2021 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Canada cancelled

OTTAWA, ON: With the ongoing uncertainty surrounding international travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Skate Canada has cancelled the 2021 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Canada. The event was scheduled to take place from August 25-28, 2021, at Meadows Arena in Edmonton, AB.

For the past 18 months, Skate Canada has closely monitored the provincial and federal health authorities’ position on the global health crisis and is committed to the health and safety of the athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, and spectators. Like last season, due to the federal quarantine guidelines for all travellers and social distancing requirements in effect at this time, Skate Canada regretfully made the decision to cancel the event.

“It’s a difficult decision to cancel the 2021 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Canada for the second consecutive year,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO, Skate Canada. “We know brighter days for our skating community are ahead and look forward to a prosperous season for our athletes.”

“While we are disappointed that we will not welcome the world’s top junior skaters to Edmonton this summer, we remain optimistic that there will be competitive opportunities for our NextGen athletes in the near future,” said André Bourgeois, NextGen Director, Skate Canada.

Skate Canada, in partnership with the local organizing committee, Skate Canada Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, looked forward to hosting the Junior Grand Prix event in Edmonton, AB. We thank you all for your efforts and commitment as we prepared to deliver a memorable event.

Pierrefonds to host 2021 Autumn Classic International

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada has announced that it will host the 2021 Autumn Classic International in Pierrefonds, Quebec. The seventh edition of this event will take place September 16-18, 2021 at the Sportplexe Pierrefonds.

The senior international figure skating competition has previously been a stop on the International Skating Union’s (ISU) Challenger Series in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. In 2020, the Autumn Classic International event was cancelled due to the pandemic. This season, the ISU has included this event as part of the 2021-2022 Challenger Series.

“Skate Canada is thrilled to be heading back to Pierrefonds and to Sportplexe Pierrefonds for the 2021 Autumn Classic International,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO, Skate Canada. “This event always attracts top-tier athletes, and we are excited to be bringing them back to a such an amiable city.”

Pierrefonds, located on the northwestern part of the Island of Montreal, has been a longtime partner of figure skating, hosting Skate Canada’s Autumn Classic International previously in 2016 and 2017, as well as Skate Canada Challenge in 2015, 2017, and 2018.

“As host to Skate Canada and ISU events, Montréal is truly committed to figure skating and we are once again delighted to be holding the Autumn Classic International in Montréal. The city is no stranger to major ice skating events as it welcomed numerous competitions, has an international skating history and is an undeniable hub for athletes, coaches and fans from Canada and around the world,” said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. “Our organization looks forward to working closely with local sporting partners to ensure that all participants enjoy a safe and memorable stay in the best island getaway in the country!”

Due to the current provincial restrictions and guidelines, there are no planned ticket sales for the 2021 Autumn Classic International. To receive up to date information on our event season please join our mailing list.

2021 Annual Ice Summit Recap

Dear members and registrants,

What a fantastic way to end a difficult season. The 2021 Skate Canada Ice Summit was a huge success, and Skate Canada would like to thank all those who attended, presented, helped facilitate and coordinate this epic event.

This was the first year that the Ice Summit was held in a virtual fashion and allowed community leaders from across the country to meet online for an exciting, interactive conference. As we continue to inspire all Canadians to embrace the joy of skating, this year’s Ice Summit theme of Change Connecting Community seemed fitting, as our skating family from coast to coast to coast came together for two weeks in an interactive and engaging virtual environment.

The best news is that all the remarkable content from the conference is still available on the virtual platform until June 30, 2021, including the virtual Exhibit Hall. If you have registered for the event but couldn’t make a few sessions, you have full access to revisit these important and educational topics. If you haven’t registered but are intrigued, you can still do so by June 30.

Conference Highlights

  • An interactive, engaging virtual environment featuring comprehensive education and discussion with leading experts.
  • Honouring members of our skating community who have played an integral role during the pandemic.
  • Pre-Conference Virtual Skating Seminar hosted by World and Olympic Champion Meagan Duhamel. Sessions ranged from healthy cooking, skating techniques and more.
  • Pre-Conference sessions including a Leadership Development Session with keynote speaker Henry Burris.
  • Virtual Exhibit Hall that featured booths with a wide variety of programming content and more!
  • Educational workshops to help our clubs and skating schools provide a safe, inclusive, and diverse environment.
  • Safe Sport plenary session and four workshops, including body positive guidelines, bullying, injury prevention, and sexual abuse.
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion plenary session and four workshops, including the basics of equity, diversity and inclusions, how to be an ally, and next steps in EDI and anti-racism.

