Stars on Ice Canada tour, April 26-May 16, 2019

Sylvia

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The CSOI tour usually is announced early (last year the tour was announced on Nov. 28): https://www.starsonice.ca/

Th initial skaters were announced yesterday: "... Canada’s beloved Olympic Team Gold Medalists including Patrick Chan, Kaetlyn Osmond and Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford; plus two-time Olympic Silver Medalist Elvis Stojko, Olympic Bronze Medalist Jeff Buttle, three-time World Medalists Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje" with "more skaters to be announced soon."

The 12 tour dates & cities are:

Apr. 26, 2019 SCOTIABANK CENTRE HALIFAX, NS

Apr. 28, 2019 CANADIAN TIRE CENTRE OTTAWA, ON

May 1, 2019 PLACE BELL LAVAL, QC

May 3, 2019 SCOTIABANK ARENA TORONTO, ON

May 4, 2019 FIRSTONTARIO CENTRE HAMILTON, ON

May 5, 2019 BUDWEISER GARDENS LONDON, ON

May 8, 2019 BELL MTS PLACE WINNIPEG, MB

May 10, 2019 SASKTEL CENTRE SASKATOON, SK

May 11, 2019 SCOTIABANK SADDLEDOME CALGARY, AB

May 12, 2019 ROGERS PLACE EDMONTON, AB

May 14, 2019 SAVE-ON-FOODS MEMORIAL CENTRE VICTORIA, BC

May 16, 2019 ROGERS ARENA VANCOUVER, BC

SOI's IG account has a password for their online only ticket presale starting at 10 am on December 4, 2018: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqxk3l1nsrc/
 

Sylvia

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For those wondering about Virtue/Moir's plans, this press release link was posted in their fan thread yesterday: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/five-time-olympic-medalists-three-time-world-champions-and-8-time-national-champions-tessa-virtue-and-scott-moir-announce-future-plans-701561661.html

"Fans can expect another coast to coast tour in the fall of 2019, with more cities and an even bigger production.

Tour information, including cities, on sale dates and new fan interaction opportunities, will be announced shortly."
 

starrynight

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For those wondering about Virtue/Moir's plans, this press release link was posted in their fan thread yesterday: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/five-time-olympic-medalists-three-time-world-champions-and-8-time-national-champions-tessa-virtue-and-scott-moir-announce-future-plans-701561661.html

"Fans can expect another coast to coast tour in the fall of 2019, with more cities and an even bigger production.

Tour information, including cities, on sale dates and new fan interaction opportunities, will be announced shortly."
They probably announced on the same day as CSOI so any fans considering booking tickets and making travel plans may reconsider and hold off for their tour.

Interesting to see that there is now another tour in direct competition with CSOI. Virtue/Moir's tour will need to include retired skaters given that it will run over the top of the grand prix series again. I'm interested to see if Skate Canada or the ISU might tighten up the eligibility rules now that there may be an annual big tour over the top of the skating season? Although I'm sure they will have no difficulty obtaining retired skaters to do the tour, particularly if they branch out to non Canadians.

I wonder what the impact on CSOI will be? Although CSOI will have the advantage of having currently competing skaters being able to join. I wonder if we will get some new additions to the cast? It's probably time that Gilles/Poirier were invited to join.
 

screech

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Interesting to see that there is now another tour in direct competition with CSOI.
Back in the day there used to be a Skate the Nation tour too. Like the Thank You Canada Tour, it went to cities that SOI didn't. (I remember seeing skaters like top Canadians at the time, as well as international skaters like Alexei Yagudin and Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze)
It would be great if they could incorporate international skaters as well.
 

WildRose

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Like “Skate the Nation” the “”Thank you Canada” tour goes to the smaller cities that SOI doesn’t get to and the core cast is basically the same. The 2 tours aren’t competing against each other.
 

Colonel Green

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It's probably time that Gilles/Poirier were invited to join.
I was thinking the same, particularly since they say they'll be adding more skaters. At least domestically, the most likely additions would be them and Keegan (I'm sure he'd be a blast on Stars on Ice).

