Winter Hospitality work in The Rockies
Spend your winter living and working in the Canadian Rockies. Have a guaranteed job working in a hotel before you leave home. Earn money to finance an awesome ski or snowboard season and social life. This is the true meaning of ‘work hard, play hard’!
Season ski pass included in the cost of the programme!
Oyster has been recruiting hardworking individuals to work in a variety of roles in hotels in the Banff area of The Rockies since 2000. Whilst the exact role cannot be confirmed until a couple of months before departure, Oyster participants can relax in the knowledge that they have a guaranteed job lined up once accepted onto this programme, not just an interview.
You should expect an entry level role in the hotel industry, typically:
- Housekeeping: cleaning the guests’ bedrooms and the public areas in the hotel.
- Kitchen and restaurant: working as dishwashers behind the scenes or bussers in the restaurant, clearing tables and re-stocking cutlery.
To excel in your job role you will need to be punctual, stick to a dress code and be genuinely friendly and courteous to guests. If, after your probationary period, you can prove yourself adept and willing, other opportunities may arise in front of house roles such as bar-tending or on reception.
Wherever you work, the standards and expectations are going to be high. These are all jobs that require a positive attitude and a commitment to hard work, however you’ll still have a great time. The philosophy here is definitely ‘work hard, play hard’!
The jobs are full time and you can expect an average of 4-5 days work per week across the season. Working in a tourist resort means that hours vary with season, snow conditions and guest numbers. On average you’ll get 2 days off per week to ski or snowboard. During peak times such as Christmas you may be working 6, or even 7, days per week. In the quieter times you may only get 2-3 days work per week.
Each pay cheque will be different so there will be times you need to live on a budget. Expect to earn around C$13.60 per hour (approx £8 per hour) and be paid fortnightly.
The season runs late November through to late May. Many of our participants choose to extend their stay in Canada and work through the summer as well. If you have worked in a hotel before then do tell us on your booking form as this may help us find a job for you in other hotel departments, although this cannot be guaranteed.
Please note: We ask for a £180 payment when booking this programme. If, in the event you are unsuccessful in the interview, or we cannot find a job for you before you leave home, the money that you pay Oyster is fully refundable.
I couldn’t have done this without Oyster! – Zach, winter 2016/17
Included in our winter hospitality work in The Rockies programme is a season long ski pass for Mount Norquay. This is a mid-week pass allowing you to ski Monday-Friday and during night ski sessions (Friday and Saturday). You will most likely be working at weekends so we don’t include Saturday and Sunday in our pass. If you happen to have a weekend off, you get 25% off of the normal daily rate.
Other benefits of the pass include:
- 10% off food in the Lone Pine Pub (located at Norquay base)
- 15% off ski tuning
- 10% off equipment rentals
- 10% off tubing
- 10% off Snow School lessons
- Discounted shuttle pass between Banff and Norquay
- Plus loads more!
NB: Benefits are correct at time of writing.
Mt. Norquay is located just 10 minutes shuttle ride from Banff town and is a great resort to have on your doorstep. The mountain has 38 runs spread over 190 acres and enjoys an average of 300cm of snow each year. Check out the Mount Norquay Trail Map.
If you would rather a ski pass that covers a wider area, we can give you a credit towards other passes instead of the Norquay pass.
Accommodation and Food
You will live in accommodation organised by your employer. Staff housing is quite basic but is perfectly adequate for what you will need. The accommodation is either on the hotel site or within walking distance. You will be self catering and should expect to share a room with at least one other person. Most hotels will provide a meal whilst you are working, however you should ensure you can cook a few easy dishes before you depart! The cost of accommodation varies but usually equates to approximately one hour of pay per night. The cost of accommodation is deducted from your pay cheque at source, leaving you with money to spend on food and a great social life!
- Guaranteed job in the hotel hospitality industry before you leave home.
- Feel fully supported throughout the programme; take part in monthly meet-ups with Arjun, our country rep, and the rest of your group.
- Season ski pass included.
- ‘Work hard, play hard’- earn money to finance an awesome season!
- Meet like-minded people and enjoy a great social life in the spectacular Rocky Mountains.
Whyshould I do this?
If you want the security of knowing that you have a guaranteed job lined up before you head to Canada, this is the programme for you. Since 2000 we have never failed to find someone a job in Canada. Whilst these roles may not sound like the most glamorous jobs in the world, you have to remember where you are. You will be working hard but then having the most amazing days off, enjoying all that the Rockies have to offer.
