Media Releases for winter of 2006
Back to current releases
June 26, 2006
Local Boy Makes Good - Bruce Robinson elected as OFSC President
(Barrie, ON)- The executive and the board of governors of the OFSC have chosen District 1 governor Bruce Robinson to replace Dennis Burns as president of the Federation during the general election which took place on June 25th. Dennis had decided to not run again after being at the helm for the past 6 years.
An avid snowmobiler since the late sixties and a long-time volunteer and leader, Bruce brings a wealth of knowledge to help him in his new position. His experience runs from that of groomer operator and trail coordinator to club president, Volunteers In Action co-chair (shared with his wife, Liz) and of course, governor of District 1. Having led a host of snowmobile-related committees and workshops, he's also the past recipient of OFSC Volunteer of the Year and CCSO Snowmobiler of the Year. Living in the same county in which he was born, he has worked for Statistics Canada for over 30 years. If one can believe he has any, in his spare time Bruce volunteers at his church and is a long time and active member of the Rideau Valley Historical Automotive Society.
His focus during this 2-year term will be on "product and people". Though Bruce feels Ontario has the best there is to offer when it comes to snowmobile trails, some work is needed to improve consistency. He'd like to see a "World Class Network" showcasing Ontario as the standard for others to follow. Clearly, his experience as VIA co-chair allows him to appreciate the potential of a volunteer force. Bruce plans to develop and nurture this most important resource through improved training and team-building. His thorough understanding of our favourite pastime is reflected in his belief that a strong marketing effort is required to complement all the excellent work performed by dedicated volunteers. "My opinion is that we must position our trail system as being safe for families to enjoy. We also need to distance ourselves from the 'motorized sport' label and go with a more 'green' environmentally friendly message", he explains.
Unfortunately for District 1 and effective immediately a condition of Bruce's appointment as OFSC President is that he relinquish his role as Governor and his chair of the VIA committee. The District 1 Board of Governors heartily congratulates him and wishes him success in this exciting mission.
April 22, 2006
District 1 Scores with the OFSC Stakeholders Playoffs
With the Ottawa Senator's Playoff season starting, district 1 had their own kind of playoff with the 2006 series of Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs' stakeholders meetings being kicked off in Greely April 22nd. OFSC president Dennis Burns, GM Paul Shaughnessy, Secretary-Treasurer Brenda Welsh, Manager for Safety and Public Education Bill Harrison, and 2nd Vice-president and Govenor for District 4 Mike Kuechler, traveled to collect the input from clubs and representatives from District 1. The day started with the Building Partnerships and Bridging Gaps PowerPoint presentation which is funded by HRSDC. Afterward the district and the OFSC got down to business. Topics for improving grooming, signage, safety issues, ATV trespassing, permit sales, and administrative issues were discussed and recorded at the Greely Legion. The session deemed very productive and informative and the information will be used to guide the district and the OFSC in setting priorities and budget. District 1 General Manager John Boals presented the OFSC guests with a gift consisting of Eastern Ontario's finest St-Albert cheese. The District also had on display classic sleds representing 40 years celebration of the OFSC as the coordinating body for organized snowmobiling in Ontario, 1966-2006.
After that, the OFSC guests left for their next meeting in Arthur Ontario scheduled for the following day. The district continued discussing other subjects such as maps, trails, landowners and volunteers. The busy day wound up at 3:00 pm as many members had a long ride home.
Each of the 17 districts will get a chance to participate in similar meetings over the next 3 weekends before the final stakeholder meeting in Bracebridge, Ontario on April 30th, 2006.
Pictured above are our OFSC representatives with their favorite sleds.
March 5, 2006
DISTRICT 1 HOSTS SNOWMOBILE EXPERIENCE / YAMA FEST
On March 5th, 2006- Over 500 supporters of snowmobiling came together to enjoy a day of fun and excitement. This event was attended by Job Creation Partnership members of the Federal and Provincial government, along with the local media. This was the second snowmobile experience hosted by District 1 Snowmobile Association, though this year the snowmobile experience was partnered with Yamaha Canada in their featured Yama Fest. It was a great opportunity for us to exhibit the virtue of the project, the economic impact snowmobiling has on local communities and it also gave the opportunity for our invitees to test drive the 2006 model sleds that Yamaha Canada and Irwin Supply graciously supplied.
Sand Road Sugar Camp Guests' enjoyed a "Canadian Sugar Camp" meal, while a short PowerPoint presentation was projected in the restaurant. After the meal everyone suited up and went for a half hour tour with our two guides Tom Irwin from Irwin Supply and Rob Racine from Yamaha Canada. Notably present were Mr. Guy Lauzon M.P. for Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry and Mr. Jeremy Gowsell, a representative for Jim Brownell M.P.P. of Stormont, Dundas and Charlottenburgh also attended the function. Both Mr. Lauzon and Mr. Gowsell were impressed with the PowerPoint presentation that our district has taken to local municipalities and Chambers of Commerce in our area. They were also pleased to see the financials impact that snowmobiling brings to the 3 levels of government. Mr. Lauzon even mentioned that before viewing the presentation he did not previously know the statistics and how profitable our recreation is for our economy.
Overall, the day was a great success! Special thanks to: Tom Irwin from Irwin Supply, Rob Racine from Yamaha Canada, Leisure Days in Embrun who displayed an RV, Roy's Pontiac for their truck and Seaway Valley Snowmobile Association for providing the groomed trails. A big thank you goes out to everyone who assisted in making the day such a success.
