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Olympian Craig Buntin returns home to Kelowna to act as the 2014 Skate Canada International Athlete Ambassador

OTTAWA, ON: Olympic figure skater and Kelowna native Craig Buntin, 34, will return to his hometown to act as the Athlete Ambassador for the 2014 Skate Canada International. The prestigious international competition will take place at Prospera Place from October 30 – November 2, 2014.

Buntin will make a stop in Kelowna this weekend leading up to the event. He will be available for media interviews on Friday, September 19 and will attend the Kelowna Rockets home opener on Saturday, September 20. Buntin has special ties to the team; he was the original ‘Rocky’ the Kelowna Rockets mascot.

“Hosting Skate Canada International is a huge milestone for figure skating in Kelowna and I am both honoured and proud to be a part of it. The last time it was held in the Okanagan, I was a teenager with big dreams and watching the event was an early step in what would become an unbelievable journey. It will be inspiring to see that same spark in the eyes of Kelowna’s next generation of athletes as the best skaters in the world take to the ice in October,” said Buntin.

Buntin is a three-time Canadian Pair Champion, first finding success with partner Valérie Marcoux. Together they won three Canadian pair titles from 2004-2006 and competed at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy.  In 2007 he teamed up with Meagan Duhamel.  At their first world championships in 2008 they placed 6th and landed on the podium three times at the national championships.

Since retiring from skating in 2010 Buntin has completed an MBA at McGill University and worked as an entrepreneur. His most recent project is VeriSkate, a software app that is used to analyze the movements of figure skaters: how high they jump or throw, the distance the move travels, the speed at which it travels, the flow, the ice coverage.

Over the course of the four-day event Buntin will step into the role of athlete ambassador, handling speaking engagements, media interviews, making appearances on behalf of the competing athletes, and making time for his fans.

TICKETS

Tickets are on sale now! The single event ticket prices range from $15-$60, plus applicable surcharges. Children under 12 are free on Thursday for practice sessions. Tickets may be purchased online at www.selectyourtickets.com, by phone at 250.762.5050 or in person at the Prospera Place Box Office.

WHO TO WATCH

Headlining the field in Kelowna are four members of the Canadian 2014 Olympic silver medal team: Kevin Reynolds; Meagan Duhamel; Eric Radford; and Kirsten Moore-Towers.

Joining them will be Canada’s reigning world silver medalists in ice dance, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, along with a number of world-class skaters including Spain’s Javier Fernandez, USA’s Ashley Wagner, Japan’s Takahiko Kozuka and many other Olympic and world competitors.

EVENT INFO

Skate Canada International is the second competition in the annual ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating® series. The other events take place in the United States (Skate America), China (Cup of China), France (Trophée Eric Bompard), Russia (Rostelecom Cup) and Japan (NHK Trophy). Skaters are awarded points based on their placements in the series’ events.

At the conclusion of all the events, the top-six men and ladies and the top-six pair and ice dance teams qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final to be held in Barcelona, Spain from December 11-13, 2014.

Single Event Tickets on Sale Today for 2014 Skate Canada International in Kelowna

OTTAWA, ON: Single event tickets for the 2014 Skate Canada International in Kelowna, B.C., on sale Friday, September 12, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. (PT). The event will take place from October 30 – November 2, 2014 at Prospera Place.

TICKETS

The single event ticket prices range from $15-$60, plus applicable surcharges. Children under 12 are free on Thursday for practice sessions. Tickets may be purchased online at www.selectyourtickets.com, by phone at 250.762.5050 or in person at the Prospera Place Box Office.

WHO TO WATCH

Headlining the field in Kelowna are five members of the Canadian 2014 Olympic silver medal team: Kaetlyn Osmond; Kevin Reynolds; Meagan Duhamel; Eric Radford; and Kirsten Moore-Towers.

Joining them will be Canada’s reigning world silver medalists in ice dance, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, along with a number of world-class skaters including Spain’s Javier Fernandez, USA’s Ashley Wagner, Japan’s Takahiko Kozuka and many other Olympic and world competitors.

EVENT INFO

Skate Canada International is the second competition in the annual ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating® series. The other events take place in the United States (Skate America), China (Cup of China), France (Trophée Eric Bompard), Russia (Rostelecom Cup) and Japan (NHK Trophy). Skaters are awarded points based on their placements in the series’ events.

At the conclusion of all the events, the top-six men and ladies and the top-six pair and ice dance teams qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final to be held in Barcelona, Spain from December 11-13, 2014.

