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Register to Skate at Your Local Skate Canada Club!

Skate Canada is excited to kick off the 2016-2017 skating season with a reminder to register for skating programs at your local Skate Canada club or skating school. Skating is an integral part of the Canadian experience, and with a diverse offering of programs, aspiring participants of all-ages can learn at their own pace. All Skate Canada member coaches hold National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) certification, first aid and valid police clearance checks and quality instruction is available at all 1,200 member clubs and skating schools across the country.

We are pleased to announce that registration for the 2016-2017 season is officially underway! Skate Canada is happy to offer a wide-range of programs, from CanSkate, presented by Canadian Tire, for beginners of any age to AdultSkate, for adults looking to continue their healthy lifestyle. For those looking to join a team, our Synchronized Skating  programs are tailored for groups of eight or more skaters performing as a team.

Skate Canada’s recently revitalized CanSkate program is accessible to all Canadians and has been implemented in all member clubs and skating schools nationwide. The CanSkate program is based on principles of Sport Canada’s Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD), and offers great tools, great coaching and a tested and proven curriculum and delivery methods that guarantee for strong basic skills and quicker skating development. The CanSkate program also teaches skills that prepare skaters for   other popular Canadian sports like hockey, ringette and speed skating, by working on the skaters’ balance, speed, control and agility.

Other programs clubs may offer include:

  • CanPowerSkate, with a focus on balance, power, agility and endurance, this program is perfect for those looking to enhance their hockey and ringette skating skills.
  • STARSkate, a diverse program that aims to enhance figure skating skills in four different disciplines.
  • CompetitiveSkate, a program that aims to identify and enhance potential competitive skating talent, by incorporating tests and other training opportunities into the curriculum.
  • AdultSkate, dynamic program offering CanSkate, STARSkate and CanPowerSkate programs aimed at adults.
  • SynchroSkate, streamlined discipline of skating that involves groups of eight or more skaters performing various group formations and manoeuvres.
  • Athletes with a disability and Special Olympic athletes may join in any and all of the Skate Canada programs.

Learning to skate is a natural part of Canadian life. From early steps on the ice, holding onto a parent’s hand, to skating as a family activity, or moving on to other ice sports, skating offers a rich, active experience. Skate Canada’s wide array of programs have been designed to cover all aspects of skating development, and there is a program right for you!

To learn more about skating programs near you, please contact your nearest club using Skate Canada’s Find a Club page or visit Skate Canada’s website at www.skatecanada.ca under the ‘Skating Lessons’ tab and get skating with us!

Twenty-three Canadians to compete at the 2016 International Adult Figure Skating Competition in Germany

OTTAWA, ON: Twenty-three Canadian adult skaters will be competing at the International Adult Figure Skating Competition being held in Oberstdorf, Germany from June 13-18, 2016.

This year’s competition has once again attracted record numbers, more than 500 adult skaters from 32 countries. In order to compete at the International Adult Figure Skating Competition, skaters must be between the ages of 28 and 78.

“We are so proud that Canada has a healthy, active community of adult figure skaters,” said Leanna Caron, President, Skate Canada.  “Each year, we have a strong contingent of skaters who compete in this prestigious international adult competition, and they have done us very proud, bringing home many medals since this competition began in 2005.”

Over the six-day competition, skaters will compete in the following categories:

  • Free Skating
  • Artistic Free Skating
  • Pairs Free Skating
  • Pairs Artistic Free Skating
  • Ice Dance – Pattern Dance
  • Ice Dance – Short Dance
  • Ice Dance – Free Dance
  • Synchronized Skating

The 2016 adult figure skaters representing Canada are:

British Columbia
Diana Barkley and Geoff Squires (Ice Dance and Pairs)
Gary Beacom (Free Skate)

Alberta
Maureen Bennie (Free Skate)
Joan McGrath (Free Skate)
Teresa Rambold (Free Skate)
Taya Shig (Free Skate)
Cathy Taylor (Free Skate)

Ontario
Sara Davidson (Free Skate)
Takashi Ikeno (Free Skate and Pairs)
Angela Justason (Free Skate)
Christine Janes (Ice Dance)
Ken Langlois (Ice Dance)
Hisayo Shibata (Free Skate and Pairs)

Quebec
Valerie Larouche (Free Skate)
Anny Carrier (Free Skate)

Nova Scotia
Donna Ellen Baker (Free Skate and Synchro)
Kayleigh Butler (Free Skate and Synchro)
Ashley Morine (Free Skate and Pairs)
Donald Murray (Free Skate and Pairs)
Kimberly Myra (Free Skate and Synchro)
Jillian Jackson-Rutledge (Free Skate and Synchro)
Meghan Elizabeth Stark (Free Skate and Synchro)
Team Scotian Waves (Synchronized Skating)

To learn more about international adult skating, please visit ISU Adult Working Group.

Canadian Adult Skaters Converging on Oakville for 2016 Skate Canada Adult Figure Skating Championships

OTTAWA, ON: Nine hundred twenty-one Canadian adult figure skaters, including 42 synchronized skating teams, are headed to Oakville, Ont., this week in preparation for the 2016 Skate Canada Adult Figure Skating Championships. The event takes place from April 22-24, 2016, at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex and features adult skaters from across the country competing in four disciplines: free skate, interpretive, ice dance, and synchronized skating.

“The record number of participants in this year’s Skate Canada Adult Figure Skating Championships shows that adult skating is thriving in our country,” said Dan Thompson, CEO, Skate Canada. “Oakville is ready to host our adult skaters as they enjoy a weekend of competition and fun – embracing our Skate for Life values.”

Skate Canada will also be offering workshops on Thursday, April 21, geared specially toward adult skaters. Monica Lockie, Skate Canada National Performance Centre Director, will present and facilitate three workshops focusing on creativity on ice, training regimens, and growing adult skating programs across the country.

Thursday’s opening ceremony will feature Skate Canada CEO Dan Thompson and world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Donald Jackson as guest speakers.

Tickets will be available at the door at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex. All-event passes are $25 for adults and $15 for children aged 6-12. Daily passes are $10 for adults and $5 for children aged 6-12. Children under five enter free of charge. For further information, please visit the Skate Canada 2016 Adult Figure Skating Championships page.

Skate Canada offers recreational, test, and competitive opportunities to adult skaters through our AdultSkate program. Programs available to adult skaters include CanSkate, STARSkate, CanPowerSkate, and SynchroSkate. To locate a club in your region that offers adult programming, please consult your Section office.

Canadian skaters return with 16 medals from 2015 ISU Adult Competition

OTTAWA, ONT: Canada’s adult figure skaters returned this week from the 2015 International Skating Union (ISU) Adult Figure Skating Competition held in Oberstdorf, Germany. The twenty-three member team brought home a total of 16 medals, including eight gold medals, five silver medals, and three bronze medals.

The competition, which took place over the course of six days, included 400 competitors between the ages of 28 and 78 from 29 countries across the world.

“Once again, our Canadian adult skaters showed that skating is for life while putting on fantastic performances in Oberstdorf,” said Dan Thompson, Skate Canada Chief Executive Officer. “The level of sportsmanship displayed by this group on and off ice is one that would inspire any Canadian to embrace the joy of skating.”

The Canadian medallists at the 2015 ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition were:

Gold medallists:
Gary Beacom – Master (Elite) Men III & IV Artistic Free Skating
Gary Beacom – Master (Elite) Men II & III Free Skating
Isabella Ciocoiu – Bronze Ladies II Artistic Free Skating
Sara Davidson – Gold Ladies II Artistic Free Skating
David Dickie – Gold Men III & IV Free Skating
Shig Taya – Bronze Men I & II Artistic Free Skating
Janette Wood – Silver Ladies III Artistic Free Skating
Janette Wood – Silver Ladies III Free Skating

Silver medallists:
Diana Barkley & Geoff Squires – Ice Dance Gold Pattern Dance
Diana Barkley & Geoff Squires – Ice Dance Master (Elite) Free Dance
Michelle Swan – Bronze Ladies I Free Skating
Francesco Ventura – Silver Men III & IV Artistic Free Skating
Angie Zurita – Silver Ladies II Free Skating

Bronze medallists:
Isabella Ciocoiu – Bronze Ladies II Free Skating
David Dickey – Master (Elite) Men III & IV Artistic Free Skating
Francesco Ventura – Bronze Men IV & V Free Skating

At the event’s closing banquet, the ISU’s Peter Krick announced that the 2016 ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition would once again be held in Oberstdorf, Germany from June 6-11, 2016.

For more information, please visit www.adultskating.org.

Twenty-Three Canadians to Compete in Germany at 2015 ISU Adult Competition

OTTAWA, ONT: Twenty-three Canadian skaters are headed to Germany to compete at the 2015 International Skating Union (ISU) Adult Figure Skating Competition. The event takes place in Oberstdorf, Germany, from May 18-23, 2015.

This year’s event will host over 400 competitors from 29 countries. In order to compete at the ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition, skaters must be between the ages of 28 and 78. The competition once again features many former international competitors, including Canada’s own Gary Beacom, 1984 Olympian and 1988 World Professional Champion.

“Our Canadian team at the 2015 ISU Adult Competition truly embodies skating for life. Their commitment and love for our sport is next to none, and an inspiration to all to embrace they joy of skating,” said Dan Thompson, Skate Canada CEO. “We wish our Canadian skaters the best of luck in their performances as they represent our country to the fullest.”

Over the seven-day competition, skaters will compete in the following categories:

  • Ladies and Men Free Skating
  • Ladies and Men Artistic Free Skating
  • Pairs Free Skating
  • Ice Dance – Pattern Dance
  • Ice Dance – Short Dance
  • Ice Dance – Free Dance
  • Synchronized Skating

Since the event’s inception in 2005, Canada has been well represented in entries and medal count. In 2014, the Canadian team earned a total of 34 medals, including 10 gold medals, 14 silver medals, and 10 bronze medals.

The adult figure skaters representing Canada are:

British Columbia Alberta Ontario Quebec
Diana Barkley Maureen Bennie Sandra Blitz Emilie Berthiaume
Gary Beacom Isabella Ciocoiu Jan Calnan
David Dickey Annette Nymeyer Sara Davidson
Alexandra Gunsett Shig Taya Takashi Ikeno
Betty Hyunah Catherine Taylor Hisayo Shibata
Geoff Squires Sandy Smith
Janette Wood Carol Snow
Michelle Swan
Francesco Ventura
Angie Zurita

For more information, please visit www.adultskating.org.

52-year-old skater to pursue gold at Nationals

For most Canadian children, learning to skate is considered a rite of passage.

That wasn’t the case for Jeffrey Morden from Fergus, Ontario. His passion for skating came much later.

“When I was in grade four my family moved out of Fergus to a farm just up Highway 6. When my parents went to work, we used to go into town to babysitters where school was within walking distance. Once in a while after school my sitter would put my skates on for me and I’d walk down the sidewalk, a block and a half, to the arena. I didn’t know you were supposed to wear guards!”

Although Jeffrey never took skating lessons as a child, other sporting experiences were becoming a part of his daily routine.

“My Dad trained and raced Standardbred horses and I helped him with that when I was growing up. When my cousin started riding, something I wanted to do too, I got riding lessons for my tenth birthday. I loved it so much that by the time I was in my teens I was competing in Junior, then in three day Eventing and finally twice at Canadian Pony Club Nationals.”

During high school and throughout his years as a competitive rider, Jeffrey was also heavily involved in music, concert Band, choir, school musicals and his favorite, as a member of a contemporary pop group called Surge. “Surge was a big deal at my school … Surge was like ABBA!”

Then in his grade twelve year, his school took on its first big production, Guy and Dolls. For Jeffrey it was a turning point.

“At that time I was still riding and taking an exam through Pony Club so I had no time to audition for the show.”

But that didn’t mean he wasn’t interested, in fact, he was feeling so left out that his voice teacher talked the director into giving him a last-minute audition. The director was hooked and immediately cast Jeffrey in the show that year, following up the next year with the role of Lawyer Louie Loser in Jacob Two-Two and the Hooded Fang.

During his final year, as Jeffrey’s love for music and theatre continued to grow, he knew he was at a cross roads and had to make a big decision after graduation. Would he continue with riding or would he pursue his education?

“University won out,” admitted Jeffrey. “I ended up in the School of Dramatic Art at the University of Windsor starting out as a Costume and Set Design major.” But after one year, sensing that he had hidden talents that hadn’t yet been explored, he switched to Performance.

“I studied voice at the School of Music, acting at the School of Dramatic Art and dance at any studio in the city.”

Little did he know that another discipline, skating, was waiting in the wings.

jeffrey-morden-costume-design“When I was at university I was watching skating on television. There was something about it that struck a chord. Since there was a rink a couple of blocks from my apartment, I decided I’d give it a try. So I went to Goodwill and bought these antique skates, died them black and then got out the phone book to see where I could get them sharpened. When I took them to the figure skating shop, the people there just looked at them stunned … there was no way anyone could actually skate in them!”

And in true “Jeffrey” style, he started talking to the owner. “In exchange for a pair of used men’s skates, I offered to bead dresses and make design templates. That year I even beaded a dress for international pair skater Denise Benning!”

When Jeffrey finished school, Toronto was in his sights. “The first thing after getting settled was to find a skating club and a coach beginning at the West Toronto Figure Skating Club and then at Moss Park Skating Club. I studied dancing and figures, started testing and took my preliminary free skate about four months later … and I’m proud to say my program had two Axels in it.”

