INNISFAIL – The Innisfail Skating Club hosted its 58th annual Ice Show last weekend, and hundreds of skating enthusiasts were treated to a dazzling two-hour event that left everyone in awe of the commitment demonstrated by young athletes, their coaches and mentors.
It also helped everyone’s spirits the club decided to have a western theme – Hometown Hoe Down – for the 2023 Ice Show that was held March 12 at the Innisfail Twin Arena.
Close to 90 skaters participated in the event, with most from the Innisfail Skating Club.
There were 22 total performances prepared. There was an admirable blend of seasoned local skaters, young ones just entering Pre-Can and Can Skate programs and rising stars from out of town.
“We had the Solstice Synchro Team come in, and two Innisfail club skaters were with them,” said club president Amanda MacKenzie of the Calgary-based guest skaters. “They've done a lot of competitions throughout Canada this year. Their last competition was a national competition, and they ended up best in the west.”
The 56th annual event is actually the first big one the club has had since before the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.
Last year the club did put together a 55th annual show but it was not as well prepared as the 2023 event.
“It was sort of thrown together last minute when we got the go ahead that we were allowed to do it,” said MacKenzie of the pandemic restrictions that were lifted. “So this year is kind of the first more organized one.”
And club organizers were clearly at the top of their game in putting the 2023 show all together, with Cole Malone taking national anthem honours, and then having precision timing with each performance segueing flawlessly into the next.
The big winners were the young athletes who had the golden opportunity to showcase their passion and grit to coaches, family members and friends.
“It's so important. It's so nice for the kids to come and showcase to everybody what we've been working on all year,” said MacKenzie. “So, everybody right down from our little Can Skaters and pre-Can Skaters up to the Star skaters. It's so important to them. It's fun and they enjoy it.”
“We've been watching practices as parents at the Arena and it just all comes together so nice, like having roses here that parents can purchase for them,” she added.