Canadian Olympian and former world champion skater Patrick Chan will be this year’s guest performer at the Terrace Skating Club’s Ice Show on Mar. 14.
Jennifer Kuehne, club director and coach, says that it took them many months of planning to make it happen and they’re happy to finally be able to announce it to the public.
“It’s wonderful, this is definitely a once in a lifetime type of thing… only two of us on the board knew about this but we didn’t want to say it until it was confirmed,” says Kuehne, who shared the news on Feb. 5.
Chan is a former competitive figure skater from Ontario who won a gold medal in the 2018 Olympics and two silvers in the 2014 Olympics. Known as a three-time world champion and a ten-time Canadian national champion, his talent on ice has brought him fame beyond the skating community.
“Most people know who he is, he’s huge,” Kuehne says. “For a lot of these skaters, they’ve never met somebody that was an Olympic and world champion so it’s definitely inspirational.”
The idea to bring Chan to Terrace was humorously suggested at the club when he announced he had retired and moved to Vancouver from Toronto. For Kuehne, she thought that if he was in the same province then it would be easier to convince the Olympian to make the journey north.
At the Skate Canada Ice and AGM in Calgary last spring, Chan was a guest speaker and Kuehne says she took her chance to sneak a question in to ask if he’d perform at the club’s ice show.
“He said absolutely and that it would be awesome as he hadn’t been anywhere around here before,” says Kuehne. “We had a phone conversation with Patrick himself a couple of weeks ago, and he’s pretty excited to be coming.”
Since his retirement from competitive ice skating, Chan’s been coaching and remaining busy through shows such as Stars On Ice.
Kuehne says she’s impressed that he’s taken the time off to come to perform in an arena that fits less than 1,000 people in a northern town like Terrace.
But his visit doesn’t come for free.
As a big skating star in demand, a deal and contract had to be negotiated through his agency which took a lot of budgeting for the Terrace Skating Club.
“We decided that we were going to save our fundraising money, we also only have our ice show every second year so we wanted to try to get some bigger sponsors,” says Kuehne.
Many businesses and others in the region, including WestJet, MacCarthy GM, Terrace Community Foundation, Northern Escape HeliSkiing, Carlyle Shepherd & Co, Canadian Tire and Nechako Group of Companies donated generously to the event, which Kuehne says were given despite keeping their Olympian’s name a secret.
The club expects its ‘Spirit of the Seasons’ ice show to sell-out fast as there’s already been an influx of inquiries.
Date of ticket sales will be soon announced on the s Facebook page.
The ice show will be held March 14 at the Terrace Sportsplex.