This webpage is the primary resource for Skate Canada members and registrants for information regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus). Please make sure to visit FAQ tab, as this section is updated regularly.

May 11, 2020

Dear Members and Registrants,

In these uncertain times for our organization, our communities and our world, we want to assure our Skate Canada family that we are all in this together.

This is an unprecedented time for all of us and there is no playbook to refer to. We need to follow the lead of our government officials and health care authorities and do our part to overcome this pandemic together.

We know our community is eager to get back on the ice and resume skating activities. Several provincial governments have released frameworks for reopening services and lifting restrictions on physical/social distancing. As a result, effective immediately, we have lifted the suspension of Skate Canada activities, with limitations.

For skating to resume the below restriction must be adhered to:

  • Skate Canada sections, clubs and skating schools can resume only if permitted by the jurisdiction they are located in. This means that all members and registrants must follow the precautions outlined by their provincial and municipal governments and their local venue operators.

As the COVID-19 response varies from location to location, there is no standard approach that applies to all clubs and schools. However, Skate Canada has developed Return to Skating Guidelines. The guidelines follow recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and ensure all participants feel safe while participating in skating activities.

Since each province’s reopening plan differs, it is the responsibility of the section, club, skating school and coach to abide by the various requirements outlined by their governments. The timeline for reopening will vary depending on your jurisdiction, so not all clubs and skating schools will be able to resume collectively.

It is imperative that all clubs, skating schools and coaches reach out to their Section to inquire about provincial regulations and how skating is affected in your area. Skate Canada and all Sections are working together to find the way forward and will regroup regularly to ensure inquiries are addressed.

As information is released and further best practices for facilitating skating are developed, we will continue to update the community. As a reminder, due to the fluidity of COVID-19, Skate Canada has created a dedicated webpage as a primary resource for our members and registrants.

Thank you for taking the necessary precautions and doing what you can to limit the spread of COVID-19. By working together and going the extra mile, as an organization and as neighbours, we can make a difference.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected] or 1-888-747-2372.

In difficult times, an opportunity to say thank you

In these uncertain times for our organization, our communities and our world, we want to assure our Skate Canada family that we are all in this together.

Thank you for taking the necessary precautions and doing what you can to limit the spread of COVID-19. By working together and going the extra mile, as an organization and as neighbours, we can make a difference.

It’s hard to believe a few short weeks ago we were preparing to welcome the world to Montreal for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2020.

To the athletes, coaches, officials, staff, volunteers and fans from all over the world, we are grateful for all your hard work and dedication in the three years of planning leading up to the world championships, one we know would have been a tremendous success. When our lives return to normal and the doors once again open in rinks from coast-to-coast-to-coast, we will look back on Montreal 2020 as the greatest skating event that never happened.

Our world has changed since then. Right now, we are facing a reality that not only transcends sports, but our everyday lives. Like the rest of the world, we are adjusting and adapting to suit the situation. We have risen to the challenge with flexibility, resilience and compassion, and will continue to do so for as long as we must.

In difficult times comes an opportunity to be there for each other, help each other and care for each other.

It is also a time reflect and be grateful.

To the world’s best skaters, thank you for inspiring us by showing that in order to grow stronger, we must, at one time, conquer adversity.

To all sections, clubs, skating schools, coaches and officials at every level, thousands of Skate Canada volunteers, office staff and fans from all over the world, thank you for your dedication to our sport, our athletes and our organization.

Our thoughts are with all those affected in communities not only in Canada, but around the world. We are grateful for the healthcare workers, first responders and others on the front line. It is truly in times like these in which heroes are born.

This is an unprecedented time for all of us. There is no playbook to refer to. We need to follow the lead of our government officials and health care authorities and do our part to overcome this challenging time.

Even at this difficult hour, we must remember this is temporary. Our lives and our organization will return to normal. We will learn from this and be stronger for it. Until then, be safe and be there for each other.

From all of us at Skate Canada, stay healthy and #StayHome.

Brighter days are ahead. And we will get through this together.

To our members and registrants

The safety of our entire skating community, including skaters, coaches, officials and staff at the National Service Centre in Ottawa, is of paramount importance.

