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Northlands Park - Memories Worth Keeping
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Ice Capades

The Seven DwarvesWith a lengthy winter season and a multitude of community rinks, Albertans have forged an appreciation for ice sports over the decades. As a result, the popularity of skating figures prominently in the athletic and entertainment history of Northlands Park.

Ice CyclesAs part of the local Winter Carnivals of the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Edmonton Exhibition Association (EEA), partnered with the Glenora Skating Club to make ice-skating a viable activity that could be both participated in and watched for amusement. Provincial speed skating championships and community league races would take place in EEA facilities such as the Livestock Pavilion, and later the Edmonton Gardens.

By the late 1940s, the EEA decided to bring the famed Ice Cycles and Ice Capades shows to Edmonton. The result of these on-ice marvels was repeatedly sold out shows. Children, teenagers, and adults alike would go to see the variety of skating shows put on by the Ice Cycle Company from New York City.

Ice Cycles hockey skitAudiences were treated to a range of theatrics: ballet routines, classical figure skating, operattas, daredevil antics, choreographed plays, and comedic skits. Shows put on by the company were presented under several names—Ice Cycles, Ice Capades, Ice Revue, and Ice Cycles performersIce Follies—but essentially featured similar feats and leading ice stars of the time. Large troupes draped in striking costumes made the ice shows artistically and athletically impressive. Some acts required up to 70 skaters to be on the ice at one time, and over 30 acts could be seen in one evening’s show.

Ice Revue performersHaving such a grand show come through the city regularly benefited the community and the EEA in various ways. It promoted skating as a sport for all to partake in. It provided revenue for the association, served as a fundraising activity for community groups selling show tickets, and through the generosity of the EEA, provided free entertainment to some children residing in group homes.

Inky DinkyWith sustained popularity and themed shows reflective of popular culture, Ice Cycles evolved and continued to entertain Northlands Park audiences well into the 1990s. Though costumes changed, the original all-ages spirit of Ice Capades has continued to charm skating enthusiasts.

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