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Two Communities, One Goal.

Leading change in education together.

In June 2012, Thompson Rivers University (herein TRU) personnel collaborated with Sun Peaks community members (Sun Peaks Resort LLP, Mountain Resort Municipality of Sun Peaks, and Tourism Sun Peaks) to map out Sun Peaks/TRU partnership activities for the coming academic year.

Four goals were developed, agreed to, and clearly defined in a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU):

  1. Establish a co-op program with the Faculty of Adventure, Culinary Arts, and Tourism (ACT), with Sun Peaks providing the work placement.
    Desired goal: Experiential learning and niche opportunity for TRU students while providing a reliable labour pool for Sun Peaks.
  2. Design a minor (four courses that students would normally take over two years) in Mountain Resort Management, within the proposed major in Resort Experience Management.
    Desired goal: An option for students that builds on existing strengths, leverages opportunity, serves the region, and operationalizes the Academic Plan while providing a more active profile for Sun Peaks within the Kamloops community.
  3. Engage Sun Peaks hotels and/or restaurants in the Culinary Arts program.
    Desired goal: Provide more teaching facilities for TRU students while generating incremental business for Sun Peaks stakeholders during slower periods.
  4. Create a visual presence and awareness of the Sun Peaks/TRU partnership.
    Desired goal: Both partners to promote their partnership publically, each having a physical presence and heightened profile in the other's space.

These strategies continue to evolve each and every month as both partners align and build upon opportunities as they become available.

Current Partnership Program Example
Can a map convey the spirit of a place?
Places contain meanings that extend beyond geography and topography. Is it possible to conceive and make a map that expresses a sense of place as well as a sense of direction? Join Dr. Kathleen Scherf, Sun Peaks Resort LLP, and Truvian Labs to create a new map of Sun Peaks, one that will take us beyond the brochure.

Examine issues in online mapping and, through experiential learning, contribute your talent to the online map project that could reach 350,000 Sun Peaks visitors a year.
CMNS 3070, Winter 2013 Mountain Studies
In this course, students will learn to create deep maps and carry out research topics that provide the 'rich content' for a new online map of Sun Peaks Mountain Resort. Working in teams, they will develop videos, sound clips, interviews, still photographs, text boxes, and links that 'map' the fascinating culture, history, development, people, buildings, tourism, plants, First Nations, geology, facilities, spectral traces, animals, and environment of Sun Peaks. By May 2013, the URL should be active, and students will be able to claim an online publishing credit.

This course is interdisciplinary in approach, and will interest students from a variety of programs. It is listed in the registration system as "CMNS 3070, The Rhetoric of Mountain Culture." Students do not require third-year standing to register.

CMNS 3070 runs Fridays 8:30am to 11:30am in the Winter 2013 term. After the first six weeks, it is likely that we will hold some classes on site at Sun Peaks to conduct our research. For more info, email the prof at
We thank TRU Open Learning Division for the Research Award that makes it possible to build this URL, as well as our community partners Truvian Labs and Sun Peaks Resort LLP.
Sun Peaks Resort Thompson Rivers University
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Awards and Accolades
Sun Peaks 311 E-Newsletter
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