Browser Cookies
This site uses cookies necessary to properly function. By closing this popup, clicking a link or continuing to browse otherwise, you agree to the use of cookies. View our policies.

About the CanSkate Program

CanSkate, Skate Canada’s flagship program, is one of the most sought-after skating programs in Canada. CanSkate was developed by experts to teach the fundamentals of skating in a progressive manner. Designed for beginners of all ages, the focus is on fun, participation and basic skill development. Participants earn ribbons and badges as skills are mastered. Skaters are taught in a group lesson format by Skate Canada professional coaches and supported by trained program assistants. CanSkate is the foundational and feeder program for all other Skate Canada club and community ice sport programs.

The CanSkate learning environment is enhanced through fun, music and colourful teaching aids and props along with praise and feedback from coaches. This unique intro-to-ice environment is designed to stimulate and maintain interest and enthusiasm among skaters, allowing participants to gain the physical competency and confidence to remain active for life!

CanSkate Program Objectives

• To provide participants and families with a safe, welcoming and inclusive first experience to the sport of skating
• To develop skating and motor skills through natural learning phases (introduction, acquisition, retention/mastery)
• To use skill progression and repetition throughout the stages to introduce physical literacy and establish quality basic skating skills
• To foster personal achievements and satisfaction through skill acquisition, reward and recognition
• To evoke an interest in life-long participation in skating


Frequently Asked Questions

What program should I enroll my child in?

Every child will progress through the programs at a different pace -- their own pace. The descriptions below will give you the information you need to determine what program is the right fit for your child.

Pre-CanSkate is a learn-to-skate program for any skater who has never been on the ice before or has previous experience and needs assistance. Skaters must be able to stand in skates unassisted off the ice and be willing to go with the coaches and assistants and participate. Skaters may be preschool or school aged.

CanSkate is a learn-to-skate program for skaters who can already get up by themselves unassisted and are able to stand and move forward on the ice on their own. Skaters may or may not have previously been in Pre-CanSkate. Skaters may be preschool or school aged.

What equipment do I need?

Skaters in the Pre-CanSkate or CanSkate program should have the following equipment:

1.  Proper fitting Figure or Hockey Skates. No Plastic or Adjustable Skates.

2.  CSA Approved Helmet. No bike helmets.

3.  Gloves or Mittens. 

4.  Proper clothing - layers are best. We do not recommend snow suits. They are too bulky and make it more difficult for skaters to move around freely. Skaters should wear comfortable active wear with a sweater.

What do the badges mean?

The CanSkate program curriculum is organized into six progressive stages of learning.

Each stage is broken down into three Fundamental Areas:
• Balance: Concentrating on forward skills, pushing technique, and edges
• Control: Concentrating on backwards skills, stopping and speed elements
• Agility: Concentrating on turning and jumping skills

The awards consist of:
• Three Fundamental Area ribbons for each stage
• Six stage badges

To pass a stage badge skaters must achieve all Fundamental Area ribbons (Balance, Control and Agility) from the corresponding stage. The
skill requirements for each Fundamental Area are indicated on the report card.

Fundamental Area Ribbons and Stage Badges:

Skill Requirements for Each Level: