Skaters at a past Winter Ice Palace event at Cloverdale Arena. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

Skaters at a past Winter Ice Palace event at Cloverdale Arena. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

No ‘Winter Ice Palace’ skates in Surrey again this year, due to ‘staff capacity challenges’

Cloverdale Arena has been decorated for the holidays for more than 20 years, but not in 2020 and also 2021

Short of staff, Cloverdale Arena again won’t be decorated for the popular “Winter Ice Palace” skating sessions during the holidays, for a second straight year.

The outdoor pond-themed event has drawn families of skaters over the past two decades, typically for two weeks at this time of year.

“Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 pandemic we have not been able to offer the event,” Laurie Cavan, Surrey’s general manager of parks, recreation and culture, told the Now-Leader in an email Thursday evening (Dec. 16).

“We are currently experiencing staff capacity challenges, (and) with the current limited arena staff we are keeping the arenas open over the holiday season for minor sport groups rentals and regular public skating sessions,” Cavan added. “The City of Surrey is working hard to recruit and train new staff to get our capacity to regular levels, and plan to offer special events in 2022.”

As an alternative to the Winter Ice Palace, Cavan suggested, “we invite Surrey residents to find an activity in the Arena Drop-in Schedule (found on and visit arenas for a seasonal skate during the holidays. In addition, we have compiled a list of low-cost or free ‘Holiday Activities in Surrey’ for everyone to enjoy.”

VIDEO from 2017: Skaters flock to Surrey’s Winter Ice Palace for holiday fun.

In Delta, arenas at both North Delta and South Delta recreation centres will be decorated for holiday-break skating, from Dec. 18 to Jan. 1. The schedule for the “Winter Wonderland” sessions is posted to

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