The full competition schedule can be viewed on the Skate Canada website. Media wishing to cover the event are asked to apply for media accreditation online.

Osmond, Reynolds, Weaver & Poje, Duhamel & Radford headline 2014 Skate Canada International in Kelowna

OTTAWA, ON: The International Skating Union (ISU) has announced the line-ups for the six 2014 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating® events. Canada will host the second stop on the circuit, the 2014 Skate Canada International in Kelowna, British Columbia from October 31 – November 2, 2014 at Prospera Place.

Fans will get to watch members of the Canadian 2014 Olympic silver medal team compete, including Kaetlyn Osmond, Kevin Reynolds, Meagan Duhamel, Eric Radford and Kirsten Moore-Towers. Joining them will be Canada’s reigning silver medalists in ice dance, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, along with a number of world-class skaters including Spain’s Javier Fernandez, USA’s Ashley Wagner, Japan’s Takahito Kozuka and many other Olympic and world competitors.

“Canadian skating is coming off a high from the Olympic Games this past February and we hope Canadians will embrace this opportunity to see old favourites and cheer on new faces,” said Dan Thompson, Skate Canada CEO. “The Grand Prix series is an exclusive group of talented skaters and we are excited to have so many international stars coming to Kelowna this October.”

Skate Canada International is the second competition in the annual series. The other events take place in the United States (Skate America), China (Cup of China), Russia (Rostelecom Cup), France (Trophée Eric Bompard), and Japan (NHK Trophy).

Skaters are awarded points based on their placements in the series’ events. The top-six men and ladies and the top-six pair and ice dance teams qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final® to be held in Barcelona, Spain from December 11-14, 2014.

All-event tickets are on sale now. Prices range from $135-$185, plus applicable surcharges and can be purchased online at www.selectyourtickets.com, by phone at 250.762.5050 or in person at the Prospera Place Box Office.

2014 Skate Canada International Entries*

MEN’S
Elladj BALDÉ (CAN)
Liam FIRUS (CAN)
Kevin REYNOLDS (CAN)
Michal BREZINA (CZE)
Florent AMODIO (FRA)
Takahiko KOZUKA (JPN)
Takahito MURA (JPN)
Konstantin MENSHOV (RUS)
Javier FERNANDEZ (ESP)
Alexander MAJOROV (SWE)
Max AARON (USA)
Adam RIPPON (USA)

LADIES
Véronik MALLET (CAN)
Kaetlyn OSMOND (CAN)
To be determined (CAN)
Nathalie WEINZIERL (GER)
Valentina MARCHEI (ITA)
Rika HONGO (JPN)
Satoko MIYAHARA (JPN)
Hae Jin KIM (KOR)
Alena LEONOVA (RUS)
Anna POGORILAYA (RUS)
Courtney HICKS (USA)
Ashley WAGNER (USA)

PAIR
Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD (CAN)
Britney JONES / Joshua REAGAN (CAN)
Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Michael MARINARO (CAN)
Wenjing SUI / Cong HAN (CHN)
Vanessa JAMES / Morgan CIPRES (FRA)
Mari VARTMANN / Aaron VAN CLEAVE (GER)
Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV (RUS)
Felicia ZHANG / Nathan BARTHOLOMAY (USA)

ICE DANCE
Piper GILLES / Paul POIRIER (CAN)
Elisabeth PARADIS / François Xavier OUELLETTE (CAN)
Kaitlyn WEAVER / Andrew POJE (CAN)
Nelli ZHIGANSHINA / Alexander GAZSI (GER)
Ksenia MONKO / Kirill KHALIAVIN (RUS)
Sara HURTADO / Adria DIAZ (ESP)
Alexandra ALDRIDGE / Daniel EATON (USA)
Madison HUBBELL / Zachary DONOHUE (USA)

Canadian Assignments for the 2014 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series*

Skate America — Chicago, IL, USA. — October 24-26, 2014
Men’s: Nam NGUYEN
Ice Dance: Nicole ORFORD / Thomas WILLIAMS

Skate Canada International —Kelowna, British Columbia— October 31 – November 2, 2014
Ladies: Véronik MALLET, Kaetlyn OSMOND
Men’s: Elladj BALDÉ, Liam FIRUS, Kevin REYNOLDS
Pair: Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD, Britney JONES / Joshua REAGAN, Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Michael MARINARO
Ice Dance: Piper GILLES / Paul POIRIER, Elisabeth PARADIS / Francois Xavier OUELLETTE, Kaitlyn WEAVER / Andrew POJE

Cup of China — Shanghai, China — November 7-9, 2014
Ladies: Gabrielle DALEMAN
Men’s: Nam NGUYEN
Ice Dance: Alexandra PAUL / Mitchell ISLAM

Rostelecom Cup — Moscow, Russia — November 14-16, 2014
Ladies: Alaine CHARTRAND
Men’s:  Jeremy TEN

Trophée Eric Bompard — Bordeaux, France — November 21-23, 2014
Ladies: Kaetlyn OSMOND
Pair: Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Michael MARINARO
Ice Dance: Piper GILLES / Paul POIRIER, Alexandra PAUL / Mitchell ISLAM

NHK Trophy — Osaka, Japan — November 28-30
Ladies: Gabrielle DALEMAN
Men’s: Kevin REYNOLDS
Pair: Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD
Ice Dance: Kaitlyn WEAVER / Andrew POJE

For full entries at the five other ISU Grand Prix events please visit www.isu.org.

*Entries are subject to change

2014 Skate Canada International all-event tickets on sale Friday

OTTAWA, ON: Tickets for the 2014 Skate Canada International will go on sale this Friday, April 25 at 10:00 a.m. (PT). This year’s event takes place in Kelowna, B.C., at Prospera Place from October 31 – November 2, 2014.

All-event tickets cost $135-$185, plus applicable surcharges and can be purchased online at www.selectyourtickets.com, by phone at 250.762.5050 or in person at the Prospera Place Box Office.

“This event will feature many of our top Canadian athletes in head-to-head competition with the best international skaters in men’s, ladies, pair and ice dance,” said Mark Halliday, Chief Marketing Officer, Skate Canada. “Fans will have the opportunity to see current Olympic and world medalists, as well as many young athletes who will be challenging for the podium four years from now at the next Olympic Winter Games in 2018.”

The list of competitors for the event will be announced in late June, when all six of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating® event assignments are determined.  Skate Canada International is the second competition in the annual series. The other events take place in the United States (Skate America), China (Cup of China), France (Trophée Eric Bompard), Russia (Rostelecom Cup) and Japan (NHK Trophy).

Skaters are awarded points based on their placements in the series’ events. The top-six men and ladies and the top-six pair and ice dance teams qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final® to be held in Barcelona, Spain from December 11-14, 2014.

International figure skating event gets provincial support

KELOWNA ─ Premier Christy Clark today has announced $100,000 in support of Skate Canada International which will bring international competitors and visitors to Kelowna this fall.

“Skate Canada International will bring the world’s best skaters and our future Olympians to Kelowna for an event that will attract thousands of visitors,” said Premier Clark. “I know that Kelowna residents and businesses will welcome them with open arms.”

Skate Canada International will be held at Prospera Place in Kelowna Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2014. Nearly 20,000 spectators are expected to attend the event, which also will generate economic returns for the region. The 2013 Skate Canada International in Saint John, N.B. generated economic spinoffs estimated at $4 million.

“We know that Kelowna will warmly welcome the athletes, officials, coaches, volunteers and visitors to this beautiful part of our country,” said Dan Thompson, Skate Canada CEO. “With such an impressive calibre of Canadian and international competitors at the 2014 Skate Canada International, we know that the next generation of B.C. skaters will be inspired by having this event in their community. We would like to thank the B.C. government for the financial commitment to this event and for its ongoing support to growing sport in the province.”

Funding is being provided through the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

Skate Canada International is the second competition in the annual ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating® series. The other events take place in the United States, China, France, Russia and Japan. Skaters are awarded points based on their placements in the series’ events. The top-six men and ladies and the top-six pair and ice dance teams qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in December 2014.

Quick Facts:

  • This is the first time Kelowna has hosted Skate Canada International. The last time the event was held in B.C. was in 2006 in Victoria.
  • Approximately 60 of the world’s best figure skaters from 13 to 15 different countries will participate in Skate Canada International in four disciplines: Men’s, Ladies, Pairs and Ice Dance. Close to 200 volunteers will assist with the event.
  • The television audience for Skate Canada International in both 2012 and 2013 totalled nearly 2 million viewers in Canada and over 25 million worldwide.

Media Contacts:

Sam Oliphant
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
250 952-7252

Jennifer Cador
Communications
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
250 356-0979

Barb MacDonald
Director Corporate Communications
Skate Canada
613 747-1007 x 2507
613 894-1769 (mobile)
[email protected]

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect