The Port Carling Skating Club is hosting a holiday showcase on Dec. 7 to raise money after losing a bid to host Santa Skate, a major annual competition and fundraiser that the club has been running for over three decades.
Santa Skate hosted skaters from across Muskoka as well as communities like North Bay and Sudbury, according to club president Erika Morrison. The event’s future was put at risk when Skate Ontario changed their event regulations this year and all skating clubs in Ontario had to participate in a bidding process to host competitions. The Port Carling club put together a lengthy and detailed bid, but Skate Ontario deemed the competition too small. The club hoped to replace the usual event with a mock competition known as a simulation day. They submitted three applications before getting approved for an event with a limited range of skill levels, but when they contacted their usual list of clubs, they found that the changes to the event also changed the clubs’ interest in it.
“We generally get 170 registrations,” Morrison said, “and we got five.”
Unable to follow through with the simulation day due to low registration, Morrison and her team decided to host a community event with donations at the door as one way to make up for the loss of Santa Skate, which raised about $12,000 to $15,000 for the club annually.
“It’s going to be a substantial loss this year,” Morrison said. “We’re trying to generate some other fundraising avenues, so one is our skating showcase.”
The showcase was inspired by the support the club receives from the community at events like the Port Carling Winter Fest and the club’s annual carnival. Along with fundraising, the showcase gives the skaters a chance to perform the skills and routines they’ve prepared. Some of the skaters will still get a chance to compete as part of the synchro team, but, without Santa Skate, members of the club will lose the chance to compete as individuals.
While the loss of the event will have a big impact on the club’s finances for this season, Morrison hopes that the club will be able to bring the event back in future years.
“We’ll have to make some negotiations with Skate Ontario in hopes that they will be able to grant us that sanction to host Santa Skate again, but we definitely are going to move forward in hopes to have Santa Skate,” she said. “If we learn early enough that we’re not going to be able to, then we will have to find other ways of raising money for the club as well as other opportunities for the girls to compete.”
Until then, Morrison and the rest of the club hope that the community will come out to support them and see the routines the skaters have worked so hard to perfect.
“It’s nice that the community will be able to see the girls shine and for the girls to show off the skills that they’ve been working hard to develop,” Morrison said. “This sport is not an easy sport, and it’s great for the girls to be able to have their community see them and see how much they’ve progressed.”
To help support the Port Carling Skating Club, go out to their Holiday Skating Showcase at the Port Carling Arena on Dec. 7.