A picture perfect winter's day greeted the many women who chose to participate in the 2020 Women's Winter Wonderland presented by Salomon Toronto and in collaboration with Hardwood Ski and Bike as part of Salomon's WMN campaign. As participants arrived, they received a warm welcome to Hardwood Ski and Bike's new and recently opened (December 13, 2019) majestic chalet with its panoramic views from their very capable staff and from Salomon's representatives and ambassadors.
The why of the Salomon WMN campaign and hosting events like the inaugural Women's Winter Wonderland event was simple. It's about
communicating their dedication to breaking the historical norms of who belongs in the outdoors. It's breaking clichés and using the concept of beauty to redefine what beautiful means…. It’s not always glitz and glam, it can also be dirty and brave. It's looking to celebrate and empower women to find a bit more confidence and individuality in their own best selves. It's partnering with organizations who are aligned in effort and intention, allowing us all to synergistically amplify our work.
The day's agenda started with a great warm up session of snowga. Yup. Just what you think it is. Yoga on snow. And, as Melanie Rimkey of the Green River Yoga Company got the yoga underway, a perfect light and fluffy snowfall began to fall. A most excellent touch added to the day by Mother Nature herself.
Once the yoga was complete, participants then headed back into to the chalet to enjoy a scrumtious soup and salad lunch, a chance to win some of the many draw prizes to be given away throughout the day, and to watch an important presentation of Salomon's Women's Manifesto video with its message of dispelling the many myths around women getting outdoors. Check out the video for yourself.
Each participant was given the chance to try two activities. Between each activity, participants could enjoy a break back inside the warmth of the new chalet. Activities to choose from included snowshoeing, fat biking, skate skiing, and classic cross-country skiing. Equipment required for each of the activities was top notch and provided by Hardwood. Salomon also brought along some demos of their latest and greatest cross-country ski gear for everyone to try.
Regardless of whether you were a newbie, an expert or somewhere in between, there was something for everyone to enjoy. Hardwood's very capable instructors - Marion Tilstra (fatbiking), Talena Kraus (snowshoeing), Mareen Bretz (skate skiing), Holly MacLean (classic skiing) and Pat Simon (classic skiing) - were ready and raring to get everyone going. A fairly steady snowfall throughout much of the activity time made the experience for all truly a winter wonderland.
Once all the ladies had had their fill of some amazing outdoor adventure, everyone headed back into chalet to drop off their equipment, take off a few layers and change into some lighter clothing. A great spread of gourmet eats and adult beverages greeted the gals. A exceptional variety of vendors including Bees Butter Shop, Coatina Hot Chocolate, Epic North Coffee (who also supplied the day's coffee requirements), Hey Sugar, Modern College Hairstyling & Esthetics, Protect Our Winters Canada, SeeWhatSheCanDo, and Utopia Therapy surrounded the spread of food and enabled everyone to have casual and easy conversations with each of the vendors.
For Hardwood Ski and Bike, the chance to host the inaugural Women's Winter Wonderland was a great chance to help women embrace their inner outsider. For everyone on staff, the experience was exceptional.
We had a great vibe going on with lots of eager participants. The vendors were excited to be there and the intimate atmosphere allowed them to speak with the ladies.
The organizing crew from Salomon reinforced the sentiments from the Hardwood Ski and Bike team. So much could be said about how ideal the location was and how all the gals participanting in the Women's Winter Wonderland came with a great approach to make the most physically, socially, and emotionally of everything that was offered throughout the day's events.
Hardwood is an amazingly beautiful outdoor playground just north of Toronto. We know that working up a sweat, while breathing the fresh air, is great for our physical, mental and emotional health. Plus, it gave us a big emotional boost to see women encouraging women, whether they were beginners or experienced in activities like nordic skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking and yoga. Can’t wait to build off of the feedback from event participants into the next events, and continue to empower women to take time out of their busy lives to play in the outdoors.
For participants like Anne Ross, there's nothing more fun than being the first to experience an event. Her own words say it best.
I was one of the lucky women to attend the first “Hardwood Ski and Bike's Ladies Day“. I have been to lots of Ladies Days for downhill skiing, but never for cross country skiing. When I was told about it, it held a lot of interest for me because they were offering fat biking, snowga and skate skiing. All these activities wrapped up in a wonderful “Ladies Day” package. That means, great food, shopping vendors, swag bags, door prizes, fun games and some nice hand massage and reflexology foot massages at the end of the day. I have so many people to bring to this event next year – I sure hope it’s an annual.
Clearly, everyone involved in this amazing event experienced a great sense of success and certainly share a strong mutual understanding that next year's Salomon/Hardwood Ski and Bike's Women's Winter Wonderland is definitely a must-have and must-attend event. Congratulations to all.
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