Skate Canada launches enhanced National Safe Sport Program

OTTAWA, ON: To further support our vision of inspiring all Canadians to embrace the joy of skating,

Skate Canada is proud to introduce the enhanced National Safe Sport Program with updated policies and procedures to improve safety within our community.

“Skate Canada’s commitment to safe sport involves everyone in our community to embed the safety and welfare of all individuals into the culture of skating,” said Debra Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer, Skate Canada. “The National Safe Sport Program is designed to enhance the safety of all individuals participating in skating on and off the ice.”

“Being a leading safe sport organization involves having robust policies and procedures, but also requires deliberate action, which includes a proactive approach to education and a thorough reporting system. Today, our program is now better suited to achieve these items. As a community, we can provide an environment where everyone feels respected, valued and supported to reach their full potential and our improved National Safe Sport Program is another step in that direction.”

The National Safe Sport Program establishes the framework, policies and procedures governing the reasonable and appropriate measures to optimize the prevention and management of misconduct, incidents of injury and general disputes. The policies and procedures include:

The National Safe Sport Program and its supporting polices and procedures take effect immediately.

Therefore, the Membership Complaints, Investigation and Hearing Policy, Membership Harassment, Bullying and Discrimination Procedure, Membership Complaints Policy, Section Dispute Resolution Policy, and Club Dispute Resolution Policy will all be retired effective immediately.

As part of the National Safe Sport Program, all matters related to misconduct will be managed by Skate-Safe.ca, a misconduct reporting system that is operated by IntegrityCounts a third-party service provider. Reports received through Skate-Safe.ca are submitted to an independent external Case Manager to ensure an independent review, investigation, and disposition. Complaints of misconduct can be submitted online, by telephone or email 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information on misconduct reporting please visit Skate-Safe.ca.

Like skating, safety is all about practice. The National Safe Sport Program prepares you for greatness by ensuring safety is a winning part of your routine. For further details on the National Safe Sport Program please visit our website where you can find additional information on the program.

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2021 Skate Canada Challenge Announcement

2021 Skate Canada Challenge

As you are aware, the 2020-2021 season is being impacted by the global pandemic which requires us to revisit the format of all competitions to ensure that safety protocols can be properly implemented.  Following consultation with all Skate Canada Sections, the following revisions to the format of 2021 Skate Canada Challenge will be operational for the competition scheduled to take place at the Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre in Edmonton, AB from November 23-29, 2020.

  1. Junior and Senior Events will be held in person as originally scheduled.
  2. Pre-Novice and Novice Events will not be included in the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge. Skate Canada will organize a stand-alone National Championship for Pre-Novice and Novice Events on or before March 31, 2021. Preliminary details will be provided by November 30, 2020.
  3. Individual Sections may experience challenges in hosting qualifying competitions this season. Accordingly, each Section has been sanctioned by Skate Canada to determine, in their sole discretion, how competitors will be qualified to compete and be registered for the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge.   It is expected that all competitors entered in the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge will demonstrate the appropriate skills to be competitive relative to other qualified athletes.
  4. In the event of exceptional circumstances related to COVID-19 quarantine restrictions imposed in certain Sections, Skate Canada may authorize an athlete to participate in 2021 Skate Canada Challenge remotely. All requests for accommodation in this regard should be forwarded to Skate Canada’s High Performance Director.
  5. Unless a bye to the 2021 Canadian Figure Skating Championships is provided by Skate Canada in writing to an athlete, all athletes must compete at the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge to qualify for the 2021 Canadian Figure Skating Championships.

To give effect to these decisions, Competitions rules or portions of rules are being  suspended or revised for the 2020-2021 season as follows:

  1. Eligibility to Participate

Section 2.1 Competitors – Qualifying Events  is being suspended for Pre-Novice and Novice Events only for the current 2020-2021 season. This is in reference to Canadian citizenship. The date for completion of the Non-Canadian Citizen Application is extended to September 25, 2020 for Junior and Senior Events. 

  1. Assessment Requirements for Qualifying Competition Categories is being changed for the 2020-2021 season as follows:

 Competitors wishing to enter Qualifying Events leading to Skate Canada Challenge and/or the Canadian Figure Skating Championships must have passed the assessments as outlined in the competition program requirements for each discipline no later than 14 days preceding the start of the first segment of the event in which they are competing.

  1. Sectional Championships

Section 8 and its subsections will be suspended for the 2020-2021 season. Each Section shall make their own decision as to when and/or if they will hold their Sectional Championships. Each Section will be responsible for determining the method used to fill their quota qualifying to Skate Canada Challenge for Junior and Senior Events and to the stand-alone National Championships for Pre-Novice and Novice Events. It is expected that each qualifying athlete demonstrate the appropriate skills relative to other qualifying athletes.

8.3 Normal Quota of Entries for Pre-Novice and Novice will be in effect for determining entries to the stand-alone National Championships for these Events being held in 2021. Each Section will be responsible for determining the method used to fill their quota for Junior and Senior Events and to the stand-alone National Championships for Pre-Novice and Novice Events.

  1. Skate Canada Challenge

Section 9 and 9.1. Selection of Entries from Skate Canada Challenge will be suspended for 2020-2021 season.

Junior and Senior Events will be held in person at the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge. The number of qualifying entries from 2021 Skate Canada Challenge to the 2021 Canadian Figure Skating Championships for Junior and Senior Events will be communicated no later than October 1, 2020.

Pre-Novice and Novice Events will not be included in the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge.

