Project Description


CanSkate is a learn-to-skate program developed by Skate Canada. This program teaches kids (ages 4-17) fundamentals of skating and is a great foundation for pleasure skating, figure skating, or hockey.


  • A complete series of balance, control, and agility skills that will prepare skaters for any ice skating sport or recreational skating.
  • Nationally-tested and proven curriculum and delivery methods that guarantee skater success.

  • Designed for 90% movement so skaters learn in an active and fun group setting.


  • Nationally certified coaches trained specifically in teaching the mechanics and proper technique of skating.

  • Coaches are assisted by trained program assistants.

  • Ensures a 1:10 coach/program assistant to skater ratio or lower.


  • Provides kids with the best foundation for figure skating, hockey, speed skating, and ringette.

  • Introduces a healthy, lifelong activity at an early age.

  • Promotes fun, fitness, and participation.


  • Some of the best skaters in the world learned to skate with CanSkate including Olympic figure skaters, Olympic speed skaters, men’s and women’s Olympic hockey players and NHL players.

  • Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir – Olympic and World ice dance champions.

  • Patrick Chan – Olympic medalist and World men’s figure skating champion.

  • Ivanie Blondin – Olympic and World long track speed skater.

  • Matt Duchene – NHL Colorado Avalanche and Olympic hockey team gold medallist.

  • Jeff Skinner – NHL Carolina Hurricanes, NHL Rookie of the Year, and former Canadian juvenile men’s figure skating medallist.

Exciting News
CanSkate even better!

We have developed a new CanSkate program based on Sport Canada’s long term athlete development (LTAD) principles. Exciting new features include a fresh new look, new awards, great tools for coaches and most importantly a tested and proven new curriculum and delivery methods that guarantee skater success in developing stronger basic skills and developing them faster. But there’s more! The new program also includes specific skills that pertain to hockey, ringette, speed skating, and figure skating. The result is a dynamic new program that prepares all skaters for virtually every ice sport.

Skate Canada is also proud to have all its programs taught by professional coaches who are specially trained and certified through the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP).

Our clubs from across Canada are excited as they prepare to welcome and serve learn-to-skate clientele from every walk of life, age and every interest level.


What is CanSkate?2019-06-05T22:46:14-02:30

CanSkate is a dynamic learn-to-skate program that focuses on fun, participation and basic skill development. Based on Sport Canada’s long term athlete development (LTAD) principles, CanSkate centers on physical literacy and the fundamental skills needed to take part in any ice sport or to skate as a recreational activity.

Who is CanSkate for?2019-06-05T22:47:00-02:30

For beginners of all ages, children or adults, as well as for those wishing to improve their basic skills whether their focus is for figure skating, hockey, speed skating or just skating for fun.

Who teaches CanSkate?2019-06-05T22:47:26-02:30

NCCP-trained professional coaches, assisted by trained program assistants.

What will you learn?2019-06-05T22:47:54-02:30

A complete series of balance, control, and agility skills taught in six stages of learning that pertain to hockey, ringette, speed skating and figure skating as well as general recreational skating. CanSkate uses nationally-tested and proven curriculum and delivery methods that guarantee skater success in developing stronger basic skills and developing them faster.

What can you expect?2019-06-05T22:48:59-02:30

Action, movement, and fun! Lessons are given in a group format with a coach-to-student ratio of a maximum of 1:10. Skaters progress at their own rate and coaches make sessions active using teaching aids, upbeat music and a wide variety of activities that create a motivational environment and promote learning. Badges, ribbons and other incentives are used to benchmark skaters’ progress and reward effort and participation.

What do you need to participate?2019-06-05T22:49:23-02:30

All you need are skates, a CSA-approved hockey helmet, long pants, mittens, warm sweater or jacket. Dress in layers – it will get warm!

What is the difference between PreSkate and CanSkate?2019-06-07T11:16:50-02:30

These are two branches of the same program, separated on the basis of age. Generally, kids 3 and 4 years old are less willing to take the ice without a parent being present and have a relatively shorter attention span. Thus we encourage parents, with or without skates to accompany their child onto the ice in Preskate, and the sessions only last 30 minutes with a strong emphasis on play.