Thank you, and see you next year.

Skate Canada awarded the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2024 in Montréal

OTTAWA, ON: The International Skating Union (ISU) has provisionally awarded the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2024 to Skate Canada, who will host the event in Montréal, Quebec. This premier sporting event will be held at the Centre Bell from March 18-24, 2024.

Montréal was slated to host the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2020, but the event was cancelled just prior to the start of the Championships due to the pandemic.

“Just over a year ago, the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2020 in Montréal were cancelled due to the pandemic just prior to the start of this world-class event, and now Skate Canada is thrilled to announce that we will be able to rewrite that history in 2024,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO, Skate Canada. “Skate Canada has a proven track record of holding successful ISU events and we are looking forward to bringing the world’s best skaters to the fantastic Canadian city of Montréal. We hope to inspire not only Canadians but people around the world to embrace the joy of skating.”

“After recently being named President of Skate Canada, I am thrilled that we will welcome the world to Montréal for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2024,” said Skate Canada President Karen Butcher. “This is an exciting time for all of us at Skate Canada, and we feel we have a little unfinished business to take care of at Centre Bell. We look forward to the opportunity to host this prestigious event.”

The ISU World Figure Skating Championships® is an annual event that moves around the globe, attracting more than 300 million television viewers worldwide and showcasing more than 200 world-class athletes from 50 countries in four disciplines: men, women, pair and ice dance.

“Montréal, a city with ice sports in its very DNA, is thrilled to be hosting the 2024 ISU World Figure Skating Championships,” said Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal. “This much anticipated major event had been awaited since 2020, so its comeback into the city’s 2024 programming is wonderful news. The championship will greatly contribute to the visibility of our city, while bringing significant economic benefits as part of our economic recovery plan. The participation of numerous international athletes will provide an invaluable showcase for the metropolis, and while stars will shine on the ice, so too will the eyes of the multitude of figure skating fans who will watch them perform.”

Skate Canada has a long and proud history of hosting ISU events, having previously held the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 10 times. In addition, each year Canada hosts Skate Canada International, one of the stops on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series.

“Tourism Montréal is excited and proud to be a Skate Canada partner and looks forward to hosting the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2024 in Montréal,” said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of  Tourism Montréal. “After being forced to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic, having the chance to welcome back this world-class event is testimony to the tradition of excellence in Montréal, Canada’s top sports city, and is sure to make our beautiful city shine as a top destination in North America. We can’t wait to welcome the figure skating community to a secure, friendly and exciting environment.”

The 2024 world championships will mark Canada’s 11th time hosting, and the second time for Montréal. The city also hosted the 1932 edition of the Championships, the first time the event was held in Canada. In 2020, the event was scheduled to take place in Montréal, Quebec, but was cancelled due to the global health crisis. Canada last hosted the event in London, Ontario, in 2013.

“We are very happy with this news, which will spotlight Montréal and the Centre Bell at an International level, by welcoming world excellence in figure skating,” said France Margaret Bélanger, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Groupe CH. “Our teams are very proud to present this prestigious event and, true to their habits, they will do their utmost to make the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2024 unique and memorable.”

Previous Canadian host cities:
● 1932 Montreal ● 1960 Vancouver ● 1972 Calgary ● 1978 Ottawa ● 1984 Ottawa
● 1990 Halifax ● 1996 Edmonton ● 2001 Vancouver ● 2006 Calgary ● 2013 London
● 2020 Montreal (cancelled)

Join our exclusive mailing list to receive event and ticket information for the 2024 ISU World Figure Skating Championships.

 

 

 

Skate Canada Statement on National Indigenous History Month

June is National Indigenous History Month. This month honours the history, heritage, and diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada, and recognizes the strength of present-day Indigenous communities. We invite you to make time this month to learn about the histories, knowledge systems, and lived realities of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people. The Indigenous residential school system is part of these lived realities. As we mourn the children whose lives were taken, we commit to learn about the impacts of the residential school system, past and present. At Skate Canada, we acknowledge there is much work to be done, as outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Recommendations and Findings. We encourage Skate Canada members to listen, learn, and engage as a first step to build the respectful relationships necessary to move toward healing and reconciliation.

