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Regent Rink Skate Events correspondence 2018

Oct.31, 2017, from Elle Alconcel, Curator at Daniels Spectrum

Hello City Rinks,

I was hoping that you could help me out with sharing some contacts of local businesses that provide skate rentals.

There is a newly renovated skating rink in Regent Park, and we would like to program the use of it. A huge barrier to some residents in the neighborhood is not having access to skates.

Could you share a few contacts of companies that manage skate rentals? Is there a directory that you can forward to me?

Thank you for your help with this.

elle DANIELS SPECTRUM – A cultural hub in Regent Park

phone: 416.238.2453 x 101

mobile 647-909-8842

585 Dundas Street East, Suite 260 Toronto, ON, M5A 2B7

Artscape is a not-for-profit urban development organization that makes space for creativity and transforms communities. |

Nov.1, 2017

Follow-up phone call.

Nov.16, 2017 from [email protected]>

Hi Elle and Courtney,

FYI, there may be some media coverage of our skate lending issue in the next few days or early next week. CBC is coming tomorrow or Sat to film at the rink, possibly there will also a print piece in the Star.

Do you have a sense whether you're going ahead? If so, it would make a good news bit for the media, who would want to come to you when you get started. Can you give me an update?

Response from Courtney Sweet <[email protected]>

Hello Jutta,

Thank you for your note. Elle and I have been in the process of having some internal conversations and are encountering some road blocks currently. So it would be best to hold off on mentioning anything. I will continue some conversations but expect we will have some trouble getting this off the ground this year.

With that in mind, we are going to try and push forward but if other interested parties come along for the skates please do not hold them on our behalf.

Thanks for checking in, we’ll be in touch.

Response from Jutta to Courtney and Elle:

roadblocks everywhere, even for the most simple thing -- skate lending. Too bad.

The fact is, in 10 years, most of the rinks will have skate lending, I bet -- partly for inclusion and partly to make a little money for the rinks, even at the low cost of $2 skate rentals. But it's sad that this, like many other uncomplicated ideas, gets stuck in the wheels of bureaucracy.

Anyway, thanks for letting me know, and for trying to make it work. Knowing it will shape the thing differently when I talk to the CBC guy tomorrow.

Nov.17, 2018 email from Courtney Sweet <[email protected]>

Thanks Jutta. I hope the interview goes well. We've actually had some good responses from our local rink etc which we are fortunate for but I think we needed to start these convos earlier to configure staffing, storage, community partners etc. I do think it will be a part of RPs near future maybe just not this winter.

Response from Jutta: nice to hear that the blocks are not at the rink end. As you could see, I was a bit pessimistic last night, more cheerful this morning.

Here's a question: would you like to put your toe in the water by using our skates for one or two rink events this season, and see what you think? The rec supervisor for Ward 18 says he's thinking of using the loaner skates for occasional events, so that means they can continue to be stored in the shed here in between times.

If you come up with the d.j. and a few youth to help, we could run the lending. You'd just have to find a van to transport the skates.

No response

Dec.1, 2017, from Jutta Mason to Courtney

the media stories about the skate loan offer have produced a surprise donation offer from a rink enthusiast businessman, to help this skate lending program at Regent Rink work. The donation is for our CELOS group and we can then pass it along to the city if they accept the idea. It involves direct support from our group.

What I want to know -- if this goes ahead, are you and Elle still interested in putting on some sort of event at the rink?

It might be good if we had a little phone chat -- want to send me your number and a good time to reach you?

Dec.4, 2017, from Courtney Sweet

It is nice to hear from you. I am very happy that the recent press has solicited a surprise donation. I have copied elle on the email here as she would be taking the lead or finding the lead who will manage this initiative, Daniels would be playing a supporting role. With that in mind, I will defer to elle to determine whether this very generous and exciting offer is worth pursuing at this time.

My December is quite busy so I know I probably would not be able to support in getting anything off the ground until the new year.

