By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
It’s going to be a great skate Charlie Brown, as the Coaldale Figure Skating Club proudly presents the club’s annual figure skating carnival “Peanuts Forever” Mar. 17 at the Coaldale Arena at 6:30 p.m.
Megan Curtis, president of the Coaldale Figure Skating Club, said Corliss Robb (one of the club’s new coaches this year) has taken the lead with carnival planning.
“This year’s show, not only showcases their skating abilities, but incorporates a little bit of interpretive and acting skills. It’s a little more of a dramatic production,” said Curtis. Curtis added there will be a lot of music throughout this year’s production and is “Peanuts”-themed.
“From well known skits or shows ‘Peanuts’ has done over the years. There’ll be the ‘Great Pumpkin’ and the Christmas and there’s a baseball scene and all the characters you’ve known and loved over the years,” Curtis noted.
There’s been a lot of work behind the scenes leading up to the night of the show, Curtis explained. “Our board puts in numerous hours assisting the coaches. Our coaches this year have put a lot of extra time and effort off ice into creating the routines that skaters will need to perform and thoughts of what their costumes should look like and the general overall flow of making a show run smoothly,” she said, adding the coaches picked this year’s “Peanuts Forever” theme.
Skaters hit the ice this season at the beginning of October 2015 and the season continues until the end of March. “Usually, prior to Christmas, there’s already planning going on for carnival. The skaters, right about the beginning of February, are starting to prepare for carnival and by about mid-February they’re starting to work on their routines, so they’re ready to perform,” she said. This year’s carnival, according to Curtis, is being held a little bit earlier due to the Easter holiday.
This year, three guest skaters will also be joining the figure skating club for the annual showcase event — Travis and Amanda Hillier will be coming from the Lethbridge Skating Club and they will be bringing a protege of theirs — Keiryn McHale, also from the Lethbridge Skating Club.
“I know Travis and Amanda’s routine will be a ‘Peanuts’ theme,” Curtis added.
As a board, Curtis said, it is hoped parents of the skaters will get involved as much as possible with the annual production.
“There’s several roles that need to be filled to make carnival successful. Costumes are a large part of it but there’s a lot of other stuff that goes on. We have pictures taken, so we need help with co-ordinating that. There’s props that are made for decorations. We produce a keepsake carnival booklet a parent is responsible for producing. We also need parents that help keep the children co-ordinated throughout the night and we also have a rehearsal night,” said Curtis, adding this year’s rehearsal night is Mar. 15.
Behind the scenes there are also runners, ticket sellers, and Scotiabank is going to be helping the club out once again by helping sell tickets and also with a 50/50 draw. A parent will also be the announcer for the evening and volunteer parents are also utilized to handle the music portions of the night. Plus, parents help out set up and tear down of the event, each year. “The town assists us, as well. Without some of their help, it would be a lot bigger job,” she said.
Admission prices for “Peanuts Forever” are a family of four $20, adults $7, seniors $5, and a child admission is $5 (with five and under free).
According to Curtis, last year at the end of the club’s season the club received an award from Skate Canada for being a 40-year club. “This would be our 41st year, as an organization. We do run five skating programs,” she said, adding the programs include Pre-Can Skate (2-3 year olds), Can-Skate (3-4 years old and up), Intro to Star-Skate, and Junior and Senior Star-Skate.
“We have a total of 70 skaters this year. Our enrolment is up and we’re seeing growth. It’s nice to see. We’re seeing our skaters continue on, even after they learn to skate. They’re taking interest in the sport of figure skating,” said Curtis.