Stars on ice Vancouver: Patrick Chan looks to the future after final tour

The skating sensation has announced that this will be her last tour with Stars on Ice

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stars on ice

When: may 14
Where: Rogers Arena, 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
Tickets: From $32 (plus fees) at starsonice.ca and ticketmaster.ca

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Patrick Chan, one of Canada’s most decorated figure skaters, has announced that this will be his last tour with Stars On Ice. Chan will perform alongside 18-year-old Vancouver native Wesley Chiu, who won his first Canadian national title in January, along with champions Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps, Ilia Malinn, Elvis Stojko and Keegan Messing. We spoke to Chan, a three-time Olympic medalist, about his journey, the theme of the show and the day after the final performance.

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Q: How do you prepare for Stars On Ice? Does it take you a while to decide what music you want to skate to or what it takes to prepare?

TO: It is a two to four month process. We start with the theme or concept, an idea, and then we try to find music that fits that theme. Or vice versa. It’s a pretty big company. But once you’re on the ice and you’ve got some ideas flowing and put down on paper, it becomes pretty fun.

Q: Do you try not to repeat yourself?

TO: Yes. It is difficult to have new ideas and not start recycling. You tend to go with the style you feel comfortable with or a certain type of music you like to skate to. You try not to have two routines in the program that are too similar in terms of rhythm and timing or tempo. We usually try to choose a piece that is quite upbeat and energetic and then maybe follow up with something a little more lyrical and artistic.

Q: There’s a theme to the show itself, right?

TO: Definitely. If you know (choreographer/director) Kurt Browning, you know that he likes to think outside the box. The theme is the science of skating, and we play as scientists from the Skating Observation Institute, which coincides with the same acronym as Stars On Ice. We’re measuring all these interesting aspects of skating, like how fast we go, how high we jump, how far Keegan Messing does a backflip. He’s brought out a little more of the acting and acting aspects of the show, which some of us, myself included, aren’t experts on. I feel like Kurt is much better at it, but we’re all trying to channel our inner Kurt Browning throughout the show.

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Q: There is a wide age range of artists on this tour. Even though you’re only 33 years old, have you ever felt like one of the old guard?

TO: Absolutely. I remember an early tour with Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir, Kaetlyn Osmond, Andrew Poje and Eric Radford. That was a very different time and we all went our separate ways and I’m the one left. I feel like I have to be some kind of mentor or just pass the baton to the younger generation, to try to instill the same lessons that I learned from Scott Moir and my other teammates. Sometimes he feels alone. And that, of course, influenced my decision to retire. But that’s life, and life evolves and changes and we all get older and we have to move on.

Q: This will be your last tour with Stars On Ice, with the last show in Victoria on May 16. What will May 17 be like?

TO: A shock. There is always a shock. Being on the road has its advantages but also its challenges. Getting back into the normal routine of being a parent and going to work the next day will be quite a rude awakening. But after a week you return to your daily routine. But I’ll miss the friends I made, I’ll miss the cast members even though I only knew them or toured with them for a couple of years. You can’t help but bond by being on the road and traveling together. I’m not really looking forward to that last day because I know it will be the most difficult. As the days go by after that, I think it will be a little easier to adjust to my real life and my future.

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