OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada is proud to announce the 2022-2023 NextGen Team. The team is made up of 52 athletes, which includes 10 men, 14 women, four pair teams and 10 ice dance teams. 

The Skate Canada NextGen program was established in 2016 to support the operations of Skate Canada’s high-performance development system. The purpose of the program is to ensure athletes and coaches advance at their maximum potential through development and training opportunities, to become the best in the world.  

“These gifted skaters have been named to the 2022-23 NextGen Team based on their performances during the past skating season. We know the last years have been difficult due to the pandemic and we are encouraged by the dedication and talent in our upcoming athletes,” said André Bourgeois, NextGen Director, Skate Canada. “We look forward to continuing to work with athletes, coaches and sections to further advance the NextGen program.” 

The program is delivered in partnership with the skater’s respective Skate Canada Sections, Own The Podium, and the Canadian Sport Institutes. These skaters may be considered to represent Canada on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit, the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships® and other international competitions. 



David Bondar, 15, Richmond Hill, Ont.  

Wesley Chiu, 17, Richmond, B.C. 

John Kim, 16, Mississauga, Ont.  

David Li, 15, Richmond, B.C.  

Grayson Long, 14, Toronto, Ont.  

Rio Morita, 17, Vaughan, Ont.  

Edward Nicholas Vasii, 15, Montreal, Que.   

Anthony Paradis, 15, Boisbriand, Que.  

Aleksa Rakic, 17, Burnaby, B.C.  

David Shteyngart, 16, Ottawa, Ont.   



Abbie Baltzer, 14, Hamilton, Ont.  

Fiona Bombardier, 17, Newmarket, Ont.  

Michelle Deng, 16, Edmonton, Alta.  

Sara-Maude Dupuis, 17, Montreal, Que.  

Audréanne Foster, 17, Forestville, Que.  

Angelina Grant, 13, Edmonton, Alta.   

Lulu Lin, 12, Oakville, Ont.  

Justine Miclette, 15, Chambly, Que.  

Lia Pereira, 18, Milton, Ont.  

Resse Rose, 13, Ottawa, Ont.  

Kaiya Ruiter, 16, Calgary, Alta. 

Hetty Shi, 14, Mississauga, Ont.  

Rose Théroux, 15, Sorel, Que.  

Kara Yun, 13, Vancouver, B.C.  



Ava Kemp, 14, Winnipeg, Man. and Yohnatan Elizarov, 18, Winnipeg, Man. 

Lilly Napier, 14, Ottawa, Ont. and Joshua Dore, 19, Ottawa, Ont.  

Chloe Panetta, 18, Laval, Que. and Kieran Thrasher, 18, Amherstburg, Ont.  

Ashlyn Schmitz, 16, Shellbrook, Sask. and Tristan Taylor, 20, Regina, Sask. 



Nadiia Bashynska, 18, Ajax, Ont. and Peter Beaumont, 20, Ajax, Ont. 

Chaïma Ben Khelifa, 16, Laval, Que. and Everest Zhu, 19, Waterloo, Ont.  

Erica Estepa, 16, Brampton, Ont. and Nolen Hickey, 19, Brampton, Ont.  

Sandrine Gauthier, 18, Saint-Constant, Que. and Quentin Thieren, 18, Saint-Constant, Que. 

Emma Goodstadt, 17, Oakville, Ont. and Michael Barsoum, 17, Oakville, Ont. 

Kaitlyn Ho, 17, Airdrie, Alta. and Daniel Yu, 19, Calgary, Alta.  

Jordyn Lewis, 17, London, Ont. and Noah McMillan, 18, London, Ont.  

Dana Sabatini-Speciale, 16, Toronto, Ont. and Nicholas Buelow, 15, Barrie, ON 

Layla Veillon, 16, London, Ont. and Alexander Brandys, 17, London, Ont.  

Hailey Yu, 16, Burnaby, B.C. and Brendan Giang, 18, Burnaby, B.C. 


