Our History

In the early 1960s a small group of dedicated outdoor enthusiasts, led by the legendary Herb Bradley, began offering ski instruction at the old Forbidden Plateau Ski Lodge for people with physical disabilities and cognitive challenges.

In 1992, the Vancouver Island Skiing for the Disabled Society was officially established at Mount Washington Alpine Resort (MWAR) as a non-profit, charitable society. Adapting techniques based on the teaching methodologies of the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance, volunteer instructors have introduced hundreds of students to the thrill of learning to ski and snowboard.

Known today as the Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports, (VISAS) the program has grown in recent years to a strong and dedicated team of over 100 volunteers/instructors, enthusiastically supported by the MWAR operations staff.

MWAR provides space in the main lodge for our organization to call home as well as accommodating us at the Raven (Nordic) lodge. Along with providing subsidized student lift tickets and equipment rental for VISAS participants, they also have trained and responsive staff to assist students on and off lifts if necessary. MWAR has been an active partner in VISAS’s annual Winter Snowsports Festival and our fun fundraising event – the Herb Bradley Challenge as well as supporting us with the Armed Forces Veterans’ Week.

2018 – 2019 Board of Directors


President Tom Clarke
Vice President Mike Spooner
Treasurer Linda Grubwieser
Secretary Gina Stubbs


Fundraising Chair George Giguere
Nordic Coordinator Christine Helpard
Program Coordinator and Equipment Manager Mike Vattheuer
Advertising and Promotion and Webmaster Sebastien Braconnier
Social Coordinator Debbie Olszewski

Committee Chairs

Alpine Training Coordinator Bob Hodgson
Snowboard Training Coordinator Michelle Schaefer
Snowsport Race and Skills Development Team Coordinator Andreas Ruttkiewicz
Snowsports Festival Brian Hammett
Annual Fundraising Event Rae-Lyn Hennessy
Veterans Festival Mike Spooner, Russ Vida, James Cooney