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Kurt Browning

Hot Entertainment: Kurt Browning Directs the Stars on Ice Canada Tour

Canadian skater Kurt Browning is the choreographer of this year's Stars on Ice Canada tour

He’s been skating with Stars on Ice Canada (May 18 at Rogers Arena) since it began 21 years ago, and now Kurt Browning (pictured) is finally in the driver’s seat. This year marks his first as show director, leading an all-star line-up that includes recently minted World Champion ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Browning, himself a four-time World Champion and the first skater ever to land a quadruple jump in competition, says he’s excited to end the tour in Vancouver, where he once hiked Grouse Mountain. “If I didn’t think my 45-year-old legs would hate me during the show, I would do it again!” —Kristina Urquhart

Hot Entertainment: Dynamic Duo

Olympic champions Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue are part of Stars on Ice, coming to Vancouver May 14.

It’s been a golden year for Canadian ice-dance darlings Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. First, they nabbed gold at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, then topped the podium a month later at the 2010 World Figure Skating Championships in Turin, Italy. It was the ultimate payoff for the London, Ontario pair, who have been skating together since 1997, when Moir was 10 years old and Virtue eight.

After all that heady competition, it’s time for the duo to finish their competitive season with something a little less stressful. They’ll still be skating of course—as part of the fun-filled Sears Stars on Ice tour, which glides into Vancouver May 14 at GM Place. The best part? No scores and no judges. “It’s exciting, and without the pressure, we can skate for the fans,” Virtue says.

The 20th-anniversary show stars the cream of the Canadian skating crop. Among the headliners are Olympic champions Jamie Salé and David Pelletier, veteran Kurt Browning and our country’s newest sweetheart, Joannie Rochette. “The cast is great. Coming off an Olympic season in Canada, [the tour] will be special,” Virtue says.

And ticketholders are in for a treat: the pair plans to reprise their elegant free dance to Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, which won them Olympic gold here in Vancouver. The duo’s rigourous Olympic schedule didn’t provide them much downtime in our fair city, but Virtue says, “Vancouver is one of our favourite cities, not just because we won the Olympics there, but because of the mountains, the city and the water.” Here’s hoping Canada’s golden couple will have more time to relax this time around. They deserve it!—Kristina Urquhart

Hot Date: Icy Spectacle

Kurt Browning shows off at Sears Stars on Ice (photo by Stephan Potopnyk)

APRIL 30 An evening of glittering costumes and gleaming blades is assured as Canadian figure skating luminaries including Kurt Browning, Joannie Rochette and Jeffrey Buttle hit the rink for Sears Stars on Ice. The famed skating showcase is marking its 20th year of bringing fancy footwork and top-quality choreography to more than 200 venues across the country, so expect a bit of extra lift in performers’ lutz leaps and more speed to their spins. Ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir will also appear, fresh from their gold-medal performance at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Air Canada Centre, 7:30 p.m., $27 to $152; call 416-870-8000 or visit here for more details and to purchase tickets.