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, Armed Forces Veterans’ Week and our annual fundraising event the VISAS Awareness Day.

2019 – 2020 Board of Directors


President Mike Spooner
Vice President Kelly Kostuik
Treasurer Debbie Milne
Secretary Gina Stubbs





Fundraising Chair Rae-Lyn Hennessy
Nordic Coordinator Christine Helpard, Jody Macdonald
Program Coordinator Tony Madsen
Director at Large Bob Milne
Advertising, Promotion and Webmaster Sebastien Braconnier
Director at Large Lorrie Stewart
Social Coordinator Natalie Devereaux






Committee Chairs

Chief Training Instructor Bob Hodgson
Alpine Training Coordinators Mike Vattheuer, James Cooney
Snowboard Training Coordinator Michelle Schaefer
Equipment Manager Mike Vattheuer, James Cooney
Ski Race and Skills Development Team Coordinator Jen Bowlby
Snowboard Race and Skills Development Team Coordinator Michelle Schaefer
Herb Bradley Snowsports Festival Brian Hammett
VISAS Awareness Day Rae-Lyn Hennessy
Veterans Festival Russ Vida, James Cooney