The International Ski & Snowboard Federation ‘FIS’ removed the Men’s Downhill at Lake Louise, AB, from the 23/24 season’s calendar. The Men’s Downhill at Lake Louise has been a staple on the men’s FIS Alpine World Cup calendar since 1999 and on the women’s since 1991. In fact, Lake Louise first started hosting FIS World Cup events as far back as 1980 and has hosted a total of 25 men’s World Cup races and 32 women’s events to date.
This coming season’s event had been scheduled for November 25-26, 2023, but had been indicated as a ‘to be confirmed’ event when FIS released the 23/24 calendar on May 24, 2023. On Friday, July 14, 2023 , Alpine Canada confirmed that they were forced to scrap the event as they had not been able to secure financing for the races in time.
Alpine Canada’s President and Chief Executive Officer Therese Brisson said in a press release last Friday, that time ran out to secure funding for the races at Lake Louise.
“Unfortunately, the economic model for the Lake Louise World Cup has been challenging the past few years. We’ve been working with various stakeholders since last season to try to find solutions and despite some progress, we have run out of time to confirm the funding early enough to execute the event for the upcoming 2023-24 season. We share in the disappointment of the race stakeholders, our fans, and specifically our athletes, sponsors, and volunteers. We want to thank all our sport and funding partners, including the governments of Alberta and Canada, as well as the incredible volunteers who have supported this event for so many years.”
Brisson stresses though that Alpine Canada is committed to keep hosting a men’s speed event in Western Canada and is hoping to be back on the FIS calendar for the 24/25 season, “Alpine Canada, together with our partners and stakeholders are committed to producing a race event that excites Canadians, grows the sport and fan base, delivers an amazing experience for athletes and fans, is commercially and environmentally sustainable, and supports a strong legacy for the sport and community today and into the future.”
The race at Lake Louise was one of four races for the men in North America, leaving a Downhill and Super-G in Beaver Creek, CO, in early December, and Giant Slalom and Slalom events at Palisades Tahoe, CA, and Aspen, CO, in February/March. Alpine Canada had already replaced the traditional women’s Downhill events at Lake Louise with tech events at Mont-Tremblant, QC. Alpine Canada and Station Mont-Tremblant had been working hard to meet FIS requirements, including upgrading the Flying Mile trail to meet safety standards, and hosting a successful Nor-Am Cup race in Mont-Tremblant this February, and those races are confirmed.