Following the advice and recommendations from the federal and provincial governments to reduce transmission of COVID-19, effectively immediately, the Skate Canada National Service Centre in Ottawa is closed until further notice as we give our employees the flexibility and resources needed to keep themselves, and their families, safe.

Skate Canada has provided our employees with the latest technological resources and remains open for business via email, phone and conference calls. We thank you for your understanding and, as always, we continue to monitor developments and will provide updates as they become available.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected] or 1-888-747-2372.

As the status of COVID-19 is changing quickly across Canada, Skate Canada urges our sections, clubs, skating schools and members to reference their local health authorities and the Government of Canada.

For more information please visit the following resources:

Government of Canada novel coronavirus information line: 1-833-784-4397

Skate Canada has been working closely with our insurer to provide our community with an update on the requirements for offering online or virtual trainings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virtual/Online training will be covered by insurance until September 30, 2020 as per the following terms and conditions.

Virtual/Online training in flexibility, strength & conditioning are permitted ONLY under the following restrictions:

  • All instruction is to be carried out by a registered SKATE CANADA certified coach
  • All individuals participating must be registered with SKATE CANADA for the 2019-2020 registration period and must be recorded/logged by the coach
  • Publicly accessible broadcast tools such as Facebook Live, YouTube, etc. and pre-recorded videos are not acceptable methods of delivering virtual/online training
  • Permitted delivery tools must include the use of controlled, multi-screen video conferencing programs such as Skype, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom (ZOOMUS)
  • All injuries must be reported to Skate Canada within 30 days of the incident and submitted using the Skate Canada Online Incident Report.
  • Instructors must maintain the following information before the class:
    1. Date and time of the course
    2. Instructor and instructor’s remote location, bearing in mind facilities are closed
    3. Class Content (activities to be conducted)
    4. Number of Participants (ensure all participants are SKATE CANADA members before the start of the session)
    5. Class is limited to the number of participants that can be viewed on a single screen and no more than four (4) participants in one location while following the Provincial Physical Distancing Guidelines

The coach, club or skating school must keep this information on file for seven years. Skate Canada may request a copy of the list at any time within those seven years.

  • Rule of Twomust also apply when offering virtual/online training. You must have at least another adult/coach present (virtually) during the online training/class.

The goal of the Rule of Two is to ensure all interactions and communications are open, observable, and justifiable. Its purpose is to protect participants (especially minors) and coaches in potentially vulnerable situations by ensuring more than one adult is present.

  • To help eliminate any perceived solicitation of skaters, it is recommended that clubs and coaches who are hosting online or virtual classes obtain the necessary permissions (skater’s parent, skater’s primary coach, etc.) by signed waivers or posted statements on the selected platform.

Stay safe and healthy.

Updated May 11, 2020

Have a COVID-19 question that hasn’t been answered in our FAQs? Let us know, and we’ll do our best to get you an answer. Please contact us at [email protected].

GENERAL (parents & skaters)

Is my skating lesson/competition taking place?
Skate Canada sections, clubs and skating schools can resume only if permitted by the jurisdiction they are located in. This means that all members and registrants must follow the precautions outlined by their provincial and municipal governments and their local venue operators.

Can I get a refund or credit for cancelled skating activities?
Please contact the club directly to inquire about their cancellation and refund policy.

My skating competition was cancelled. How do I get a refund?
Please contact the organizer of the competition directly to inquire about their cancellation and refund policy.

I missed my test/assessment day. When can I reschedule?
Please contact your section as they will be able to provide information on the rescheduling of test/assessment days.

COACHES

With the closures of rinks/arenas, does my coach insurance cover for loss of income due to COVID-19?
The coach’s accident insurance in place for loss of income would become available only following a physical accident that would prevent the individual from coaching. COVID-19 is not considered a physical accident; therefore, the accident insurance wouldn’t be triggered due to closures of rinks/arenas.

Can coaches collect Employment Insurance (EI)?
Please visit the Government of Canada website Employment Insurance (EI) for information on Employment Insurance benefits. In addition, the Government of Canada has established emergency benefits for people who don’t qualify for employment insurance. As well, your province may also have resources available.

