On June 7, Mike Wiegele was honoured by Thompson Rivers University (TRU), with the prestigious doctor of laws degree at the 2019 TRU Convocation Ceremonies, in Kamloops.
Wiegele feels incredibly grateful for this special tribute to his life’s work, which focuses on developing tourism and research for backcountry risk management.
In 1989, he founded the Canadian Ski Guide Association (CSGA) and recalls the connection that was made by TRU in the 1990s, to integrate its Adventure Studies programs with MWHS, in Blue River. He added there was a mutual desire for TRU and his operation to support each other and Ross Cloutier and Ian Stewart-Patterson were key in activating the relationship with the university.
“Connecting our risk management research with the university – this was my goal,” said Wiegele.
“The university was doing the academic research and we were doing the practical. We exchanged ideas… it was a strong connection that was made in the education segment. I felt very privileged at that time that I was included with the education program.”
According to Wiegele, he was very supportive of the integration of TRU’s programs at MWHS because a large portion of the course work is focused on practical segments for safety and for enjoying backcountry winter sports.
Over the last three decades, several TRU grads have been able to start their professional guiding careers at MWHS. On the dawn of MWHS’s 50th Anniversary season, Wiegele said he feels incredibly humbled by his nomination and receipt of the Doctor of Laws degree, from TRU.
He would like to thank all of those who have been a part of the developments in the industry and the academic community in Canada. As ultimately, he said, achievements in research for adventure tourism are to provide more information, so that everyone can enjoy the backcountry safety.