Attracting the big names
Placentia, Whitbourne ice shows to feature Elvis Stojko
It appears having Kaetlyn Osmond at their ice show last season was not enough for the PARC Figure Skating Club.
A year after having the Marystown native performing at the PARC Unity Arena in Placentia, the club is bringing an even bigger name to their 2016 show.
On March 21, esteemed Canadian figure skater Elvis Stojko will be gracing the ice for a trio of performances.
Stojko is a three-time World Champion figure skater. He has also won two Olympic silver medals and is a seven-time Canadian Champion.
The opportunity to bring the skater to Placentia came about when head coach Vanessa Griffiths took a shot in the dark and contacted Stojko’s camp to see if he’d be interested in visiting the club.
After some back-and-forth, Stojko agreed to make the trip.
From there, PARC president Kimberley Follett and the rest of the executive - Edna Browne (V.P.), Ann Marie Barry (secre- tary), Charlotte Hickey (treasurer) and Cindy Hann (synchro co-ordinator) - got things going promotionally and otherwise.
“As soon as we found out there was a chance (Stojko) could come here, we got the ball rolling,” said Follett. “All that we do is for the skaters we have in the club. The executive is good at coming together and trying to do whatever we can do. The ice show is all for the club.”
She credited the club’s coaches and parents for ensuring PARC gives skaters the best possible experience they can have.
“It is kind of a big deal for our club,” said Follett.
With over 100 athletes coming from as far away as St. Bride’s, PARC FSC will see Stojko take to the ice three times during their show. He’s scheduled to open the popular event, then he’ll see the crowd off for intermission and then close the show by performing with the club’s skaters.
“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime for our skaters,” said Follett. “When will they get the chance to speak with and learn from someone like Elvis.”
Placentia isn’t the only local rink where Stojko will put his talent on display. He is also scheduled for the Trinity-Placentia Figure Skating Club’s ice show held at the Trinity-Placentia Stadium in Whitbourne on March 24.
Town on board
When word broke that Stojko would be heading to the town, Placentia’s town council jumped on board immediately to help with the promotion.
The idea is to make it as big an event as possible. To that end, Follett said she has received messages from people living outside the town who want to come and see Stojko skate.
Of course, tickets go to PARC skaters first.
“Elvis coming here is a big attraction for the town,” said Follett.
The town has experience working with big name athletes in the past. Just last year, Placentia successfully promoted a hockey game featuring NHL alumni, including Hall of Famer Ray Bourque.
For PARC, many of their skaters are a bit younger and have limited knowledge of their special guest.
Stojko reached the height of his popularity in the 1990s and early 2000s. After competing as an amateur until 2002, he turned pro until his retirement in 2006.
The president said when they first told the skaters who was coming to the ice show, they were met with some blank stares.
“A lot of our skaters aren’t familiar with Elvis Stojko, but we are in the process of educating them,” said Follett. “We’re familiarizing them with who he is and stuff like that. Some our older skaters are pretty hyped about it.”
Stojko is a skater known for the jumps he weaves into his programs, slick footwork and an athletic style.
His name resonates with skating fans around the globe and especially at home, where fans undoubtedly remember his monumental battles with Kurt Browning for Canadian male skating supremecy.
“The town is a little bit hyped,” said Follett.
There are no reports he’ll be wearing blue swede skates during his performance.
Elvis Stojko will be skating in the PARC Figure Skating Club’s annual ice show in Placentia on March 21. That’ll be followed by a performance at the ice show for the Trinity Placentia Figure Skating Club in Whitbourne on March 24.