Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different levels of skating within Canskate?

Pre-CanSkate is recommended for skaters who are just starting out or have never skated before.  Lessons are 30 minutes long and packed with lots of fun activities. 

CanSkate 1-3 is for skaters working on badges 1 through 3. Sessions are 45 minutes long and include warm-up, 3 lesson stations, fun activity time and cool down. 

CanSkate 4-6 is for skaters working on badges 4 through 6. Sessions are 45 minutes and include warm-up, 3 lesson stations, activity time and cool-down. The Sunday sessions include an extra 15 minutes for skater enhancement. 

PrePower is recommended for skaters who would like to improve their basic skating skills in a power skating setting.  This program is ideal for aspiring hockey players.

How many days a week should I enroll my child in skating?

We recommend 2 days a week because the child will learn to skate and will pick up skills much quicker which in turn will boost their confidence and make them eager participants.  If the child is very young, parents must determine if their child is ready to skate 2 days a week. 

What if my new skater doesn’t enjoy skating or isn’t quite ready to be part of the program?

TBFSC recognizes that some children just aren’t ready for organized activities. We offer a full refund less the Skate Canada fee of $35.00 and a $25.00 administration fee within the first 4 weeks of skating. 

What kind of skates should I buy for my child?

Proper figure skates are always recommended for girls and boys unless they are learning how to skate to play hockey.  In that case, they should be wearing hockey skates.  Figure skates are made to offer the support needed to accomodate figure skating movements on the ice.  Your young skater will need that ankle support and cushioning for best performance and comfort. 

What type of helmet is my child required to wear?

Helmets are to be CSA approved. Face masks are not required. For further information please see Helmet Use Policy under the Canskate Information. 

What should my skater wear to lessons?

Your child should be dressed in comfortable clothing that is easy to move in.  Fleece lined dresses are available for young ladies wishing to wear a skating dress.  Two pairs of skating tights are recommended for extra warmth as well as a t-shirt underneath or a club jacket on top.  Jeans are not recommended and knee and elbow pads are optional.

What should be in my child’s skating bag?

Your skater’s bag should include skates, mitts or gloves, CSA approved helmet, skate guards to protect your blades while walking on the cement, soaker blade covers, a towel or cloth to wipe water and snow off the blades and a bottle of water.  

How should I take care of my skates?

When you first purchase your figure skates they should be sharpened, even if the box says factory sharpened. 

Figure skates should be sharpened around every 30 hours of use.  If they are sharpened properly the edges should not feel rugged to skate and they should not feel too sharp or need to be dulled, you should be able to step on the ice and skate!

After each day of skating the blades should be towel dried and a soaker blade cover (not a walking blade cover) should be put on the blade to soak up any moisture in the blade.  If this is not done the blade will rust.  Walking blade covers (skate guards) should be used for only walking!  They should never be left on the blade after your skating lesson.

When you get home your boots should be taken out of your bag and aired out so the inside of the boot does not break down from the moisture which can make the boot weak over time.

Can any sporting goods store sharpen my figure skates?

No.  Only a person trained to sharpen figure skates should be sharpening your blades because a significant degree of skill is required for satisfactory results.  There are very few select people in Thunder Bay capable and trained to sharpen figure skates. 

When will my skater be assessed?

Skater assessments are ongoing. When your skater accomplishes all the skills in a fundamental area they will receive a certificate. Once they have received all 3 fundamental area certificates, they will receive their stage badge and move on to the next level. 

Should I enter my skater into competitions if they don't skate well or are very young?

Competitions give skaters of all ages an extra opportunity to practice and show off their newly developed skills as well as allowing the skater’s to put on their fancy skating dresses or outfits.  This helps to boost the skater’s confidence on the ice. 

When can my skater move up to Junior level?

A skater may move up at any time as long as they are capable of skating independently.  Your skater will continue to work on their Canskate badges to ensure they develop the fundamental skating skills required.

You will be required to retain a coach for your child.  Information about coaches and the rates they charge is available on our Coach’s page.  Your coach will provide private lessons but if your coach has a number of skaters working at the same level, then group lessons may be available at a reduced cost.  Your coach’s fees are not included in skating fees.

The transition from Canskate to Junior may be made easier by enrolling your skater in both CanSkate and Junior sessions. 

How do I choose a professional coach? 

