Thompson Rivers University

Wiegele’s donation funds 14 new student awards

  Posted on: March 5, 2020

Dean Douglas Booth and Mike Wiegele.

Douglas Booth, Dean of the Faculty of Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism with Mike Wiegele.

What does it take to build a world-class business? Students can learn a lot from Mike Wiegele’s 50-year adventure in the mountains—and he’s making sure if students have a passion for the industry they get their chance.

The founder of Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing has donated $50,000 to fund 14 awards for students in the Faculty of Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism. The donation contributes to TRU’s Limitless Campaign to raise $50 million, which coincides with TRU’s 50th anniversary this year.

This is also the 50th anniversary season of Wiegele’s legendary heli-ski operation in Blue River, BC. Wiegele continues to fuel the tourism economy by working with TRU to create new opportunities for students—especially those who call the North Thompson home.

“I believe the future of the North Thompson Valley is tourism,” he said. “It’s important to reach younger generations and to make education available to those who will enhance the future of tourism. Now, we want the whole valley to benefit from what has been built here over the last 50 years.”


The new awards include:

  • Two $8,000 scholarships for students from the Simpcw First Nation
  • Four $2,000 entrance awards for students from the North Thompson
  • Four $2,000 scholarships for students from the North Thompson
  • Two $4,000 Adventure Studies scholarships
  • Two $4,000 Adventure Studies leadership awards

The final $2,000 goes toward new avalanche training equipment for the Adventure Studies program. Beyond providing new opportunities for financial aid, these awards will give students a point of connection to Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing, said Douglas Booth, Dean of Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism.

“Through connections like this, TRU helps students find their way in the world while also assisting local tourism operators,” Booth said.

To learn more about Limitless, go to