I am a coach and cannot complete my first aid training due to the courses not being available. Will I be listed as ‘Not in Good Standing’?
Due to first aid courses not being available at this time, coaches whose first aid has expired will remain in Good Standing. Once skating activities resume in your area, we will allow for a three-month period to acquire this recertification.

I am unable to complete my NCCP certification due to the cancellation of club/school programming.
NCCP deadlines ending March 2020 – December 2020: CanSkate, CanPowerSkate and Regional Coach certification will be extended until March 31, 2021.

This extension allows coaches an extra season of skating to complete the required components for achieving their certification.

I am a Skate Canada registered coach and have been impacted by the COVID-19 situation?
If Skate Canada registered coaches have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected] or 1-888-747-2372. As the situation is extremely fluid, we may not be able to answer all your questions at this time but will advise as best as possible with the information available.

Can I take my first aid training online?
During this time, we encourage coaches to connect with their first aid provider on the parameters they have set regarding recertification. Coaches whose first aid has expired during COVID-19 will remain in Good Standing with Skate Canada. Once sanctioned skating activities resume in your area, we will allow for a three-month period to acquire this recertification.

Skate Canada first aid requirements can be found here. Please note:

  • Skate Canada requires the practical evaluation to be completed in person.
  • First Aid courses that are done solely online are not accepted.
  • Blended learning opportunities (theory online and evaluation in person) are accepted.

CLUBS/SCHOOLS

What constitutes a Skate Canada sanctioned activity and program?
Skate Canada sanctioned activities and programs can include, but are not limited to:

  • CanSkate
  • STAR 1-5
  • CanPowerSkate
  • All other club/school programming (including any off-ice training classes/activities)
  • Competitions, camps or seminars
  • Skating carnivals
  • Ice shows

Please be advised that if these activities are held and are not permitted by your by provincial and municipal governments, they will not be covered under Skate Canada insurance policies.

Administrative duties carried out by clubs, schools and sections can carry on as normal. Administrative duties can include, but are not limited to:

  • Answering emails and phone calls
  • Preparing administrative materials
  • Organizing individual and group progress sheets and report cards
  • E-learning courses
  • Other online or virtual tasks

Skate Canada activities held online or virtually, following social/physical distancing guidelines established by the provincial and federal governments, are permitted. If you are unsure if your activity is permitted, please contact your section to discuss what restrictions are in place for your area.

I have questions about how to operate Skate Canada programs under government restrictions, who can assist with programming modifications?
It is imperative that all clubs, skating schools and coaches reach out to their section to inquire about provincial regulations and how skating is affected in your area. Skate Canada and all Sections are working together to find the way forward and will regroup regularly to ensure inquiries are addressed.

Is there business interruption insurance for clubs/schools due to COVID-19?
Business interruption coverage does not cover interruptions caused by COVID-19.  Business interruption coverage is when the suspension is caused by a direct physical loss, damage, or destruction to the property.

The Government of Canada has launched a COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to support for Canadians and businesses. You can find more information about this program here.

Private rinks in my area are still operating. Can we book the ice for Skate Canada activities?
Skate Canada sections, clubs and skating schools can resume only if permitted by the jurisdiction they are located in, this includes private facilities. This means that all members and registrants must follow the precautions outlined by their provincial and municipal governments and their local venue operators.

ICE SUMMIT/AGM

Is the 2020 Ice Summit still taking place?
On the recommendations from the federal and provincial governments and with the current situation surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, Skate Canada regretfully announces that the 2020 Ice Summit, scheduled to take place from May 28-30 in Moncton, New Brunswick, has been cancelled.

If you have already registered and paid your fee, please note that a refund will be processed within 72 hours of March 18. Please contact us at [email protected] or 1-888-747-2372 if you have questions.

How are clubs/skating schools going to host their AGMs if they cannot gather in person?
Clubs and skating schools are encouraged to hold their AGM virtually/online. There are many virtual meeting platforms available. Webex is offering free services on their platform (up to 100 participants) to help organizations get through this difficult time.

