OFSC Delivers Strong Snowmobiling Season Despite Challenges

Season Peak of 26,000 Kms of Available OFSC Trails Reached on February 25, 2021

(Barrie, ON: March 31, 2021) – The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) extends sincerest appreciation to our 6,000 volunteers, whose trail-building expertise and operational dedication are the grassroots backbone of our local snowmobile clubs across Ontario. Despite facing unprecedented and continually evolving challenges, their volunteer efforts, cooperation and determination during the past season helped achieved the commitment we made to snowmobilers in our Trails To Ride 2021 plan – to deliver the best possible trail riding experiences.

“I want to commend everyone on Team OFSC for our collective achievements this winter,” commented CEO Landon French, “from volunteers to landowners to stakeholders, and to staff who helped steer us through uncharted territory this year.”

In addition, the OFSC wants to thank each and every permit buyer for your patience and understanding through the season. We really appreciate your support of OFSC trails and your willingness to adapt to local riding this winter and for taking the necessary precautions. Certainly, if the positive, post-season feedback from snowmobilers on social media is any indicator, many of you agree that this season was a success story given the circumstances. And what a story it was…

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OFSC Provides By The Numbers Overview of Organized Snowmobiling

A Behind-The-Scenes Look At The Economics of Delivering Snowmobile Trails

(Barrie, ON: February 25 , 2021) – As the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) enters its 54th year as the voice for the volunteer snowmobile clubs in this province, it’s informative to look at a few of our “Snowmobiling By The Numbers”. Hopefully, they help all of us better appreciate the big picture of organized snowmobiling in Ontario – and what a massive, complex and valuable undertaking this year-round enterprise really is. It’s also a sobering look at the economic benefits that are being lost to snowbelt communities as too many trails are closed due to snowmobilers wandering off marked trails.

Most of these Snowmobiling By The Numbers are from the 2018-2019 riding season, the most recent figures available. While the numbers vary slightly from year to year, and may be down this season due to current restrictions, a primary and very unpredictable variable is consistent: What kind of season we get from Old Man Winter?

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OFSC Provides Snowmobilers With An Organizational Overview

Today’s OFSC Operates Provincially in 3 Tiers

As its name indicates, The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs works on behalf of its member organizations. As everything in today’s society has become increasingly complex, organized snowmobiling has adapted. Over the years, member snowmobile clubs have approved organizational changes into three tiers of operations to deliver an integrated, inter-connected, provincial snowmobile trail system. Today, organized snowmobiling is supported by programs, services and assistance offered through local clubs, districts and the provincial association. Each of these tiers contributes towards a common goal and together, they comprise “the OFSC”.

Tier 1 (Local): Community Snowmobile Clubs of the OFSC – Working in partnership with their community and business stakeholders, grassroots volunteers with these local clubs still lead all operational responsibilities to deliver a snowmobile trail network within their area. From working with landowners to obtaining permission to occupy the land, to trail development, signage installation and trail grooming activities, community snowmobile trails remain dependent on local volunteerism by snowmobilers.

Each OFSC member club operates as a non-profit entity under the leadership of its local volunteers. Any snowmobiler who wishes to contribute to organized snowmobiling can join and be active in their local club to find out what’s going on, but buying a trail permit for a sled does not make its owner a “member” of any club or of the OFSC.

To find an OFSC member club, go to Find Your District on the OFSC website, select a district and go to their website. On their home page, you should find a list of their OFSC member clubs.

Tier 2 (Regional): District Organizations of the OFSC – Generally aligned to regional tourism or government boundaries, OFSC districts also operate as volunteer-led, not-for-profit corporations, to provide support to the OFSC member clubs situated within their region. In addition to leading the local delivery of provincial programs, districts deliver programs and services of common regional need to their area snowmobile clubs. District support may include an operational role with the securement, development, coordination, connectivity, maintenance and grooming of area snowmobile trails. Each district is led by volunteers from its member clubs who form its board of directors and executive, and also has at least one staff person to handle administration and paperwork for district clubs.

To find an OFSC district, go to Find Your District on the OFSC website and select a district.

Tier 3 (Provincial): Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs – Operating within its mandate of uniting snowmobile clubs across the province and providing them with a unified voice, the OFSC remains the volunteer-led, not-for-profit corporation formed by founding clubs in 1967. The provincial federation doesn’t actually occupy land or develop and maintain trails. Rather, its role remains to support snowmobile clubs and districts by delivering provincial programs and services of common need through a small team of professional staff operating year round out of its Barrie office.

The OFSC also continues to play the important provincial advocacy role with government and other stakeholders envisioned by its founding clubs. Provincial programs include: best practices and guidelines, educational information, tools and resources, insurance products, and access to assets and funding. The OFSC also delivers the Ontario Snowmobile Trail Permit program as the sole authorized agent for the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) with all revenues utilized for MTO authorized expenditures towards the delivery of organized snowmobiling across Ontario.

The OFSC is led by a team of district volunteers elected by each district’s member clubs, who serve on its board of governors and executive committee. Confirmed by all club delegates at AGM, the OFSC’s board meets throughout the year to set strategic direction and policy, undertake long term planning, and oversee the provincial operations and budget on behalf of member clubs.

The Backbone of Organized Snowmobiling

Although local snowmobile clubs, districts and the provincial federation are separate organizations, these three tiers are the backbone of organized snowmobiling in Ontario. Each entity plays an integral role in what ultimately results in a network of over 30,000 kilometres of snowmobile trails, a fleet of 300 industrial trail groomers, and the generous contributions of 18,000 private landowners and 6,000 volunteers. Together, this snowmobile team navigates the labyrinth of government, industry, business, tourism and stakeholder relations necessary to make it all happen.

So when referring to “the OFSC”, you’re actually talking about all the people and all the entities involved in the “organized” part of organized snowmobiling. From the folks who prep the trails to your local groomer operators, and from volunteers who make decisions at club meetings to those who act provincially to support their efforts, the mission is to work together to deliver a provincial snowmobile trail system. Yes in 1967, local clubs founded the OFSC so snowmobilers could help snowmobilers – and that concept is still our focus heading into the winter of 2022!


The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is a volunteer led, not for profit association that provides the voice for organized snowmobiling in Ontario. OFSC snowmobile trails managed by 200 community based, member clubs generate up to $3.3 billion in economic activity in the province each year.

 

For questions or to schedule a media interview with the OFSC, please contact  [email protected]

To view more OFSC news and releases: https://mailchi.mp/8620a2cef4df/industry-newsletter-sign-up/