Skating Club reschedules Ice Show

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Tillsonburg Skating Club’s 2020 Ice Show, A Wonderful World of Disney, has been cancelled – but the plan is to bring the show to life in 2021.

Originally scheduled Saturday, April 4, that date became unavailable when the Tillsonburg Community Centre and its two arenas shut down due to the ongoing COVID-19 virus pandemic.

Initially only one of the arenas closed, which might have allowed the club to continue practicing for its biannual Ice Show, but the Town of Tillsonburg soon followed that announcement with the closure of the entire community centre ‘until further notice.’

“The plan was that we were going to take it week-by-week, but then the town decided to shut down the Memorial arena,” said club coach Penny Jelsma, Ice Show coordinator. “The plan was to move our Ice Show to Easter weekend and try to make it a go, but now with all the new regulations, and the complex shutting down the Memorial rink there was just no possible way for it to continue.


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“You couldn’t have more than 250 people in the same area, then it went down to 100. There was no way we could have done the show. Once that came into effect from the government, there was just no way for us to continue on. The other thing is, if they didn’t have all the regulations on big gatherings, who is really going to come out and watch? Everyone’s scared at this point. All together it wouldn’t have been good.”

The safety of the skaters – and their families – was also a key factor in the decision, she said.

“It’s about saving lives, too. The more we gather, the more we’re going to spread this. And some people are not going to be able to fight it. So I can understand what the government is saying – I can honestly understand it.”

The club’s entire Wonderful World of Disney Ice Show will be rescheduled in 2021.

“Next year will be the big show,” nodded Jelsma, who had planned to have an alumni number in the 2020 ice show – and will try to include the ‘alumni performance number’ in 2021.

“That was really exciting. Everyone was looking forward to coming back, so that was going to be really special. Skaters like Avery (Vanwynsberghe) and Taya (Steadman) and Andrew (Balint) and Rachel (LaFleche)… they’re all going to come back and do a number. It was going to be really something.”

Scheduling, music, costumes, production, lighting, ice painting, and props for A Wonderful World of Disney had already been designed and planned, and other than choreographing a few more numbers, it was ready to go.


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“I would say 80 per cent of the show was done,” said Jelsma, who started working on it in late January. Skaters started learning numbers the 1st of March.

Tillsonburg Skating Club’s ‘Spring Skate’ had been scheduled to begin April 20, but that date will depend on whether things return to status quo next month. A skating ‘summer school’ is scheduled mid-July, which leads directly into the winter season.

“We’re just taking it week by week like everyone else.”

Tillsonburg Skating Club had up to 10-11 skaters eligible to compete at this year’s Skate Ontario Provincial Championships in Belleville, March 26-29. Skate Ontario cancelled all events (seven in total) upu to April 7 due to the COVID-19 situation.

“I feel awful for them because they’ve trained all year for this,” said Jelsma. “It’s disappointing.”