In it for the long haul: Totem’s Ski Shop turns 100
April 2011 a chance to recognize our customers, says owner
Carved into Jasper’s heritage with the likes of the superintendent’s residence and the railway station, Totem’s Ski Shop has been a permanent feature in Jasper for nearly as long as the park has been around.
In 1911, when W.S. Jeffrey’s and Sons opened its tent doors for business, the railroad boom, the newly established forest park, a blossoming tourism industry and good ol’ fashioned cowboy entrepreneurship shaped a Jasper very different from the one we see today.
Find Victor Vassalo in Totem’s shoe department. He’s your source for everything to do with ski boots, skiing hard goods and footwear. Now part of Totem’s management team, Vic found his own footing in Jasper when he came here more than a decade ago and fell in love—with the park, his wife and his daughter Karleigh (not necessarily in that order). Originally from Nova Scotia, Vic helped Jasper Source for Sports (Totem’s sister store) capture a second straight mens team title at the 24 Hours of Adrenaline in Canmore.
Don’t let his love for the Rockies fool you, Manu Loir-Mongazon assures us that he loves hiking “back in France” just as much as in Canada. Managing the camping and cross-country ski departments at Totem’s is where you’ll find Manu when he’s not exploring Jasper National Park by∫foot, ski or bike. He was also part of two first place Source For Sports 24 Hours of Adrenaline teams in Canmore.
Valery Joly wasn’t born in Canada, but like many who move to Jasper, he found the experience gave him a rebirth. His favourite sports in the French Alps—skiing, snowboarding, biking, hiking, fishing and watching rugby—are now done in the Rocky Mountain setting (except for the rugby thing). An avid hiker, Valery says he loves to explore Jasper’s peaks…and pints. “Do you understand my meaning?” he asks. Yes Valery. Yes we do.
Jordan Sales, born and raised in Jasper, Jordan’s love of the Rockies was basically bred into him; he came into the world with skis on! When not aimlessly wandering the store helping customers, you can find Jordan on his roadbike, reading a book by the fire place of his ski chalet or out discovering the wilderness during winters. Jordan goes to the U of A, studying Geology, but finds time to return and ski as much as possible!
Stephanie English, Totem’s bookkeeper and part of the management team, is often described as the glue that holds the parts together. And who better? She’s a coach for the local high school basketball team, she competes in triathlons and she recently checked a long-term goal off her to-do list: completing an Ironman in 2009. Imported from down east—Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, to be precise—Steph’s organization skills are overshadowed only by her talent for crunching numbers.