The Stuart Park ice rink in January 2020. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

The Stuart Park ice rink in January 2020. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Popular Kelowna outdoor ice rink will open amid COVID-19 pandemic

City council approved COVID-related changes to the Stuart Park ice rink’s operations

Kelowna’s popular outdoor Stuart Park ice rink will open this winter.

But how it operates will be in the hands of its users and how well they follow COVID-19 protocols.

Kelowna city council approved changes to the rink’s operating model on Monday, Oct. 26, as Interior Health said status quo operations are not recommended due to the nature of the site.

When it opens on Dec. 1, the rink will operate similarly to normal, but if guidelines aren’t being followed, access could be restricted or closed altogether.

The city plans to open the rink on a casual-use basis during the usual hours of 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., but no skate rental, fire pit or food vendors will be available. Signage will be displayed to remind skaters of COVID-19 guidelines and safety protocols, as well staff will be on-site during prime hours to monitor for gathering sizes and physical distancing.

“The assumption here is that the lack of services would limit the number of people,” Doug Nicholas, the city’s sport and event manager, told council.

If crowd sizes and physical distancing guidelines are not being followed and ensuring public safety proves too challenging, rink operations would be adjusted to a more restricted-use model.

That would see the site enclosed with temporary fencing and an online registration system manage participant numbers during prime hours. Skate sessions would last one hour, with a maximum of 50 participants at any given time. City staff would again be on-site to manage registration lists, control entry/exit points and oversee operations. Drop-in use would still be available during non-prime hours. Limited services, such as the fire pit, could be made available under this model, said Nicholas.

If safety issues still present as a problem at that point, the rink would close entirely and the ice would be removed.

“I’m surprised we haven’t declared skating as an essential service in Canada,” quipped Coun. Charlie Hodge.

READ MORE: Snow removal on track despite early snowfall: City of Kelowna

READ MORE: Kelowna outreach group hopes winter shelter comes soon

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of Kelowna

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

City of Armstrong Public Works Yard. (Google Maps)
Armstrong city staff threatened in snow removal complaint

Community services manager says ‘veiled threat’ is believed to have been flippant, but is being taken seriously

Police service dog Fitz helped track and rescue a lost hiker and his dog in Kelowna. (Kelowna RCMP)
Kelowna police dog Fitz dies of cancer

Fitz recently helped locate a lost hiker in the Central Okanagan

Photo of the suspect wanted for breaking and entering into a building in the 800 block of Saucier Avenue in Kelowna on Nov. 10, 2020. (Contributed)
Woman wanted for stealing mail from Kelowna apartment

If you recognize this person of interest call Crime Stoppers or the RCMP

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

The Rutland IGA is located in Willow Park Shopping Centre at 590 BC-33. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Customer asked to mask up, throws hot coffee at Kelowna IGA employee

The woman grabbed cat food on her way out when she refused to wear a mask

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Okanagan Quality Life Society which usually gives tours of Okanagan Lake to seniors and shut-ins on its boat Heaven Can Wait has created a virtual tour video in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which shut down the tours in 2020. (Morning Star - file photo)
Okanagan Lake virtual boat tours launched

Okanagan Quality Life Society normally gives tours on Okanagan Lake on its boat Heaven Can Wait

Most Read