Fun event to be held at four community leagues this winter

On Feb. 2, Spruce Avenue Community League is hosting a unique, free event: Swing ‘n Skate, a winter activity that brings together swing dance and ice skating.

City Hall normally holds this event on winter weekends at its outdoor rink, while a live big band provides music for a swing dance party indoors.

But renovations have taken the ice rink out of commission this winter. City Hall will still host the dance portion on Sundays, but the question was: where will the skating go? Bob Rasko, Churchill Square programmer for the City, explained they needed outdoor rinks and decided to approach community leagues.

Swing ‘n Skate is for anyone, regardless of skill level. | Edmonton Arts Council

Spruce Avenue was one of four leagues that applied. Verna Stainthorp, president of Spruce Ave Community League, said, “I signed up and was very surprised and pleased to hear from Bob.”

She explained the league didn’t have its usual Harvest Fest, and Family Day events at the league haven’t been popular.

“We were always competing with other events,” she said. “We have great ice and we’ve got to put that Zamboni to work.”

Skates will be provided for those who don’t have any. | Edmonton Arts Council

Outside will be hot chocolate, warm fires, and skates for those who don’t have their own. Inside will be a live big band for the swing dance crowd and dance instructors from Sugar Swing.

Rasko encourages everyone to try both. “That’s the nice thing. If you’re an absolute beginner and you’re freaked out, [at] the first set just listen to the music, and after that Sugar Swing will come out and do the first workshop. They’ll teach you the beginning steps, so by the second set, away you go.”

The City may continue this program next year. “The concepts have been developed and we’re trying to figure out how to bring more arts and cultures into the community,” said Rasko, referring to the Edmonton Arts Council’s new 10-year plan, which has a focus on community engagement in areas that aren’t considered arts hubs.


Feb. 2, noon-4 pm

Spruce Ave Hall

10240 115 Ave

Featured Image: This winter, Swing ‘n Skate will be held at four community leagues. | Edmonton Arts Council