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The Snowy Owl Story

snowy-owl-tours-04Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours, the famous forerunners in sled dog touring and racing in the Bow Valley, created the first dog sledding tours over a quarter of a century ago. With over 30 years of experience and expertise in touring, racing and conservation; we are extremely proud of our
Canadian and Albertan roots and look forward to sharing our exceptional experiences with you! 

Snowy Owl Sled Dog Kennel was created in 1983 by Connie and Charles Arsenault whose passion for the sport has created this family legacy.  Regrettably, on October 7th, 2006, Charles Arsenault passed away unexpectedly leaving Connie and their two children Jereme (now 29 years old) and Carlin (now 27 years old) to carry on this legacy.  Proudly, both Jereme and Carlin now share ownership of Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours Inc. and are hopeful that Jereme’s two girl’s, Ariel (now 4 years old) and Alice (now 3 years old) will continue in the family business!  Both Ariel and Alice are often times on site and can be found helping our 2-legged team water dogs, harness dogs and of course chat with our guests about their husky family!  Growing up as a musher has it’s challenges but when one finds their soul mate and they also happen to be addicted to dog sledding, well that is truly special!  Ethan Kimble, who is the Director of Operations for Snowy Owl married Carlin in August 2011 and has been an asset to Snowy Owl for over 10 years!

Our Mission

“Our mission is to educate, entertain and provide our guests with a “once in a lifetime experience!”  We employ the most qualified instructors,  the friendliest and most beautiful, authentic touring huskies who all receive the best possible dog care. We  provide guests with the safest tour offerings, all while ensuring the utmost comfort and superior attention to customer service and detail.

Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours excels in its commitment to offer the most genuine dog sledding experience in the Canadian Rockies.”

Creating a Connection

snowy-owl-tours-74Visiting the incomparable beauty of the Canadian Rockies is a remarkable adventure alone.  Having  the opportunity to take part in the ancient art of traveling by dog sled is  another.  Snowy Owl Tours, a long time provider of dog sledding adventures in  the Banff/Canmore area, strives to give their visitors a five star experience. For many guests  to the Bow Valley, the Snowy Owl experience becomes THE fondest memory of their  stay!

“We have always upheld the high standards of real dog  sledding, from the breeds we use right down to allowing our guests the amazing joy  of driving their very own team of huskies!   For us, Snowy Owl is our way of life, our  passion and our hope is to share this with our visitors and truly demonstrate  how empowering dog sledding can be says Connie Arsenault. “Everything  we do in conducting the tour for them is viewed through that perspective.”

“Many people tell us that they have never experienced  anything quite like this before. They have come for a mere adventure, but they  comment time after time that it was a lot more than just that and to call it a  thrill is not enough. It’s the air, the mountains, the raw beauty, the dog’s  energy, and the physical and mental challenge - all a recipe for a  transformation in the present, and a profound memory for the future.” says  Connie.

It is said that if you spend a few hours on these alluring  trails, becoming one with the dogs, and one with the wilderness, you’ll be a  changed person. You can only experience it to believe it.

Devotion

snowy-owl-tours-62Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours is different from other sled dog touring companies in more than just one respect.   The organization has gone to the dogs!  “It is all about our dogs – always has been and always will be!” says Carlin Kimble who has been running dog teams since childhood. “Our husky heroes are beautiful, healthy, personable, happy and very intelligent!   We don’t just treat them as the most valuable assets – they are our family!” And Snowy Owl doesn’t stop there; they only promote the highest ethical standards for dog care as well as the importance of preserving and protecting the traditional sled dog breeds.  “We still continue to be one of the very few sled dog touring companies in the world who utilize 6 different sled dog breeds, 5 of which are the traditional sled dogs breeds and 2 that happen to be on the verge of extinction.” says Carlin.  “These sled dog breeds have given the human race life.  They have provided  transportation, protection, companionship and given their lives in the name of survival for their 2-legged friends.  They deserve a rightful place in the world where they are given the credit they are worthy of as a pose to being cross bred in hopes of creating “the perfect sled dog” Carlin explains.

“The 4 -legged family of Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours are the engines of our company.  Without these incredible dogs we wouldn’t be able to take part in this amazing lifestyle!  We consider our huskies colleagues and they are adored members of our big family.  They have such amazing personalities (all different of course!)  Each and every dog shows us so much compassion and love; they make this job worth every challenge!” mentions Carlin.

View amazing photos of Snowy Owl’s beautiful, happy sled dogs!

“We know each 4-legged family member by name and treat them as individuals, and of course, cater to their needs.” “Why does this become important for our visitors? A pampered husky is inevitably going to be a more reliable, a more enjoyable and a safer companion out on the trail.” “We have happy dogs, and it shows. We wouldn’t want it any other way”, muses Carlin, whose entire life revolves around keeping her four legged friends in good shape and eager to perform. Carlin regards her position as as the perfect opportunity to be the spokesperson for their dogs.  She and Connie are working on developing an improved standard for ethical treatment  for all working dogs for the dog sledding sport in Canada.

“We go to great lengths to see the dogs are given the best life possible even after retiring.” Financially it costs Snowy Owl a lot more to operate in the manner they do. For example, the  cost of dog food alone for their huskies is often twice as much as other kennels  of 200 or more dogs.  For the Snowy Owl family it has never been about the money. For them it’s always been about two things – dedication and educating the public about the proper, honest care of these incredible working dogs, and doing it in a manner that involves the highest integrity and devotion.

The  huskies of Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours are cared for with the utmost respect and love.  They receive the highest quality feed, veterinary care, grooming and housing.  In this kennel the huskies always come first and their health and happiness are never compromised.  The majority of guests joining Snowy Owl always comment on just how well looked after each and every four-legged team mate is.  Read about their dog care!

Like a mountain, there’s a lot below the surface

snowy-owl-tours-16The unique adventure of running a dog sled team is a very complex process under the surface.   Jereme Arsenault’s life is dedicated to seeing that his carefully selected dog teams run on time. “As anyone who will read enough of our story will see,” offers Jereme, “we are busy 24/7, 365 days a year.”

“As long as there is decent snow conditions, we will  be offering guests the opportunity to “Harness their Dreams”! We employ over a dozen guides, four to five van drivers, three dog care professionals and four reservations personnel to provide the best customer care. Our entire team must undergo a significant amount of training, even though we expect them to come to us with a lot of expertise.”

The sled dog operation is huge – literally and figuratively.  It takes a couple of Kennel Managers working twelve hours a day to provide for the needs of the kennel alone.

“We take great pride in everything, including the food that we serve our important guests, the authentic interpretation that we offer, and in making the visitors’ experience as perfect as it can possibly be.   Our staff have to get up hours before dawn and hustle all day to achieve our highly set standards.”

“We are experts in building teams based on age, gender, personality and nationality. On any average winter day we send out over a dozen teams across a wide area of the Spray Lakes valley providing a once in a lifetime experience for our guests.

With all our thrilling experiences comes wonderful
and exciting stories which we are honoured to share with all of you!

We hope to see you on our beautiful programs but until then “Happy Dreaming”…from all of us here at Snowy Owl – two legged and four!

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