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Photo by Daniel Kahn.
Last night, amidst the falling snow, the torrid wind, and the downtown lights, a sizable contingent of ironically-dressed hipsters, amateur figure skaters, tiny tots, and bewildered parents skated to the sounds of Stars, Major Marker, and Kevin Drew. All the while, Craig Norris froze his ass off while hosting the R3-30, CBC Radio 3’s weekly indie rock countdown, at the Natrel Skating Rink at Harbourfront. Besides the music, there was free hot chocolate, some cool prizes, witty banter, and even a couple of dudes trying to hit on girls by “accidentally” falling into them.
As we quickly learned, there’s no better match for the best in Canadian indie rock than a night of whimsical skating. As folks glided around the ice, a few people even tried to dance on skates—something that led to a lot of bruised bottoms and egos.
According to Norris, this was one of the R3-30’s first attempts at reaching a broader audience. A Radio 3 broadcast at something like North by Northeast isn’t going to expose many people to new music, but hitting up not-quite-as-indie places like a city skating rink helps bring great Canadian music to new ears. Sometime in the next few months, the countdown is going to broadcast from a maple sugar shack. Who knows what’s next—maybe setting up some speakers at the corner of Bay and King?
Norris wouldn’t mind bringing the R3-30 back to the rink every year, and we certainly wouldn’t object—there’s nothing quite as amazing as hipsters on ice.
More photos after the cut.

All photos by Daniel Kahn.