Recommended Resources on Indigenous Residential Schools System

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation – National Student Memorial Register

Indian Horse (Story of Richard Wagamese. Includes book, film, survivor Stories, education materials)

The Secret Path (multi-media project including album by Gord Downie, film, and graphic novel with Jack Lemire)

Government of Canada, Description of Visual

Eight Ways to Make Skating More Inclusive to the LGBTQI2S+ Community

June is Pride Month and an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the LGBTQI2S+ community. Skate Canada has done and is continuing to do substantive work in relation to LGBTQI2S+ inclusion but we know there remains critical inclusion work to be done moving forward in relation to race, ethnicity, Indigeneity, religion, class, size, and ability, and their intersections.

As part of that work, Skate Canada would like to share the following ways to make skating more inclusive to the LGBTQI2S+ community. We would like to thank Dr. William Bridel for putting this information together for us and for the continued work he has done to educate and provide guidance as we strive to achieve an inclusive environment for all.

  1. Listen to LGBTQI2S+ members and persons in your community with empathy, respect, and compassion. Their stories are valid and important sources of information and knowledge!
  2. Educate yourself, educate others. There are many excellent resources available that provide general and sport-specific information on LGBTQI2S+ inclusion that are available through Skate Canada’s website at https://skatecanada.ca/safe-sport/. As one specific example, encourage coaches and volunteers to participate in a Canadian Women & Sport Leading the Way webinar or book a workshop for your club, region, or Section (https://womenandsport.ca/).
  3. Think critically about your own ideas about gender, gender identity, and gender expression: are some of your taken-for-granted ideas about femininity and masculinity impacting people in your life? For example, as an official, are you familiar with the revised costume rules in the sport? How will you be supportive of choices that skaters, coaches, and/or their parents/guardians make?
  4. Don’t make assumptions about people’s identities or people’s relationships and never “out” anyone; someone’s story about their gender identity or sexuality is their own to share, unless they have given you explicit permission to speak about them to others.
  5. Commit to using inclusive language and images. For example, honour people’s chosen pronouns and names. When creating documents use, for example, “they” instead of “he/she” and “skaters” instead of gender-specific terms. You can use words such as “folks” or “everyone” in place of “Ladies and Gentlemen” and groups should never be addressed as “guys”. If you need to ask for information about athletes’ parents, use the term Parent/Guardian and provide space for two or more names to be listed; avoid using the terms mother and father as families come in all shapes and sizes!
  6. Display LGBTQI2S+ symbols such as the Canadian Women & Sport “I Support Positive Space in Sport” poster (https://womenandsport.ca/) or Skate Canada Pride stickers on a club bulletin board, a website, the window of a skating office or coach’s room, or on your person (e.g., coffee mug, water bottle, skate bag). Why not participate in local Pride parades as a club or Section? Representation matters!
  7. Address dressing room/locker room requests and questions. Best practice guidelines are available for sport from the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (www.cces.ca). Skating-specific recommendations are in development and will be made available on Skate Canada’s website when finalized.
  8. Collaborate with other organizations in your community to offer learning opportunities to your members (e.g., PFLAG, Pride organizations, anti-bullying organizations, schools, the Canadian Olympic Committee’s #OneTeam Program, You Can Play, etc.)

In general, work to create inclusive space before you know you need to. Be willing to be brave: challenge others when they say something LGBTQphobic or you read it on social media. Seek to create spaces that are safe. Everyone benefits when sport is welcoming, inclusive, and people are allowed to be themselves in their pursuit of personal excellence.

Prepared for Skate Canada by Dr. William Bridel (Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary)

Two-Time Canadian Champion Alaine Chartrand Retires from Competitive Skating

OTTAWA, ON: 2016 and 2019 Canadian Champion, Alaine Chartrand, 25, Prescott, Ont., has announced her retirement from competitive skating.

“Throughout the past two seasons, I strongly considered a return to competitive skating,” said Chartrand. “However, with the onset of the pandemic, creating a training plan, finding enough ice time, and making things work with my other commitments became more difficult and untenable. Following conversations with my support team and coaches, Gregor Filipowski and Tracey Wainman, I now feel confident that this is the right decision. I would like to thank Skate Canada for their support during my skating career as well as my personal development outside the sport.”

Chartrand is a five-time Canadian medallist and claimed her first Canadian title in 2016 and would go on to win one more in 2019.

“Alaine was such an exciting skater to watch each and every time she stepped onto the ice, and it was an honour to have had her compete for Canada,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO, Skate Canada. “Her drive and dedication to push herself on and off the ice is a testament to her personality and Skate Canada wishes her all the best in her future endeavours.”