Maybe they're hoping to raid the Cricket Club and/or Gadbois for some token foreigners.
 

starrynight

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Like “Skate the Nation” the “”Thank you Canada” tour goes to the smaller cities that SOI doesn’t get to and the core cast is basically the same. The 2 tours aren’t competing against each other.
I just found the timing of both tour announcements on the same day and Virtue/Moir's non attendance at Canadian Stars on Ice to be telling. I think they are planning on extending out the reach of the show to the bigger cities too.

I do think announcing the same day as Canadian Stars on Ice was deliberate so Virtue/Moir's fans know where to spend their money next year. It won't make any difference to those who would always go to Stars on Ice anyway or those who would never travel to go to CSOI. But I think that there are a large group of VM fans that will only go to the shows where V/M are skating (which makes sense because plenty of them are younger and don't have the money to go to lots of shows).
 
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Back in the day there used to be a Skate the Nation tour too. Like the Thank You Canada Tour, it went to cities that SOI didn't. (I remember seeing skaters like top Canadians at the time, as well as international skaters like Alexei Yagudin and Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze)
It would be great if they could incorporate international skaters as well.
That tour was great! We were gifted sponsor tickets in 2002 which included the meet and greet. A friend and I took a picture of Yagudin’s ass. He caught us. Our young teenage selves were mortified :lol:
 

WildRose

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I just found the timing of both tour announcements on the same day and Virtue/Moir's non attendance at Canadian Stars on Ice to be telling. I think they are planning on extending out the reach of the show to the bigger cities too.
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Wait - somehow I totally missed that V&M weren’t doing Stars this year-my bad! Wow, I agree, and this is very interesting. They gotta be doing the big cities too. Battle of the tours - I love it. Good for them - it’s time for a new tour with fresh ideas and fresh choreography. I really hope they add Elladj Balde!
 

Lara

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Thank you Place Bell! Montreal would probably get skipped otherwise since it’s a non Olympic year.
 

screech

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I think a lot will depend on how Canada does internationally this year. I wouldn't be surprised if Keegan gets invited, but he may be busy planning his wedding... and also it's much further out of his way to do the tour than the other Canadians. Javi was an honourary Canadian the last few years, so it's great he's been able to do SOI, but I don't foresee that happening this year. Any other international skaters who may be invited?
I remember Skate the Nation used to have a girl who did acrobatic skating... I forget her name. She was entertaining. Maybe Lubov could do something like that (if she's not still with Cirque du Soleil at that time).
 

dramagrrl

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Most of the skaters who are left in the cast are among my favourites, but at the prices they charge for tickets now and without Kurt and V/M, it is very unlikely I will go this year unless I manage to snag last-minute tickets for below cost, as I have some years.
 

starrynight

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Most of the skaters who are left in the cast are among my favourites, but at the prices they charge for tickets now and without Kurt and V/M, it is very unlikely I will go this year unless I manage to snag last-minute tickets for below cost, as I have some years.
I think that CSOI is going to need to have a think about what it can do to make the show better to attract an audience if there is going to be a consistent rival tour. Particularly in a scenario where I can tell from social media that VM's fans want their tour to 'win' over CSOI.

I think the Stars on Ice format is really in need of a revamp. The random collection of exhibition programs that have been skated all season during galas plus a few under-rehearsed group numbers has been done too much. But this format is cheap and doesn't cost as much in choreographer fees and rehearsal time.

But I could be completely wrong at CSOI could do very well due to the big surge in popularity of skating in Canada after the Olympics :)
 

seabm7

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Anyway, Virtue/Moir's participation in the Goldmedal Plates overlaps the last week of the CSOI tour.
 

seabm7

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I think the Stars on Ice format is really in need of a revamp. The random collection of exhibition programs that have been skated all season during galas plus a few under-rehearsed group numbers has been done too much. But this format is cheap and doesn't cost as much in choreographer fees and rehearsal time.
I remember a few years ago Kurt managed a week of a rehearsal time for Stars on Ice. He persuaded a small town to give him the necessary extra ice time at their ice rink.
 

starrynight

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I remember a few years ago Kurt managed a week of a rehearsal time for Stars on Ice. He persuaded a small town to give him the necessary extra ice time at their ice rink.
The Thank You Canada tour seemed to have ages for rehearsals, plus all new costumes (whereas the SOI shows have been recycling costumes for decades). I presume that sponsorship covered the expense of this?
 

dramagrrl

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I think that CSOI is going to need to have a think about what it can do to make the show better to attract an audience if there is going to be a consistent rival tour. Particularly in a scenario where I can tell from social media that VM's fans want their tour to 'win' over CSOI.

