New West local brings the magic to Disney on Ice
Don't miss Cole Stanbra as Jack from Mary Poppins Returns
You could say it's an incredibly magical opportunity for Cole Stanbra, who is a resident of New West's downtown neighbourhood.
You'll be able to see Stanbra in Disney on Ice presents: Road Trip Adventures. The show will be playing at the Pacific Coliseum.
It's a change for Stanbra, who was born and raised in Castlegar. And not only is it his first year with Disney—he's also snagged a principal role as Jack from Mary Poppins Returns, the sequel to Mary Poppins.
But Stanbra is no stranger to performing.
"I did 13 years prior to this with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, so I toured all around the world with the ships, and just this last year I decided I really wanted to make a big change," he tells New West Anchor.
As for how he ended up involved in figure skating, Stanbra's parents initially enrolled him in hockey when he was young, and he found himself not enjoying the sport. A few years after quitting hockey, he decided to give figure skating a go.
"My mom would watch it on TV all the time, and I remember watching skaters like Kurt Browning, Josee Chouinard, Canadian skating heroes. That was the catalyst for me to return to the ice, but in a different way and a different form," says Stanbra.
Nonetheless, Stanbra says the combination of the background in hockey has helped him balance both power and artistry in his skating.
"I've also enjoyed the theatrical part of shows ... and the reason why I enjoy my role in Mary Poppins Returns is because it's so theatrical," explains Stanbra, who says the show has a very Broadway vibe. "It's made me completely obsessed doing this role day in and day out."
As for being able to skate in a principal role for Disney?
"On cruise ships we're all principal skaters, and it's only a cast of 10. Disney, it's sometimes a cast of up to 50 skaters so there's a lot more people. Obviously, I worked hard to keep my skating ability to where it is—doing doubles and triple axels, my spins—to be able to have such a role like this," explains Stanbra, who notes that he's incredibly grateful that his casting director decided to take a chance on him.
Stanbra says he's excited to bring magic to the ice: along with scenes from Mary Popppins Returns, the audience will enjoy appearances from Moana as she takes the audience to sun-soaked Motunui, Simba on a safari through the pride lands, and Woody and Forky from the Toy Story franchise as they navigate their way through a larger-than-life carnival. Stanbra's especially excited for all the incredible stunts and feats in the Mary Poppins Returns performance.
"You're going to see a lot of dancing, a lot of skating, lamp post dancing with the whole ensemble and background skaters. There are also BMXers going off of ramps ... it's just extraordinary. And it's very interactive with the audience, so I'll be singing and clapping trying to get everybody on their feet to have a good time."
There's still time to get tickets: the first show is happening Wednesday, Nov. 23.