There are few things more Canadian than skating on a frozen sheet of water, laughing with friends, playing a game of shinny, and warming up with a mug of hot chocolate. That experience is worth sharing, especially with youth who are new to Canada! That is why CARE For Newcomers are once again organizing an afternoon of skating for all newcomer youth (and their families) new to Red Deer.

This year marks our tenth year of the ‘Learn to Skate’ program. The program is offered free of charge to immigrants and refugees and all equipment is provided for them. It is always a fun afternoon of learning basic skating skills, enjoying the outdoor atmosphere at Bower Ponds, and meeting new people.

CARE would like to thank everyone who has helped make this event possible: The City of Red Deer, RCMP, the Red Deer Vipers, Bower Place Community Association, Bower Ponds, Notre Dame High School & many more community volunteers.

About the ‘Learn to Skate’ event

The ‘Learn to Skate’ event was started in 2012 at the request of a newcomer student who really wanted to learn how to skate. Many immigrant youth feel too embarrassed to attempt skating with their Canadian peers and this program gives them the space and time to practice with other youth who are also only beginning to learn. Each year the youth express how thankful they are to have been given the opportunity and how much fun they had.

About CARE For Newcomers

Formerly known as Central Alberta Refugee Effort (C.A.R.E.), CARE For Newcomers is a newcomer settlement agency based in Red Deer, Alberta. For over 35 years. CARE has supported the successful settlement of all newcomers to Canada by providing a variety of services and programs. Our office is located at #202, 5000 Gaetz Ave, Red Deer and more information is available online at

‘Learn to Skate’ event plan

On January 5 our event program will be an informal opportunity for newcomer youth and their families to practice skating outdoors at Bower Ponds. Several Volunteers will be skating around and offering a helping hand. Fitting and tying skates will take place indoors in the Fireside room which will also be used as a place to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate.

Learn to Skate will also be a kick-off to the start of a weekly skating program for youth. This program is called ‘Friday Youth Skate Night’ and is targeted to middle and high school aged youth (both newcomer and Canadian). This program will be held at the Bower Place Community Association Rink (85 Boyce Street) every Friday starting in January to March from 5pm – 8pm. In addition to skating, there will be indoor games, a fire, and hot chocolate. This is a great opportunity for newcomer & Canadian youth to come together and have something fun and safe to do on Friday evenings after school.