A lot of good responses in this thread thus far, but if I may, I'd like to jump in.
First off, where are you located? (i don't know where edmonton is... sorry. guess i could google, but fuck it.)
As someone who does a fair mix of slackcountry mini golf, backcountry and multi day hut trips, this is what I have to say:
The first thing I would do, is get some books on snow science and back country travel. I would recommend this book:
its called "Freeskiing" by Jimmy Oden.
This book is great because it puts a lot of things in layman's terms. This is a great place to start with getting your mind in "Backcountry mode", thinking about different types of snow, how the sun/wind affects snow, tools you might need, that kind of thing. Really, I cannot stress how important I think it is that you start your BC career with reading this book.
don't think that you're educated after reading that. You are still clueless. Take what you have read and use it INBOUNDS. This is a good way to get the gears turning while you are still under the safety umbrella of a resort. Look at the snow. Try to identify what is going on with it, what changes it is going through and how that will affect the way new snow interacts with the snow you are observing. This will serve you well when you take your education to the next step.
Secondly, I would really work on your situation of having less-than-enthused touring partners. Find people that are stoked on riding, have the same aspirations/ risk acceptance as you, and get those motherfuckers to take an avy course with you. Being on the same page with the people you are riding with is key, cause if one person isn't feeling it and wants to turn back, it's a lot easier to call it when everybody is trying to get after the same thing, and has the same background of knowledge and RISK ACCEPTANCE. This, in my opinion is the most important piece of the puzzle, and here's why:
Right and wrong really don't mean shit in the BC. there is no correct answer when evaluating terrain and risk. What does matter is what level of risk you are willing to undertake. The truth is, it is an extremely complex, varied, and imprecise task evaluating whether or not a particular slope is going to slide. You can get a good idea of how layers are going to react, but in the grand scheme of things it is an inexact science to say the least. Taking that into consideration, what becomes important is how comfortable you are with skiing a slope after evaluating the risks involved. This includes creating a plan, a plan B and a plan C for when the shit does inevitably hit the fan. Having people around you that are on the same page as far as getting after it will serve you well, because elevated aspirations for shredding gnarly shit requires elevated awareness and response techniques from all members of the group.
That being said, getting out there and being away from a resort is a truly liberating, gratifying experience, and when you shred your first untracked line, you'll know what i'm talking about. All of this IS meant to scare you, but only to be SMART. Skiing as a sport carries with it an emotional aspect that is uncommon in other sports. This is exactly what will get you in trouble when you are staring at an untouched slope that you are just dying to get a crack at and express yourself on. Just use your head dude, its the most important piece of equipment you can carry with you.
Have fun out there!
That's like saying "I hate when my beer is cold" or "I hate when titties are nice feeling". Get outta town.