CANSI XC Early DaysCANSI Telemark Early Days


In the early 1970s interest in cross country skiing was growing. Instruction programs were developed by the Canadian Ski Association, Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance and Ski Quebec, but there were too many roadblocks for any of these associations to develop and maintain a national program. In 1976, the three groups came together to discuss the issue and from this discussion, CANSI was formed.

The parent organizations kept CANSI going until it was ready to stand on its own. In September 1978, with a constitution and a set of bylaws, CANSI elected a board of directors. The board consisted of one CANSI representative from each of the eight constituencies across Canada, plus representatives from each of the parent organizations.

Classic skiing was the traditional cross country technique in the 1970s, and downhill manoeuvres utilized the Christie or alpine technique. These techniques made up our CANSI courses.



With the introduction of skate skiing in the mid-1980s, made popular by US racer Bill Koch, CANSI added skating techniques to its cross country discipline. We started with the marathon or half skate and then added full skating techniques as racers began using them regularly in competition.

The telemark technique was always part of our cross country discipline. We used it to make turns on our cross country skis in deeper snow. As specialized equipment for telemark skiing – skis with metal edges, wider skis and heavier leather boots – became more widely available, people began looking for telemark lessons. In response, CANSI developed a separate telemark certification to train and certify telemark ski instructors. The first certification course was held in 1986 at Sunshine Village, Alberta. Today we have three levels of telemark courses.


As the cross country and telemark disciplines evolve and change, so does CANSI, interpreting the way changes in technique or equipment trends should be applied to the way we teach recreational skiers, racers or those looking for more proficiency in their skiing.

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This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada
Ce projet est financé en partie par le gouvernement du Canada
An agency of the Government of Ontario
Un organisme du gouvernement de l'Ontario