On the ISU Grand Prix Circuit, Chartrand has competed 10 times, earning a bronze medal at the Rostelecom Cup in 2014. Over the course of her career, Chartrand has competed in three world championships and six ISU Four Continents Skating Championships, finishing in the top ten three times.

“Alaine has been an integral part of the success of Skate Canada through her many accomplishments from becoming a Canadian Champion to competing at the World Championships.  Skate Canada is incredibly proud of the way Alaine has represented Canada and wish her nothing but the best,” said Mike Slipchuk, High Performance Director, Skate Canada.

Alaine continues to stay involved in skating with a focus on supporting the next generation of skaters both as a coach and skating fan.

Skate Canada Announces Safe Sport Ambassador Program

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada is proud to announce the launch of its Safe Sport Ambassador program. The new program will further advance Skate Canada’s safe sport program by allowing alumni and current athletes to give back to the sport by setting a positive example for the next generation of athletes and the greater skating community in safe sport.

We are happy to announce that three-time Canadian pair champion and Olympian, Kirsten Moore-Towers, and ten-time Canadian champion and three-time World champion, Patrick Chan, will be the Skate Canada Safe Sport Ambassadors for the 2021-2022 season.

“I am so honoured and thrilled to be named a Safe Sport Ambassador for the upcoming season, alongside Patrick Chan, who has been a long-time teammate and friend,” said Kirsten Moore-Towers. “I look forward to playing a key role in helping increase the awareness of Skate Canada’s National Safe Sport Program to all members and registrants.”

Both Kirsten and Patrick will be involved in increasing program awareness and education by promoting Skate Canada’s safe sport program through various channels. They will work closely with the safe sport and communications division to achieve its goals and objectives, such as communicating the value of our program to members/registrants, educating on various safe sport topics, and representing the program at launches and events.

“I am very humbled to be named one of Skate Canada’s Safe Sport Ambassadors for the 2021-2022 season. I am also very excited to have the opportunity to work with Kirsten Moore-Towers, who has been a positive role model in the figure skating world,” said Patrick Chan. “I believe Kirsten and I will be able to set a positive example and successfully relay Skate Canada’s Safe Sport messaging to the future generation of athletes.”

More information on this exciting new initiative will be available in the coming months.

 

Skate Canada to host 2023 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships®

OTTAWA, ON: The International Skating Union (ISU) has awarded the 2023 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships® to Skate Canada, who will host the event in Calgary, Alberta. This premium event will take place at WinSport Arena at Canada Olympic Park from February 27-March 5, 2023.

“Skate Canada is pleased to be hosting another top-tier event in Calgary at WinSport Arena at Canada Olympic Park for the 2023 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO, Skate Canada. “Calgary is no stranger to hosting successful events and Skate Canada is confident that this event will be no different. We are thrilled to be welcoming the future stars of figure skating in 2023.”

The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships is an annual event that moves around the globe, showcasing the best young skaters from around the world, competing for the world junior titles in men’s, women’s, pairs and ice dance.

Skate Canada has a long and illustrious history of hosting ISU sanctioned events, having previously held the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships five times. This will be the first time Calgary has been selected to host the event. Canada has hosted the championships in London (1981), Kitchener (1987,2005), Hull (1992), and Saint John (1998).

“Calgary is a preeminent winter sport city and we are ecstatic to be hosting the 2023 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championship.” said Jeff Daniels, Executive Director, Sport, Culture & Major Events at Tourism Calgary. “We had the privilege of collaborating with Skate Canada on a first-class bid and are pleased to have secured the event and its projected $8 million in economic impact for our city. Not only do international events like these provide benefits to support the recovery of Calgary’s visitor economy, they also deliver promotional and branding opportunities that enhance Calgary’s position as Canada’s Ultimate Host City.”

More information on the 2023 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships will be available in the coming months.

Vanessa James and Eric Radford to compete in pairs together

OTTAWA, ON: Vanessa James, 33, Scarborough, Ont., and Eric Radford, 36, Balmertown, Ont., have formed a new skating partnership and will compete for Canada in the pairs discipline this coming season. Both skaters have previously competed internationally with different partners, James representing France and Radford on the Canadian national team.

“Partnering up with Eric is a very exciting career opportunity. I am looking forward to a season full of inspiration, joy and personal growth,” said Vanessa James. “We’re both very much looking forward to this new chapter in our lives.”

“I’m looking forward to this new partnership with Vanessa and getting back on the ice and doing what we love,” said Eric Radford. “Vanessa and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to represent Canada this coming season and are looking forward to see what the future holds for our partnership.”