If you are considering a career in the hospitality industry, working in a hotel in Canada will give you a great opportunity to get behind the scenes in an entry level job and see how a busy hotel keeps running. Working in Canada for a season is a great use of your gap year or career break. Not only will it enhance your CV but it will also enhance your independence and confidence. You will be living and working in another country for 6 months and developing your skills.
You can also save money on this programme, knowing that you will have a ski pass ready to go before you leave home, saving you the expense of buying a pass when in The Rockies.
As an ATOL Bonded company, Oyster can book flights for you to Canada. If you are on the Oyster flight from the UK, we will see you and your group off at Heathrow airport. Arjun will be waiting at Calgary airport to collect you and drive you the 90 minutes up into the Rockies. He will help you to settle into your accommodation upon your arrival in the resort. The next day, Arjun will help you to arrange your Social Insurance Number and bank account before showing you where to buy skis, pick up your pass and where the grocery store and medical centre are located.
If you are travelling from outside the UK, or arranging your own flights, we will arrange for you to meet up with your group on arrival in Canada.
Arjun grew up in London and went to University in the UK. As a graduate he decided the time was right to take a gap year and signed up to our Rockies programme in 2005 for what he thought would just be a 6 month stay in Canada. Arjun fell in love with the Rocky Mountains and decided to stay for another year, and then another… Fast forward to today and Arjun is now a Canadian Citizen, married to a Canadian and they have a young son, Ronan. Arjun started life in Banff as a Housekeeper and has worked his way up to become the General Manager of a hotel in downtown Banff.
In his spare time he enjoys all that mountain life has to offer from white water rafting and hiking in the summer to snowmobiling and skiing in the winter. You’ll get to know Arjun well during your time in Canada. He is an active member of the community and looks forward to passing on his knowledge and supporting you. On arrival, Arjun will arrange a short orientation course and be in close contact with you over the first couple of days. As time goes on, Arjun will take more of a back seat and be there as a helpful friend should you need any help or advice.
Once a month Arjun hosts a meet up with the Oyster group where we provide a few drinks and snacks and the chance for you to talk through any issues you might have. Arjun is a local expert on where to go and what to see in The Rockies!
Our representatives are there to be a helpful friend to you and steer you through difficulties of any kind. Arjun will keep us updated on your health and welfare throughout.
“It must be a hard balance to have to work with a young group of people who are completely new to a culture and not start acting like a parent or acting cold. Arjun got the balance spot on, he was fantastic helping us when we needed it, but wasn’t going to hold our hands, which was vital to surviving in the long term!” Katie
Read more about Arjun in our ‘meet the reps‘ interview.
What is provided
- One-to-one interview and informal briefing
- Access to your personal ‘My Oyster’ account – our online portal where you can find out much more about the programme and manage your booking
- UK briefing day covering hotel issues and work advice
- Help and advice from our UK office before departure and whilst in Canada
- Guaranteed job before departure (we will liaise with hotels and obtaining job offer letters etc. Please be aware some hotels like to conduct their own interview on the phone)
- Season long mid-week ski pass for Mount Norquay
- Optional flight with fixed return date. Total cost including flight £3055 (if you want a more flexible ticket this can be organised).
- Your money is protected with Oyster. We have ATOL Protection (as long as we book your flights) and a bond with IPP (if we don’t book your flights)
- Arrangement of transportation to your accommodation from the airport
- Orientation on arrival
- Assistance and support from our representative throughout the season, including regular social ‘meet ups’
- Wages (approx. £190 per week, before tips)
- Guaranteed staff accommodation (the money for this will come out of your pay cheque – approx 1 hours’ pay per night)
- Oyster luggage tag
On your return:
- Welcome home pack
- Certificate of Recognition (on request)
- References (on request)
What do I need
- Be eligible for the Canadian IEC Working Holiday Program (sign up for our free application guide)
- A passport valid for the a minimum of 6 months after your return date
- Insurance (covering winter sports and any planned independent travel)
- Independent travel costs and cost of journey back to the airport at the end of the season
- All home-country travel costs (eg to the airport)
- Accommodation and food costs, approximately C$18 (£11) per day. Accommodation costs are taken directly from your pay cheque
- Police Check for Immigration Purposes (approx. £45)
- Cost of IEC Working Holiday Permit – C$250