New skating and hockey season to follow COVID guidelines

Even thought things will look quite different for the coming season at the Canora Civic Centre, plans are coming together or the Canora Skating Club and Canora Minor Hockey to once again hit the ice, with the necessary COVID precautions, according to Aaron Herriges, director of leisure services.

“Ice is being installed and our target opening date is November 8, provided there are no unforeseen problems. But that can most certainly happen,” said Herriges. “We are behind schedule this year due to the planned replacement of the secondary ice plant compressor. We now have two new compressors.”

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The Canora Skating Club is organized for the new season and will be starting operations as soon as the rink opens, said Herriges.

The schedule is for the skaters to meet on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, according to Heather Chabun, Club president.

“We are planning to begin on November 10 but won’t have skating on November 11 due to Remembrance Day,” said Chabun. “We are only offering lessons to CanSkate levels 4 to 6 and StarSkate levels to begin with. Once January arrives we will begin lessons for CanSkate levels 1 to 3 once a week on Wednesdays for 10 weeks, starting January 6.”

Chabun said it’s important to note that, due to social distancing requirements, for beginning skaters a parent will be expected to skate with their child if they are unable to get up on their own or maneuver around on their own without assistance due to social distancing requirements.

“At this point we have about 20 to 22 skaters registered for CanSkate 4 to 6/StarSkate levels and about six pre-registered for CanSkate 1-3 in January,” reported Chabun.

“I am accepting registrations until November 6 now for the lessons happening before Christmas because of the delay of the start of the season. The deadline to register for CanSkate levels 1 to 3 is December 18.”

Forms and information can be obtained by contacting Chabun at (306)571-9773 or email canoraskatingclub@outlook.com.”

Canora Minor Hockey is ready to get back on the ice with teams from U7 up to U15.

“The U15 team is a girls team managed by Meridee Kopelchuk and will be based out of Canora,” reported Herriges. “It's great to see a girls team here. Big props to Meridee getting that organized.

Canora is once again without a U18 team, but Herriges said many Canora and area hockey fans are looking forward to the return of the Canora Senior Cobras for the upcoming hockey season.

“With so many local names on the team, it should be exciting to see,” said Herriges. “I for one am very pleased as this can only boost our hockey program in town while helping fill the arena. This provides another great participation option for Canora and area residents. Season tickets will be on sale soon and a select amount of advance single tickets will be available the week of each home game. The first home game is scheduled for November 21 against the Ituna Avalanche.”

Herriges said a number of changes will be in place when the Civic Centre opens for the new season, following the SHA (Saskatchewan Hockey Association) plan for facilities across the province:

  • Anyone that shows signs of illness or is symptomatic must not enter the building.
  • The spectator capacity will be at 150 (approximately 120 in the stands and 30 in the lobby).
  • The arena seating will have designated areas where extended families can sit together. The areas are spaced throughout the stands. Moving to and from the stands will be one-way, behind and in front of the stands.
  • Everyone that plans on attending must have face coverings in place before they enter the building. This is mandatory.
  • There are four sanitizing stations in the lobby. The public is encouraged to use them.
  • There is no loitering before and after games or practices. People are asked to get their business done and move on to their next destination.
  • Minor Hockey and Skating Club will be communicating the rink's dressing room plan to the teams and skating as there are specific sets of guidelines for their operations.
  • Games will be open to the public. Practice will be only open to those who are involved in those bookings, including parents of the youth, coaches, managers and staff.
  • Public skating and shinny will be scheduled as normal but with capacity limitations of 30 on the ice at a time.

Herriges said adjustments to the Civic Centre policies may come as the upcoming season unfolds. “We ask the general public to be mindful of the guidelines and responsibly self-govern themselves as they have been doing over the past year,” Herriges concluded.