James and Radford both did not compete this season. James, with her previous skating partner Morgan Ciprés, is the 2019 European Champion, the 2018 World bronze medallist in the pairs event, and represented France at the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics. James and Ciprés announced their retirement in September 2019. Radford, with his previous skating partner Meagan Duhamel, is a two-time World pair champion (2015, 2016), a 2018 Olympic gold medallist in the team event, a 2018 Olympic bronze medallist in the pairs event, and a seven-time Canadian national champion (2012-18). Duhamel and Radford announced their retirement in April 2018.

This coming season, James and Radford will be training in Quebec coached by Julie Marcotte, and the pair team looks forward to representing Canada at international events.

Any media inquiries please contact [email protected].

Photo Credit: Naskademini naskademini.com

Canadian athletes gain valuable experience as World Team Trophy wraps up in Japan

OSAKA, Japan – The final chapter was written in an unprecedented figure skating season Saturday as the ISU World Team Trophy wrapped up in Japan.

As they did throughout the three-day event, Canadian team members enthusiastically cheered on their teammates from their team box as the pair and women’s free programs closed out the competition.

The Canadian team finished the three-day competition in sixth place with a total of 57 points. Team Russia secured the gold medal, followed by the United States with silver and Japan with bronze.

This week marked the seventh edition of the World Team Trophy, where team points were awarded by placement in each segment. Individual scores were then added together to calculate an overall team score. Canadian athletes that recently competed at the recent ISU World Figure Skating Championships did not attend the World Team Trophy due to Canadian quarantine rules.

“To have the opportunity for our athletes to compete in the World Team Trophy and in front of a live audience was a great way to end what has been such a difficult year,” said Skate Canada High Performance Director Mike Slipchuk. “For these athletes and those who represented Canada at the world championships in Sweden, it will be an invaluable competitive experience as they look to the Olympic season ahead.”

In seven trips to the World Team Trophy, Canada has finished on the podium three times, winning silver in 2009 and 2013, and bronze in 2012.

On Saturday, Alison Schumacher of Tecumseh, Ont. earned 111.98 to finish eighth in the women’s free program. Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont. was 10th with 107.30.

Anna Shcherbakova of Russia scored 160.58 to win the event. Kaori Sakamoto of Japan was second while Russia’s Elizaveta Tuktamysheva placed third.

In the pair free program, Lori-Ann Matte and Thierry Ferland of Lévis, Que. finished in sixth spot at 101.83. Russia’s Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov were first in the segment followed by Americans Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier.

Team Canada was represented by Daleman, Schumacher, Matte and Ferland, Roman Sadovsky and Nam Nguyen (men) and Carolane Soucisse and Shane Firus (ice dance).

To view final results, please visit the ISU website.

 

 

Canadians stay in sixth spot after second day of World Team Trophy

OSAKA, Japan – Canada remained in sixth place Friday as the 2021 ISU World Team Trophy wrapped up its second day of competition.

The Canadian team has a total of 42 points and is 11 points back of Italy for fifth spot with one day remaining. This is the first international competition of the year for every member of the Team Canada.

Team Russia moved into first place Friday with 91 points, followed by the United States with 83. Japan holds down third with 78 points.

Team points are awarded based on finishing positions at the conclusion of each segment (12 points for first, 11 points for second, etc.…) Individual competitor scores are added together to calculate a cumulative team score.

The event, which started in 2009, is staged every two years. In six trips to the ISU World Team Trophy prior to this season, Canada has finished on the podium three times, most recently winning a silver medal in 2013.

The men’s event closed out Friday, with 2020 Canadian champion Roman Sadovsky earning 134.80 in his free program to finish 10th. Nam Nguyen of Ajax, Ont., a two-time national champion, scored 133.04.

A day after claiming top spot in the men’s short program, three-time world champion Nathan Chen of the United States followed suit by winning the free program with 203.24. Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu was second and Mikhail Kolyada of Russia placed third.

Carolane Soucisse (Châteauguay, Que.) and Shane Firus (North Vancouver, B.C.), the 2020 Canadian bronze medallists, also concluded their competition Friday, finishing sixth in the free dance.

World champions Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia won the free dance competition, followed by Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy. Americans Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker placed third.

In the pair short program, Lori-Ann Matte and Thierry Ferland of Lévis, Que. scored 54.91 and are in sixth spot. Russia’s Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov earned 73.77 to lead going into the free program.

The World Team Trophy competition concludes Saturday with the pair and women’s free programs. To view start times and results, visit the ISU website.