State-of-the-art snowmaking system will extend ski season at Cape Smokey

News release

Cape Smokey

Longer winter ski season paired with gondola rides, sightseeing and kayaking promotes year-round tourism in the region

May 30, 2022 · Ingonish, Nova Scotia · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Atlantic Canada’s tourism industry is vital to the region’s economy, supporting thousands of local jobs and businesses. Anchor developments like Cape Smokey in the Cape Breton Highlands are clear examples of the sector’s impact, as they draw new visitors and investment to surrounding areas. The Government of Canada is helping Ingonish-based Cape Smokey add state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment to extend its season, powering the growth of the ski hill and nearby communities.

New equipment will increase season by two months

Today, Jaime Battiste, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Member of Parliament for Sydney—Victoria, announced a repayable contribution of $950,000 to Cape Smokey Holding Ltd. as it invests in snowmaking equipment. The funding is being provided through the Canada Coal Transition Initiative Infrastructure Fund (CCTI).

The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

The contribution supports Cape Smokey as it adds a new groomer and snowmaking equipment half-way up the mountain. The equipment will allow the ski hill to start making snow as early as November this year and remain open until April. The two-month season extension will increase the area’s year-round tourism offerings, building on the momentum of the ski hill development and other growing attractions nearby. By drawing in new visitors and enabling them to stay longer, the project will lead to increased traffic at businesses throughout the Highlands and Cape Breton.

Today’s announcement further demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to tourism growth as a key economic driver in Atlantic Canada.


“As we celebrate Tourism Week in Canada, we recognize the tremendous value tourism contributes to Atlantic Canada’s economy. We are focused on supporting the sector as it recovers from the pandemic and pursues new growth opportunities. That work is well underway in Cape Breton, as Cape Smokey prepares for a longer ski season, growing both its business and the local economy. We are here for tourism businesses as they help visitors discover and rediscover the world-class experiences Atlantic Canada has to offer.”
-  Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

“Experiential tourism is one of our region’s great strengths. Its economic impact is felt throughout the Island when travelers come to the Highlands for adventure. Cape Smokey is working to supply visitors with adventure year-round and our government is pleased to help the ski hill extend its season. This project will generate opportunities for businesses throughout the region, who will benefit from increased visitation.”
- Jaime Battiste, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Member of Parliament for Sydney—Victoria

“This is definitely a step in the right direction for Cape Smokey.  It is hard to believe we are not even a full year in operation with the Gondola. The new snowmaking capabilities covering half of the mountain will not only extend our season, but improve the overall quality and experience at Cape Smokey. It is essential for us to keep the momentum moving forward and to grow and add to our facilities each year.  Our goal, in addition to the development at Cape Smokey, is to contribute to making Ingonish a year-round destination and for it to not be in a hibernation state anymore in wintertime. As well I'm grateful for all the support from the local community we have received without them this project would've not been possible.”
- Martin Kejval, CEO, Cape Smokey Holding Ltd.

Quick facts

  • Cape Smokey Holding Ltd. was established in 2019 to transform Cape Smokey ski hill into a 12-month resort destination. 

  • Cape Smokey comprises 300 acres of land which were originally developed in 1970.

  • The new snowmaking technology will produce and maintain snow at above zero degrees Celsius.

  • The CCTI – Infrastructure Fund was launched on August 20, 2020. This $150 million over five years, delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs), aims to help communities move away from coal by investing in infrastructure. The initiative is set to end on March 31, 2025. ACOA is delivering $55 million under CCTI initiatives. The Government of Canada remains committed to working with partners to make this transition easier. These investments help communities diversify economies, create jobs, and prepare for the future. 

  • Tourism Week in Canada is May 29 to June 4, 2022.

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Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Lori Selig
Communications Manager
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Sara Bryden
Marketing and Public Relations Manager
Cape Smokey Holding Ltd.

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