“Albertans are blessed to be surrounded by vast mountain scenery that provides access to incredible year-round recreational outdoor opportunities. In addition to offering plenty of beauty and recreation activities, our mountain regions come with inherent risks, such as avalanche danger and other winter hazards.

“It’s important that Alberta recreationalists are aware of the basics of avalanche safety as well as the tools and resources available for them to access these opportunities during the winter months in a safe and enjoyable way.

“Avalanche Awareness Days on Jan. 15 and 16 are a national celebration of our winter heritage. This is also an opportunity to enhance our understanding about our winter environment and raise awareness about backcountry safety.

“Avalanche Canada, in partnership with the federal government and other jurisdictions, agencies and organizations across Canada, offer a variety of services, such as daily avalanche forecasts, avalanche safety training and focused outreach programs and events that can teach everyone – regardless of knowledge or skill level – how to stay safe in avalanche areas.

“The Alberta government is grateful for the services Avalanche Canada provides and is proud to have provided a multi-year grant of $1.25 million that helps keep Alberta recreationists safe by supporting the development and promotion of avalanche education and public safety information.

“You can increase your knowledge about winter safety by signing up for the free online webinars hosted by Avalanche Canada. These webinars focus on all things avalanche safety and run until March. Pre-registration is required. More details are available at avalanche.ca.

“Avalanche Awareness Days remind us of the importance of being prepared when recreating in avalanche regions. A few simple preparations, such as checking avalanche forecasts and accessing online training, can make all the difference. Whether you sled, ski, snowshoe or hike, I encourage you to be prepared so your time creating outdoor memories with your loved ones this winter is safe and enjoyable.”