(June 22, 2005)
It was an exciting weekend in Friendly Manitoba at the 2005 Skate Canada Annual Convention and General Meeting, held June 9-11 in Winnipeg.
The weekend kicked off with a spectacular presentation of Skate Canada’s skating programs at the convention opening and reception on June 9. The evening was hosted by Skate Canada CEO Pam Coburn and Skate Canada Vice Chair Benoît Lavoie, and featured several speakers from the National Team. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir spoke on the CanSkate program, Lesley Hawker on the STARSkate program, and national team captain Aaron Lowe spoke on the importance of volunteers and clubs to the athletes.
Earlier in the day, world-renowned coaches Doug and Michelle Leigh led participants in an on-ice workshop, Technically Speaking On Ice, where they discussed their methods for developing exceptional technique for singles elements.
June 10 was a jam-packed day, with a variety of informative and interesting workshops in the morning, with topics falling in three categories – club programs, the CanSkate membership drive and coaching.
ACGM attendees were treated to a special appearance from four-time World Champion Kurt Browning at lunch on June 10. Browning gave a candid speech about some of his experiences as a skater and shared a few stories from his time as an amateur competitor. The audience appreciated Browning’s inspirational address and gave him a standing ovation.
The evening of June 10 featured the 2005 Skate Canada Achievement Awards Gala, during which Skate Canada volunteers, coaches, officials and athletes were honoured for their contributions and achievements throughout the 2004-2005 season. Members of the 2005-2006 Skate Canada national team assisted Skate Canada Chairman of the Board Marilyn Chidlow with the presentation of the awards, and the evening was hosted by 2005 Canadian Women’s Champion Joannie Rochette and 2005 Canadian Men’s Champion Jeff Buttle.
Making a special guest appearance at the awards gala were National Ballet of Canada principal dancers Sonia Rodriguez and Aleksandar Antonijevic, who wowed the audience with their performances of the famous black swan pas de deux from Swan Lake and a selection from Madame Butterfly.
Following the awards gala, audience members and guests attended the post-gala reception at the Millennium Centre, which was sponsored by B.F. Lorenzetti & Assoc. Inc. and featured a spectacular candy buffet courtesy of Hershey Canada.
The Skate Canada annual general meeting was held on June 11, at which the business of the association was discussed and carried out. A major development at the meeting was the decision to implement the Cumulative Points Calculation judging system at all levels for the 2005-2006 season.
The weekend concluded with a very exciting Manitoba social, which was hosted by Skate Canada – Manitoba.
Skate Canada extends its thanks to all those involved in the organization of the 2005 Skate Canada ACGM. We also look forward to next year, when we will travel to Markham, Ont. for the 2006 Skate Canada ACGM.