Tribute to Charles Blair Posted on Oct 26th, 2017

pix_CharlesBlair-1.4.jpgIt is with a profound sense of loss that we announce the sudden passing of our friend and colleague Charles Blair. Charles died of a heart attack while visiting with his daughter in Atlanta, Georgia. He was preparing for a winter of teaching skiing in Japan. All of us at CANSI are shocked and saddened by this sudden turn of events.

To know Charles was to love Charles, for he had the special ability to connect instantly with 
anyone he met. His dry sense of humour made it impossible not to laugh at some point in every conversation shared with him. His outwardly bookish appearance disguised a determined and dedicated athlete, student and teacher. The achievement of the CANSI Telemark Level III certification did not come easily for Charles, but his tenacity and perseverance allowed him to achieve this prestigious honour in 2013. All of those who skied with Charles know how much the achievement meant to him.

Charles continually gave of himself to the world of skiing. CANSI benefitted immensely from his interest in any advancement in teaching methodology. Recently, he dove headfirst into the concepts of experiential learning and how his fellow instructors could incorporate them into their on-snow teaching. He was a respected member of the CSIA community and brought many of their alpine ideas into his teaching of Telemark skiing, and in the process to CANSI as well.

Charles was a pioneer and his pursuit of all things new and exciting in skiing took him to Patagonia in 2015 for Interski, the international convention of ski instructors. There he joined Marie-Catherine Bruno and Yasuyuki Kawasaki in forming Canada's Telemark entry. This would prove to be a crowning highlight of Charles' skiing career.

Charles was an active member of the CANSI Quebec Committee, serving as Treasurer, and as a very popular Course Conductor. He contributed regularly to the CANSI Newsletter, even writing articles on Mountain Biking and how it could be taught using a typical ski lesson plan. Charles also served on both the CANSI National Board as Secretary and as an Advisor to the Technical Committee. In all these roles, Charles was rarely ever silent. His methodical approach to problem solving could be infuriating to some, as it would take time for Charles to verbally work his way through an issue. But the resulting conclusions were always sure to be based on the most empirical examination of the facts. It is a wonder Charles chose skiing over a career in law.

Charles was an exemplary Canadian. His complete bilingualism allowed him to move effortlessly between languages, both written and spoken. On national conference calls, his translations were clear and accurate. This same ability allowed him to teach groups of mutilingualed students with ease and humour. He was an example to us all.

We will miss Charles. He was a person we admired and looked up to.

When I became president of CANSI, he was one of the first to congratulate and offer me his support. I looked forward to his ideas, explanations and humour. I always loved his humour.

I will miss you Charles...

Denys Lawrence

All family and friends are invited to join for Charles Blair's funeral at St-George Anglican Church in Drummondville, Quebec on Saturday October 28, 2017. Ceremony starts at 10:30am at the church and a reception will follow at the Hall in the back of the church.

This event is meant to be a celebration of his amazing life through stories and pictures; there will be a board available to pin pictures should you have some to share.