Thank you for continuing to think of us,

Response from Jutta

I think I was not clear in my email, sorry. We're taking the lead. All we really need from you, is for you folks to say you think skate-lending is good for the people you work with. I was just being curious about any events you might be thinking of, but there's no request for a commitment. Elle can we have a quick phone chat today?

I think the donor is taking me along to have lunch with your guy Mitch Cohen next week (not about skate-lending). I'm curious to meet him, since so many people have told me about conversations they had with him.

Response from Courtney: Great to hear that you are meeting with Mitchell. I am sure it will be a great exchange.

I look forward to hearing from elle about how your chat goes.

Dec.6, 2017

Lunch at The Paintbox: Mitch Cohen, Courtney Sweet, David Rothberg, Jutta

Dec.11, 2017, from Jutta to to Michael Gauthier (Morningside Rink), Courtney, Elle

so I think that the skates will be available to you for your two ESS skating events at Morningside Park, and Elle and Courtney will be using them for three events at Regent Rink.

Michael, if a miracle happens and the city says they'll allow their staff to do the everyday skate lending at Regent Rink, we can make an arrangement for this year that the skates will go to you just for your two events.

Courtney and Elle, the link to pictures of the the rink that Michael's international students at Centennial College in Scarborough build every year from scratch is here.

I haven't heard back from the city but I'll be talking to the Ward 18 rec supervisor Tuesday morning at 10 and that will get us a little closer to the logistic of moving the skates around.

Dec.12, 2017

Meeting between Matt Cutler, Courtney Sweet, Zahrah Munas, and Jutta.Jutta offered the entire skate collection to Friends of Regent Park

Follow-up Email from Courtney Sweet
to Zahrah Munas <[email protected]>; Sean Brathwaite <[email protected]>; Emily Martyn <[email protected]>; Fatima Barron <[email protected]>; Erin Fukumoto <[email protected]>; Elle Alconcel <[email protected]>
Subject: Skate Events in RP

Hello everyone,

Zahrah and I just left an interesting meeting where Regent Park has been offered 120 skates to be used locally, ideally managed through Friends of Regent Park. We think having these skates locally would be a great opportunity to host some skate-related events in Regent Park. Our team at Daniels is totally eager to see something like this take off with community partners

We would like to determine whether we are interested in this offer before the holidays and am proposing to meet next Tuesday. I am available in the afternoon and wanted to see if you all could meet to discuss this and events we might want to use the skates for.

Dec.13, 2017, from Jutta Mason <[email protected]>

I just had a call from Keith Storey, the recreation supervisor for Ward 18. He wanted to know when you plan to have your events, and I told him not before January. He said he's fine to keep the collection in storage at Dufferin Rink and his office until then. When you're ready he will send the van to deliver them to you. Before then he will ask a Dufferin Rink staff person to sharpen any skates that need it -- even if that means sharpening all of them. So you'd get the collection all ready to go. Good, eh?

So Matt, would you be willing to ask Todd Davidson if the antique skate sharpening machine in the Regent Rink storage room can be removed to a scrap metal dealer? And see if Todd would then allow the FORP equipment to be stored there?

Courtney I think you said Elle would also want the helmets but not the sticks for the DJ events. Maybe if the existing youth hockey groups -- Moss Park, Hockey in the Neighborhood and Dixon Hall -- can get some of the sticks to use, and even share the use of some of the helmets, they wouldn't be unhappy about having to share the storage space. Less for them to lug from elsewhere.

Let me know if this works for you.


Dec.13, 2018, from Jutta Mason to Kelly Sather of Councillor Lucy Troisi's office

- so it seems like Parks and Rec are saying they will not set up a city-run skate-lending program at Regent Rink because lending skates is not part of their "core business" as approved by Council.

Matt Cutler from the general manager's office said they would be supportive of an outside group doing such a program. So we have given the whole collection to Friends of Regent Park. But without city funding it sounds like skate lending can only happen for a few one-off events. What people want is skate lending during the open hours of the rink, not just for a few days each season.

