Vancouver on the Cheap: Singing and Skating


If you were to create a Venn diagram where one circle was labeled “cheap” and the other labeled “awesome”, the middle point where they cross over could be labeled “Vancouver on the Cheap”. In other words, this is a weekly series on things to do and places to go in Vancouver that fall into that magical category of being both cheap and awesome.

Got a cheap-living tip you’d like to share? Send it in!

When was the last time you went ice skating? If you’re anything like me, you get a twisted-up-thinking-face when you try to answer that question because it’s been so very long that you can’t quite remember. Probably most of our primary memories of ice skating look something like this:

My question is: why? Ice skating is awesome! Gliding along that ice you can imagine you’re one of the leads in an epic ice skating movie (hello, The Cutting Edge!) or James Bond exploring a frozen tundra, all while the DJ plays pop music just old enough that it feels slightly nostalgic.

Ice skating is also cheap! At Robson Square you can skate for FREE if you’ve got your own skates, or rent for $4.

Now, I’ve already mentioned the excellent music traditionally played at skating rinks, but the good folks at Robson Square are stepping it up a notch by adding live music to the mix. Every day from now until the end of the month they have a local musician playing some tunes while the masses skate their hearts out.

I was super excited when I saw Kristin Fung on the list of performers. I saw her ages ago at another awesome Vancouver event: the Rain City Chronicles. She’s got an awesome jazzy style and some saucy lyrics. Her website has videos, please check out The Man is Optional, it’s hilarious and awesome.

The full schedule of live performances at Robson Square:

Fri, Feb 24 – Ranj Singh and the Discriminators – 5pm
Sat, Feb 25 – Kristin Fung – 12pm
Sat, Feb 25 – Sound Refuge – 5pm
Sun, Feb 26 – Des Larson – 5pm
Mon, Feb 27 – Cathy Davis – 12pm
Wed, Feb 29 – Braden Humphreys – 5pm

I will admit that I’d never heard of most of these folks, but a little youtube research found that this is a list of pretty rad musicians! They’ve also banded together a list of artists from pretty varied musical stylings. Some folksy stuff, some Indian inspired sitar music, and some Island-style pop. It’s pretty rad!

Des Larson – playing Sunday evening

So even if you don’t like the idea of trying to recreate Kevin Bacon’s angry dance from Footloose on ice skates (don’t get so lost in the movements that you try the jumps unless you’ve already successfully landed many jumps on ice skates, okay?), you can get cozy on the steps of Robson Square and check out some free local music!

Unfortunately, this cheap-ism is coming to you pretty last minute: the whole operation gets shut down at the end of February and then the free ice skating and the free music will be gone forever. Or until they decide to do it again, probably next year.

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