The Fernie Skating Club gave a well executed performance on February 18, during the DreamSkate Ice Show at the Fernie Memorial Arena.
14 juniors, 20 seniors, and 30 CanSkate students met on the ice to perform a variety of interludes, each with their own theme.
Kathy Sutherland and Jenna Harrad, both coaches of the CanSkate program, were the lead producers of the show. This is their second year putting it together as a team.
Many weeks of work went into preparing for the event. With each number having its own unique theme, many costumes and props needed to be made in order to suit the performance. Working with props was a challenge while skating, but Sutherland saw the girls take on the challenge and succeeded at using them to their advantage.
“I think they did great. We started this in the middle of January with rehearsals, so at four weeks, they’re pretty fast. They get on the ice, get it done. They practiced on their own, they work hard. They’re good,” said Sutherland.
This year, the theme for the end-of-the-season skating show was different.
“This year was different because we had seven graduating skaters, we’ve never had that many,” said Harrad. “The last couple of years have been story themes, whereas this year it was based off of different dreams.”
The seven graduating students led seven individual groups, each living their own dream. The grads decided on these themes, and came up with the ideas for the costumes.
These dreams included Candyland, Neverland, Nightmare, Nature, Up in the sky, Paradise Luau and In The City which took on themes of jazz and top hats.
Several group skate performances also took place, including a glow-in-the-dark skate as well as a zombie skate.
Every year a CanSkate award, as well as two Spirit of Skating awards are given to students. This is to commemorate an individual who embraces the program with the most enthusiasm. This year, CanSkater of the year was Abby Wannamaker, and the two Spirit of Skating award winners were Diesel Podrasky and Nicole Tolentino.
For CanSkaters, this marks the end of the season. For the older students, their season continues until the end of April with practices and competitions.
For those who will be graduating, this marks the end of a long journey. Most have been enrolled with the skating club from as young as four-years-old, and continued on until they were 17 or 18. During this time, growing up and becoming coaches, skaters have spent between three and six days of their week on the ice.
“It’s a big change for them to move on,” said Sutherland.
Sutherland and Harrad enjoy seeing students grow over their years with the Fernie Skating Club.
“I like seeing them learn,” said Sutherland. “They come and they barely can skate, and then you work with them for a few years and they can jump, spin and they’re having a great time. It’s great, it’s good to see that.”
The senior skaters have a few competitions on the horizon, the closest being the Star Skate Finals in Kelowna, March 3-5. This is a provincial competition, and there will be six Fernie skaters attending; Jodi Stemberger, Layne Corrigan, Hunter Bezak, Ashlynn Saluk, Sonia Mende and Lela Krotz.