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

Island Health has confirmed the first long term care facility outbreak in Greater Victoria at Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich. (Google Maps)
Island Health records first long-term care COVID outbreak in Greater Victoria

Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich confirms one positive staff member

Itty, a Siamese cat, has been missing since a house fire in Victoria’s Fernwood neighbourhood on Friday, Nov. 27. Her owner says she has white fur with blonde and grey markings. (Facebook/ROAM)
Cat goes missing after house fire in Fernwood neighbourhood

‘Itty’ has white fur, blonde and grey markings and blue eyes

An aerial view over Oak Bay. (Black Press Media File Photo)
An aerial view over Oak Bay and the Marina. Oak Bay residents pay the highest taxes on Vancouver Island. Don Denton/Black Press
Oak Bay secondary suites study considers units old and new

Secondary suites draft report due in new year

Westcoast Impressions plans to organize a COVID-19 friendly version of the event in 2021 at the Mary Winspear Centre after having cancelled the 2020 version against the backdrop of pandemic. The opening night of the 2019 Sidney Street Market featured more than 150 vendors lined along Beacon Avenue. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sidney Street Market plans for 2021 return at Mary Winspear Centre

Tentative plan calls for the event’s return to Beacon Avenue after COVID-19 pandemic

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

Most Read