The Canadian Ski Patrol (CSP) is in the final stages of implementing a re-branding, where the organization will change its trademark colors to red and white from the current blue and yellow.
In 2012, the CSP’s national board of directors initiated a brand review. The decision was made to remove the word “System” from the Canadian Ski Patrol System brand. That was completed in August 2013, along with the launch of a new red and white logo (right).
The CSP views the new logo as a milestone in the organization’s 70+ year history. According to CSP, it embodies a modern, relevant and professional look while respecting CSP roots, celebrating Canadian heritage and showcasing the delivery of advanced first aid.
The look is similar to the organization’s historic yellow cross on a blue maple leaf. The leaf has been updated and incorporated within a new red and white color scheme. CSP views it as a revitalized look that reflects the elements of boldness, professionalism and can-do attitude of CSP members.
The national CSP Uniform Committee is moving forward in its work to incorporate the new logo and branding into the design and components of a new national uniform. Activity is now focused on developing a new red, white and black uniform for alpine and Nordic patrol use, which will be a dramatic departure from the current blue and yellow patroller color scheme currently employed (shown in CSP image above).
The Canadian Ski Patrol’s long-time uniform supplier and partner, Avalanche, will continue to be the source of alpine jackets at least through the completion of the current contract, which runs through July 2016. Avalanche, who supplies patrol uniforms to numerous European destination resorts as well, will be providing jacket models that have been suggested by CSP committee members for testing this season.
The red and white aspect of the new CSP uniform is similar to that worn by many members of the 600+ patrols of the US National Ski Patrol. The NSP, however, does not have or promote any NSP logo or uniform for its patrollers or within its organizational publications. The NSP’s former official uniform, consisting of a rust jacket and gold back cross, was abandoned in 2003. The NSP does have a strategic supplier, Patagoina, that provides some of the jackets used by NSP patrols. But these jackets are only available in red with white crosses and the NSP does not sell or promote the use of any particular patrol uniform that displays an NSP-branded logo.
While NSP does not promote on-snow brand recognition today, CSP is taking steps to strengthen its brand. The new CSP patrol uniform is expected to be available for use by all of Canada’s patrols in the 2015-2016 season. The uniform committee is headed by Eastern Townships Zone President Marco Romani. It expects to present a recommendation on the alpine jacket concept to the Canadian Ski Patrol’s zone presidents at the annual national conference in Edmonton during May 2014. Past quality control issues have been noted and Avalanche and the CSP say they are committed to ensuring those issues are addressed.
The committee says it is also developing other components of the overall new uniform system, which is intended to accommodate alpine and Nordic patrolling, and non-snow events year-round. The CSP and NSP have been changing their strategic purpose in recent years to expand it beyond ski patrolling in support of other 4-season activities at resorts throughout North America. In 2012 the NSP made skiing optional for its ~25,000 patrollers. That was not without controversy, which continues today (see related articles: Mission Accomplished? NSP Lawsuit Dismissed NSP Infighting Begins Anew). The CSP, founded in 1940, has around 4,500 members serving the skiing public at 230 Canadian resorts.
CSP leadership says that given the scope of the re-branding initiative, the process will be iterative and will take some time. Until the new branding moves forward, CSP members and leaders are asked to adhere-to the current uniform policy and use of the legacy crest on the current yellow and blue uniforms, including packs.
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