John Monod arrived in Banff in 1947 where his only valued possessions were his skis and his watch.By 1949, John established himself at Sunshine Lodge (now known as Sunshine Village) and opened Monod Sports, making it one of the first ski shops in Western Canada. The Sunshine operation was based out of a tiny backcountry lodge where he would take skiers on guided trips, combined with ski instruction. After skiing, he would open his ski shop, offering specialized mountain equipment and clothing not yet available in North America and exclusively imported (by him) from Europe.
The Monod Sports story
Monod Sports is an independent retailer located in Banff, Alberta, Canada showcasing the finest in mountain sports equipment and clothing. We were established almost 75 years ago by John Monod, a Swiss mountain guide and ski instructor.
However, the story doesn't end there.
At 2:00am one winter’s day in 1956, John awoke to his store on fire. The fire consumed all the retail stock, his rentals and his personal possessions. He had no insurance to cover his loss which amounted to nearly everything he had. Through the generosity of a few of the guests and his friends he was able to raise enough money to start again in Banff where it has continued since.
John Monod skiing with sons Phillip and Peter
John’s sons, Phillip, Peter and Nick Monod, grew up in the tradition of skiing. The technical knowledge developed through their years of ski racing has earned Monod Sports an exceptional reputation in the ski industry. Both Phillip and Peter were members of the Canadian National Ski Team and raced on the World Cup Circuit in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Phillip was Canadian Junior Champion and Peter was seven-time Canadian Champion and one-time U.S. Champion. Youngest brother Nick spent several years ski racing at both national and international levels.
Phil Monod Racing Can Am in 1977
Peter Monod skiing in 1988
Nick Monod on the cover of Tenson's Magazine 1987
1980 – 1989
Phillip, Peter & Nick Monod
By 1982 the direction for Monod Sports was set and the three Monod brothers were poised to take over from John. It was decided that John would sell his business to his sons and Phillip, Peter and Nick
In 1988, the brothers purchased the old Banff Café restaurant and constructed the current main store at 129 Banff Avenue. While John was no longer the sole owner, he remained a very integral part of the long term planning team. Many times he would be called upon to council the ‘boys’ on long term decisions. His ideas were always surprisingly forward.
The Monod concept
The Monod "concept" John began in 1949 was continued by the brothers: the concept of excellence in service and products. Because of this basic concept, Monod Sports and our sales teams have received various awards and nominations over the years acknowledging Monod Sports as leaders in Canadian retailing.
Nicholas and Matt Monod
After nearly 40 years of running the shop, the three Monod brothers have passed on the legacy to sons Nic and Matt Monod. Nic (Peter's son) and Matt (Nick's son) have been involved with the shop since a young age and are now both acting managers of the business.
Nic Monod, son of Peter Monod, joined the family business after attending Camosun College in 2012. His uncle mentored him into becoming a clothing buyer and general manager. As part owner, Nic focuses on softgood buying, marketing, and customers. He enjoys attending trade shows, learning about new products, and meeting industry people.
Despite his family's skiing legacy, Nic took a liking to hockey and played for the U of A, Augustana Vikings Hockey Team in the ACAC. Now, he spends more time skiing and enjoys fly fishing and golfing with his wife and dog when he's not in the shop.
Matt is a 3rd generation Monod and runs equipment in and out of the ski shop. He started skiing early with his father and was a top racer of his birth year. At 18, he turned to coaching and continues to push his athletic limits on the ski hill or self-propelled. In the summer, he mountain bikes and races at a high level while also learning from the local climbing community. Matt surrounds himself with likeminded mountain folk and is passionate about shop culture and gear.
Monod Sports continues to be the one stop shop for premium mountain goods in the Canadian Rockies. Our product selection is handpicked every season to best cater to the Banff lifestyle.
If you are ever in Banff, we encourage you to come by our store and experience what we believe to be an iconic mountain shop.