Hall of Famer
Whether it was enthusiastically instructing a class of small children, presiding over a meeting of the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance or overseeing his large ski equipment enterprise, Raymond Lanctot had little time for interests other than those connected with skiing. Skiing remained a life-long passion, his dynamic personality profoundly influencing the development of the sport in Canada and enhancing Canada’s reputation in the realm of skiing internationally.
Honoured for his many accomplishments, he was also inducted into the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance (CSIA) Hall of Fame, and the Laurentian Ski Hall of Fame.
Raymond Lanctot’s instructional career spanned 30-years from 1950 to 1980 beginning as a ski instructor in 1945 at Mont Tremblant, Quebec under John Fripp, (inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame in 1988). He later progressed to become director of the ski schools, first at the Ski Hills Inn, the Alpine Inn and then at Mont Plante, all located in the province of Quebec, where he remained for 15-years. He was particularly interested in teaching young people the principles of skiing and developed his own method which he called the “Rhythmic Formula” based on his own observation and experience, “It differs from the orthodox or classic systems”, he commented, “In that I use games and formations on the slopes to get the message across.” At that time in the development of ski instruction generally, it was a unique approach.
For many years he was an influential member of the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance (CSIA) to which he was deeply committed. He served three terms as its President and was at other times as its Secretary, Vice-President and a Director serving on various technical committees. He was also closely involved with the skiing authorities in Europe on technical matters and through his participation in the International Congress of Ski Instructors (Interski), established Canada’s reputation in the fields of skiing technique and instruction.
In 1951, he wrote and published the first Canadian ski instruction manual in French. Although he was once alleged to have confessed that he didn’t like business, he nevertheless had remarkable acumen for it. As founder of Raymond Lanctot Ltée, he built a ski equipment distributing company that developed into one of the most important in Canada with an annual turnover in the millions of dollars. The Lanctot Company was also a generous donor of ski equipment to various teams over the years.
Although he imported many lines, among them such legendary names as Allais, Bogner and Dynamic, his most important and successful association was with the French ski manufacturer, Rossignol, for which he became an exclusive importer in the late 1950s. Rossignol’s success in North America led to the building of factories in Granby, Quebec and Williston, Vermont, USA. It is a testament to the quality of the long term relationship between the two companies, Rossignol and Lanctot, that the two companies merged in 1981 to form the Société Distribution Rossignol du Canada Ltée.
Please Note: The ski information gathered here is compiled from a number of sources; it may not be inclusive of all accomplishments.
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Peter Andrews, Horst Bulau, Réal Charette, Don Lyon, and Raymond Lanctôt at 1994 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. CSHFM Collection.