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CanSkate 5+

The CanSkate program consists of on-ice activities. Skaters are moving and learning using stations to practice skills; the use of teaching aids and music; the use of activities and games selected according to age groups; and the awarding CanSkate ribbons and badges as skills are mastered. 

Assessment of skaters at Upper Canada will be on an ongoing basis rather than having set assessment days. Skaters will progress at their own speed and for those who achieve their level badges will advance to the next level.

Private lessons : Private lessons are available for skaters in CanSkate 1-6. Please contact coaches directly for availability and coaching fees.

CSA approved hockey helmets with chip straps are mandatory for all skaters in stage 1-5. Face masks (cages) are recommended for younger skaters. Once a skater has passed stage 5 and is in stage 6, wearing a helmet is optional, however it is still highly recommended.


Eligibility for  Fall/Winter 2021 Session - Ages 5+ as of September 30, 2021.

Skater MUST be able to skate the entire perimeter with speed, skate backwards and be able to stop going both forwards and backwards or have passed the Pre-CanSkate program. Skaters who are unable to meet this criteria will be asked to withdraw from the program. 

COVID consideration: There will be no hands on assistance or coaching. 

What to wear skating ?

Skaters in the CanSkate session should wear warm comfortable clothing. Preferably dress in layers. For younger skaters, slush pants with warm pants underneath, warm jacket or snow suit as long as they are not too bulky. Track pants or yoga pants, warm jacket or fleece jacket for older skaters.
Must wear gloves.

Program Structure

The CanSkate program curriculum is organized into three Fundamental Categories and divided into six levels of learning (Stages/Levels 1 – 6).
For skaters to be qualified in this program, they MUST be able to skate the entire perimeter of the ice with speed, skate backwards and stop forwards and backwards.

The Fundamental Categories are:
• AGILITY: Concentrating on most turning and jumping skills
• BALANCE: Concentrating on most forward skills, pushing technique and edges
• CONTROL: Concentrating on most backwards skills, stopping and speed elements

These are the ABC’s of the CanSkate Program.  Each CanSkate session is 60 minutes in length and is divided into three main components:
 Warm-up (15 minutes), Lesson time (30 minutes) and Cool down (15 minutes).


The Warm-up is the time to welcome skaters on to the ice. Skaters and coaches will skate around the Lap Track practicing various skating elements and will stay in this area the entire 15 minutes doing stretching and other warm-up exercise. 

Lesson Time

The Lesson time is divided into 6 x 5 minute stations which will focus on specific elements in each level (stage) as well as the ABC’s of the program. At the end of each lesson in one of the stations, skaters will be led by their coaches to the next station. Skaters will move from one station to another during the lesson time resulting in the skaters learning skills from one of the three Fundamental Categories each time they are on the ice. A musical signal or cue will sound each time skaters and coaches are to switch stations. See chart below for example breakdown of the lesson time:
Station  Lesson Time 
Straight Line Station 5 mins
Spin Station 5 mins
Edge Station 5 mins
Circle Station 5 mins
 Stop & Jump Station  5 mins
Turn Station 5 mins
TOTAL 30 minutes

 ***note: the order that your child(ren) will go through the stations may or may not be the same as what is shown

Cool Down

The Cool down time also makes use of the Lap Track area. Skaters will follow the instruction of coaches and participate in activities such as action songs or games. Skaters will stay in the Lap Track zone during the cool down time and work their way to the exit at the end of the 15 minutes session.


Assessment of skaters at Upper Canada will be on an ongoing basis rather than having set assessment or test days. Skaters will progress at their own speed and for those who achieve their level badges will advance to the next level.

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

To receive a stage badge, skaters must achieve all the Fundamental Category ribbons (Agility, Balance and Control) from the corresponding stage.