Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

Travis, Eli and Finn Dewar were lucky enough to be the first skaters on the oval. photo by Marcus Mohr

Skate Canada winter session!

The wait is over for Manitoulin people itchy to strap on the blades and work on their skating get physical and have fun as Skate Canada is getting ready to start their winter session. There is a bit of a change this year as the program location will be in Manitowaning, due to the closing of the NEMI Recreation Centre.

For three weeks they will be holding a condensed session where skaters will have the opportunity to be on ice two or three times per week, depending on their skill level. They have ice time booked on Tuesdays from 5 to 6:30 pm, Thursdays from 5 to 6:30 pm and Fridays from 5 to 7:30 pm. Each skater will book in for two time blocks per week and will receive each day: a 20-minute group development class, a 10- minute lesson from a certified instructor (private or semi-private) and then an additional 10 minutes of practice time. By the way, additional time can be purchased. You can see the extended session options below.

All levels are welcome. If this is your first time skating, the standard program is recommended as the best fit. The extended sessions are too long for new skaters. Beginning skaters must be accompanied on ice by a parent/guardian/older (12+) sibling who can assist them. Instructors are not allowed to use hands-on assistance during COVID.

The registration package details (subsidized by JumpStart) are as follows: A. Standard, two days per week, $60; B. Excel, three days per week, $90; C. Extended, two days per week with an additional lesson, $120; D. Extended, three days per week with an additional lesson, $135.

Assiginack is open for activity! 

Skate Canada is not the only use of the happening Manitowaning Arena. At just $40 an hour, you can’t beat it! This year they have also implemented an online booking system, which is so great for the public. Now you will be able to see what’s available and book right from your device. There is no more need to call or find out what is available, you can see everything online. You simply submit your dates, and as long as there is no conflict, renters get approved with an email back to them with a confirmation.

Assiginack is also hosting their dance classes once again. They have Candice Irwin who is also teaching an adult jazz class and a senior seated/standing dance class. It’s all about getting people active and having fun. Additionally, indoor walking will start up as well on Tuesdays and Thursdays and of course there is still free public skating: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 am to 1 pm and Monday to Friday kids can skate from 3 to 5 pm. Fridays it’s 7:30 to 9 pm and Saturdays from 1 to 3 pm. There is to be a maximum of 25 skaters on the ice. 

Activities director Jackie White has done a lot of work and is “so excited to get the arena/community centre back open and get people in again, all in a COVID-safe environment of course. Also our sliding hill, racetrack and McLean’s Park continue to be groomed as well to encourage people to get out and get active.”

Central Skating oval

The township of Central Manitoulin’s skating oval has been open for a couple of weeks and has seen a lot of use. So much they had to ask skaters to take a day off so maintenance crews could get some more ice down!

When it opened, first on the ice is the Dewar family! The town would like to thank all the volunteers for the help getting it going: Doug King, Travis Dewar, Frank Abbott, Adam Smith, Jay Heins and Darren Smith! Thank you to Central Manitoulin Maintenance, Roads and Office staff for all their contributions.

I won’t be able to write next week’s column, so my Dad has agreed to pick up my slack. Thanks, Dad.

A good sport is good for sports