Tess Thompson of the Mount Arrowsmith Skating Club runs through a piece of choreography at the Alberni Valley Multiplex. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Tess Thompson of the Mount Arrowsmith Skating Club runs through a piece of choreography at the Alberni Valley Multiplex. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Guest choreographer takes the ice with Mount Arrowsmith skaters

Mount Arrowsmith skating season is underway, with COVID-19 protocols in place

The Mount Arrowsmith Skating Club returned to the ice this month, although things look a little different with COVID-19 restrictions in effect.

Senior skaters took the ice at the Coulson rink during the week of Sept. 21 for some one-on-one work with guest choreographer Anne McGraw. McGraw lives in Kelowna, although she is originally from Quebec. She and Jean Leshures, director of skating for Mount Arrowsmith, are long-time colleagues, so McGraw comes in as a choreographer annually to work with the skaters, putting their programs together for the year.

“Almost every year I come [to Port Alberni] and do a week’s worth of work with Jean,” McGraw said. “I know the kids now, so it’s kind of fun to come back every year and see how they’ve improved.”

McGraw usually visits in August, but this year’s workshop was pushed to September due to COVID-19. She sees each skater for an hour at a time, allowing them some time for one-on-one training.

“A few kids are just doing maintenance, but for most of them it’s brand new choreography,” she explained.

For Mount Arrowsmith, registration is down for beginner and Learn to Skate sessions. But all senior and junior skaters have returned.

“It’s been a very strange start to the season,” Leshures remarked.

The club has been following some new procedures, including the addition of a check-in station for skaters and separate entrances and exits. Only nine skaters are allowed in a dressing room at a time.

City staff, said Leshures, have been “incredible” when it comes to cleaning the Alberni Valley Multiplex between sessions.

“The kids are doing fine,” she added. “They’ve been doing so good.”

Another change is the fact that all skating competitions have been cancelled until the end of December. The Mount Arrowsmith’s biennial winter carnival has also been cancelled. The carnival is a major fundraiser for the club, allowing them to offer low registration costs so every child in Port Alberni can have an opportunity to participate.

“Times are gonna be tough,” said Leshures. “For everybody. We’re going to have to find other avenues to fundraise.”



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Figure SkatingPort Alberni

 

Choreographer Anne McGraw works with skater Tess Thompson at the Alberni Valley Multiplex. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Choreographer Anne McGraw works with skater Tess Thompson at the Alberni Valley Multiplex. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Just Posted

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Coroners’ inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni teen rescheduled for June 21

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure after spending time in jail cell

CELEBRATING IN STYLE
Members of the 2021 Alberni District Secondary School graduating class pose for a photo at McLean Mill National Historic Site on June 12. Graduates held their prom on Saturday, although things looked a little different due to COVID-19. See more on page A10. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Port Alberni 2021 grads celebrate prom with car cruise

Special event held at McLean Mill National Historic Site

The Port Alberni Bombers are one of the newest teams in the VIJHL. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni Bombers to host first ID camp for roster spots

Roster spots for the Junior B team will be filled at the conclusion of the camp

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

CVSAR search the Puntledge River following a report of an abandoned kayak. Photo, CVSAR Facebook page
Comox Valley Search and Rescue spends four hours searching for no one

Overturned kayak a reminder for public to contact officials if they have to abandon a watercraft

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read