roads University; Round table discussion – storytelling and destination development
  • Mandy Farmer – Accent Inns; How to Grow Your Brand (on a shoestring)
  • Bruce Whyte – tourism planner; How can a new tourism product be authentic? A workshop into how authenticity could help mountain bike tourism
  • Mark Schmidt – Parks Canada; Attracting new users to National Parks

Tourism and the Bottom Line – The Tuesday afternoon session will be opened by Martin Littlejohn – Western Canada Mountain Bike Tourism Association, and will introduce presentations that support the growing economic benefits associated with mountain biking.

  • Operators Panel Discussion – Event and tour operators share their business experiences
  • Erin Stephens – Crankworx; Attracting sponsors by creating value
  • Ray Freeman – Royal Roads University – Mountain bike Tourism: Critical Success Factors for the Future
  • Nancy Radman – Tourism BC Research Planning and Evaluation; Rossland and Golden Visitor Studies and Economic Impact results

Wrap-up Visioning Session – Facilitator, Susan Rybar – Vardo Creative, will draw from the discussions and presentations to help delegates see the long term potential for mountain bike tourism in the province and identify the key issues and opportunities to address in order to get there.

To register or to find out more details visit

Symposium location and date: Best Western Premier – Prestige Oceanfront Resort, Sooke, BC, May 26-28, 2013

 For more details or media enquiries, please contact:
Martin Littlejohn, Executive Director, Western Canada Mountain Bike Tourism Association

 About Western Canada Mountain Bike Tourism Association (MBTA)

The MBTA is a non-profit tourism sector marketing organization that works with government, industry, and stakeholders to increase awareness for British Columbia’s mountain bike tourism opportunities under two marketing brands; Mountain Biking BC and Bike Parks BC. features BC’s top lift access mountain biking resorts, attracting downhill riders from around the globe. was launched in 2011 with the goal of having British Columbia recognized as the best and most diverse mountain bike destination in the world. The website contains information about riding destinations’ signature trails and riding opportunities, and is maintained by active, progressive and supportive riding communities located in British Columbia’s six tourism regions.