Thursday, November 29, 2018

Oly on Ice Meets Nutcracker Cast

Above: Cindy Hall, in costume as a large rat from Ballet Northwest’s The Nutcracker, coaxes a girl out onto the ice at Olympia’s new seasonal ice rink Thursday evening. 

Early Rink Revenues Surpassing Expectations 

By Janine Gates
Little Hollywood

To the delight of children and other skaters, characters from Ballet Northwest’s The Nutcracker skated in costume to music traditionally associated with the production Thursday evening at Olympia’s new seasonal ice rink, Oly on Ice.

The skaters were the dancers who will perform in The Nutcracker from December 7 – 16 at the Washington Center in downtown Olympia.

Cindy Hall, a Shelton art teacher, plays one of eight large rats who fight the Nutcracker. In costume, she coaxed young skaters onto the ice and chased after others. 

An experienced skater and dancer, Hall danced with the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Her mother was in the Ice Follies and her daughter is also a dancer.

Other dancers in costume included Giovanny Garibay, 15, of Centralia, who plays the lead role of the Nutcracker. The role of Clara is played by Nina Ivanenko, 14, of Lacey. She has been a ballet dancer for eleven years. June Marie Brittain, 17, of Lacey, has danced for fifteen years and plays the Arabian lead.

At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, Mayor Cheryl Selby said the revenues from Oly on Ice has so far surpassed expectations.

Little Hollywood asked Scott River, associate director for the City of Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation Department, a few questions about the rink’s dedicated budget source, cost, and revenues.

“The projected cost of the rink is $365,000, with an estimated revenue of $151,125 through sponsorships and gate sales. The revenue from the gate helps to offset the expense of installing and operating the rink.

“For the first year, the rink will be subsidized by as much as 60 percent, and there is a goal of reducing that subsidy by 15 percent each year over the next three years. We’ll re-evaluate at that point,” said River.

The 60 percent subsidy for 2018 is covered by a combination of department user fees, general funds and Olympia Metropolitan Park District funds. The revenues generated from the rink are not available for other city priorities.

Asked about the cost of utilities, River said that the only utility of any significance is power. 

“The national average (for a rink this size) is $20,000 for a season but we believe that is significantly higher than what our bills will be. Of course, we won’t actually know until the season is over, but we conservatively budgeted towards the national average. Utilities are part of the department budget for this project.”

Oly on Ice opened November 16 and continues until January 6 with cheap skate nights, group rates, and special events.

For past stories about Oly on Ice, go to Little Hollywood at and use the search button to type in key words or go to the city’s ice rink webpage at

Above: Cast members of Ballet Northwest’s The Nutcracker gathered at Olympia’s new seasonal ice rink Thursday afternoon in downtown Olympia.