Three medals for Canada at ISU Grand Prix Final

NAGOYA, Japan – Canadians won three medals on Saturday at the ISU Grand Prix Final, the last major international figure skating event before the Olympic Winter Games in February.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir took the silver in ice dancing while Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford added a bronze in pairs and Kaetlyn Osmond was also third in women’s competition.

In ice dancing, Virtue and Moir lost for the first time since their return to competition last season.

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France won the gold with 202.16 points. Virtue and Moir followed at 199.86 and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. were third at 188.00.

‘’We made a couple of uncharacteristic glitches that we don’t even make in training that often,’’ said Moir, from Ilderton, Ont. ‘’We don’t like not winning competitions but in the grand scheme of things it was still a performance we were proud of.’’

The three-time world champions are pleased with their progress towards the Olympics.

‘’We’re on track,’’ said Virtue, from London, Ont. ‘’We’ve had an extremely successful season and we just have to continue taking care of the little details and making the tweaks so our programs are at their best come February.’’

In women’s competition, Osmond made a couple of mistakes in her Black Swan skate including a fall on her triple Salchow to drop from first after the short program to third with 215.16 points.

‘’The mistakes that I made were silly ones and they won’t happen again,’’ said Osmond, from Marystown, N.L. ‘’I made a lot of changes to my program since my last competition and I did those well.’’

It was a 1-2 Russian finish with Alina Zagitova first at 223.30 and Maria Sotskova second at 216.28.

In pairs, it was a comeback medal for Duhamel and Radford who climbed from fifth place after the short program to the medal position earning 210.83. Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany were first at 236.68 and world champions Wenjing Sui and Cong Han second at 230.89.

‘’We took a nice step here and continued to build,’’ said Radford. ‘’We want to take another step up at the national championships (in January) get some more levels and hit that big peak at the Olympic Games.’’

In junior ice dancing, Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Greenfield Park, Que., were sixth.

‘’It was a nice experience,’’ said Lagha. ‘’It was cool to skate at a big event like that.’’

Full results: Grand Prix Final 2017 Senior and Junior

Get Ready for the Coolest Skating Party of the Year: Canada 150 Skating Day

OTTAWA, ON: On December 10, lace up your skates for Canada 150 Skating Day! For the first time ever, Canadians will skate on Parliament Hill as well as in over 300 communities from coast to coast to coast.

As part of this special day, Skate Canada is also hosting 17 flagship skating events in cities across the country, offering community skate banks to allow children without equipment the opportunity to take part. The flagship events will also feature skating exhibitions and will have coaches available to assist skaters.

Join in this nationwide skating party and bid farewell to a memorable Canada 150 year in one of the most Canadian ways possible!

Rogers Communications is the official sponsor of Canada 150 Skating Day. Tim Hortons also provided a generous contribution to Canada 150 Skating Day.

“Skating is a symbol of Canadian culture, and Skate Canada is delighted to see Canada 150 Skating Day being celebrated in communities across Canada. Skating should be accessible to all Canadians, and we applaud the Government of Canada and Rogers Communications for making skate banks available in our communities. We encourage everyone to celebrate skating on December 10 and all year round. We hope to see all Canadians embracing the joy of skating.” —Debra Armstrong, CEO, Skate Canada

“On December 10, Canadians from coast to coast to coast will celebrate Canada 150 on the ice. The whole country will glide into winter together by skating on Canada 150 Skating Day. I invite everyone to come together to enjoy one of our most beloved winter pastimes as we bid farewell to a memorable Canada 150 year.” —The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“We are proud to be the official sponsor of this great community-building initiative that brings Canadians, including our employees and their families, together for a great day of skating. Rogers is committed to investing in local communities. Our media outlets are on hand to provide local coverage of many Canada 150 Skating Day events across the country today.” —Rick Brace, President, Rogers Media

Quick Facts

  • On March 11, the Right Honourable David Johnston, former Governor General of Canada, announced that Canada 150 Skating Day would take place in communities across the country on December 10, 2017.
  • On December 10, 2017, more than 300 communities across the country will join together in a cross-Canada skating party.
  • Skate Canada is also organizing 17 flagship events in major cities and all provincial and territorial capitals.
  • Through the Canada 150 Fund, the Government of Canada has supported 729 initiatives that encourage Canadians and the world to participate, celebrate and explore our country in 2017.