For online voting, Skate Canada uses Simply Voting. Simply Voting is a web-based online voting system that will help you manage your elections easily and securely. However, there are many other platforms available that offer similar services and we encourage our clubs and skating schools to explore options.

VIRTUAL/ONLINE TRAINING REQUIREMENTS

As a coach can I pre-record a fitness or off ice training video and share it with my skaters?
Pre-recorded videos are not covered by Skate Canada insurance. The virtual/online trainings for skaters should only be made available by controlled, multi-screen video conferencing programs such as Skype or Zoom (ZOOMUS) so that coaches can properly document the members who are participating in the class and further document if they accidentally get injured during the virtual/online workouts.

How is the “Rule of Two” applied for virtual/online training?
For every session, the Rule of Two would require two Skate Canada coaches in good standing be present and logged-in individually in the virtual classroom, or one Skate Canada coach in good standing and one screened adult (parent, guardian, volunteer, club administrator) in which both are logged-in the virtual classroom. One-on-one sessions are prohibited.

More Information

Why are publicly accessible broadcast tools such as Facebook Live, YouTube, etc. and pre-recorded videos are not acceptable methods of delivering virtual/online training?
Clubs/schools/coaches can still share third-party educational/training videos with skaters but if a skater was to get injured while taking them, they would not be covered by Skate Canada insurance.

If a coach is to make their own pre-recorded training video and share it with skaters, Skate Canada insurance would not cover the coach or the skaters taking the training, and the coach could be responsible if an incident/accident occurred. Pre-recorded training/workouts requires a different type of insurance coverage which is not provided in our policy. These are the same regulations that were in place before COVID-19.

If a skater does a training outside of the live classes being conducted by a Skate Canada coach will they be covered by Skate Canada insurance?
Pre-recorded videos are not covered by Skate Canada insurance. Clubs/schools/coaches can still share third-party educational/training videos with skaters but if a skater was to get injured while taking them, they would not be covered by our insurance.

What if an international skater is taking part in the virtual/online training, are they covered by Skate Canada insurance?
Only skaters that are registered with Skate Canada for the 2019-2020 registration period are covered by our insurance.

Can we have a third-party instructor host a virtual/online training with registered Skate Canada skaters?
If a Skate Canada coach is conducting a virtual/online training and would like to have a third-party instructor (i.e., yoga teacher, strength coach, etc.) direct the class the third-party instructor would need to have their own insurance coverage. If the third-party instructor does have their own insurance than the skaters taking the class would be covered by Skate Canada insurance.

Why do we need to collect signed waivers or post a disclaimer statement before the virtual/online training?
Clubs/schools/coaches that are providing a virtual/online training should have an agreement with the skater/parent in advance of them participating in the class. Clubs/schools/coaches who are providing this service will likely have already received the necessary permissions when the skaters registered with the clubs/school or entered into a contract with the coach.

We recommend that if clubs/schools/coaches are offering virtual/online training to new clients they have them sign a wavier in advance or post a disclaimer statement, so all parties are aware of the conditions.

Why does the coach need to be able to view all participants on the screen?
In order to monitor and give proper direction the coach must be able to see all participants on their screen during the live class. Also, due to physical distancing guidelines set by various provinces there should be no more than 4 participants in one location sharing a screen.

COMPETITIONS

Is the National Summer Series competitions skating place this year?
In response to COVID-19 and the uncertainty regarding a formal start date to the 2020-2021 competitive season, Skate Canada will be suspending the National Summer Series for this season.

Subject to easing of restrictions on mass gatherings and appropriate social distancing measures, competitions may still occur in the coming months at the discretion of each section.

Is the Challenge Minimum Score requirement still in place for this season?
In an effort to reduce potential obstacles related to competitive participation as the season unfolds, the Challenge Minimum Score requirement will be removed for the upcoming competitive season.

Below is the contact information for Skate Canada’s sections. Please contact your local section regarding questions on provincial restrictions and guidelines. 

BRITISH COLUMBIA/YUKON
SASKATCHEWAN
SKATE ONTARIO
NEW BRUNSWICK
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
ALBERTA/NWT/NUNAVUT
MANITOBA
QUEBEC
NOVA SCOTIA
NEWFOUNDLAND/LABRADOR
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