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Dr. Jodi L. Abbott, President & CEO of the University Hospital Foundation (UHF), has positioned UHF in bringing together the right people from industry, academia, government, healthcare, and philanthropy to tackle some of the world’s biggest health and healthcare challenges. Dr. Abbott was a previous board member for Skate Canada and supports the organization by volunteering on operational committees and as a World and Olympic figure skating judge.   

Jodi is passionate about governance and has assisted organizations (for profit and not-for-profit) to enhance their governance structures to ensure strong leadership at the governing and operating levels while advancing the purpose of the organization.  Dr. Abbott recently received the Order of Canada for her leadership in Alberta’s health care and college systems, and for her mentorship of young athletes in the field of figure skating. She is a tenacious and passionate individual in work and in her community life. 

Dr. Jodi Abott

President & CEO, University Hospital Foundation

Debra Armstrong

Skate Canada Chief Executive Officer

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Simon comes from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. He is a former competitive Short Track Speed Skater and trained at the Olympic Oval in Calgary for two years. After the completion of his sporting career he worked for several years in a medical supply company in Toronto, Ontario, before transitioning back to the sports world. He obtained his MBA in Sports Management from the Universidad Europea de Madrid in June of 2023 and has since taken over the Safe Sport portfolio at Skate Canada. 

Simon Austin

Skate Canada Member Services Representative / Safe Sport Coordinator

Josée Bourdon

Skate Canada Senior Manager – Coaching

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Jessica has been involved in skating since a very young age when she watched her sisters skate. After competing, she started coaching but didn’t intend to stay involved in the sport once she got her school teaching certificate. She just intended to help out with the Special Olympics program for a couple months. 15 years later, Jessica is head coach of the Vancouver Special Olympics skating programs, training athletes from grassroots to SO world champions and being involved with Team BC and Team Canada as head coach, team coach, and training coach. 

Jessica Chapelski

Head Coach – Vancouver Special Olympics skating programs

Georgia Ens

PhD Candidate, Faculty of Kinesiology at University of Calgary

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Megan has been leading individuals and organizations through energetic, interactive facilitation to generate action-based solutions for almost two decades. Now specializing in organizational culture development and strategic planning, she began her professional career in the high-energy world of revenue development where she quickly understood the importance of creative problem-solving to overcome obstacles. Megan has been described as friendly, supportive, and driven and her style of facilitation is constantly referred to as engaging, creative, and fun. She is passionate about helping leaders inspire and energize their team members. As the founder of Mosaic Engagement, she is on a mission to motivate organizations to harness expertise and creative power within their own team. Learn more at www.mosaicengagement.ca. Outside of work, Megan has a Masters in Leadership Studies from Royal Roads University. She enjoys the challenge of maintaining fresh and current content and learning from every session she leads.  

Megan Foster

Founder of Mosaic Engagement

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Janice officially began her volunteer ‘career’ in figure skating when she became a judge at the age of 16. Volunteering went without saying in her family, so it was a natural step and a bonus to get involved in something she loved.  Over the years she has been on various Section and National Boards and Committees, yet it is the joy in being rinkside that keeps her coming back.   

Janice recently retired as an ISU Singles/Pairs Referee and Judge, and ISU Judge/International Referee in Ice Dance.  She remains current at the Canadian level and is also Canadian Singles Technical Controller and Section level Singles Technical Specialist. She continues to officiate at STAR and Podium Pathway events at local competitions and enjoys dialogue with skaters, coaches and officials. Janice embraces Skate Canada’s Vision to inspire everyone to experience the joy of skating. 

Janice Hunter

Official

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Diane Knutson has been coaching for over 50 years and is currently the Learn to Skate Director at Champs International in Burnaby, BC. Diane is also a Skate Canada CanSkate Course Learning Facilitator and a CanSkate University Graduate and BC Section Club Coach Award Winner in 2022. Diane is proud to say that most of her coaching career has been at the CanSkate and grassroots level and she believes that “Coaching is not my job it is my passion”. She loves to watch the skaters grow and achieve their goals each and every day and she hopes to instill a lifetime love for figure skating in all her students.

