Skip to content

A little bit of everything in 2024 carnival

Another year of Carnival demonstrates the hard work young skaters have put in.

UNITY — Laughter, tears, awards, humour, drama, tragedy and cuteness galore – the 2024 Unity Skating Club’s Carnival had it all, even a lights-out glow-in-the-dark number. The club hosted their annual performances for the community March 11, after postponement from the original March 3 date due to the early March snowstorm.

This year’s theme was “For Old Time’s Sake,” and the featured music included hits from the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. Dramatic elements were added to many of the numbers such as Parker MacKay fatally crashing his motorbike in the “Leader of the Pack” to the sorrow of “his girlfriend” Willoh Weber and a confused Avery Paradis in “Sweet Home Alabama” losing her banjo (which was actually strapped on her back).

Asher Kreimeier and Mckenna Belliveau received the two CanSkate awards, and both appeared to be very pleased with their medals.

Asher had never been on skates before starting CanSkate in the fall, but he was determined and excited to learn. By day four he was already able to get back up on his feet after a tumble. His coaches were proud to share that now you can tell how much confidence he has out on the ice. He can’t wait to continue skating next year.

The 2023-24 season was McKenna’s third year, and she loves everything about skating. Coaches said, “She always shows up with a smile on her face, excited to see what she’ll learn. She is eager to try new things and was thrilled to switch to figure skates this year.”

The Unity Skating Club loses two long-time members this year, with both Jenna Horner and Grace Paradis graduating from Unity Composite High School in June.

Skating club tradition sees graduating skaters perform a solo in front of their hometown crowd. Unfortunately, after a wonderful start with a big smile on her face, Grace suffered a bad fall when she attempted a jump. She had to be helped off the ice and was unable to return for a planned duet with Jenna later in the program. Fortunately medical staff at the Unity hospital were able to see her right away. No bones were broken and she is on the road to recovery.

Grace is the daughter of Brandon and Lisa Paradis, and has been skating with the club since she was six years old. She plans to attend the University of Saskatchewan in the fall, with an eye to pursuing a career in veterinary medicine.

As part of the MC’s introduction to her number, Grace thanked coaches Colleen Smith and Michelle Brown McLean “for pushing her to get to where she is today, her skating peers for the memories they’ve made, and most importantly her parents for all the support they have given her along the way.”

Jenna is the daughter of Chris and Cindy Horner and has been with the Unity Skating Club since the age of three. Jenna is also headed to university in the fall where she plans to major in biology and minor in criminology in preparation for a career in forensic science.

Prior to her performance, Jenna had let the MC know she “finds ending her time with the Unity Skating Club to be bittersweet.” That emotion was evident as she had to wipe her eyes before starting and after ending her solo, skating to “Use Somebody.”

At the other end of the spectrum from the long-time experienced and graceful figure skaters were the eager shuffling – and sometimes tumbling – first-year CanSkaters. What they lack in grace, they more than make up for in overall charm, enthusiasm and their eagerness to find Mom, Dad, Grandma and/or Grandpa in the audience. The intermediate StarSkaters also put on a good show, demonstrating how far they have come from their own CanSkate days.

Congratulations are in order for all skaters, parents and coaches for yet another entertaining carnival.