CHILDREN of all ages, families and community members laced up their skates and hit the ice to celebrate the official opening of the 11th annual outdoor skating season at Robson Square on November 30.
“The Robson Square winter season is about bringing people together to enjoy the spirit of the holidays and a favourite Canadian pastime – outdoor skating!” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “We’re proud to support this iconic outdoor rink and provide free skating and live entertainment for the thousands of people who come here each year while also helping to raise money for the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation to improve the lives of children in need.”
Over the past decade, skating at Robson Square has become one of Vancouver’s most popular winter activities and a favourite holiday tradition, with about 120,000 people visiting the rink each year. As part of the Robson Square School Skate Program, nearly 4,000 elementary students enjoyed free skating at the rink last year, with lessons available for kids new to skating.
Skaters of all ages joined Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, to kick off the 2019-20 winter season at the rink, which is open until February 29, 2020. As part of the celebration, the kids showed off their skills on the ice and warmed up with hot chocolate.
“We’re excited to kick-off another winter season of outdoor skating at Robson Square,” said Singh, attending on behalf of Robinson. “So many people have made visiting the rink part of their holiday tradition and we’re glad to be able to support a festive activity that is fun, healthy and affordable.”
The rink will launch a 12 days of Christmas celebration, including live musical entertainment from December 13-24. As well, New Year’s Eve will feature Rumba Calzada, a local Latin jazz and salsa band. In the spirit of giving and to help local kids, donations for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation will be collected during December.
For the fifth consecutive year, Nordstrom is sponsoring the Robson Square Ice Rink for December. In addition to great Christmas decorations, Nordstrom will host a “Giving Tuesday” event on December 3 in support of the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, as well as providing free skate and helmet rentals on Christmas Day.
* The ice rink is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, through to the end of February 2020, weather permitting.
* Entrance to the rink is free for all ages:
– skating is free for those who bring their own skates
– skate rentals are $5 and include a helmet
– a helmet without a skate rental is $2
* The Province will offer free skate rentals on Family Day, February 17, 2020.
* Hot chocolate and snacks are available for sale at the ice rink’s concession stand.
* The Robson Square Ice Rink is Vancouver’s only outdoor public skating rink, originally opened in 1982. It was closed in 1991 and then renovated and reopened in 2009, ahead of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.
* Designed by Vancouver architect Arthur Erickson, Robson Square originally opened in two phases in 1978 and 1979.
For a calendar of events for the 2019-20 season and information about the Robson Square School Program, visit: www.robsonsquare.com