*UPDATE* This event has now been postponed to 2021. Please visit the Brant Skating Club's media release for more information.
Submitted by: Brant Skating Club
The Brant Skating Club will enter a new decade with grand celebration as skaters and families prepare for the 70th annual Flashing Blades spectacle scheduled for April 11 at the Brantford Civic Centre.
Under the direction of award-winning coaches Alison Purkiss and Kevin Stefan, the annual ice revue will involve over 130 local skaters.
The theme – 70 Years on Ice – celebrates the long and active history of the skating club in Brantford through a musical journey, featuring pop hits dating back to the 1950’s and working forward to contemporary favourites.
The first half of the two-hour program will also showcase the developing skills of the more youthful skaters, performing in costume to select tracks from the classic movie soundtrack, Mary Poppins. Expect waddling penguins, fast jiving chimney sweeps and dancing nannies that will have you clapping and singing along.
“Every year we get together is special. To see the club reach 70 annual performances is incredible. The kids [skaters] work so hard every year to put on a great show for their community. We’re especially excited to see all the alumni who will join us on the ice this year,” says club president, Brandi Schott.
As part of the 70th anniversary celebration the Brant Skating Club extended invitation to former skaters to return and lace up for a special alumni number. Not knowing what response, they would get, the club was overwhelmed with interest and has received commitment from over 50 alumni skaters. The group is a wide range of ages and skill levels, and everyone is excited to get back on the ice.
“It is incredibly heart warming to get the response we have. You wonder, when life moves on, how much skating and the memories really means to people. This response, and the positivity and support we have received in social media, it’s fantastic. It’s like a family reunion.”
With an eye on health official reports and recommendations, the club is continuing “business as normal” as the shadow of COVID 19 (Coronavirus) looms heavily around the world. The club will continue to monitor recommended actions regarding large public gatherings and asks all attendees to use their best judgement and follow best practices for limiting the potential transmission of the novel virus.
In the past 12 months the collective of active amateur skaters has achieved numerous podium appearances in regional competition. Under coach Alison Purkiss, three pairs of skaters earned appearances at the recent Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Mississauga, resulting in two national championships – for Junior pair Patricia Andrew and Zachary Daleman; and novice pair Lily Wilberforce and Aidan Wright.
Past National Junior champions Evelyn Walsh and Trennt Michaud earned silver medals for their performance in Senior pair competition, their second consecutive runner-up finish in national competition at the senior level. The pair have earned the opportunity to resume international competition, representing Canada at the ISU 2020 World Figure Skating Championships to be held in Montreal, March 16 -22.
Walsh and Michaud train with coach Purkiss at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre in Brantford. Michaud is also a coach with the Brant Skating Club.
Patricia Andrew and Zachary Daleman recently returned from Tallinn, Estonia having represented Canada in the ISU 2020 World Junior Figure Skating Championships. It was their first opportunity to represent Canada at the Worlds and the pair relished the experience. Finishing just outside the top 10 in 11th position overall, the pair will continue to build their program and skills to compete with the world’s elite skaters.
For more information and advance tickets to the show, visit www.FlashingBlades.ca
Since 1947, the Brant Skating Club operating in Brantford, Ontario has provided instructed skating opportunities for all ages, from the smallest preschoolers to competitive athletes.
Skaters can participate in diverse programs including Power Skate, CanSkate and Star Skate training. Each program is overseen by Skate Canada and is designed to build on basic fundamentals. Skating programs are offered 12 months of the year in Brantford.
Skaters desiring to further their skills enter into competitive training, with on-ice and off-ice programs. Coached ice time can reach 7 days a week as skaters pursue excellence. The Brant Skating Club hosts much of its ice time at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre, located at 254 N Park St, Brantford, Ontario. For more information please visit www.brantskatingclub.ca