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  • Empowering Women On and Off the Slopes: Celebrating International Women’s Day at Silver Star

As we gear up to enjoy the last few weeks of winter, it’s important to take a moment to celebrate International Women’s Day and reflect on the progress women have made in the skiing and biking world and beyond.  

“It’s typically a male-dominated industry,” explains Emily Peck, Patrol Manager, the first female in Silver Star’s history to be in the role. “Being outside, getting dirty, it’s just always been seen as more of a guy thing.”   

In recent years, there’s been a notable surge in the number of women diving headfirst into outdoor adventures. This trend is making a significant impact in communities worldwide, including here at Silver Star. “These days there are way more women getting involved in sports,” notes Dawna Jodoin, a long-time local and founder of Bush Babes & Bros, which organises the annual Slay the Dragon trail running event among others. Looking back on the changes, Jodoin reminisces, “When I first started training up at this mountain, it was rare to see women out. Now you see women rocking it on their own all the time around here.” Peck echoes these sentiments, adding, ”We have more and more girls joining us in Patrol every year. It’s great to see.”  

Representation is incredibly impactful. “When girls see other girls doing something, they believe they can do it too,” explains Nikki Lorentz, founder of Nothing in the Pantry, a female ski and snowboard crew that organises on-mountain Ride Days and other off-mountain events, to encourage women interested in freestyle. When asked about the group’s impact, Lorentz smiles, “I see it click for ladies – that riding the park is possible. It’s incredible to watch the realisation that they are capable of doing something that they didn’t believe they could do.”  

“Sport empowers women,” says Jodoin, putting it simply. “Women can be hard on themselves when it comes to physical ability, and it’s a real joy to see women be so proud of themselves when they accomplish their goals.”  

Women are not just a part of but are deeply ingrained in every aspect of the Silver Star community, shaping its mountain culture in significant ways. I had the pleasure of speaking with Maria Molnar, who with her husband Kal have been running Gallery Odin for over two decades. “I never found it was a fight to be accepted here,” she tells me as she reflects on her time on the mountain. “The community is fantastic, and I’m pleased to see more and more women getting involved.”  



Why is this important? Why do we need to make sure there is female presence on our slopes, in our teams, and in our community? As Lorentz puts it, “I think there needs to be a balance.” Thankfully, Silver Star has made good ground in accomplishing this balance. Jodoin highlights the mountain’s encouragement, noting, “Silver Star has really supported us. They do everything they can to help us in opening events for women.”  

“The integrity, support, and understanding is there,” Molnar adds. “But the best part about the community, is that the women are very supportive of each other. They do things together.” The special camaraderie between women at Silver Star was echoed by many others. This makes a refreshing change from the sometimes competitive atmosphere in male-dominated spaces. Lorentz sums it up perfectly, saying, “But Silver Star isn’t like that. It’s a place of partnership and collaboration and love versus competition.” 

“I’m the first female patrol manager, but there will be more after me,” says Peck, “and I feel good about paving the way for that.” 

Beyond skiing, International Women’s Day is a reminder of the ongoing work needed to achieve equality in all aspects of life. “I’ve had a lot of privilege to get where I am,” admits Lorentz. “And as we’re beginning to take up space, it’s important not to cling on to that privilege, and instead look at the other minorities who are currently having to fight. We need to make sure to open doors to others.” At the next Nothing in the Pantry Ride Day, taking place on Sunday March 24, 2024, the group hope to open the day with a land acknowledgement from a member of the Okanagan Indian Band. Pay attention to our Events page for more information and registration coming soon.  

These women are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the awesome ladies shaping the lively, inclusive culture at Silver Star. Whether you’re hitting the slopes for the first time or a seasoned pro going for a personal best, Silver Star is the place to be. So, this International Women’s Day, let’s raise a toast to all the amazing women in skiing and beyond. Let’s pledge to cheer them on, both on and off the slopes, and keep pushing for a community where everyone feels valued and supported.  

Happy International Women’s Day from all of us at Silver Star!  


Special thank you to Maria Molnar, Emily Peck, Nikki Lorentz, and Dawna Jodoin.  

Words: Hannah Brinkhurst 

Photos: Bree Toombs; Emily Peck 

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