I think the Stars on Ice format is really in need of a revamp. The random collection of exhibition programs that have been skated all season during galas plus a few under-rehearsed group numbers has been done too much. But this format is cheap and doesn't cost as much in choreographer fees and rehearsal time.

But I could be completely wrong at CSOI could do very well due to the big surge in popularity of skating in Canada after the Olympics :)
I absolutely agree. I used to be a diehard SOI fan back when the show was more about huge, elaborate group numbers and had a theme each year that tied everything together. I went to the show without fail every year and some years when they did two nights in Toronto, I would go to both, even when I was a teenager and tickets were very expensive for my limited allowance. Some of the numbers were so beautifully costumed, choreographed and lit that I remember them vividly to this day - the Rolling Stones group number in 1995, Stairway to Heaven and the Olympic spoof "Fun and Games" number in 1998, the amazing 2000 show with the Japanese drum opening, the Simon & Garfunkel mid-show group number, and the What a Wonderful World closing with such beautiful costuming and lights... I could go on and on. Seeing the thematic links that united the show and the excitement and art of the group numbers made the show a must-see.

The current format of already-known exhibition programs and a couple of hastily cobbled-together group numbers with no real thematic link is not that interesting to me. I also don't think the post-Olympic popularity will sustain the show because from what I saw in Toronto last year, I would estimate that at least 50% of the sales of last year's shows were because of V&M and the casual V&M "shipper"-type fans who became obsessed with them post-Olympics and have probably moved on to a new obsession now. With no V&M and no real Canadian stars competing this season, my guess is that ticket sales are going to be slow and there will be a lot of empty seats.
 

starrynight

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I kind of get the impression that Stars on Ice has been sleep walking along because there hasn't been any competition in North America. A bit like a faded and dilapated amusement arcade where the paint is chipping off and all the games are about 15 years out of date and slightly broken.

Either getting real competition in Canada will cause it to improve or else probably limp along and die.

I do like the idea of having themes each year. But I don't think Stars on Ice has enough money to do something like that? Unless the get Jeff Buttle to choreograph everything and travel to each skater and teach them the choreography ahead of time?
 

Scrufflet

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Please, please, please! Go raid the Cricket Club, Gadbois and scoop up a few others along the way (Gil/Poir. Keegan)!
 

alilou

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Please, please, please! Go raid the Cricket Club, Gadbois and scoop up a few others along the way (Gil/Poir. Keegan)!
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FFS YES! They just have to think outside the box a bit to have some spectacular skaters in the show. And probably don't have to pay them as much since they're not world/Oly medalists.
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WildRose

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I’d be very surprised if Keegan turned down a chance to do CSOI - Alaska borders Canada - he’s close by. I’ll bet for him it would be a dream come true.
 

dramagrrl

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I do like the idea of having themes each year. But I don't think Stars on Ice has enough money to do something like that? Unless the get Jeff Buttle to choreograph everything and travel to each skater and teach them the choreography ahead of time?
The tour used to follow the much longer U.S. SOI tour and would use the same theme and choreography/music for group numbers. Many of the cast members were also part of the U.S. SOI tour and were able to teach the members who weren't the choreography. The U.S. SOI tour would spend several weeks in Lake Placid working out the group numbers and the show as a whole in the early fall, and the Canadian cast would spend a week in Halifax before the tour started practicing the group numbers. Of course, those were the days when skating fandom was in its heyday and the tour had tons of money to throw around. I'm sure they would not have the budget to work in the same way anymore, which is unfortunate.
 

skategal

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As far as I know, the CSOI gang still spend a week in Halifax learning the show. That hasn't changed.

If I was casting, I would add Eladj Balde and Elvis Stojko to the 2019 cast.
 

victorskid

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BREAKING NEWS from Stars on Ice via Twitter this morning:

We’re thrilled to announce that joining the 2019 Stars on Ice Canada cast are 7-time National Dance Medalists Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier and Canadian Icon KURT BROWNING!
 

seabm7

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Finally we are going to see an exhibition program from Gilles & Poirier.
 
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