Selfies allowed on Parliament Hill Rink after all
Construction continues on the skating rink on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ted Raymond, Newstalk 580 CFRA
Published Wednesday, November 29, 2017 9:43PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 30, 2017 11:14AM EST
The group in charge of the Canada 150 Rink on Parliament Hill has changed its mind on one of the rules skaters have to follow.
The list of rules was announced last week, and included a ban on cellphones and other electronics on the ice. “No selfies!” the rule seemed to say, despite the picture-perfect location of the skating rink.
But, earlier this week, the list of rules on the Rink’s website was quietly changed, and the no-cellphone rule was dropped. The rule banning hockey sticks and pucks, also a source of contention, was amended to add that they would be banned “during public skating sessions.”
The rink is hosting a hockey tournament, after all.
On Wednesday, Andrew Campbell, the Senior Executive Director of the Federal Secretariat Canada 150, told Newstalk 580 CFRA’s Ottawa Now with Evan Solomon the cellphone rule has been corrected.
“Ottawa International Hockey Festival, which is the group actually running the rink, has corrected that on the website,” Campbell says. “It was never that we didn’t want people taking a selfie on the rink. You can absolutely take a picture. What we’re trying to do is maximize the fun for the most number of people.”
Campbell defended the other rules that drew rebuke and mockery online, such as the 48-hour advance registration.
“The capacity of a rink is about 200 people an hour,” he says. “We knew that the story would be, if a thousand people showed up the first day and they were waiting five hours to get on the rink, it would be ‘they couldn’t even manage a reservation system.’”
As for hockey, Campbell says he has personal experience there.
“I coach a bunch of 15-year-old, high-speed skating hockey players,” he adds. “If they got on that rink with a bunch of five-year-olds and were being their regular selves it could cause some issues for everybody’s fun and safety.”
The $5.6 million rink will be open to the public until the end of February , and will be donated to a vulnerable community afterward. Campbell says that the dollar figure for the rink seems large at first, but when you look at it long-term, it makes a little more sense.
"The rink has a 25 to 30 year lifespan when it gets donated to that local community. It will be installed in that local community, it will have the hard surface in that local community," he says. "So, you've got to think of it over that 25 to 30 year lifespan."
In the meantime, Campbell says they are hiring a Zamboni driver .
“As we’re extending the period of time for the rink, we’ve actually run out of local Zamboni drivers that we know about and are readily available,” Campbell says. “So, that Zamboni job is out there for people to be able to drive a Zamboni on the Hill.”
You can find the job posting, by the Ottawa Senators, here.