Kelowna has landed Canada’s top figure skating competition in 2014.
Prospera Place will host Skate Canada International Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 next year.
The competition regularly attracts the top figure skaters in the world, who compete in head-to-head in four disciplines—mens, ladies, pairs and ice dance.
“Skate Canada is pleased to bring this highly anticipated international sporting event to Kelowna. It will really mark the beginning of the next four years of skating competition building towards the 2018 Olympic Winter Games,” said Dan Thompson, CEO, Skate Canada. “With an enthusiastic team of volunteers from Skate Canada British Columbia/Yukon, the partnership of the Province of British Columbia, the tremendous support from Tourism Kelowna, and the City of Kelowna, there is a wonderful team prepared to stage this event. We know the fans and the competing athletes will all be warmly welcomed to a beautiful part of our country.”
Skate Canada International is the second competition in the annual ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series. The other events take place in the United States (Skate America), China (Cup of China), France (Trophée Eric Bompard), Russia (Rostelecom Cup) and Japan (NHK Trophy).
Skaters are awarded points based on their placements in the series’ events. The top-six men and ladies and the top-six pair and ice dance teams qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating final in December 2014.
Nancy Cameron, president and CEO of Tourism Kelowna called the awarding of the Skate Canada International to the city a tremendous opportunity for Kelowna.
“The event will shine an international spotlight on Kelowna and on this city’s ability to excel at hosting major events, while providing our tourism industry with a direct boost at a slower time of the year,” she said. “We had a strong team of partners who brought all the pieces together, including the City of Kelowna, the Kelowna Skating Club, the Delta Grand Okanagan, RG Properties and the Kelowna Rockets.”
Tickets are expected to go on sale for the event in the spring. Additional information will be posted on www.skatecanada.ca as soon as it is available.
Competitors for Skate Canada International, and all of the ISU Grand Prix events, will be announced following the ISU Grand Prix Commission meetings in June 2014.
The event is first to receive funding support from the city through it Strategic Development Fund, which was established, in part, to attract and secure large scale events that will enhance our community and create a dynamic environment.
“We are thrilled that Kelowna will be the host community for Skate Canada International in 2014,” said Jim Gabriel, active living and culture divisional director with the City of Kelowna.
“Alongside our local skating club volunteers who will play an integral role in delivering the event, we’re confident that the community will showcase Kelowna’s assets to the thousands of spectators and millions of viewers world-wide.
B.C.’s minister of community, sport and cultural development Coralee Oakes called the announcment fantastic news for Kelowna and for British Columbia,
“Figure skating has a huge and devoted following, and the Skate Canada International will bring an influx of visitors and tourism dollars to the region,” added Oakes.