Skate Canada is aware that the pandemic has affected the development of skaters and the ability to train and compete. We will work with our sectional partners to monitor the development of those skaters in the coming months, a critical development period for skaters.  As a result of this additional monitoring, some skaters may be added to the 2022-23 NextGen Team at a later date. 

Skate Canada members honoured at 2022 Achievement Awards Banquet in Québec City

OTTAWA, ON: This past weekend, Skate Canada honoured 16 award winners during its annual Awards Banquet at the 2022 Ice Summit held in Québec City, Que. The awards were given out on Saturday, May 28 at the ExpoCité – Centre de Foires. 

The winners received their awards on Saturday night in front of a crowd of Canada’s top skating delegates. The evening was co-hosted by event announcers Monique Bujold and Martin Gaudreault. The awards were given out by Olympians Madeline Schizas, Keegan Messing, Laurence Fournier Beaudry, Nikolaj Soerensen and Les Suprêmes Captains Laurie Désilets and Marie-Eve Comtois.   

The Skate Canada Awards program honours dedicated members of the skating community who have donated their time to help contribute to improving the quality of skating in Canada. 

The 2021-2022 recipients were: 

National Club Coach Award
Tracey Zwiers 

National Competitive Coach/Choreographer Award 
Marilyn Langlois 

National Official Award
René Perron 

National Event Volunteer Award
Michael Pogue 

National Elizabeth Swan Memorial Award
Andrew Bosco   

Billie Mitchell Award
Janice Hunter 

Skate Canada also presents a volunteer award to one member of each of the Skate Canada sections. The following exceptional volunteers were awarded the 2021-2022 National Volunteer Award:  

British Columbia/Yukon Section
Joanne Nickel 

Alberta/Northwest Territories/Nunavut Section
Robin Forsyth 

Saskatchewan Section
Terry Hadley-Cole 

Manitoba Section
Donna Yee 

Ontario Section
Tracy Pereira   

Québec Section
Hélène D’Amour 

New Brunswick Section
Annie Aube 

Nova Scotia Section
Melissa Robinson 

Newfoundland/Labrador Section
Lindsay Hillier 

Prince Edward Island Section
Cassandra Mosher-Gallant 

Skate Canada congratulates all award winners, nominees and countless invaluable volunteers! 


Skating Delegates Travel to Quebec City for 2022 Ice Summit

OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian skating community will be in Québec City, Que., this week for the 2022 Ice Summit. Skating leaders from across the country will meet up in Québec City for the three-day conference that will take place from May 25-28, 2022. The conference will consist of a wide range of opportunities for members at all levels within Skate Canada.

“We are elated to be celebrating this past year’s accomplishments in beautiful Québec City at the 2022 Ice Summit,” said Debra Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer, Skate Canada. “It is truly an exciting time when all levels of Skate Canada come together to support development of skating from the grassroots level to the Olympic stage. We are even more excited to be able to host this event in person as we build towards 2026.”

The theme of this year’s event is: Building Towards 2026. The 2022 Ice Summit package offers a broad spectrum of informative and interactive workshops specifically targeting coaches, choreographers, officials, clubs and skating schools, and Skate Canada sections. With over 20 workshops hosted by world-class experts and sports professionals, attendees will be able to select the workshops most relevant to their skating career.

The Ice Summit will welcome a fantastic group of presenters, keynote speakers and moderators. The conference offers a selection of off-ice and on-ice workshops, of which the on-ice portions will be taking place at the Centre de glaces Intact Assurance. This year’s keynote speakers are Olympian Rachel Flatt and former coach of the Canadian women’s hockey team Danièle Sauvageau. Our on-ice workshops feature top skaters, coaches and choreographers, including Keegan Messing, Ralph Burghart, Carol Lane, Julie Marcotte and others.

The Ice Summit will also host the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday. Members will again be able to participate remotely as the AGM and voting will be available via live stream.

The weekend will close out on Saturday evening with the annual Skate Canada Awards Banquet, where Skate Canada will celebrate success and honour the many accomplishments of key contributors in the skating community. The evening will be hosted by event announcers Monique Bujold and Martin Gaudreault.

Two-time National Champion Nam Nguyen Retires from Competitive Skating

OTTAWA, ON: Two-time national champion Nam Nguyen, 24, Richmond Hill, Ont., has announced his retirement from competitive skating. Nguyen has been a staple on the Canadian skating scene since he won the juvenile title in 2007. He would go on to win the national title at all levels – juvenile (2007), pre-novice (2008), novice (2009), junior (2011) and senior (2015 & 2019).

“It has been an honour representing Canada at the highest levels of our sport and I cannot thank Skate Canada enough, for all the trust and opportunities they have given my team and I over the years of my career,” said Nguyen. “I’ve learned so many valuable lessons throughout the years that I will take with me as I move on to the next chapter of my life.”

On the world stage Nguyen competed at numerous events with a crowning moment at the 2014 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships® when he took home the gold medal after winning both the short and free programs. Other notable finishes were a gold medal at the 2018 U.S. International Classic, silver at the 2019 Skate Canada International and bronze at the 2015 Skate America.

“Nam is a prime example of skating development in Canada finding success at every level of skating. We are very proud of Nam and his journey, and we wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.” Mike Slipchuk, High Performance Director, Skate Canada

Nguyen will continue to work in skating as a coach to develop the next generation of skaters in Canada.

Skate Canada endorses Benoît Lavoie as International Skating Union Vice President – Figure Skating

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada has officially endorsed Benoît Lavoie’s candidacy for the position of Vice President – Figure Skating of the International Skating Union (ISU). Elections will take place at the 58th Ordinary ISU Congress 2022 which will be held in Phuket, Thailand from June 6-10, 2022.

Since 2016, Lavoie has served two terms as an ISU Council member. This understanding of the ISU and his up-to-date and profound technical knowledge stemming from being a competitive figure skater and as a current ISU Official (judge, referee and technical controller) are critical assets for the position. During his current ISU tenure, he has honored the rich traditions of figure skating while moving the organization forward with new ideas. An advocate for excellence, teamwork, diversity, and fair play in sport, Lavoie has been dedicated to listening and dialoguing with member federations to understand their reality and concerns.

Native of Baie St-Paul, Que., Lavoie is a former President of Skate Canada. He was first elected to the Skate Canada Board in 1995 and served as President from 2006-2013 and as Vice President from 2001-2006. Lavoie is a long-time skating volunteer with over 40 years of experience and has dedicated numerous hours to the improvement of skating in Canada and around the world including playing a major part in the ISU judging system.

Lavoie is a career civil servant with the Quebec Government, committing his work life to putting public interests first. Over his distinguished career he has focused on building corporate relationships including contract services to promote and assist in upgrading unemployable sectors of the population.

In 2018, he was named an honorary associate of Skate Canada and in 2013 he was honoured by the Governor General of Canada with the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.

Skate Canada is proud to endorse Benoît Lavoie for ISU Vice President – Figure Skating.

Please take a moment to watch Benoît Lavoie discuss his vision for the sport in advance of the ISU Congress.


Sportswriter Neil Stevens Remembered for his Contribution to Skating

Neil Stevens was a beacon in the sport of figure skating. Not to be remembered for his twizzles, fast feet, or incredible jumping ability – Stevens will be remembered for his words. A wire reporter with Canadian Press for over 34 years, he covered every national and international figure skating event through the better part of the ‘80s and ‘90s. In total, he covered 22 World Figure Skating Championships, eight Olympic Games and every Canadian Championship during that era.

Stevens passed away from a battle with cancer on April 1, 2022.

He came on the scene in the mid ‘80s, covering numerous household names, such as Kurt Browning, Brian Orser and Elizabeth Manley as well as many other national and international stars. Stevens was the eyes and ears for figure skating fans when Kurt Browning won the world championships in 1989. He was there to tell the story of Jamie Salé and David Pelletier at the 2002 Olympics and, on the cusp of his retirement, he brought us the story of Jeffrey Buttle’s world championship gold medal win in Sweden in 2008. To say he told us many stories about the athletes we love is an understatement.

Just as he will be remembered for his writing, Stevens will also be remembered for his character.

“Neil was a character with character and one of the most professional sports writers to grace his profession. He said what he said he would do, and he did it well,” said Steve Milton, fellow sportswriter from the Hamilton Spectator.

National team members, Kurt Browning and Mike Slipchuk, both spent many hours being interviewed by Stevens during their competitive skating days. Both described Stevens as a reporter who brought comfort and familiarity.

“He was a very familiar face in the crowd,” remembers Slipchuk. Browning recalled that, “mix zones and press conferences felt like wrap parties and Neil was a big part of that.”

Browning would characterize Stevens as a quiet man, almost shy. On his interview style, Browning added, “he had a slow, methodical approach…that had you feeling like a bomb was coming any minute.”

“With Neil, skaters could expect to be asked the unexpected. Still, whether he was asking you an easy or a hard question you could expect it would be fair. With Neil, you had to be prepared for everything. His reporting was true and accurate, whether the story was good or bad,” added Slipchuck.

Browning and Slipchuck both expressed how Stevens had this way of making people feel interesting and special. Stevens was a constant, reliable, and true voice – one that got the respect of the athletes he covered. That respect extended to his fellow media colleagues.

“Neil made the road feel like home. When covering events, days are long sometimes pushing 15 hours. People are away from their families for weeks on end, but Neil kept it light, an essential quality in a group of people all fighting for the same story,” said Milton.
Stevens was soft spoken, poignantly funny and brought familiarity and kindness to a very competitive profession.

“You always knew an event had started because of the balloons tied to the back of his chair,” added Milton.

Well known for bringing flowers and balloons to the media centre at events, Stevens also often brought chocolates for the volunteers. His classic black hat, not quite a fedora, not a cowboy hat either but somewhere in between stood out in a crowd, so skaters always knew, Stevens was in the rink.

His infamous hat. There is a funny story about that hat as told by Kurt Browning. At the World Figure Skating Championships in 1989 in the press conference on the cusp of being crowned world champion, Kurt Browning made a deal with Stevens.

Browning told Stevens, “When I win worlds, you have to give me that hat.” Well, low and behold, Browning won worlds that year and Stevens, true to his word, walked up to Browning in the press conference and gave him his hat.

“Hot damn and the hat fits,” exclaimed Browning.

Browning enjoyed the hat for many years, he eventually returned it to Stevens. The hat had to go back to its rightful place.

A Hall of Fame member in both Hockey and Lacrosse, he contributed thousands of stories over his 34 years and the story was always about the story. Stevens covered 20 Stanley Cup finals, four Canada Cup hockey tournaments, 8 National Lacrosse League Championship games as well as countless other sporting events during his tenure.

Stevens was there in 1987 when Mario Lemieux scored the winning goal in 1987 Canada Cup. At Silken Laumann’s silver medal at the 1996 Olympics and again when Canada’s men won Olympic hockey gold in 2002.

As an expert in many disciplines Stevens was able to bring an eye from more traditional sports, which permitted him to tell the story of figure skating as a sport onto itself. He was the consummate professional who always hit his deadline. Something not easy to do, especially during the 80’s. As a Canadian Press reporter Stevens would be responsible for collecting all the standings, typing in every score and making sure it was correct. Which it always was.

For the most part a writer’s voice is silent, the words we hear in our head when we read them don’t necessarily sound like the person who wrote them and for 34 years Stevens was that voice in many figure skating fans heads. He was the public’s gateway to some of the biggest moments in sporting history and he elevated the authenticity of figure skating at a time when it felt like everyone was falling in love with it. He brought comfort, familiarity, and fun to those around him.

Skate Canada thanks Stevens for his contribution to skating and sends its sincere condolences to his family and friends. His legacy in skating will live on through his words and there is no doubt that his reputation and professional presence will be the benchmark for many sports writers to come.