OTTAWA, Ont. –  It will be a day to embrace what skating means to Canadians.

Whether in an arena or on a backyard rink, pond, canal or river, skating is tightly woven into the social fabric of Canada and part of who we are. On December 10, 2017, Canada 150 Skating Day will offer a unique opportunity for all Canadians to unite and celebrate this timeless piece of our nation’s culture and heritage.

The Government of Canada and title sponsor Rogers Communications teamed with Skate Canada at historic Rideau Hall on Saturday to officially unveil Canada 150 Skating Day.

The Governor General of Canada, His Excellency David Johnston, was joined by Official Ambassadors of Canada 150, representatives from Skate Canada and Rogers Communications along with hundreds of dignitaries and guests to officially unveil the December 10th event.

The announcement included a demonstration by skaters from Minto Skating Club as well as a free public skate on the Rideau Hall ice rink.  Also joining the festivities were children from the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club, Catholic Centre for Immigrants (CCI Ottawa) and Refugee 613, an Ottawa organization assisting Syrian refugees.

Canada 150 Skating Day will be one of the final events in the year-long celebration marking Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.

To promote the diversity, inclusion and healthy lifestyle that skating represents, an integral piece of the Canada 150 Skating Day legacy will be the introduction of community skate banks, allowing children without equipment the opportunity to take part – not only on December 10th, but for years to come. These skate banks will exist in communities right across the nation, providing helmets and skates to children who may not otherwise have the opportunity to learn to skate.

“We would like to thank the Government of Canada and Rogers for supporting Canada 150 Skating Day, and for helping establish skate banks at our Skate Canada clubs in communities across the country,” said Skate Canada CEO Debra Armstrong. “These skate banks will touch Canadians in communities from coast to coast to coast who may not have equipment to learn to skate, allowing them to embrace the joy of skating.”

“Skating is an iconic winter activity that is part of our country’s sporting heritage,” stated The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

“On December 10, 2017, let’s glide in to winter by skating together! Embrace the cold with your family and friends and participate in Canada 150 Skating Day. I also challenge all municipalities to join the celebration and host a Canada 150 Skating Day for everyone to take part in!”

On December 10th, Canadians are encouraged to participate in Canada 150 Skating Day on rinks, canals, rivers and ponds across the country as communities come together to celebrate this unique part of our national and cultural identity.

More information on Canada 150 Skating Day will be released as the event approaches.

Photo Credits:  MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall, OSGG