Thompson Rivers University

Thompson Rivers University and Sun Peaks Resort create industry/student partnerships

December 6, 2022


SUN PEAKS, BC — Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and Sun Peaks Resort today announced a five-year partnership to link TRU students with careers in tourism, hospitality, trades and early childhood education (ECE).

A portion of the resort’s $75,000 donation will go to TRU’s Tourism Innovation Lab Fund, which helps students develop tourism business ideas through research and industry mentorship. Funds will also be allocated to the TRU Trails to Reconciliation Fund, a 12-day field course where students travel to Interior Indigenous communities to build mountain biking trails, and to Sun Peaks Resort student familiarization tours, which give students an opportunity to see the inner workings of a large mountain resort.

In addition, the funding supports awards for TRU undergraduate students in tourism, events and conventions management, culinary arts, trades and technology and early childhood ECE programs. As part of these awards, students will receive mentorship and potential work-placement opportunities at various Sun Peaks Resort operated businesses.

“When people think of jobs at Sun Peaks, they naturally think of tourism and hospitality,” said Helen Davies, Sun Peaks human resources director of Employee Experience. “Sun Peaks is also a community and, like any community, we need workers in many different industries — including early childhood education and trades. We are looking forward to working with TRU students from all areas to showcase the range of opportunities and career development available, while building a stronger partnership with the university.”

“Assistance for students through this partnership is so beneficial for everyone involved,” said Stacie Coder, Sun Peaks Resort food and beverage manager and TRU alum. “As a program graduate, I know how important it is to get practical hands-on experience alongside industry mentors to help guide future career development.”

The tourism, adventure and hospitality industries are rebounding from the pandemic and clamouring for staff,” said Doug Booth, dean of the Faculty of Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism. “Especially for those who can demonstrate creativity, initiative and leadership — traits and skills that TRU develops and fosters. We’re thrilled about this mutually beneficial partnership with Sun Peaks Resort.”

“With its Faculty of Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism, TRU is well positioned to be a key partner in creating an employee pipeline for recruitment,” said Brian Daly, TRU vice-president of University Relations. “TRU is excited to work alongside Sun Peaks Resort to establish a formal partnership through the expansion of student awards in key program areas, as well as unique opportunities that offer the chance to connect directly with students hoping to pursue careers in tourism, hospitality, trades and early childhood education.”

Media downloads:

Aidan Kelly, Sun Peaks Resort Chief Marketing Officer
250-299-2032 | 

Kathy Sinclair, TRU Senior Communications Consultant
250-371-5697 | 

About Thompson Rivers University

Thompson Rivers University was established in 1970. It provides learning opportunities to more than 25,000 students on campuses in Kamloops and Williams Lake and online through Open Learning. From traditional academics to trades, from certificates to graduate degrees, TRU offers over 140 on-campus programs and 60-plus Open Learning programs. Many students apply what they learn through co-op work terms, study abroad, undergraduate research, field schools and practicums.

About Sun Peaks Resort

Sun Peaks is a resort community in the heart of British Columbia and a year-round destination for guests in search of a welcoming and stress-free mountain experience. In winter, it boasts the second-largest ski area in Canada and is consistently recognized as one of the top ski resorts in North America. The European-style ski-in/out, pedestrian village features locally owned and operated shops, restaurants and lodging. In summer, Sun Peaks offers a wide range of activities including an 18-hole, par 72 Graham Cooke-designed golf course, lift-access downhill and cross-country mountain biking, hiking trails and a year-round line up of events. Sun Peaks is recognized for its environmental policies and practices and was the first resort in North America and the only resort in Canada to earn the ISO 14001 designation for environmental management.