Diane Knutson

Champs International SC Learn To Skate Director

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Jackie is the CEO and visionary behind Uplifter. In 2011, she had a desire to help her daughter’s Skate Canada club improve their registration and management. So, she harnessed her years of experience as a software developer and business consultant to code the Uplifter platform. Today, that platform supports millions of participants around the world. 

Jackie Kwan

Co-founder and CEO, Uplifter

Marilyn Langlois

World Coach/Choreographer

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Mark is the coaching development coordinator (STAR Pathway) for Skate Canada He is proud to have been a member of the refresh of the CanSkate and Regional Coach Courses. He is a coach developer for CanSkate, Regional and PowerSkate coaching level. He was an integral resource in the refresh of CanSkate and STAR 1-5 programs. Mark is a passionate coach and coaches CanSkate, PowerSkate and the STAR program weekly. 

Mark Lauzon

Skate Canada Coaching Development Coordinator

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Nicole Lee is an Anishinaabe Kwe, born and raised in Thunder Bay, ON. Her home community is Couchiching First Nation. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology and a Master’s of Science in Kinesiology. Nicole has been part of the figure skating community since she was 3 years old. She competed as a Star skater throughout her youth, later competing as a synchronized skater for 4 years with Superior Synchro. She volunteers as a Juvenile Official to
help give back to the skating community.

Nicole Lee

Kairos Blanket Exercise Facilitator

Nancy Lemaire

World/Olympic Coach

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Sheilagh McCaskill is a Skate Canada NCCP master coach developer, learning facilitator and coach evaluator. She believes providing opportunities for growth to all Skate Canada coaches is imperative in assisting clubs and skaters to be the best they can be. Sheilagh has over 45 years of experience as a coach with the Gloucester Skating Club where she has shared her passion for skating with all levels of athletes. Her time at GSC also included the role of Director of CanSkate where she helped develop and deliver the club’s CanSkate program for over 30 years. A firm believer in grassroots programming, Sheilagh has been involved in many Skate Canada initiatives and committees and has had the opportunity to work with club volunteers and coaches in large and small clubs in urban and rural settings across Canada. She looks forward to sharing her ideas and experiences in the “CanSkate: Exceeding Standards” workshop.  

Sheilagh McCaskill

Skate Canada NCCP Master Coach Developer

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Heather is the current Senior Manager Skating Programs with Skate Canada. She is proud to have been a member of the team to develop the current CanSkate, STAR 1-5, and PowerSkate programs. Within the skating programs portfolio there is work being done to create and expand the opportunities for Adaptive skaters and Adult skating participants. In addition to the work within the Skate Canada office, she is an NCCP national coach and have been coaching for nearly 35 years, a learning facilitator and coach evaluator for both CanSkate and Regional levels.

Heather McMahon

Skate Canada Senior Manager – Skating Programs

Yebin Mok

International Coach/Performance Specialist

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Clifford Mushquash (he/him) is Anishinaabe from Pawgwasheeng (Pays Plat First Nation) on the northshore of Gichigami (Lake Superior). He is a dynamic leader with a proven ability to guide individuals and groups through difficult conversations in a safe and affirming way. He currently operates Bimijiwan Nibi Mental Wellness, a private practice offering mental health and addictions counseling, education, and community development consultation. Clifford has worked for over fifteen years in health and human services, focusing on homelessness, First Nations health, community mental health and addictions, and post-secondary education.

He is a dedicated community volunteer with 20 years of experience in community development, governance, event planning, and fundraising. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Lakehead University.

Clifford’s work and education locate him at the nexus of service provision and the realities of Indigenous people in Canada. He is committed to advancing social justice for Indigenous and LGBTQ2+ persons in Canada by facilitating opportunities for conversation, learning, relationship building, and service.

Clifford Mushsquash

Kairos Blanket Exercise Facilitator

Alison Purkiss

World/Olympic Coach, Choreographer

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Tyler Smith is a 21-year-old survivor of the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash, which claimed the lives of 16 of his teammates, staff members, and coaches. After physically recovering, he returned to the Broncos for ten games but realized that he needed to prioritize his mental health and take a step back from the game. Tyler has since made progress with his mental health recovery, including utilizing self-care tools like counselling. 

Tyler Smith

Keynote Speaker