Mini Battle of the Blades coming to Langton

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Battle of the Blades, a CBC reality TV show, has been called a marriage of two popular Canadian winter sports – hockey and figure skating.

Hockey players are paired with figure skaters to perform figure skating routines, and at the end of each show's season money is donated to the charity of their choice.

Now in its fourth season, CBC is enhancing its audience with a new 'mini' version for kids, ages 5-13.

“The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation asked us if we would be interested in participating in a Battle of the Blades competition,” said Chris Denn, president of the Langton Skating Club in a media release Friday. “We said, 'Sure!'”

Back in the spring of 2011, following the second Battle of the Blades season, Langton Skating Club's coaches performed a parody of the show during their 40th anniversary carnival. Performances included 'Russian dancers' aka Michele and Dale Docker, 'Joe Dirt and Daisy Duke' aka brother-sister tandem Michelle Burger and Al VanLouwe, 'Cuban Pete and his Hot Tamale,' 'Green Acres' and the comedic 'Ralphie and Spike.'

“They're all winners,” announced the Langton 'Ron MacLean lookalike,' who was paired with Langton's 'Don Cherry' to provide commentary for the number.

“Janine Mandryk, one of Langton's coaches at the time, thought we should do a Battle of the Blades number with skating coaches paired with local personalities from the hockey community, just like on the real Battle of the Blades,” explained Langton coach Wanda Backus-Kelly. “I just thought it was too cool not to share in a larger way than just the carnival video we have each year. So, it went on YouTube.”

A producer from CBC recently found the eight-minute parody on YouTube and contacted Langton Skating Club about participating in their 'mini' version of the competition featuring young figure skaters and hockey players, ages 5-13.

“We had to move quickly to get things organized,” said Denn, noting they were contacted in late September. “We got 10 pairs together, organized ice time, matched coaches with teams, scurried around to find enough ice time, and got going.”

Nine clubs across Canada were invited by CBC producers to participate in the 2013 Mini Battle of the Blades, including Napanee (near Kingston) and Stayner (near Collingwood). Skaters will compete in front of a panel of local judges, filmed by CBC.

Langton's winning pair will have its video posted on a CBC Battle of the Blades website where it will be judged by the public with online voting against winning pairs from each of the participating centres.

The grand winner, determined by online voting, will be awarded a trip to Toronto to attend the season finale of CBC's Battle of the Blades in November.

Langton's mini Battle of the Blades competition, which will determine which team advances to online judging, will be held at the Langton Arena on Tuesday, October 29 at 7 p.m. A CBC camera crew will be on hand for video footage.

The Oct. 29 event will be open to the general public, by donation, and Langton organizers are hoping for a large and supportive audience.

 

Langton Skating Club's Mini Battle of the Blades

Tuesday, October 29, 7 p.m.

Langton Arena

 

chris.abbott@sunmedia.ca

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