Province of B.C. supports the 2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships

VANCOUVER – The Province of B.C. is investing $110,000 in the 2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, announced the Honourable Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

Ranked as a qualifier event to join Canada’s team at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea, the national skating championships will take place at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre from January 8 -14, 2018.  The pre-eminent all-Canadian sporting event will feature approximately 250 skaters in the men, women, pair, and ice dance disciplines, competing in three levels: senior, junior, and novice. The event will be broadcast live by CTV which will draw viewers from across the country to Vancouver.  The anticipated economic activity generated by the competition is $6 million.

“Government’s support of the competition will help market the event and showcase Vancouver’s world-class sport facilities,” said Lisa Beare, Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture.  “Events like the Canadian Tire National Skating Championship help support a thriving tourism sector that supports nearly 19,000 businesses and 127,700 employees in the province.”  I wish the athletes the best and I hope they have an opportunity to explore our beautiful province during their visit.”

“Skate Canada is honoured to be hosting the 2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in British Columbia.” said Debra Armstrong, CEO, Skate Canada. “Vancouver is a wonderful city with a tremendous skating history, and we are confident that they will be gracious hosts and produce an outstanding event. We commend the Government of British Columbia for helping us achieve our vison of inspiring all Canadians to embrace the joy of skating.”

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture awarded the event $100,000 through the Tourism Events Program in addition to $10,000 from Hosting BC though ViaSport. The Tourism Events Program supports events that raise awareness nationally and internationally of British Columbia’s tourism experiences and motivates Canadians and people from other countries to travel and experience British Columbia. The program also supports events that generate tourism and economic activity in communities and regions across the province. The Province of BC invests and funds event hosting through the Hosting BC grant program to facilitate economic and community development brought forth through notable sporting events.

Quick Facts:

  • In addition to the funding announced today, the Government of B.C. invests approximately $50 million in sport and over $110 million in the tourism sector annually.
  • In 2016, 5.5 million international visitors came to B.C. – a 12.3% increase (605,198 more visitors) compared to 2015.
  • In 2015, the tourism industry generated $15.7 billion in revenues with a direct contribution to B.C.’s gross domestic product of $7.4 billion.

Learn More:

Tourism Events Program:


Media Contact:
Media Relations
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture

Kaetlyn Osmond tops women’s short program at ISU Grand Prix Final

NAGOYA, Japan – Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond produced a flawless short program in women’s competition Friday to stand in first place at the ISU Grand Prix Final figure skating event.

The 22-year-old from Marystown, N.L., wowed the crowd landing with ease her triple-triple combination, triple Lutz and double Axel. She earned an international personal best 77.04 points.

‘’It felt really good and I felt really controlled,’’ said Osmond, the world championship silver medallist last season. ‘’I wasn’t happy with how my short program went at the Grand Prix in France and I didn’t want that to happen here.’’

Alina Zagitova of Russia is second at 76.27 and Satoko Miyahara of Japan third at 74.61.

In junior ice dancing, Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Greenfield Park, Que., are in fourth place after the short dance with 60.52 points. The couple won gold and silver this season on the circuit.

‘’It’s a gift for us to be here for the good beginning to the season,’’ said Lagha. ‘’We’re just happy to be here and we want to gain some valuable experience and please the crowd.’’

Anastasia Skoptcova and Kirill Aleshin of Russia lead at 65.87. Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko of the U.S. are second at 64.10 and Sofia Polishchuk and Alexander Vakhnov of Russia third at 63.17.

A reminder that after Thursday’s short programs for Canadians, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are second in ice dancing and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford are fifth in pairs.

The free skates for the Canadian entries are on Saturday.

Full results:

Virtue and Moir stand second after short at ISU Grand Prix Final

NAGOYA, Japan – Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are in a big battle for the ISU Grand Prix Final ice dance title. The 2010 Olympic and three-time world champs stand second after Thursday’s short dance.

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France are in first place with 82.07 points. Virtue and Moir, undefeated since returning to competition last season, follow at 81.53 and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. are third at 78.09.

‘’The plan is to peak in February (at the Olympics) and we are on track,’’ said Virtue, from London, Ont. ‘’Our performance was a step up from what we did this season on the Grand Prix circuit.”

The veteran Canadian skaters don’t seem too worried about placement.

‘’Hopefully we can have another great skate Saturday and build our confidence for the Olympics,’’ said Moir, from Ilderton, Ont.

In pairs, two-time Canadian world champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford are fifth after the short program at 72.18 in a competition that’s too tight to call heading into Saturday’s free skate.

‘’Having those little bobbles can detract a bit and that affected our second mark,’’ said Radford, from Balmertown, Ont.

The pair made a mistake on their side-by-side triple Lutz and throw triple Lutz.

