Printer-friendly version   



For Immediate Release

Dec. 6, 2011

Ministry of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government



Skating rink at Robson Square officially opens


VANCOUVER – Vancouver’s favourite outdoor ice rink officially opens for the third consecutive winter, to once again provide skating, public events and family fun, Minister of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government Margaret MacDiarmid announced today.


The skating rink at Robson Square is open until the end of February 2012. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with longer hours on Fridays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Skating is free with your own skates. Skate and helmet rentals, skate sharpening and a concession stand are available at the rink.


The Province is also hosting its popular schools program again this year. The rink can be booked for school groups, grades 4 to 7, who would like organize a class skating trip during a school day. Last winter, more than 110 school groups and 4,300 students participated in the school skating program hosted by the Province.


Last winter, over 150,000 people visited the plaza for ice skating, concerts and other special events. The Province received international kudos during the 2010 Winter Games for the use of the space as 1.5 million visitors enjoyed the ice rink, zip line, free entertainment and concerts.





Minister of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government Margaret MacDiarmid –

“Robson Square’s skating rink has been hugely popular since the Olympics and is quickly becoming a new tradition for families. Activities like skating are a great way for friends and families to get a little exercise while having fun together.”


Mary McNeil, Minister of Children and Family Development and MLA for Vancouver-False Creek –

“As the city’s first outdoor public skating rink, Robson Square’s ice rink holds a special place in the hearts of Vancouverites. Nowhere else in Vancouver are you able to enjoy outdoor skating, and to have it right at the centre of the city makes it a wonderful place to be.”


Denis Vaillancourt, president, Canada Ice Dance Theatre –

“The skating rink here at Robson Square is such a great community builder. Friends and family can get together in this incredible location for skating, entertainment and wholesome winter fun. And right in the heart of the city.”


Quick Facts: A history of Robson Square:


·         Robson Square was designed by Vancouver architect Arthur Erickson. It opened in two phases, in 1978 and 1979, and was completed at a total cost of $139 million.

·         Vancouver’s first outdoor public skating rink opened in Robson Square in 1982.

·         From 2004 to 2011, the Province worked to revitalize and extend the life of Robson Square. The renewal project was a $40.9 million, multi-year project to ensure the vibrancy of the landmark space continues well into the future.

·         In 2010, Robson Square hosted the only free organized public activity in Vancouver on New Year’s Eve. More than 1,200 people came out to enjoy live music, skating and New Year’s countdowns.

·         In May 2011, the Province received a prestigious award for Robson Square from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada for “enduring excellence in Canadian architecture.”



Learn More:


For more information about Robson Square’s skating rink, please visit:


A backgrounder follows.




Melody Wey

Ministry of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government

250 508-5030





For Immediate Release

Dec. 6, 2011

Ministry of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government




Calendar of Events


Robson Square will be bustling with family-friendly activities all winter, including free concerts, entertainment and a special New Year’s Eve celebrations. Here is the current calendar of events:


Friday Night Concert Series

Every Friday night, there will be live, local entertainment at the skating rink on the lower-plaza-level stage from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will be something for everyone, with music from all genres including jazz, ethnic, Indie, DJ top 40 and dance.


12 Days of Christmas (Dec. 13-24, 2011)

The 12 days of Christmas are a festive time of the year and nowhere will it be more publicly celebrated than at Robson Square. There will be carollers, live music and entertainment every evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. On Christmas Eve, free hot chocolate will be handed out from 5 p.m. to closing at 9 p.m.


Christmas Day (Dec. 25, 2011)

The skating rink will be open for people to enjoy from 12 noon to 5 p.m.


New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31, 2011)

Once again, the Province will host a family friendly 2012 New Year’s celebration. New Year’s Eve will be a magical evening with live music, stilt walkers, sorcerers, witches and a magician’s stage show. There will be free glow sticks and noisemakers for kids as we countdown to an early New Year at 8 p.m.


New Year’s Day (Jan. 1, 2012)

On Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, the rink will be open regular hours for skating, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.





Melody Wey

Ministry of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government

250 508-5030


Connect with the Province of B.C. at: