(July 20, 2006)
Skate Canada had the opportunity to celebrate its successful 2005-2006 season at the 2006 Skate Canada Annual Convention and General Meeting. The theme of this year’s ACGM was United in the Pursuit of Excellence: Evolution.
This year, the ACGM was held at the Hilton Suites Toronto/Markham Conference Centre & Spa in Markham, Ont. from May 25 to 27.
Earlier in the week, coaches were given the opportunity to participate in a special coaching seminar with U.S. coach Audrey Weisiger. The seminar, hosted by the Central Ontario Section, focused on teaching coaches how to develop their skaters from the first steps onto the ice into a championship caliber competitor. The evening provided an overview of the Grassroots to Champions program and Dartfish demonstrations (a high performance video analysis program) and how the program can speed the learning process.
The second day of the two-day seminar was the on-ice portion, which featured special guest Dr. Caroline Silby, the author of Games Girls Play, who discussed mental training and performance enhancement. On-ice demonstrations included drills, jumps (correct take-off prints and landings), spins, footwork, jumping pole, choreography and how to create the total package.
That night, Skate Canada hosted a coaches reception where the coaches enjoyed inspirational presentations by Joannie Rochette, Manon Perron, Jeffrey Buttle and Lee Barkell as they shared their experiences leading up to the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Coaches were back on the ice the next morning for Professionally Speaking on Ice, where the new Cumulative Point Calculation judging system was the focus. Coaches had the opportunity to get discipline specific information and hear from some of the world’s best technical specialists.
The convention opening kicked-off the weekend in historic Unionville, where convention delegates and guests had the opportunity to listen to Olympic medallist and current CTV broadcaster Debbi Wilkes, who delivered an extremely motivating speech.
After the formal part of the evening had concluded, delegates and guests were free to browse the shops and try out the restaurants that lined Unionville’s Main Street.
Earlier that day, delegates were treated to a special shopping trip to a local HomeSense store, where former national team members Megan Wing, Aaron Lowe and Ben Ferreira were on hand to sign autographs for all the shoppers.
Friday began with a variety of informative and interesting workshops. The topics being discussed included synchronized skating, the changing face of volunteerism in Canada, the club makeover and athlete development, just to name a few.
After everyone had the chance to enjoy lunch, the workshops continued into the afternoon.
Friday evening’s feature was the 2006 Skate Canada Achievement Awards Gala and Banquet. This evening, which had the theme of Singing in the Rain, celebrated the tremendous achievements of Skate Canada members. National officials, coaches, young athletes, and, of course, the volunteers who play such an integral role in Skate Canada, were honoured in a tribute ceremony that was highlighted with a spectacular video montage and entertainment by former world tap dance champion Darin Kyle.
Four-time Canadian champions and 2006 world silver medallists Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon were spectacular as the co-hosts for the evening, while Skate Canada Director of Skating Development, Louis Stong, was the master of ceremonies. Members of the 2006-2007 national team were also on hand to make the award presentations.
The national team enjoyed some time earlier in the week in Markham for the annual national team meeting, which featured educational sessions relating to national team activities.
In a special ceremony at the awards banquet, Dennis Silverthorne was posthumously inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame. His wife, Pat Silverthorne, was at the ceremony to accept the honour on his behalf.
The 2006 Skate Canada annual general meeting was held on Saturday. Benoît Lavoie, who served as the association’s vice president since 2001 and has been a member of the Skate Canada board of directors since 1995, assumed the role of Skate Canada president, taking over the position from Marilyn Chidlow.
Chidlow, who served as the Skate Canada president since 2000, was honoured for her years of dedication to the association with a slide show tribute that reflected on her years as president.
On Saturday evening, many of the delegates were off to downtown Toronto to take in the various sights and sounds of the city as part of Skate Canada Central Ontario’s Section hosted evening.
Sunday morning came, and the 2006 Skate Canada annual convention and general meeting officially came to an end. This year’s meeting was another successful event, and we recognize the generous support of BMO Financial Group, HomeSense, B.F. Lorenzetti & Associates Inc. and Hershey for their continued support of this event. Skate Canada looks forward to welcoming next year’s delegates to the 2007 Annual Convention and General Meeting in Montreal.