9.2. Alternates continues in force and is NOT suspended.

9.3. Normal Quota at the Canadian Figure Skating Championships Not Exceeded will be suspended for the 2020-2021 season.  All Events at 2021 Skate Canada Challenge are compulsory and only athletes with written permission of Skate Canada shall be permitted entry to 2021 Canadian Figure Skating Championships without having competed at the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge. This provides meaningful competition experience for all athletes in lead up to the 2021 Canadian Figure Skating Championships.

  1. Canadian Figure Skating Championships

The below noted portion of Section 10 will apply to Junior and Senior categories only and is suspended in the 2020-2021 season for Novice Events.

The below noted portion of Section 10 will apply to Junior and Senior categories only and is suspended in the 2020-2021 season for Novice Events.

The Canadian Figure Skating Championships will be completed no later than the first Sunday following January 31 of the current Registration Year.

The date and location of a stand-alone National Championships for Pre-Novice and Novice Events will be communicated no later than November 30, 2020.

Skate Canada Announces 2020-21 National Team

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada is pleased to announce the 2020-21 National Team. The team is consisted of 18 members, which includes three men, three women, two pair teams and four ice dance teams.

To be named to the National Team, a skater must finish in the top three in senior men, women, pair and ice dance disciplines at the 2020 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships and/or a ranking of top 24 in the ISU World Standings, and must be competing in the 2020-21 season. Athletes can be added at the discretion of Skate Canada based on new partnerships of current and former national team members.

Their appointment to the national team is effective from September 1, 2020 through to June 30, 2021.

Skate Canada also announced the three teams that will make up the Skate Canada Synchronized Skating National Team. The Synchronized National Team comprises those teams finishing in the top three in senior discipline at the 2020 Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships.

MEN
Roman Sadovsky, 21, Vaughn, Ont.
Nam Nguyen, 22, Ajax, Ont.
Keegan Messing, 28, Sherwood Park, Alta.

WOMEN
Emily Bausback, 18, Vancouver, BC
Alison Schumacher, 17, Tecumseh, Ont.
Madeline Schizas, 16, Oakville, Ont.

PAIR
Kirsten Moore-Towers, 28, St. Catharines, Ont. & Michael Marinaro, 28, Sarnia, Ont.
Evelyn Walsh, 19, London, Ont. & Trennt Michaud, 24, Trenton, Ont.

ICE DANCE
Piper Gilles, 28, Toronto, Ont. & Paul Poirier, 28, Unionville, Ont.
Marjorie Lajoie, 19, Boucherville, Que. & Zachary Lagha, 21, Saint-Hubert, Que.
Carolane Soucisse, 25, Chateauguay, Que. & Shane Firus, 26, North Vancouver, B.C.
Laurence Fournier Beaudry, 28, Montreal, Que. & Nikolaj Sorensen, 31, Montreal, Que.

SYNCHRONIZED SKATING
Les Suprêmes, of CPA Saint- Léonard
NEXXICE, of the Burlington Skating Centre
Nova, of CPS NOVA

Bill Boland remembered as dedicated Skate Canada volunteer who helped shape the Skate Canada we know today

More than a decade later, you realize the smile never really left Bill Boland’s face.

Flash back to the summer of 2010, and Boland, a driving force behind the bid to bring the 2013 ISU World Figure Skating Championships to his adopted hometown of London, Ont., is elated, almost euphoric, after the southwestern Ontario city is awarded figure skating’s crown jewel event.

Over a volunteer career that spanned four decades, it is certainly one of his proudest moments.

Boland, who passed away August 26th after a courageous battle with cancer, is being remembered as a former Chair of the Western Ontario Section, Skate Canada Board Member and Finance Chair, Honorary Member of Skate Canada, and a tireless figure skating volunteer who spent much of his life giving back to the sport.

Each time those 2013 world championships were brought up in conversation, Boland’s face would beam with pride. The affable, charismatic insurance executive had a personal connection to London 2013 and would go on to chair the event that was an undeniable success for Skate Canada and the city.

“While he led his team to establish Worlds in London as a pinnacle event still talked about today, Bill epitomised the spirit and will of a true volunteer – passion, commitment, longevity, and selfless engagement. He helped shape the Skate Canada we know today”, stated Skate Canada President Leanna Caron.

“Bill carried the respect of the volunteer community and a sound business acumen to our organization. It is because of people like him, who give so much to our sport without expecting anything in return, that Skate Canada is one of the pre-eminent figure skating organizations in the world. He will be missed by all of us in the Skate Canada family.”

Boland’s work in bringing the 2013 world championships to London led him to being honoured as London’s 2014 sports person of the year award. He was also the recipient of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Citizenship Award in March 2013, just before London hosted the world championships.  He also received an Ontario Sports Council Award for lifetime commitment to the sport.

He is survived by Maureen, his wife of 50 years, daughters Tammy and Traci Lynn and granddaughter Hailey.

Boland joined the London Skating Club’s Board of Directors 40 years ago, moved on to serve as Western Ontario Section Chair and then sat for many years on Skate Canada’s board of directors and many of its committees.  In his quiet manner, his sense of fairness, financial skill and business acumen enhanced all deliberations assisting these bodies to successfully further the sport of figure skating.

As well, through his encouragement, he helped pave the way  for top figure skaters, including six-time Canadian champion Jennifer Robinson and world and Olympic ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.

In January, Boland attended the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Mississauga, where he saw Robinson inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame.  Boland, an avid sports fan, was also a long-time supporter of the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights.

He was always there with a handshake, a smile and, more often than not, a story.

“Bill gave so much to our sport and always did what was best for Skate Canada and our athletes,” says Skate Canada High Performance Director Mike Slipchuk.

President Leanna Caron adds: “Bill shaped an environment for youth, for champions, for people”.