Minister of Citizens’ Services Jinny Sims laced up her skates alongside Olympic figure skater Kevin Reynolds, members of Grandview Skate Club and children from a Roundhouse Community Centre day camp, and took to the ice today to officially open the skating season at Robson Square.
“We in British Columbia are known for our outdoor pursuits in any season, and Vancouver is recognized around the world as an active city,” Sims said. “Winter is a time to engage in the ultimate Canadian pastime – ice skating on an outdoor rink. I am proud to be part of the celebration of this great Canadian activity. Because Robson Square is owned by the Province, it really is the people’s rink. It is here for everyone, no matter your age or your expertise.”
The ice rink at Robson Square, in the heart of downtown Vancouver, will be open from Dec. 1, 2017, through to Feb. 28, 2018. Skating is free, with skate and helmet rentals available at the rink. Hot chocolate and snacks are available for sale at the ice rink's concession stand.
“Again this season, we will be featuring live musical entertainment nightly from Dec. 13-24 in celebration of the 12 Days of Christmas, as well as on New Year's Eve,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, and MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. “I’m so proud of our amazing city and beautiful province. Nowhere else in Vancouver are you able to enjoy outdoor skating, and it is here right in the heart of the city.”
The Province's popular schools program continues again this year. School groups between grades 4 and 7 have the opportunity to participate in a free skating session during the school day. More than 4,000 students participated last year.
“Robson Square is a unique year-round attraction for visitors, shoppers and tourists to downtown Vancouver, and the winter ice rink adds a special charm,” said Charles Gauthier, president and CEO of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association. “We’re grateful to the Province for being an ongoing, active partner in creating this celebrated winter-time attraction.”
Nordstrom is sponsoring the Robson Square ice rink for the month of December, providing winter holiday decorations, as well as free skate rentals on Dec. 25. Its partnership with Vancouver Covenant House continues this year. Between Friday, Dec. 1 and Dec. 14, 2017, bring a new pair of socks to donate onsite and receive a free skate rental and a coupon for a cookie.
Celebrating its ninth consecutive season, the ice rink is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, through to the end of February 2018, weather permitting. On Family Day, Feb. 12, 2018, enjoy free skate rentals.
- The Robson Square ice rink is Vancouver's first outdoor public skating rink, originally opened in 1982. It was renovated and reopened in 2009.
- Last winter, more than 135,000 people visited the rink. Demographics indicate that 30% of visitors were couples, 30% were families, 25% were students and 15% were single people.
- Designed by Vancouver architect Arthur Erickson, Robson Square originally opened in two phases in 1978 and 1979.
For a calendar of events for the 2017-18 season and information about the schools program, visit: www.robsonsquare.com
Joanne WhittierCommunications Manager
Ministry of Citizens' Services