Legendary professional skier JP Auclair founded Alpine Initiatives to amplify the positive impact he aspired to have on the world. In merging that aspiration with his love for the mountains, Alpine Initiatives now exists to help the change-makers, the upstarts, and the people who want to act. We fund grass roots programs, provide support and empowerment to people to be the change in their own community. Alpine Initiatives is about doing more, not less, in the mountains we call home.
Mission: Alpine Initiatives provides inspiration and funding for the betterment of mountain communities.
About: Alpine Initiatives channels restless energy into positive places. In every mountain town there are change makers, individuals or organizations, taking innovative ideas and turning them into tangible initiatives that positively impact their community or the surrounding environment. Alpine Initiatives wants to affect change and have those positive impacts create a thunderous roar through mountain communities across North America. Alpine Initiatives is the platform providing change makers with the inspiration and funding they need to bring their initiatives to life.
Alpine Initiatives supports the following types of initiatives:
- Environmental stewardship
- Sustainable living
- Community building
- Creative expression through art
Sounds pretty awesome, right?
A Brief History: While Alpine Initiatives’ start was in Africa, our inspiration and heart is very much in the mountains. JP Auclair and Mikey Hovey were brought together by a heli-ski guide course in Haines, Alaska. The two later had a conversation about how amazing it was that they spent their time working and playing in the mountains. They decided that maybe it was time to get involved in something bigger, something more altruistic. Auclair and Hovey wanted to do something where they could have an impact and their initiative could drive other initiatives. They found a local change maker who was taking innovative ideas and turning them into tangible initiatives via KACH, a community home for HIV/AIDS orphans in Meru, Kenya. Wanting to be apart of that change and positively impact the local community and the surrounding environment, Hovey and Auclair dropped-in.
Their good vibes and positive energy through the foundation spread to Steamboat Springs, Boulder and Aspen in Colorado. A group of avid skiers wanting to do more came together and formally founded Alpine Initiatives in 2010.
With the support of JP’s sponsors, Armada, Oakley and Orage, and private donors, Alpine Initiatives was able to carry out the KACH project as well as expand to take on a pilot project for sustainable food sourcing in Madagascar with another local visionary or change maker.
In December 2010, Alpine Initiatives held a pilot Alpine Initiatives Backcountry Awareness (AIBCA) clinic in Vail, Colorado, for free. The class was a huge success and inspired safety in the backcountry and teens to get involved and do more.
In 2011, Alpine Initiatives sponsored an art and sustainability symposium in Whistler, BC, in collaboration with Sherpas Cinema for the premiere of their film, All.I.Can. Through the success of the symposium, Alpine Initiatives came to the realization snow sports culture needed inspiration and a way, a foundation, to positively impact their mountain communities and surrounding environment.
Though our hearts remain in Africa, Alpine Initiatives made the transition in 2012 to focus solely on making positive change in mountain communities. The team formulated Self-Started Initiatives, Service Days and Grass Roots Grants.
In fall 2014, co-founder JP Auclair died in an avalanche while pursuing a remote peak in South America. Our hearts were broken, but our spirits quickly went into action. Alpine Initiatives, Armada and friends of Auclair created The Auclair Fund to honor the memory and enduring legacy of JP Auclair. Of the funds raised, 100% are given to JP’s partner Ingrid and their son, Leo.
In 2016, Alpine Initiatives will introduce new programming to support environmental stewardship, sustainable living, community building and creative expression. Carrying the light, love and energy of our fallen friend, Alpine Initiatives aims to do more, not less, for North American mountain communities.
Funding: Alpine Initiatives relies on funding from corporate sponsorship with great brands like Armada, Oakley and Smartwool, private foundations and individual donations, fundraisers and self-started initiatives. In December 2014, Alpine Initiatives launched a line of Alpine Initiatives-branded products in an effort to raise more money for mountain community projects.