As is evident to most rink users, under-occupied staff who could lend skates at Regent Rink,. and at many other rinks, are in good supply. What we need now is to track down when the current "core business model" was presented to Council, the link(s) to the relevant report(s) to Council, and the wording of the Council decision. It may even be that it happened when Councillor Troisi was still a manager there. Or maybe it goes back to when your colleague Herb Pirk was Commissioner.

Would you be able to track down that key information for me? Conversations about this Regent Rink issue are continuing early next week, and I'd like to know the background.

[No response]


Dec.17, 2018, email from Jutta to Dale Howey

Elle Alconcel is the lead on doing the events -- it was she who first contacted me wanting to know how to borrow skates, and she told me two weeks ago that as long as the skates are in place, she wants to do three events, which she says would be easy for her. (?) Elle works out of Daniels Spectrum and is called the "Artscape program coordindator."

So I want to track her down on Monday and see approximately which dates she had in mind. And then somebody needs to figure out who is the best city staff rink contact. Plus somebody needs to figure out who from FORP will be the spokesperson re the skating.

On the first skating event day or evening, you and I and Mayssan would set out skates into the cubbies, set up two folding tables and some chairs, and put out the record book, lace tighteners, and so on.

Both Elle and Courtney said they want to provide some youth volunteers who will probably get honoraria from the David Rothberg fund (in our CELOS bank account since yesterday). They could help with fitting, lacing, and connecting the skaters to the MLSE teachers (see below), whoever needs it.

Taking i.d. and checking it off when the person comes back can be a youth job but has to be closely monitored by you. Beyond that, I imagine you as the choreographer of the scene, which is also what you've been doing for years at the Inn, yes?

So it would involve one or two specific planning meetings at the rink beforehand, the main one including a talk with whoever the city's rink coordinator is.

Dec.18, 2017, from Courtney

Courtney Sweet

to Fatima, Zahrah, Emily, Elle, Dale, me

I have also invited Jutta Mason and Dale Howey to join given the recent developments (see attached email). It seems like we are well equipped to move this in the right direction, pending all parties are on board!

Additional email from Jutta:

to Elle, Courtney, Emily, Fatima, Zahrah, Dale, Mayssan, Matthew, councillor_tro., Keith, Michael, DBR, Christine, Mary

I'm putting a few more people on this thread for now. More things are starting to fall in place for the Regent Rink events (the ones that Elle Alconcel of Artscape said she'd be keen to set up). I think that any more media attention to the skate lending issue should wait until the events get underway.

1. Dec. 11: David Rothberg and I had lunch with Mitch Cohen and Courtney Sweet, and there was enthusiasm for the Regent Rink events.

2. Dec.12: Matt Cutler met with Zahrah Munas, Courtney and me at Regent Rink. Matt said that although the city is not prepared to add another staff-run skate-loan venue to its outdoor rinks at this time, his division is enthusiastic about partnerships. Courtney said that the partners who could help the rink events happen are Daniels Corp., Artscape, MLSE, and Friends of Regent Park (FORP). Given this amount of enthusiasm, I said CELOS would donate the entire skate collection to Friends of Regent Park.

Matt was able to let us tour the reconfigured Regent Park storage room and we agreed that there is enough room to store the skate collection bins before and between the events.

3. Dec.13: The Ward 18 rec supervisor, Keith Storey, said he'd be willing to assign Michael Monastyrskyj (the main skate sharpening staffer at the three rinks that have skate loan programs) to sharpen the skates, and then use the city van to transport them to Regent Rink, in the week after school resumes.

4. Dec.14: David Rothberg's skate lending support funds are now in our account and ready to be put to work. Also I got an email from Kelly Sather, assistant to Councillor Troisi, saying: Our office will support the Friends of Regent Park in any way we can.

