February 06, 2016: The excitement was contagious as Abdirahman put his skates and helmet on. Grabbing the red skate trainer tightly, Abdirrahman could hardly wait to get on the skating rink. Once on the ice he was a little nervous at first, but soon broke into a beautiful smile as he discovered the joys of skating for the very first time!
Abdirahman was one of the 45 newcomers, who participated in a skating event for newcomers during Hamilton’s 2016 Winterfest Kickoff. He was there with his parents and siblings to celebrate Hamilton and the beauty of the Canadian winter season. For many of the newcomer families, this was the first time they were skating and both children and parents were excited to try out a Canadian winter activity.
The newcomer families also enjoyed the 2016 Winterfest Opening Ceremony, which featured the Synchronized Skating Team and Chinese Lion Dancing, and other exciting outdoor and indoor performances, music, craft, food, and fun at the Hamilton Waterfront. Families new to Hamilton discovered that the city certainly does not hibernate during wintertime! The event helped newcomers brave the weather and come out to connect with the community and enjoy winter the Canadian way.
The event was organized by the Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council (HIPC), the Events, Tourism and Culture Division of the City of Hamilton, and the Hamilton Waterfront Trust. Bus transportation and skate rentals were offered free of charge to participants.