New England Ski Museum Announces 2014 Grant Availability

By AlpineZone News |
Nov 21 2013 - 03:04 PM

New England Ski Museum will once more offer $3,000 in grants to support individuals and organizations that will spread the Museum’s mission to preserve the history of skiing and winter sports under its Cal Conniff Grant program in 2014.


Sherman Adams of Loon Mountain, left, with Cal Conniff, then executive director of the National Ski Areas Association about 1975.

The program is named for Museum board member Cal Conniff, who organized the first Hannes Schneider Meister Cup Race in 1997 to honor the Austrian ski innovator who helped establish the mountain resort industry, and to create a measure of financial stability to the non-profit Museum.

Forty years ago this fall, Cal Conniff had just been named the executive director of the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) when the industry faced a very serious crisis in the wake of the Mideast oil embargo and resulting energy shortage. On November 20, 1973 the Senate passed the National Energy Emergency Act that would have restricted travel for “non-essential” purposes like recreation.

Meeting with NSAA president Pete Seibert of Vail, Tom Corcoran of Waterville Valley, and Sherman Adams of Loon Mountain, Conniff and the others devised a rapid response to the threat. As a former presidential chief of staff Adams knew Washington processes and guided the association’s strategy. The NSAA mobilized its members across the country-with the then-cutting edge technology of the fax machine-to contact their House representatives, and the language was altered to avoid the specter of illegal weekend travel to resorts.

This year, the Cal Conniff awards will be announced on Friday, March 7, 2014 at the opening reception of the Hannes Schneider Race in Cranmore’s Pub in North Conway, NH.

These Cal Conniff Grant were made in 2013:

  • T-Bar Films of Richmond, Vermont: $1,000 to support their documentary film United We Ski that captures the histories of several small New England ski areas still in operation today, including Cochran’s and Northeast Slopes. The film is now out on DVD and has been shown in northern New England locations to very good reviews.
  • Thunderbolt Ski Runners of Adams, Massachusetts, $1,000 to upgrade the exhibits in their Thunderbolt Ski Museum at the foot of Mount Greylock.
  • Youth Enrichment Services of Boston, Massachusetts, $1,000 to underwrite season passes for low-income Boston youth to participate in Operation SnowSports Season Pass program.
  • The Cal Conniff Grant Program is open to individuals, organizations and educational institutions with an interest in winter sports, such as alpine and nordic skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. Anyone who can demonstrate the need for funding for the purposes of education, preservation of skiing history, encouraging winter sports participation, or other involvement in snow sports is eligible.

The selection process is conducted by the Museum’s Grant Committee on an objective and nondiscriminatory basis. The committee judges applications based on the following:

  • the importance of the grant to the success of the proposed program;
  • the proposal’s contribution to the preservation of ski or snowboard history;
  • the educational value of the proposal;
  • the extent to which the project encourages skiing or snowboarding participation;
  • the applicant’s degree of organization in the pursuit of the project.

The application process is kept purposefully informal. Applicants submit a letter that outlines a description of the project, its goals, the audience that it will impact, and the dollar amount requested. Supporting information for the application should include:

  • resume or organizational description, including contact name and mailing address;
  • two letters supporting the merits of the individual or program;
  • representative photograph for publication if the applicant is successful.

Questions about the program or application materials should be e-mailed to or mailed to:

Cal Conniff Grant Committee
New England Ski Museum
PO Box 267
Franconia, NH 03580

The deadline for applications is February 5, 2014.

New England Ski Museum

is located at Exit 34B, Interstate 93, next to the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway in Franconia Notch State Park.
The Museum also maintains satellite exhibits at the Intervale Scenic vista in Intervale, in the lobby of the Eastern Slope Inn in North Conway, NH and at Bretton Woods Mountain Resort in Bretton Woods, NH.