Work is underway to bring a Nordic-themed Christmas display to Uptown Shopping Centre. Attractions include a 40-foot ice rink, a hand-painted road mural and a giant Christmas tree. (Black Press Media file photo)

Work is underway to bring a Nordic-themed Christmas display to Uptown Shopping Centre. Attractions include a 40-foot ice rink, a hand-painted road mural and a giant Christmas tree. (Black Press Media file photo)

Outdoor skating rink, road mural among holiday festivities at Saanich mall

Santa dons a clear mask for photos at Uptown this winter

Those looking for holiday fun will soon be able to take a spin on a temporary skating rink at Uptown Shopping Center.

In honour of the festive season, the mall is preparing a Nordic-themed display on the pedestrian boulevard – the inner parking lot that closed to vehicle traffic in May – which will include a 40-foot ice rink and a large mural created in partnership with local artists, said Kristy Lowes, marketing director for Uptown.

READ ALSO: Saanich shoppers plan to holiday shop early, online amid pandemic

Construction of the ice rink begins on Nov. 24 and is expected to be complete by Nov. 27, she said, adding that bubbles of up to six people will be able to book exclusive skate time on the ice online starting on Dec. 1. Each group will have the rink to themselves for 30 minutes and staff has allotted 15 minutes for sanitizing between reservations.

Ice time costs $10 per group of six and skate rentals are available for $2 with proceeds slated to go to an as-yet-unnamed charity. The rink will be open from noon to 8 p.m. every day until after Christmas.

A 150-foot, hand-painted road mural will accompany the ice rink and various other holiday displays along the boulevard. The mural is being created by artists Tierney Milne and Rhys Farrell and is expected to be unveiled on Nov. 28 with the rest of the attractions, said Kara Chomistek, president of Promoting Artists, Redefining Kulture.

READ ALSO: Christmas celebration preparations begin at Uptown

Victoria artists Mateusz Napieralski and Caitlin McDonagh have also been recruited to craft a chalet for skaters to enjoy.

Lowes said the mall also acquired several outdoor seating and dining “globes” to provide covered, lit space for patrons. She explained that with COVID-19 putting a damper on Uptown’s usual holiday festivities, staff wanted to find “thoughtful and safe ways” to bring cheer to shoppers and “create a winter feel in our city that doesn’t really get winter.”

Some holiday favourites will still return in 2020 including the 52-foot Christmas tree and photos with Santa at his cottage. Photo appointments can be made online until Dec. 23 and attendees are expected to follow COVID-19 protocols including participating in temperature checks, wearing masks before and after the photo and social distancing.

READ ALSO: Saanich looks to help restaurants increase capacity with outdoor seating

St. Nick will be separated from guests as he’ll be seated behind a wall of Plexiglass and his face will be visible in the photos because he’ll wear a clear mask.

To book skating time or a photo with Santa, visit shopuptown.ca.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

ChristmasSaanich

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Friends have identified the man killed in Friday’s shooting in Metchosin as Shane Wilson. (Shane Wilson/Facebook)
West Shore RCMP continue to investigate shooting death in Metchosin

Man killed on Sooke Road Friday night identified by friends

Ravi Jain, Why Not Theatre’s founding artistic director, will present a Zoom lecture as part of the University of Victoria’s Orion fine art series on March 8. (Photo: University of Victoria).
Award-winning directors highlight coming University of Victoria lecture series

The March 8 and 18 Zoom events are part of the Orion fine arts lecture series

Oaklands Elementary’s Division 5 Grade 4/5 class posed with Leila Bui (middle), her dad Tuan Bui (crouching to her left) and mom Kairry Nguyen (right) after presenting the family with a cheque for $710 raised by the students during a necklace sale in December 2020. (Photos courtesy Kairry Nguyen)
Victoria students raise funds for girl seriously injured when struck by vehicle in crosswalk

Oaklands Elementary class contributes to purchase of all-terrain wheelchair for Leila Bui

Saanich council recently adopted a 131-step climate action plan expected to cost $2.5-million in the first year of implementation. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tensions high as Saanich considers reigniting local area plan review

Majority vote pushes discussion to fall strategic plan check-in

Fire Chief Darren Hughes, right, pulls the old Firemans Park sign off ahead of the parks name change. The new sign for Firefighters Park is coming. (Oak Bay Fire Department Twitter)
Oak Bay changes the name of Fireman’s Park

New sign for Firefighter’s Park on the way

Const. Nancy Saggar, who has 11 years in policing, offers advice for other women who may pursue both policing and family. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pregnancy prompts sage advice from RCMP officer for women thinking about policing

West Shore constable with 11 years experience heads off on maternity leave

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.
21-year-old motorbike rider dies after crash with ATV on Nanaimo back road

Incident happened Sunday afternoon near Boomerang Lake

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Most Read