With the beginning of a new year, it’s a great time to look back and celebrate the successes of 2016 while looking forward to what is in store for 2017.


This past 2016 season was a season of change and progress at IMBA Canada, with it being the first season as we unveil our new mission statement; “To ensure that Canada is home to a strong and vibrant mountain biking community, riding a world class network of mountain bike trails.” While we will always ensure our work of trail access and advocacy for the sport, this new mission statement allows us to also focus on the community and riders behind the trails. This allows us to better focus on the needs of the community as a whole and not simply just its trails. This new focus was the cornerstone for our work this past season and will be the focus of our upcoming season of work and programming moving forward.


It was a season packed with new programming, new partners and further growing our existing programs. Early in 2016 we launched our newly developed winter programming with winter trails and fat biking being the focus. With the increase in popularity of fat biking and many riders continuing their riding year round, it was a necessary step to help riders and communities work together in a new way to gain access to winter riding opportunities.


We further grew our fantastic partnership with Parks Canada diving deeper into our expertise to put on Advanced Trails Training Workshops at Prince Albert, Fundy, Cape Breton Highlands and Jasper National Parks. We also continued our great offer of assessment, master planning and trail design while growing our offer to include mechanized workshops at Parks Canada sites as well. 2017 looks to be a special season as we embark on a new partnership program with Parks Canada to help them improve their trail experiences, partner with local communities and help them put their best product forward as they prepare to welcome the nation as part of the Canada 150 celebrations offering free admission to all National Parks.


This past season also saw us embark on a fantastic new partnership with Shimano Canada in providing our national Land Manager Training workshops in Kelowna, BC, Calabogie, ON and Chilliwack, BC. This new program in partnership with Shimano is an excellent progression to allow us to reach out to land managers and land management agencies to help them manage their trails, users and understand their users better to work better and improve their trail experiences. This past season was an incredible success as we had members of Rec. Sites and Trails BC, BC Parks, Parks Canada, Big White Ski Resort, as well as local and regional land management agencies all come together to focus on trails. Topics such as Sustainable Trail Design, Trail Assessment, User Management and many more were all discussed as part of the regional workshops, and each workshop differed as it catered to the attendees and region in which it was taking place. We are looking forward to being able to put on more regional LMT workshops this upcoming season with the support of Shimano Canada.


If all of that was not enough, we continued to be a part of local Trail Care Crew visits, trail design and master planning and took part in great events such as the 24 Hours of Adrenalin Canmore’s 20th Anniversary and conferences across North America. This upcoming year and season looks to be a very busy and exciting one as we embark on some great new programs with the Professional Mountain Bike Instructor Association, more advanced work with Parks Canada, workshops with Shimano as well as continuing our existing works with the local clubs and communities that make up this great mountain bike country.


We would like to thank our fantastic partners and sponsors; Subaru Canada, Trek, Swagman Racks, Shimano Canada, Parks Canada, MEC, PMBIA and all others that support us. We would like to thank the member clubs, communities who support us and our individual members who along with our partners allow us to grow our programming to help create a nation of great mountain bike communities and world-class trails!


I wish all of you a happy new year and happy trails in 2017, and please join us in this exciting ride!


-Justin Truelove