Indoor skating rink coming to Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre

By Spencer Sterritt
January 3, 2018 - 5:07pm Updated: January 3, 2018 - 6:05pm

The main square of Woodgrove Centre, which will soon be filled with a synthetic ice rink for the rest of the holidays. Spencer Sterritt/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — Instead of running back out to your car, Nanaimo's biggest mall wants you to strap on a pair of skates once your shopping is done.

Expected to start in the middle of February on Family Day weekend, Woodgrove Centre will house what they believe is the first indoor ice rink in a mall on Vancouver Island.

“We thought why not bring the outdoors inside and...create an attraction which would really be great for people of all ages,” Woodgrove marketing manager Nola Dunn told NanaimoNewsNOW.

It will be a 22 ft. by 36 ft. synthetic ice sheet in the middle of the mall, outside the Sephora store where the old clock tower was. Dunn said it should fit 22 skaters looking for an invigorating and stress-reducing skate.

Though final times aren't confirmed, she said it will likely be open from 1 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. until Easter Weekend.

It will cost $3 to put your skates on the ice for 15 minutes, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the Nanaimo Child Development Centre, who recently celebrated their 50th anniversary in the community.

The centre's Michelle Kocourek said the fundraising effort is a real boon for the organization, who as a not-for-profit rely on the community heavily for their programs.

“Every program is touched by fundraised money in some way,” she said, adding the amount raised by the rink won't be tied to specific programs, instead it will be used for a variety of items, programs and administration.

Volunteers with Nanaimo's CDC will oversee the rink. Kocourek said they're still filling volunteer positions and anyone eager to help can give them a call.

Even though it will be the first time the mall has tried having an indoor rink and it's unclear if it will be a success, Dunn was hopeful it could become a longstanding addition to Woodgrove Centre during the holidays.

— with files from Dom Abassi


[email protected]

On Twitter: @spencer_sterrit

Higher assessment doesn't necessarily mean big property tax hike