For many Canadians, there’s no better way to get in the holiday spirit than with a little time spent at the rink.
Luckily for Forest City Fans, the crew at Stars on Ice was more than ready to help bring some of that sparkle to Budweiser Gardens, as a special festive edition of the award-winning figure skating show hit the ice Dec. 11.
The star-studded cast featured a number of famous faces, both new and legendary, including three-time Canadian Dance Champions, three-time World Medalists and 2018 Olympians Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje; three-time and reigning Canadian Pair Champions Kirsten Moore-Towers & Michael Marinaro; two-time Canadian Champion Nam Nguyen; Canadian junior champion and social media sensation Elladj Baldé; plus two-time United States Champion Alissa Czisny.
Not to mention Canadian favourites Four-time World Champion and four-time Canadian Champion Kurt Browning and two-time Olympic Silver Medalist, three-time World Champion and seven-time Canadian Champion Elvis Stojko.
Pulling from a selection of Christmas classics, alongside pop and rock hits, as well as soulful ballads, the 2022 cast seemed to have an absolute blast — performing both ensemble pieces and solos to a devoted and enthusiastic London crowd.
As a former skater myself — just don’t ask me to relive those double-axel days — Stars on Ice checked all the boxes for me, bringing the kind of high-calibre entertainment fans have come to expect from the tour, alongside an unparalleled blend of athleticism, skill, and artistry.
It was also wonderful to get to see my hero, Browning, again, who — as always — held the crowd in his hand each and every time his blades touched the ice, including an incredible performance to a medley of Bing Crosby holiday hits, ranging from the silly to sentimental.
Meanwhile, a big standout was Baldé, who easily garnered the loudest hoots, hollers, and applause of the night (unbelievably even more than Poje in a kilt). It’s no secret this guy is an absolute entertainer, through and through.
Stars On Ice was founded in 1986 by American skating icon Scott Hamilton, as a forum to showcase figure skating to a fuller extent, both athletically and creatively, than had previously been available to professional skaters. The Canadian branch of the tour began in 1991, and fans have been loving it ever since.
And London’s December performance was no exception.
If you missed it, fear not, there’s more on the way for fans across Ontario and beyond.
Stars on Ice recently announced their 2023 spring tour will boast three of the greatest male figure skaters Canada has ever produced, including Olympic Gold Medalist and World and National Champion, Patrick Chan, once again joined by Browning and Stojko, alongside an always-impressive international cast featuring the top competitive Dance and Pair teams in the world.
Reigning Canadian Dance Champions and World Bronze medalists Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier and Olympic Medalists and World Pair Champions Alexa Knierim & Brandon Frazier will perform with Olympic and World Medalists Madison Chock & Evan Bates, Satoko Miyara, Jason Brown and more.
For more info on the upcoming season, visit starsonice.ca.
Stars On Ice
December 11, 2022
Photos by Whitney South