Skate Canada's flagship learn-to-skate program, designed for beginners of all ages. When you sign up for CanSkate you will be in a program that focuses on fun, participation and basic skill development. You will earn badges and other incentives as you learn fundamental skating skills. Lessons are given in a group format and led by an NCCP certified professional coach. Professional coaches are assisted by trained Program Assistants. The coach to student ratio is a maximum of 1:10. Skaters progress at their own rate and coaches make sessions active using teaching aids, music and a wide variety of activities that create a fun environment and promote learning. CanSkate is the feeder program to all other Skate Canada Skating Programs.
Frequently Asked CANSkate Questions
SUITABILITY OF THE PROGRAM:
How old should my child be before he or she starts skating?
Most children are ready to “learn to skate” between the ages of 3 and 5 years. We also have Parent & Tot sessions for parents who would rather be on the ice with their child. The Parent and Tot Program is for children aged 5 and under + a parent/guardian.
My child is interested in hockey or ringette. Is this program geared only to figure skaters?
No. This program provides a solid background for all ice sports (including figure skating, hockey, ringette, and speed skating).
Does my child have to have previous skating experience before signing up for the program?
No. This program is suitable for new beginner skaters, as well as skaters with some skating experience. Skaters will be placed in groups based on their skill level, and work towards badges that match their skill.
My children have very different levels of skating experience. Can they all register for the same session?
All 6 levels of CANSkate are taught on the same session, so family members with different skating abilities can sign up for the same session and will be placed in different groups.
What is the Coach to Student Ratio?
Group sizes range from 6-10 skaters per group, and are taught by a nationally trained and certified Skate Canada Professional Coach, with the help of one or more trained Program Assistants.
Is the CANSkate program sufficiently advanced for my skater’s skills?
By the time they complete the CANSkate program, skaters should have several skating skills, including: fast forward and backward perimeter stroking, forward and backward crosscuts, side stops with speed, turns, basic spins and jumps.
If I am sure that my skater is too advanced for the CANSkate level, what are his/her options with your club?
Skaters can qualify for the Junior Academy Program through invitation or audition by the Director of Skating. Email Shanelle Horobec (Director of Skating) at for further information.
Is there a Power Skating Program at your club?
The Port Coquitlam Skating Club has a Hockey/Ringette Skating Skills Development Program on Tuesday nights. Email Larissa Horobec at for further information.
PLACEMENT WITHIN THE CANSKATE PROGRAM:
My child has previous experience in another program. How will he/she be placed in the CANSkate program?
All new CANSkate members are assessed by our Skate Canada Professional Coaches and placed in the appropriate group as needed. A skater who comes from another Skate Canada club should provide their report card and will be placed in the appropriate group, based on the final standing at the other club.
Do I have to buy the skates and helmet or are they available for rent?
All participants must provide their own equipment: CSA approved hockey helmet (for all Port Coquitlam Skating Club members until completion of CANSkate Stage 5), skates (figure skates or hockey skates), warm clothing, and gloves.
Does my skater need a helmet if they can already skate?
Yes. It is mandatory for all skaters (until completion of CANSkate Stage 5) to wear a CSA approved hockey helmet for insurance purposes and safety considerations.
If I forget a helmet, are there helmets available that my skater can borrow?
No. All helmets must fit properly to provide adequate protection and the POCO Skating Club cannot provide helmets.
Are the molded skates a good option?
No, because they cannot be “broken in” and are inflexible. They allow the skater less control; and your skater will progress at a slower rate.
How do I buy skates for my child?
There’s no such thing as weak ankles; however, there are many skates being sold with weak ankle support! Pay attention to the thickness of the leather in the ankle area. Look for thick leather in this area. They will mold to the feet over time. Your child should be able to wiggle their toes and the heel should fit snuggly. A properly fitted skate is usually one size smaller than your normal shoe size. Avoid wearing thick socks. A thin acrylic blend of sock or stocking allows the skate to have a snug fit that allows the toes to be relaxed in the toe box. Skates can be purchased at either Skater’s Edge Boutique or Cyclone Taylor.
Do I really need to sign my child up for three seasons?
No, but skaters will progress faster if they skate each season.
I’ve never registered with “POCO Skating Club” before. How do I create an account?
Go onto the “POCO Skating Club” website; click on Register, then it should take you to the Uplifter page to create a new account.
I have registered, but I also noticed additional fees added to my invoice. What are these fees?
There is an annual Skate Canada Membership fee, which is valid from Sept. 1, to Aug. 31. This fee is a mandatory insurance fee through Skate Canada.
I am having some trouble registering. Who can I contact for help?
Any inquiries regarding registration can be sent via email to and one of our board members will respond within 72 hours.
SKATE CANADA FEE:
I paid a Skate Canada membership fee when my child joined the program? Will I have to pay this fee again?
The Skate Canada fee is an annual membership fee, and is valid from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31 of the following year, regardless of when you join the program. The fee is required by skate Canada and is not retained by the club. This fee is non-refundable.
WITHDRAWING FROM THE PROGRAM or TRANSFERING TO ANOTHER CLASS:
How do I withdraw from a session?
Refunds may be granted for medical reasons only (accompanied by a doctor’s note).
How do I transfer to another CANSkate class?
There is no automated system to do that at this time. Please email to request a class day change.
Can I move my child to a different class day for a couple of weeks due to a temporary conflict and then return to the original class day?
No. If there is space available, you can move your skater on a permanent basis, but you cannot move back and forth between class days.
If there are no spaces left in a class, do I have to pay to have my child’s name put on a waitlist?
No. Skaters can be placed on the waitlist and no payment is required until a spot becomes available.
How do I put my child’s name on the waitlist?
If a class is full, instead of a “Register” button beside the session, there will be a “Waitlist” button. When you click that button, the site will allow you to add a child from your profile to the waitlist. Once a position has become available, you will be notified by email that a position is available. You can then log into the website and either register your child or remove them from the waitlist to allow the next person on the list to take a spot. Once the position is offered, there will be a limited time to complete the registration.
Can I find out where my child’s name is on the waitlist?
If you log into the website and click on “My Account” on the top right hand corner, you can then select “My Waitlist” from the submenu on the left hand side. This list will display each of the programs and children who are on the waitlist for each individual program along with their position on the list.
Will the waitlist be carried forward to the next session?
No. Your skater’s name will be kept on the waiting list, without charge, until the registration deadline for the season. At this time the waitlist will be cleared and names will not be carried forward for the following season.
Where can I get further information regarding private lessons?
Contact the POCO Skating Club Director of Skating, Shanelle Horobec, at for more information.
Can I drop my child off for classes and leave the arena?
No. A parent or other responsible adult must be available at the rink during the sessions in case of an emergency.
Can I stand on the ice with my child if he/she is uncomfortable?
No. For insurance purposes, only Skate Canada registered members are allowed on the ice.
My skater will need to be absent from one of her classes? Can she attend another class to make up for the missed class?
Members are assigned to specific groups on the day for which they are registered and cannot attend a class on another day unless they make a permanent move to that class (which is only possible if there are spaces available).
If we have an extended vacation planned, can I register my child for only part of the lessons or get a refund for lessons missed?
Participants who go away on extended vacations cannot make up the missed classes on another class day or receive a refund for missed classes. Parents who opt to register for only the latter part of a session must wait until that date to register, and cannot request that space be held for their child.