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CanSkate Program

The CanSkate program is Skate Canada’s national “Learn to Skate” program for
beginners of all ages from first time skaters to more experienced skaters. CanSkate
is the feeder program to all other Skate Canada programs. Skaters are taught in a
group lesson format with a ratio of 1:10 by a certified professional coach, who
ensures that the skaters are learning and working through each of the levels of
this program. Volunteer Program Assistants (PA’s) also work with the coaches to
assist in effectively implementing the CanSkate program to the 
skaters. The CanSkate program is currently 50 minutes in length.

Program Structure

The CanSkate program consists of the development of three fundamental movements:
Balance, Agility and Control, organized in six levels of learning known as Stages 1-6.
The skills are progressively arranged from simple to complex with each level having
a primary focus. Once the skills in each fundamental movement are mastered, a ribbon
is awarded. Once the skills in each level are mastered, a badge is awarded. Canskate_Award_Poster.pdf
The skaters will rotate through several coaches during the session. Report cards are issued
in December and March. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact your child’s
coach or the program coordinator Amy MacDonald via the coaches e-mail at
The program has a warm up period at the beginning of the session and a cool down at the end.
The children will rotate through different circuits during the remainder of the time.
Each circuit will have a different focus.

Clothing for CanSkate Program

Proper clothing is required for all of MSC’s programs

  • For Pre-CanSkate and CanSkate, we encourage skaters to wear a pair of warm pants and a sweater or jacket (preferably without a hood)
  • Gloves or mitts should also be worn for warmth and safety (this is usually the first body part to feel the cold). Mitts keep hands warmer for skaters.
  • Long scarves / hoods and large hats should be avoided, as they can be dangerous.
  • CSA Approved Hockey Helmets are mandatory until Stage 5 is passed, this includes parents in the Parent & Tot program who are not able to pass Stage 5. Full face masks are recommended for all learn to skate skaters.

Note: bicycle or ski helmets do not cover the full skull and the skater will not be permitted on the ice if wearing this type of helmet.