OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada is pleased to induct six new members into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame. This year Skate Canada celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Hall. The Hall of Fame was developed in 1990 to pay tribute to athletes, builders and professionals who have made a significant impact on Canadian figure skating.
The slate of 2015 will include ice dancers Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon, 2009 Synchronized Skating Team NEXXICE, and pair skaters Louise Bertram and Stewart Reburn in the athlete category. In the builder group, synchronized skating pioneer Cathy Dalton will be inducted. In the professional discipline, coach Richard Gauthier and choreographer Sarah Kawahara will be honoured.
Skate Canada is committed to celebrating the achievements of the skating community through the Hall of Fame, and through alumni programs which engage past skaters, officials, coaches and volunteers. Since the Hall’s inception, Skate Canada has inducted 104 members: 49 athletes, 32 builders and 23 professionals.
Marie-France Dubreuil, 41, and Patrice Lauzon, 39, both of Montreal, were a force on the international ice dance scene for nearly a decade; they enter the Hall in the athlete category. One of Canada’s most loved dance teams, they paired up in 1995. They went on to win the Canadian Championships five times (2000, 2004-2007) and won world silver medals in 2006 and 2007. They competed at the Olympic Winter Games in 2002 and 2006. Dubreuil and Lauzon retired in 2008 and began a successful coaching career in Montreal.
NEXXICE’s 2009 Synchronized Skating Team, from the Burlington Skating Centre will be the first synchronized skating team to enter the Skate Canada Hall of Fame; the entire 20 person team will enter in the athlete category. The 2009 NEXXICE team was the first ever Canadian team to win gold at the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships, in Zagreb, Croatia. The team was comprised of: Jennifer Beauchamp (captain), Carla Coveart, Amy Cebulak, Tiffany Elliot, Ashley Greenhalgh, Morgan Harper, Cara Horan, Julia Horan, Taylor Kemp, Kristen Loritz, Nichole Manahan, Taryn Milne, Cara Moir, Sheri Moir, Michele Moore, Emily Penrose, Allison Proudfoot, Madeleine Wendland, Danyel Wright-Dykstra, and Lauren Zbucki.
Louise Bertram and Stewart Reburn, both of Toronto, were the 1935 Canadian Pair Champions and will enter the Hall in the athlete category. Both are deceased; Bertram passed away in 1996 at age 88 and Reburn in 1976 at age 63. They were the first pair team to really skate to the music instead of using it as mere background. Their new and charming style captured audiences in both the figure skating and entertainment worlds. They competed at the 1936 Olympic Winter Games, finishing sixth, before retiring from the sport.
Cathy Dalton, 56, Whitby, Ont., will enter the Skate Canada Hall of Fame as a builder. Dalton has been a pioneer in the development of synchronized skating in Canada and around the world. Since 1996, she has been an appointed coach on the International Skating Union’s Coaches Commission/Synchronized Skating Technical Committee and in that capacity has had a major influence on the development of the international judging system for that discipline: creating rules, standards, and educational materials. Her world-wide seminars for international judges, skaters and coaches have resulted in the sharing of her extensive knowledge about synchronized skating to the international community. In Canada, she founded and coached Canada’s first internationally successful synchronized skating team, black ice. They went on to win Canada’s first world medal, silver at the 2000 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships, in addition to winning eight Canadian championships.
Richard Gauthier, 53, St. Etienne-de-Bolton, Que., has over 40 years of coaching experience and is a NCCP Level 4 coach; he will enter the Skate Canada Hall of Fame as a professional. One of Canada’s most successful pair coaches, Gauthier’s career has pushed pair skating in Canada and around the world. He is responsible for the pairing up of Jamie Salé and David Pelletier, who went on to win the Olympic gold medal in 2002. Most recently he coached Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford to gold at the 2015 ISU World Figure Skating Championships. Gauthier continues to coach several world ranked pair teams in Montreal.
Sarah Kawahara, 61, Montreal, Que., introduced an innovative and artistic style of choreography for competitive skating as well as show skating, which has led her to be world renowned in her field; she enters the Skate Canada Hall of Fame as a professional. During her successful career she created memorable programs and choreographed ice shows for world class skaters, including Toller Cranston, Elvis Stojko, Scott Hamilton, Michelle Kwan, Kristi Yamaguchi, Dorothy Hamill, Peggy Fleming, John Curry and many others. She would go on to win two Prime Time Emmy Awards, both for best chorography, the first in 1997 for Scott Hamilton, Upside Down and the second in 2002 for the Opening Ceremonies at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
Skate Canada is proud to celebrate the achievements of the skating community through the inductions of exceptional members in the Skate Canada Hall of Fame. The exact date and locations of the various inductions will be announced at a later date.