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All  About CanSkate!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is CanSkate?

CanSkate is a dynamic learn-to-skate program that focuses on fun, participation and basic skill development. Based on Sport Canada’s long term athlete development (LTAD) principles, CanSkate centres on physical literacy and the fundamental skills needed to take part in any ice sport or to skate as a recreational activity.

The program consists of a complete series of balance, control and agility skills taught in six stages of learning that pertain to hockey, ringette, speed skating and figure skating as well as general recreational skating. CanSkate uses nationally-tested and proven curriculum and delivery methods that guarantee skater success in developing stronger basic skill sand developing them faster.

CanSkate is taught by NCCP-trained professional coaches, assisted by trained program assistants.

What can I expect at a CanSkate session?

Action, movement, and fun! Lessons are given in a group format with a coach-to-student ration of a maximum 1:10. Skaters progress at their own rate and coaches make sessions active using teaching aids, upbeat music and a wide variety of activities that create a motivational environment and promote learning. Badges, ribbons and other incentives are used to benchmark skaters’ progress and reward effort and participation.

At the North Bay Skating Club, we start all our sessions with a dynamic warm-up before breaking off into group lessons, then bring everyone together again for a group activity and a cool-down.

How do I know my child is ready for CanSkate? (Should I register my child for PreCanSkate or CanSkate?)

We accept skaters as young as 3 years old. If your skater is comfortable being on the ice away from you for 50 minutes (in group lessons), and can move independently, then he/she is ready for CanSkate! If your skater requires more one-on-one attention, and are under the age of 5, consider registering for our PreCanSkate session, which is tailored for our younger skaters.

For a checklist view of this criteria, see our PreCanSkate or CanSkate list on the website!

How do I know if my child is ready to move from CanSkate to Intro to StarSkate? (Should I register my child for CanSkate or Intro to  StarSkate?

Introduction to StarSkate is designed to help skaters transition from CanSkate (the basic skating skills) to StarSkate (figure skating skills). The Intro to StarSkate program continues to provide instruction through group lessons using Skate Canada’s advanced CanSkate programming and, when ready, introduces the skater to the preliminary level skating skills of stroking, free skate, dance and skills.

To move from CanSkate to Intro to StarSkate, skaters must be working on at least CanSkate Stage 4 (proficient in forward and backward stroking skills, two- and one-foot turns, and jumps), and be enthusiastic for figure skating. If you are unsure of your skater’s development or are interested in advancing to Intro to StarSkate from CanSkate, please consult with Cara or Melissa (CanSkate Coordinators) or Judy (Intro to StarSkate Coordinator).

What do I need for CanSkate?

All you need are skates, a CSA-approved hockey helmet, long pants, mittens, warm sweater or jacket. Dress in layers—it will get warm!

It’s our first CanSkate session. Where do I go?

Every week, we will have a changeroom set aside for our CanSkate skaters. Please check the Memorial Gardens signs and televisions to find out which changeroom this is.

Nametags will be grouped according to your child’s skating colour group, and hung up on hangers at the end of the changeroom hallway, where skaters will be entering the ice surface. Clip your child’s nametag on the front of their coat or sweater.

If you have any questions, please stick around and talk to Cara (Saturday) or Melissa (Monday), the CanSkate Coordinators, or any of the coaches at the end of the session. Alternatively, you can email your questions to:

It’s my child’s first time skating… What should I expect?

Never been on skates before? No problem! CanSkate is built for beginners—for many of our skaters, it is their first time on the ice, and that’s okay!

For their first session, expect much of the time to be spent sitting on the ice. This is normal! Skaters need to familiarize themselves with how the ice feels, how their skates feel, and what it feels like to fall and balance on the ice. Much of the first few sessions will be spent focused on how to stand up and balance on two feet, then on ‘marching’ on the ice. Remember, skaters progress at their own rate and it can be tricky balancing on the slippery ice surface!

How do I sign  up?

Registration and payment option information is now online! Please visit our registration page to sign up your skater for our programs.


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Registration and Payment Policy 2022