Mar 7, 2006
District 1 S.A. Supports Eastern Ontario Farmers
(Morrisburg, ON)- It is well-known that organized snowmobiling owes its success in great part to the relationship clubs have with the farming community. Snowmobilers in District 1 have long appreciated the privilege afforded to them by the landowners who grant access to their property. Indeed, without this cooperation, the District's Clubs snowmobile trail network would simply dissolve, effectively preventing any long-distance snowmobiling.
Meanwhile, many farmers are becoming increasingly frustrated with provincial and federal governments, particularly concerning the lack of a concerted long-term support plan for agriculture. Although some funding has recently been earmarked to relieve farmers, it comes as a reaction to an urgent situation. Ontario farmers are thus looking at ways of getting attention from governments without alienating the general population.
Last winter, Québec farmers revoked land-use agreements with snowmobile clubs in order to achieve the similar goal of increasing awareness. District 1's board of directors felt that a different tactic may prove more beneficial to its bond with the agricultural community. The board is issuing a directive to the 28 clubs and associations in its jurisdiction to cease grooming operations on farm land as of March 9th, 2006, until farmers agree that they can resume operations. Bruce Robinson, Governor of District 1, explains the move by saying, "We could have waited until each protesting farmer called their respective clubs and formally withdrew permission which would slowly bring down the whole trail system but we decided to take a district-wide approach to show our respect for the farmers. They have no problem with the trails on their land and this is not about snowmobile club-farmer relations. This is about our friends and neighbours and quite a few of our own members trying to make a decent living from farming. We have to come out on their side."
District 1 clubs maintains over 5000 kilometres of snowmobile trail accessing about 5000 private properties, of which many are crop farms, operational dairy and livestock.
Triton Trailers Partners with District 1
This snowmobile season District 1 Snowmobile Association was able to form an impressive partnership with Triton Trailers from our regional distributor Alumite Enterprises Incorporated, Mr. Paul McNichol. This partnership brought about the creation of 852 signs to our trails detailing county roads, highway roads and township information in reflective vinyl lettering for night driving. These signs act as a great tool by informing the rider of the snowmobile club trail that they are ridding on and boldly display the Triton logo.
Triton Trailer donated $2850.00 to the project, while District 1 supplied all of the mounting hardware. These reflective signs have taken the trail system in our district to the forefront in safety by securing the location of a snowmobiler in the case of an accident or a simple sled breakdown. These signs enable the rider to give their location in a way that assistance can reach them in a more efficient and effective manner.
As always, the placements of these signs were dependant on the volunteers to accomplish. As quoted by John Boals, manager of District 1 Snowmobile Association: "I am ecstatic to report that the volunteers in District 1 came through yet again". From this great partnership with Triton Trailer and Mr. Paul McNichol's, our district is able to achieve a higher degree of safety and security to our riders.
Thanks to our volunteers, Mr.McNichol's and Triton Trailers for this immense opportunity!
Visit: for more information on their products.
January 29th, 2006
Way Out Women Ride Through District 1
On Sunday, January 29th, 2006- WOW (Way Out Women) traversed into our District. WOW is a group of women who are sledding across Canada with a dream of hope on a fundraising journey for Breast Cancer Research.
Janet Lachapelle, Heather Mehlenbacher and Nancy Ord are the three women riders representing Ontario in this feat. These ladies met the riders from our neighbouring province in Montebello, Quebec at which point the keys for the Polaris "SwitchBacks" sleds exchanged hands. Volunteers from 5 clubs within District 1 then escorted the ladies on their expedition to Vars, Ontario.
KC's Country Inn & Motel treated the group to a delicious meal and a warm bed. There were volunteers from 9 District 1 clubs present at the feast, including Bruce Robinson, OFSC Governor of District 1 and John Boals, Manager of District 1 Snowmobile Association.
The snowmobile clubs within District 1 donated $4059.00 in support of these ladies while they rode through our district and an additional $4,490.00 was donated on behalf of District 1 Snowmobile Association when WOW met up with the men from the Canadian Sno Challenge. These dollars combine to a total donation of $8549.00 from snowmobile clubs within district 1 to Breast Cancer Research. This is a primary example of ordinary people making a difference in our community one dollar at a time.
In 2003, WOW relay for Breast Cancer raised just over $175,000.00 for research taking part in a ride over North America. This season Way Out Women collected (a conservative) $26,000.00 in our province alone. Way to go Ontario!
Congratulations WOW and good luck on your journey of hope!
January 26, 2006
Canadian Sno Challenge: Journey of a Lifetime!
On January 26, 2006 the journey of a lifetime began for 4 men from Casselman, Ontario. Claude Castonguay, Normand Surprenant, Serge Charette and Jean-Guy Charette flew out to British Columbia to begin the journey, a trip that would eventually lead them right back home. This journey actually coincides with the WOW relay for breast cancer across Canada. These men would be raising money for Breast Cancer research along the way. Though, the four men are also hoping to promote exposure to the movement of organized snowmobiling in all communities across Western Provinces and Ontario.
During the trip the men have pre-arranged meetings with several snowmobile club executives in view of sharing experiences and giving exposure to the sport.
On February 13th, a cheque was presented to the Way Out Women riders in Russel, Manitoba on behalf of District 1 Snowmobile Association for the amount of $4,490.00. This donation was very much appreciated. A running total of $7,000.00 has been raised for Breast Cancer Research on their journey so far.
A welcome home reception for these men will take place in Morrisburg, Ontario on Saturday, February 25th at the MacIntosh Inn. The men plan on returning home the next day.
This 30-day adventure of riding will have taken these men riding over almost 8,000 kilometers by snowmobile. Congratulations men on a great adventure and much success!
Please go to for more information about the team! District 1 is proud to be a supporter of the Canadian Sno Challenge.