5. Dec.16: Dale Howey, Friend of Regent Park and baking mentor to many, has agreed to coordinate the skate lending -- to be the choreographer and the guy where the buck stops. Two people from CELOS will work with him and he's got a big talent in working with volunteers as well.

6. Dec.17: I phoned around to the CELOS board members, and they agreed with donating the skates to FORP even though the city is not ready to set up an every-day skate lending program there.

6. Dec.18: Michael, the skate sharpening staffer, opened the skate storage compartment and we checked three sample bins of skates. Michael now knows better what he's dealing with, and can inform his superiors.

Dec.19, 2017, email from Dale Howey

It was a good meeting today with Elle from Artscape and Courtney as well as Zahrah, Fatima and me. We are all in agreement that this is worth pursuing and that the short term goal is to demonstrate interest in a skate lending program as opposed to creating the skate lending program itself. Hopefully the city will recognize the benefits and take over ownership. Courtney is going to try and book a meeting with Matt as soon as possible in the new year to discuss the logistics of the events including any required permits should they be required. This may be necessary for sound restrictions if a DJ is hired. Elle is going to look into local DJ’s to fill that role as well as marketing for the events. Courtney said that Daniels Corp. is also willing to provide some funding.

The question of storage was also raised. We didn’t discuss putting some sort of restraining device over the cubicles but a nearby storage space was mentioned and the possibility of using the room behind the cubicles for storage. We also briefly discussed providing refreshments which will hopefully be provide free of charge.

Response from Jutta

to Elle, Courtney, Emily, DBR, Mayssan, Dale, Sean, Zahrah, Fatima

I think that a discussion with the rink supervisor would be a really good step. Courtney, maybe Matt can set that up? Because he's all over the place as the GM's troubleshooter, but Todd Davidson or his holiday substitute could meet with you and get into the specifics.

I think a nearby storage space (i.e. not right at the rink) is a bad idea, it makes so much more work, especially if Elle sets up more than one event. The skates need to be stored right at the rink, and there are several space options there. This is really worth having a site meeting with the rink supervisor, and that's one where it might help to have me there.

Matt expressed enthusiasm for partnerships, so now is Parks and Rec's chance to show they mean it. The Ward 18 (Dufferin) Rec supervisor has already shown his good faith by promising skate sharpening done by his staff and transport to Regent Rink. Hopefully Rec staff in Ward 28 can match that by helping to make storage work.

Also, a FORP rep could write to Councillor Troisi and ask her for help making the right connections, yes? This is their chance to do something nice.

Please let me know if there are undue delays re rec staff getting back to you. I have experience with those, maybe you do too.

Dec.20,2017, email from Jutta to Michael Gauthier

I didn't hear back from you after I sent the email below. Did you and Courtney connect?

It sounds like the Regent Park partners are getting ready to figure out dates and the rest of their logistics with the city. Updates are here. Do you know yet when you will want the skates for your events? Let them know as soon as you can.

The Ward 18 supervisor has said he will have his staff sharpen all the skates before they're delivered to Friends of Regent Park, so they'll be in good shape to begin. The Friends will now own the collection. Courtney agreed that they would coordinate with you so that you can use them for your events.

I've cc'd Dale Howey here, who will be coordinating the day-of skate lending at Regent Rink for the three upcoming events there.

Same-day response from Michael Gauthier:

The Boards are assembled and in place at the rink site…

We are inspecting the Liner and doing any required maintenance this Friday Dec 22nd…

The plan is to place the liner next week and do the first of the flooding’s…

As to when we will have out Family/Community Skate days, we have not discussed as yet…

Give me some time over Christmas and I should be able to come up with 2 dates…

As in the past, the optimum will be 2 adjoining weekends…likely in February…

Jan.16, 2018, from Jutta to rinks supervisor Todd Davidson-

Subject: URGENT: permission to see the Regent Rink storage room today

Cc: "Peter (Park) White" <[email protected]>

Dear Todd, as you know, our group has given a skate lending collection to Friends of Regent Park. I heard this morning that staff have decided there's not enough space to store the collection on-site during the rink season.