All pertinent information about our coaches is available on the website including phone numbers and email addresses.  You and your child will be familiar with most of the coaches since they are on the CanSkate ice teaching skaters.  Also, all coaches are available in a “meet and greet” during registration in September.  

What other levels of skating are there?

After the Canskate program, there are Junior, Intermediate and Senior levels of skating.  A skater may move up to the next level after a number of tests have been passes.  

What is a Program Assistant?

Program Assistants are skaters or past skaters wishing to share their passion for skating with others.  Their presence is required on CanSkate sessions to assist young skaters as they learn how to skate.

Some of the duties include leading warm-ups, activities and cool-downs, demonstrating skating skills, leading skaters through circuits, providing assistance to skaters and being a positive role model.  Program Assistants may receive volunteer hours for high school or credit that they can put toward their own skating.  As an added bonus, you gain new skills and activities such as being a Program Assistant, are highly regarded on any resume.

How do I become a Program Assistant?

You may sign up to be a Program Assistant at registration. You may also contact Ashley Bosnick at abosnick(at)gmail(dot)com or Ashley may be found at the rink during Canskate sessions.  All Program Assistants are required to have passed their Preliminary Freeskate. 

What is the STARSkate Program?

STARSkate stands for Skills, Tests, Achievement and Recognition.

STARSkate offers opportunities for skaters of all ages to develop fundamental figure skating skills in the areas of ice dance, skating skills, free skate and interpretive skating. Unique in Canada, this program teaches figure skating skills in a group and/or private lesson format in a progressive and sequential manner and includes specifically designed awards and incentives. Skaters have the opportunity to take Skate Canada Tests through a nationally standardized testing system. They may also compete in a number of “Starskate” competitions. 

What is a member in good standing?

A member of the Club considered in good standing will have paid all club fees as stipulated by the Board of Directors in advance of the membership year in question.  Members will not be permitted to take part in any club activities if these fees are not paid within 30 days of the payment date set.  Members in arrears shall be considered as having terminated their club membership.  All fees owed to coaches must be fully paid as well and both bingos from the prior season will be been completed or the Starskate affiliation fee paid.

How do I enter a competition?

Your coach will provide you with a competition registration form. You must be in good standing with Skate Canada and with the club.  You need to fully complete the form and provide a copy of your birth certificate and proof of test. 

How do I get a copy of my proof of test?

Your proof of test shows all the tests you have passed and is available on the Skate Canada Website.  Log on to the Skate Canada website, go to the Members only section and log in using your Skate Canada membership number. Go to the section under tests and print the report. You must provide this report with your registration form, even if you haven't tested yet. 

I've been asked to volunteer as an Ice Captain or Runner, what is required of me if I accept?

We are always looking for Ice Captains and Runners during competitions. These are very simple jobs and are a great way for high school students to earn volunteer hours. The Ice Captain is given a list of skaters for every event and simply ensures that the skaters have checked in prior to their event. It’s the skater’s responsibility to find the Ice Captain and check in. If a skater is missing, the Runner is sent to locate the missing individual.  Runners are also used to run the scores back and forth from the judges to the accounting room. 

As a parent, am I needed as a volunteer at any skating events even though everything seems to run so smoothly?

Our club is run strictly by volunteers and we always welcome new parents who are willing to give their time!  Volunteers are needed on a regular basis and especially during competitions and Ice Show.   Fathers are always needed – especially those with power tools!  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact anyone on the Board of Directors or see the contact list on the Volunteer page.  

What is Ice Show?

Ice Show is our own “Stars on Ice” extravaganza performed by interested skaters at the end of the regular skating season.  The purpose of this production is to showcase the skater’s accomplishments.  Participation is optional and there is a separate minimal fee.  Practice times will be different from regular session times. 

Skaters are cast in choreographed lines with other skaters with similar skating levels or test passed.  You will be provided with material and a pattern for all costumes for you to sew at home.  If you don’t sew, a list of dressmakers will be provided who may sew the costume for you at their set rate. 

Ice Show practices are scheduled two to three weeks following regular season with the actual performances in early April.  Show times are on Saturday and Sunday (2 shows each day) with dress rehearsal on Friday.  Registration in Ice Show means those skaters are available for all practices, rehearsals and show times.                                 

Should I register my child in Ice Show if he or she is very young and doesn’t skate very well?

Absolutely!  These very skaters are the ones who steal the show!  The costumes designed for these young lines are always over the top cute!