‘’The throw was a little bit stuck on take-off which resulted in not the same flow when I came out,’’ said Duhamel, from Lively, Ont. ‘’Still, we were committed to our performance and we felt pretty good about it.’’

Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany are first after the short program with 79.43 points. Defending champions Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia follow at 78.83 and world champions Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China are third at 75.82.

Competition continues through to Saturday.

Full results: Grand Prix Final 2017 Senior and Junior

Skate Canada athletes in Japan for ISU Grand Prix Final

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will have four entries, for a total of seven skaters competing at the 2017 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya, Japan. The event takes place from December 7-10, 2017, at the Nippon Gaishi Hall, and includes both the ISU Senior Grand Prix Final and the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final. Canada will have one entry per discipline in senior ladies, senior pairs, senior ice dance and junior ice dance.

World silver medallist Kaetlyn Osmond, 22, Marystown, Nfld./Edmonton, Alta., will be the Canadian entry in the senior ladies category. Last year, she placed fourth at this event. Osmond won gold at Skate Canada International and bronze at the Internationaux de France to qualify for the Grand Prix Final. The three-time Canadian champion is coached by Ravi Walia in Edmonton, Alta.

Two-time world champions Meagan Duhamel, 31, Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford, 32, Balmertown, Ont., will be the Canadian entry in senior pairs. This will be their seventh consecutive appearance at this event, having medalled the past three years and won in 2014. Duhamel and Radford qualified winning the gold medal at Skate Canada International and bronze at Skate America. The six-time consecutive Canadian champions are coached by Bruno Marcotte in Montreal, Que.

Olympic champions and three-time world champions Tessa Virtue, 28, London, Ont., and Scott Moir, 30, Ilderton, Ont., will be the Canadian entry in senior ice dance. They are the defending champions at this event and have medalled in five of six appearances. Virtue and Moir won the gold medal at both Skate Canada International and the NHK Trophy on the ISU Grand Prix circuit this season. The seven-time Canadian champions are coached by Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon and Romain Haguenauer in Montreal, Que.

Canadian junior champions Marjorie Lajoie, 17, Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha, 18, Greenfield Park, Que., will represent Canada in junior ice dance and will be competing at this event for the first time. Lajoie and Lagha won the silver medal in Australia and the gold medal in Croatia on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit this season to qualify for the final. They train in Montreal, Que., with coaches Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer and Pascal Denis.

Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada High Performance Director, and Andre Bourgeois, Skate Canada NextGen Director, will travel with the team as team leaders. Dr. Lee Schofield of Toronto, Ont., and physiotherapist Agnes Makowski of Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian medial staff onsite. Leanna Caron of Timmins, Ont., and Jeff Lukasik of Calgary, Alta., will be the Canadian officials at the event.

For results and full entries please click here or visit the official event website.


Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Senior Ladies Kaetlyn Osmond 22 Marystown, Nfld. & Edmonton, Alta. Ice Palace FSC Ravi Walia
Senior Pairs Meagan Duhamel / Eric Radford 31/32 Lively, Ont. / Balmertown, Ont. CPA Saint-Léonard / CPA Saint-Léonard Bruno Marcotte
Senior Ice Dance Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir 28/30 London, Ont. / Ilderton, Ont. Montreal International Skating School / Montreal International Skating School Marie-France Dubreuil / Patrice Lauzon / Romain Haguenauer
Junior Ice Dance Marjorie Lajoie / Zachary Lagha 17/18 Boucherville, Que. / Greenfield Park, Que. CPA de Boucherville / CPA St. Lambert Marie-France Dubreuil / Patrice Lauzon / Romain Haguenauer / Pascal Denis

Aurora Cotop wins senior women’s event at Skate Canada Challenge

PIERREFONDS, Que. – Aurora Cotop of Toronto won the gold medal in senior women’s event on Sunday to conclude the Skate Canada Challenge figure skating competition.

Cotop was third in the free skate but maintained top spot overall with 162.85 points. Michelle Long of Newmarket, Ont., won the free skate to soar from eighth to second at 161.47 and Alicia Pineault of Varennes, Que., was third at 159.25.

‘’It was alright, certainly it’s been better in training,’’ said Cotop, 15, about her free program. ‘’There are jumps that I’m still working on towards the nationals.’’

In senior ice dancing, Haley Sales of Burnaby, B.C., and Nikolas Wamsteeker of Langley, B.C., hung on to top spot with 156.66. Sarah Arnold of Waterloo, Ont.,  and Thomas Williams of Burnaby, B.C., won the free skate to move from third to second at 151.70 while Molly Lanaghan and Dmitre Razgulajevs of Scarborough, Ont., were third at 142.94.