I would like to come to the rink and satisfy myself that there really is not enough space. Would you give permission to your rink staff to let me look inside the storage room for a few minutes today, before 3 p.m.?

The reason for the hurry is that consideration of skate lending is being introduced tomorrow at CDRC, and I would like to submit a letter, without giving wrong information.


From: Todd Davidson, Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 11:26 AM

Subject: RE: URGENT: permission to see the Regent Rink storage room today

Hi Jutta,

Our understanding is that CELOS has donated the skates to the Friends of Regent Park (FORP).

We are now working directly with FORP to ensure adequate storage and maintenance of the skates, as well as supporting programming and space use to ensure this made-in-Regent solution is a success. Details are still being worked out.

I'm sure that, once we've figured out the details, FORP and we will be happy to share the solutions we've come up with.

Jan.16, 2018, email to Todd Davidson from Jutta Thank you. May I come over and look at the storage room now?

No response so Jutta called Kelly Sather at Councillor Troisi's office to see if they could help get permission. Kelly called back to leave a voice mail saying they can do nothing.

Jan 16 2018, email from Jutta to Kelly, Todd, Councillor Troisi, Peter White

Hello Kelly and Todd,

Kelly, I got your phone message saying that Todd Davidson won't let me see the Regent Rink storage room. You give no reason but I have to assume that my recollection from seeing it with Matt Cutler is right -- the storage room is not too small to store the skate collection during the remainder of the rink season, but it's messy and poorly organized.

Kelly, your message also says that I should connect with Todd if I have future questions. So here goes:

Todd, if there is a different reason why you can't let me see the storage room, please let me know what it is.

Jan.17. 2018 from Todd Davidson

to Jutta, Kelly, Councillor, Peter

Per my message yesterday , I understand that CELOS has donated the skates to the Friends of Regent Park. We are working with them on logistics for their initiative , including appropriate logistics such as storage.

I am quite confident we will find a storage solution that works for the City and the Friends.

Jan 17, 2018, from Jutta

to Todd, Kelly, Councillor, Peter

CELOS is donating funds to run the events that are coming up, plus we're mentoring Friends on how skate lending works. Storage off-site makes it much harder to do skate lending. I heard that you are not open to having the skates at the rink. I am happy to meet with you and have you show me WHY you feel there's no space. The spaces that have worked at Dufferin, Campbell and Wallace are smaller.

Can I come and take a look with you?

[no response]

Jan.17, 2018, from Jutta Mason

to Emily, Elle, Courtney, Dale, Zahrah, Fatima, Sean, Mayssan, DBR

There's a lot happening in the background this week. Some is posted on the website under "Latest News." I'd like to do a little update on the rink events you're planning -- Elle, can you send me the projected dates?

I spent an enjoyable hour at Regent Rink tonight at Jim Stoner's Wednesday evening Moss Park kids/youth hockey program (which he says he has been running for about 20 years). So lively! Their Winter Classic is on Feb.3.

Jim introduced me to the guy using the skate sharpener in the oh-so-messy storage room. The sharpener works fine -- so maybe there's no need to get one through MLSE.

It sounds to me like FORP doesn't want the shinny stuff we have, i.e. the hockey sticks, tape, pucks. Is that right? Please let me know. If not, we can give those to Jim Stoner's program instead.

Jan.18, 2018, from Courtney Sweet

to me, Emily, Elle, Dale, Zahrah, Fatima, Sean, Mayssan, DBR

Hi Jutta,

Thank you once again for this generous donation. There are a lot of local players rallying around this idea. I think we will be putting on some really special events. We are still trying to firm up the other dates beyond family day so we are waiting to say more until things are firm this should happen very shortly. Once we are ready to begin promoting we will be in touch so you can share on the city rinks site.

I will let FORP respond re: addition shinny items.


Additional correspondence

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Content last modified on January 20, 2018, at 05:22 PM EST