CanSkate is designed mainly for those 5 and up, who are happy going onto the ice unaccompanied, but the program is designed for a range of abilities, including those who have never skated.

The age is used as a guideline only and we leave it to the parents’ judgment as to which program is best suited to a skater who is 4 years old or more. We try to be flexible and if the program you start it is not working our encourage switching between CanSkate and PreSkate, and vice versa.

What is the difference between CanPowerSkate and CanSkate?2019-06-07T11:17:37-02:30

Both programs are designed to teach basic skating skills. At the lower levels, the programs are very similar- emphasizing the basic skills of skating forward and backward and stopping. The main difference at the beginner level is that CanPower skaters wear full hockey equipment. As the skater progresses, the program diverges, with CanPower emphasizing speed, quick turns and stops, and CanSkate teaching skills more common in figure skating – jumps and spins.

Both programs are very effective and teaching basic skating skills, and a skater can switch from CanSkate to CanPower later if their main interest is hockey.

CanSkate: How is my skater evaluated?2019-06-07T11:20:01-02:30

The skater’s ability is continuously evaluated by the coaches, and if at any stage they demonstrate they have the skills to progress to the next badge level they will move upwards. At the beginning of the 10-week session, skaters are allocated into groups based on ability, and previous badge levels. For those new to the program who have previously skated, they can quickly pass through the badge levels until they reach a level that matches their ability. Towards the end of the 10-week session (usually week 9), the skaters are all evaluated by the professional coaches, and a progress report is prepared to hand out on the final session.

Canskate: I see a number of different groups on the ice – how are these divided?2019-06-07T11:20:40-02:30

Each CanSkate session follows a standard routine. Skaters get on the ice and skate around for a few minutes. They then all gather at the center for a brief warm-up and then are split into groups based on badge level. Each group works with a program assistant, under the supervision of a professional coach. We limit our sessions to a maximum of 50 skaters, and each group is less than 10 skaters. Each professional coach is responsible for generally no more than 20 skaters. Thus the professional coach, in general, will spend 10 -15 minutes with each group (although this is flexible). Generally, the groups are arranged on the ice with the lower levels at one end of the ice, and the highest level at the other.

CanSkate: Who are the coaches?2019-06-07T11:21:15-02:30

Our CanSkate sessions operate under the direction of Skate Canada registered professional coaches. The process of becoming a professional coach is rigorous with at least 12 months of training. All professional coaches have current first-aid and are responsible for the safety of the skaters on the ice. They are supported by program assistants. Program assistants are volunteers drawn from our more advanced skaters. To volunteer as a program assistant skaters must be 12 years old, and must attend a training session. 1st-year program assistants mostly operate as helpers to more experienced program assistants. Parents who have questions or concerns about their skater or the conduct of the sessions should aim to discuss their concerns with one of the professional coaches, not the program assistants.

CanSkate: why can’t I use a bicycle helmet?2019-06-07T11:21:46-02:30

Skate Canada writes “Selecting a proper CSA approved helmet should be the most important criteria when selecting the right helmet for your child. Owning a CSA approved helmet should be paramount to all other reasoning (including comfort or convenience) as to the type of helmet to wear or not to wear. The coverage of the head that is provided by a CSA approved hockey helmet is by far the best; a bicycle helmet, in comparison, does not give full coverage around the entire head. The concern with any helmet other than an approved hockey helmet is the lack of protection on the lower portions of the head that have a tendency to be injured. It should also be noted that a hockey helmet is designed to withstand repeated bumps and protect against penetration. A bicycle helmet once involved in an accident should be discarded. Consideration should also be given to further protection by installing face protectors on the front of the helmets. Although face protectors are not essential, chin guards are highly recommended in the CanSkate program due to certain skating skills that are required at the level. Claims received by our insurance company have also shown that eye protection would also be beneficial.”




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