It was a great start for a 24-year old adult skater but then when Jeffrey began getting more work as a singer/dancer/actor, skating had to take a back seat to life. On the road and performing for years on stage and on cruise ships, he never forgot the joy of skating, often taking advantage of rehearsal time to keep up his skating muscle memory.

jeffrey-morden-stage-performance“You could always see me doing jumps off ice while in rehearsals, at the gym or warming up for a show. Occasionally I would sneak one into a number here or there. There was a lovely double loop in the Summertime adage during Birth of the Blues on one Holland America Cruise but for the most part that was it. I didn’t go public skating or guest skate anywhere during those years except on one occasion in Singapore when I tried to get to the rink but they were closed that day.”

Fast forward a few decades to 2011 and to the moment skating came back into Jeffrey’s life. “One day when I was teaching at a private school in Guelph, my friend Lisa said to me, ‘You know, they have adult competitions now.’ So I guess I can blame her for my passion to compete and test while in my fifties.”

And come back, he did, with a fierce determination to learn, become a judge, compete and share his performance expertise.

On the ice, Jeffrey continues to train for tests and competitions. He’s accomplished his goals of passing his Junior Bronze Dances, his Senior Bronze Freeskate and his Gold Artistic test. Competitively he’s been successful at Adult Nationals, last year finishing second in both the Men’s Gold Free Skate and the Men’s Bronze Interpretive. This year in Calgary, he’ll be back at Adult Nationals representing the Elora and District Skating Club and looking for the top spot on the podium.

As for sharing his performance knowledge, that part of his skating career is growing too. “I have always said that skaters are being judged on something they have no training in. I believe the fact that I am a skater and now a judge, combined with my years of performance training and experience, I believe I can bring many things to the table.”

jeffrey-morden-nutcraker-performanceCoaching skaters on theatrical understanding and impact has already given him some wonderful opportunities. “This summer will be my third year working in Toronto at Ice Dance Elite with Carol Lane. During the summer skaters come to Carol from all over the world so I’ve had the pleasure to work with teams from Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic as well as amazing junior and senior Canadian teams.”

Working off ice with competitors, teaching performance classes and helping to develop new appreciation for character and storylines convey Jeffrey’s admiration of a sport he calls a combination of athletics and artistry. He also feels in many ways the sport is a mirror of life.

“There is so much cross over here. Whether it’s time management, healthy living or obtaining a new skill, you really do use skills that you bring from the ice to your daily life.”

Jeffrey also emphasizes you don’t have to be young to skate.

“As you get older, it’s a great non-impact sport, develops greater balance and core strength, coordination, muscle toning, cardio… and that’s just from basic stroking. Add musicality by using your whole body to create shapes and suddenly you’re at a whole new level of activity.”

His attitude is infectious. “At the end of 12 or 13 hours of judging everyone is always saying ‘I need a drink’ and I’m always saying, ‘I just watched people skate all day, I want to go skate!’

“The problem though is that I sit there and watch and think, I’m only 52, I can still learn that.”

Calgary … Adult Nationals …get ready!

Calgary set to host 2015 Skate Canada Adult Figure Skating Championships

OTTAWA, ON: Four hundred fifty Canadian adult figure skaters will travel to Calgary, Alta., this week in preparation for the 2015 Skate Canada Adult Figure Skating Championships. The event takes place from April 3-5, 2015, at the WinSport Canada Athletic and Ice Complex, located at Canada Olympic Park, and features adult skaters from across the country competing in four disciplines: free skate, interpretive, ice dance, and synchronized skating.

“The 2015 Skate Canada Adult Figure Skating Championships will gather hundreds of Canadians from ages 18 to 75 who share an incredible bond in their passion for lifelong skating. Skaters and teams at this event have displayed hard work and dedication all season long in preparation for this weekend,” said Dan Thompson, CEO, Skate Canada. “We look forward to Calgary hosting these skaters and joining in the celebration of their success.”

New this year, Skate Canada will be offering two workshops on Thursday, April 2, focusing on the theme Active for Life: Keeping the Adult Body and Mind in Sync for Skating. Dr. William Bridel will present An Active Workshop on Physical Activity and Adult Skaters, and Sommer Christie will discuss Sharpening your Mental Edge.

This year will also see special guest Cassie Campbell-Pascall as the master of ceremonies at the event’s opening ceremony and meet and greet on Thursday evening. Captain of Canada’s national women’s hockey team from 2001-2006, Campbell-Pascall will share her experience in skating for life and keeping active in sport.

Admission for the 2015 Skate Canada Adult Figure Skating Championships is free of charge. Live streaming will be available through Skate Canada’s Dailymotion page. For further information, please visit the Skate Canada 2015 Adult Figure Skating Championships page.

Skate Canada offers recreational, test, and competitive opportunities to adult skaters through our AdultSkate program. Programs available to adult skaters include CanSkate, STARSkate, CanPowerSkate, and SynchroSkate. To locate a club in your region that offers adult programming, please consult your Section office.