Words :: Kristin Schnelten
A cowbell-ringing success in 2021, the inaugural competition found teams shakin’ their stuff for their hashtag, showing some creative local generosity and pitching their local hill on camera, all for a chance to be named the Top Peak. The coveted award isn’t just about bragging rights and the Mackenzie Crown, the winning team also brings home a $50,000 investment for their community.
“We launched this contest because Canada’s ski communities need support now more than ever,” said Barry McInerney, President and CEO, Mackenzie Investments. “Mackenzie has an incredible legacy of supporting skiers and their communities across the country for more than 20 years. Mackenzie’s Top Peak builds on that legacy in a fun and safe way and brings skiers together to rally around their hills.”
Last year’s contestant roster totaled more than 60 teams, and standing out above the crowd to win the crown took a lot of effort—and a lot of laughs.
Mackenzie’s panel of celebrity judges awarded Quebec’s Mont Ste-Marie the final prize, with the resort declaring on social media it was “an incredible team effort and come-from-behind victory to capture the $50,000. We collectively captured 4,200 Instagram photos that captured the spirit of Mont Ste-Marie, proving that our little community sure punches above its weight…Thank you to Mackenzie Investments for pulling all of us and the country of skiers together. It’s been fun.”
The 2022 Top Peak competition is already underway, and the registration deadline is just around the corner. With a $50,000 investment in a ski community up for grabs, the time is now to gather your team and get started.
Register by midnight on February 21
Visit www.mackenzietoppeak.ca to register and find your Peak. Get your team started by completing your Peak Profile, describing just how you would invest the funds in your community. (Last year’s Top Peak dedicated the winnings to improving and widening a favourite ski run.)
Your profile will be reviewed by the Mackenzie Top Peak team, and if your team is approved you’ll receive a digital toolkit to guide you through the contest.
Rally around your team
Here’s where the fun begins: with weekly Peak Challenges. This year’s complete point-earning list is still under wraps, but maybe your team will find a creative way to “skip the chairlift” and earn some turns, or perhaps you’ll take on a version of last year’s “slalom shimmy” with your crew. Sharing photos of your team giving back to your community is a great way to work your way up in the standings, too. When the top 10 Peaks are announced on March 21, each will have one week left to complete the final Peak Challenge.
Social media challenges will pop up, too. And watch the points roll in when friends and families vote for your team profile. The ultimate goal is to prove your team is Canada’s most invested ski community.
Cross your fingers
Challenges complete, the top five teams have a week on the edge of their seats before the final winner is crowned on April 5.
Castle Mountain Resort, B.C., which landed in that final bracket in 2021, commented, “We saw a monumental effort from all our non-profit teams who rallied together to take on this challenge. A huge collaboration between the four groups and Castle Mountain Resort saw a well-organized effort that brought each of the groups closer together and developed stronger relationships, a huge positive out of this experience.”
Bringing ski communities together in good-natured competition, with the final goal of a generous investment in that community, is the name of the game. Mackenzie is looking for “one ski community that’s a little more invested in the people, place and sport they love—and isn’t afraid to show it across social media and through fun local challenges.”
Inspiring communities in a spirit of togetherness isn’t new for Mackenzie, nor is it for ski areas. “Like all skiers, my career started on the bunny hill at my local ski club, and the success I’ve had in the sport wouldn’t have been possible without the support and encouragement of the ski community,” says Brittany Phelan, Women’s Alpine Canada Ski Cross Athlete and Olympic Silver Medalist. “I’m thrilled Mackenzie has launched this contest—it’s a great initiative that will help skiers come together and show support for the sport.”
Ready to register? It’s time to pull out all the stops and ramp up the creativity, because many of last year’s participants will be returning, and they’ll come to the party with heaps of experience and a renewed drive. Castle Mountain is ready for this year’s challenge, saying, “We look forward to launching another attempt… and no doubt will be more inspired and motivated to win the grand prize!”