Stars on Ice tour cancelled; tickets purchased for Victoria show to be refunded

Stars on Ice, an annual fixture at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre since the facility opened, has become the latest sporting event casualty on the Island due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The revue, which features Canadian and international figure-skating medallists from previous Winter Olympics, announced the cancellation of its 2020 tour.

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The Victoria date this year was scheduled for May 12 at the Memorial Centre.

The 14-city North America tour was supposed to run April 24 to May 17. All pre-purchased tickets will be refunded.

“This is the first time in our 34-year history that we have canceled a single performance, much less an entire tour,” said Byron Allen, producer of Stars on Ice.

“We thank our fans, performers, and staff for their support, and look forward to seeing everyone for the 2021 season,” Allen said in a statement.

The sports business — from the Olympics, NHL, NBA, MLB, MLS and European soccer on down — has been heavily affected by COVID-19 through cancellations or postponements.

The remainder of the Victoria Royals’ Western Hockey League season, including playoffs, have been cancelled and the beginning of Pacific FC’s soccer season in the Canadian Premier League postponed.

Several international sporting events planned this spring and summer for the Island have been affected. The Canada men’s soccer fixtures against Trinidad and Tobago, considered crucial for 2022 World Cup Qatar qualifying in CONCACAF and scheduled for March 27 and tonight at Westhills Stadium in Langford, were cancelled.

The Canada Sevens women’s rugby sevens tournament, planned for May 2-3 at Westhills Stadium, has been postponed.

Meanwhile, the men’s Tokyo Olympic basketball qualifying tournament, originally scheduled for June 23-28 at the Memorial Centre, received dates for a rescheduled Summer Games — July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021.

“That was the first major domino in giving us clarity,” said Clint Hamilton, chair of the Victoria organizing committee.

“We in the organizing committee are all motivated by this new Olympic date, especially since Basketball Canada and FIBA have been clear in that they want the qualifying tournament to go ahead and be held in Victoria.” New Olympic qualifying tournament dates are expected to be in June 2021. Retention of summer dates for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, as opposed to the spring, means that NBA players should be available to represent their nations.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com

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