‘’This week has been really good for us,’’ said Sales. ‘’We have a lot more work to do for nationals. We need to reach the next level with our free program and that’s going to be a big focus in our preparations.’’

In junior ice dancing, Ashlynne Stairs of Burnaby and Lee Royer of St. Albert, Alta., remained first despite the third best free skate with 137.78. Alicia Fabbri of Laval, Que., and Claudio Pietrantonio of Terrebonne, Que., won the free skate to surge from fourth to second at 135.60. Olivia McIsaac and Elliott Graham of Angus, Ont., were third at 134.56.

‘’Our free dance was a little shaky,’’ said Royer. ‘’We know what need to do to improve for the nationals.’’

Iliya Kovler of Richmond Hill, Ont., won the men’s junior event.

Skate Canada Challenge was the sole qualifying event for novice, junior, and senior skaters to earn entries to the 2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships taking place in Vancouver, January 8-14, 2018.

Full results: 2018 Skate Canada Challenge

2019 Skate Canada Challenge heading to Edmonton

EDMONTON, AB: Skate Canada announced today that the 2019 Skate Canada Challenge will take place in Edmonton, Alberta at the Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre from November 28 – December 2, 2018.

“We are happy to be heading back to Edmonton for Skate Canada Challenge. This event is our biggest of the year with over 500 skaters looking to qualify for the national championships,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO, Skate Canada. “We are confident that Edmonton will once again put on a fantastic event.”

Edmonton hosted the 2016 Skate Canada Challenge, which took place in December 2015, also at the Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre.

“We are excited to welcome skaters from across the nation back to Edmonton for the 2019 Skate Canada Challenge,” said Lindsay Harrison, Senior Manager, Edmonton Events. “Figure skating has strong roots in this city, and we are proud to contribute to the success of another great skating event in Edmonton.”

Over 500 of the finest skaters from across Canada will participate in the 2019 Skate Canada Challenge. Skaters qualify to compete through their respective sectional championships. For novice, junior and senior skaters, this is the only opportunity to qualify for the 2019 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships.

At the senior level, many members of Canada’s National Team often compete in the event, as well as junior athletes who have competed internationally. The Canadian Pre-Novice Champions in men, women, pair and ice dance are determined at Skate Canada Challenge.

Joseph Phan takes home the gold medal at the 2018 Skate Canada Challenge

PIERREFONDS, Que. – Sixteen-year-old Joseph Phan upset national team members Nicolas Nadeau and Nam Nguyen Friday to win the gold medal in men’s senior competition at the Skate Canada Challenge figure skating event.

Phan, of Laval, Que., posted a personal best 245.22 points for his routine that included two quads and a triple Axel. Nadeau, of Boisbriand, Que., was second at 231.43 and Nguyen, from Toronto, took the bronze at 223.47.

‘’I felt stressed as usual but that helps me compete better,’’ said Phan, 11th at the senior nationals  last season. ‘’I worked really hard for this competition and I felt ready. I was pleased with both my programs and my plan is to add a second triple Axel in my long for nationals (in January).’’

There was no surprise in senior pairs as Julianne Séguin of Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau of Trois-Pistoles, Que., won the gold medal with 202.46. Evelyn Walsh of London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Trenton, Ont., were second at 176.90 and Sydney Kolodziej and Maxime Deschamps of St-Léonard, Que., third at 165.52.

‘’It was not our best performance,’’ said Bilodeau. ‘’We made a few mistakes on technical elements. But our goal here was to prepare for nationals and get some momentum going.’’

In junior pairs, Lori-Ann Matte and Thierry Ferland of Levis, Que., were the winners with 144.36. Mariah McCaw and Steven Adcock of Kitchener, Ont., were second at 139.36 and Olivia Boys-Eddy and Mackenzie Boys-Eddy of Brampton, Ont., third at 136.68.

‘’We improved a lot,’’ said Matte. ‘’We wanted to put energy into our programs and entertain the crowd. The programs have different styles and we are working toward being more consistent in our elements.’’

In novice pairs, Brooke McIntosh and Brandon Toste of Mississauga, Ont., took the gold ahead of two Quebec teams. Camille Perreault and Bryan Pierro were second and Marine Pouliot and Alexandre Simard third.

Skate Canada Challenge is the sole qualifying event for novice, junior, and senior skaters to earn entries to the 2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships taking place in Vancouver, January 8-14, 2018.

Competition continues through to Sunday at the Sportplexe Pierrefonds.

Full results: 2018 Skate Canada Challenge