OTF Representative, Brian Bourke, MPP Catherine Fife, and Executive Director, Debra Brown with KWSC CansSkate Coaches
Waterloo, Ontario – In 2021, The Kitchener Waterloo Skating Club (KWSC) received a $109,900 grant from the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund – Operating stream to support the Club’s Learn-to-Skate programs. This grant, delivered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), has helped the Club cover staffing, ice rental, licensing and equipment costs. It has assisted in keeping program fees affordable for families and allowed the Club to operate the Learn-to-Skate programs in the midst of a pandemic. To celebrate this support, Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife joined the Club on Saturday, March 26 to meet skaters and deliver remarks at the final session of the Club’s current Learn-to-Skate season.
“KWSC offers our community a world-class skating centre and provides local skaters with opportunities for physical activity, social interaction, and a creative opportunity to express oneself,” said Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife. “The last two years have been challenging in so many ways, we are fortunate to have KWSC’s leadership to advocate and open doors to the joy of skating. I am delighted that this grant from the Community Building Fund was entrusted to KWSC to help sustain & build upon your continued success. Congratulations!”
The pandemic has severely affected the Club’s ability to teach the community to skate. In the first year of the pandemic, the Club saw a 73% reduction in the number of people served. This was due to facility shutdowns and even upon opening, physical distancing requirements. This support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation has allowed the Club to continue to deliver quality programming and excellent coaching while adjusting for Public Health requirements and recommendations.
"Slowly, the Club has been able to expand Learn to Skate programming across Kitchener and Waterloo without increasing fees,” said Debra Brown, Executive Director of the Kitchener Waterloo Skating Club. “As a not for profit organization, our goal is always to charge only what the program costs to deliver, and nothing more. The grant has assisted the Club in covering the increased costs of operating during the pandemic.”
Last winter saw an increased interest in skating as families went outside, away from crowded indoor spaces, for recreation. However, children, teens, and adults can learn to enjoy skating faster with professional instruction. This is where KWSC coaches come in. They are nationally certified and trained to run the SkateCanada sanctioned CanSkate program that is fun, engaging, and effective for people of all ages and abilities. Learning to skate at KWSC not only teaches sport-specific skills, but it also provides a place for children to make friends and empowers them with life skills such as perseverance, goal setting, and an active and healthy lifestyle. KWSC follows a ‘skater first’ philosophy for decision-making and strives to inspire a lifelong passion for excellence through skating.
Established in 1938, the Kitchener-Waterloo Skating Club (KWSC) is a not-for-profit Skate Canada sanctioned organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and supported by a small number of administrative staff, a skilled team of professional coaches, and a dedicated team of volunteers. With over 2000 members, KWSC is one of Ontario’s largest skating clubs. From preschoolers to adults, KWSC have taught thousands to skate. The Club also operates a competitive program that has sent singles skaters, dance pairs, freeskate pairs, and synchronized skating teams to compete in the Canadian Championships, as well as international competitions. Most learn-to-skate programs are available year-round at rinks located throughout the Waterloo Region. If you wish to enquire about the various programs the Kitchener Waterloo Skating Club offers, please visit www.kwsc.org.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Visit otf.ca to learn more.