Outline of NCC Events

Come together in Winnipeg as “Partners in Progress” for four days of professional development and networking opportunities for coaches and officials. On and off-ice educational sessions to better your coaching and officiating career will be presented by some of the best sport professionals in Canada. This year, the NCC will become an international conference as coaches from around the world are invited to attend.

This year’s Annual General Meeting being held on Saturday, May 30, 2015 will mark the first time Skate Canada professional coaching members can actively participate and vote at this meeting. Take part in this historical moment and contribute to building the future of our sport.

Convention Package Pick-up

Location: Fort Garry Hotel
Wednesday, May 27: 15:00 to 19:30
Thursday, May 28: 14:00 to 20:00
Friday, May 29: 07:00 to 17:30
Saturday, May 30: 07:00 to 08:30

2014 NCC opening with guest speaker Jeffrey Buttle and host Benoît Lavoie Quebec City, QC

Wednesday, May 27
Pre-Conference Workshop: Conflict Resolution

Presenter: Megan Svistovski, CAAWS Facilitator and Skate Canada coach
Time: 13:30 – 16:30
Cost: Included in NCC registration fee
Registration: Pre-workshop registration is required. To provide an interactive learning environment, this workshop will be capped at 30 participants. Please indicate your interest to attend this training when you register for the NCC.

Skate Canada is pleased to offer this workshop presented by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport (CAAWS). Conflict, in its many forms, is an inevitable part of our personal and professional lives. This workshop will help participants better understand and resolve conflict professionally, by examining the following:

  • Consider sources of conflict and the cost of leaving conflict unresolved
  • Consider five styles for dealing with conflict, identify your preferred style and discuss situations when each style should be employed
  • Review tips for effective conflict management
National Coaches’ Conference Opening with Olympic Coach, Melody Davidson

“I’m not sure why I got into coaching,” says Davidson. “I think it had something to do with growing up in a small town. If you played a sport, you coached it.”

Time: 19:00 – 19:30 Reception
19:30 – 22:00 Dinner
Fee: Included in NCC registration fee

Join us for dinner with Melody Davidson, two time Olympic gold medal coach (2006 and 2010) for the Canadian women’s hockey team. Currently leading the women’s high performance and national team programs at Hockey Canada, Melody will share expertise on coach mentorship and technical leadership. A certified Level 4 NCCP hockey coach and graduate of the National Coaching Institute, Melody was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Committee Hall of Fame in 2011.

Thursday, May 28
National Coaches’ Conference Workshop Program

Time: 07:00 – 17:30
Location: MTS Iceplex
Meals: A continental breakfast and box lunch are included in the NCC fee
Transportation: Bus transportation will be provided to and from the venues

TIME Learn to Skate / Learn to Train Learn to Compete / Train to Compete
07:00-07:45 Transportation to rink
07:45-08:30 Welcome Breakfast
08:45-09:45 Optimizing Skating Technique with Melody Davidson & Joel Lenius Taking Foundation Skills To The Next Level with Tracy Wilson
10:00-11:00 Quality Basics: Essential Foundation with Tracy Wilson Choreography Part 1 with Mark Pillay
11:15-12:15 New STAR with Monica Lockie and Keegan Murphy Taking Foundation Skills To The Next Level with Tracy Wilson
12:30-13:30 Lunch & Learn: Lead with Purpose with Executive Coach, Tanya Dubnicoff
13:45-14:45 Quality Basics: Essential Foundation with Tracy Wilson Ice Dance with Paul MacIntosh and Pascal Denis
15:00-16:00 CanSkate in Action with Mary-Liz Wiley, Megan Svistovski, and Chris Stokes Synchronized Skating with Shelley Barnett
16:15-17:15 Connecting the dots… on the ice! with Mark Pillay Get Technical with Manon Perron, Lee Barkell, Laurene Collin-Knoblauch, and Raoul Leblanc
17:30-17:45 Bus Departures
Workshop Descriptions

Optimizing Skating Technique – Presented by Melody Davidson and Joel Lenius
The emergence of power skating as a tool to improve hockey skating skills has been expansive not just within the hockey community but also within figure skating, ringette, and speed skating. This workshop will assist coaches from all ice-sports, on how to effectively teach, reinforce, correct, and fine-tune the skating skills of hockey players. These skating skills will be broken down into three components: stride skills (balance, stance, forward stride, backwards stride, etc.), edge skills (stops, turns, crossovers, edge improvement, etc.), and transitional skills (pivots, edge transition, etc.). It is important to remember that power skating is not only a conditioning tool but it is also a tool to improve the technique, efficiency, and agility of each skater, and coaches must design their skating programs accordingly.

2014 NCC workshops – Quebec City, QC

Ice Dance – Presented by Paul MacIntosh and Pascal Denis
Come learn how to effectively structure a session for solo ice dancers and ice dance couples. Using music, we will cover the creation of a dynamic warm-up with emphasis on proper techniques and concepts with applying “the basics” to allow skaters to make the most of their session time. Additional topics: tracking for skaters in teams and for those preparing tests, effective tips for pattern dances and creative ice dance programs.

Quality Basics: Essential Foundation – Presented by Tracy Wilson
Tracy’s workshop will cover a variety of skills, exercises and ideas to empower skaters. She will break skating down to its most basic skills and work through each exercise to gain a clear understanding of how one gets effortless speed, rides an edge without tension and transitions from one lobe to the next with ease. The basic skills are the essential elements of skating and once they are understood, the foundation of good technique can be established.

Taking Foundation Skills to the Next Level – Presented by Tracy Wilson
As a follow up to Tracy’s workshop “Quality Basics: Essential Foundation”, the next step is to apply the basics to the next level to suit individual needs of skaters regardless if you are coaching a young hockey player, an adult skater, or the next Yuna Kim – the basics don’t change and they apply to everyone. Exercises will include Pilates on ice with stretch and strength exercises, range of motion and movement skills, turns and linking edge work.

Choreography Part 1 – Presented by Mark Pillay
Musicality is one of the most effective ways to draw in an audience. Liam Firus, one of Canada’s top ranked Canadian Men, will demonstrate the development and creation of some of his newest choreography for the 2015-2016 season. Coaches will be shown sections from Liam’s programs and we will discuss how the movement patterns where created (coaches are invited to learn these sections), why they may be effective, and how they relate to the music and audience. All these factors relate to ‘musicality’ that will be broken down further in the off-ice section.

New STAR with Monica Lockie and Keegan Murphy
With the implementation of the new STAR 1-5 event program, our test system is being realigned to match the same benchmarks and development ladder in all disciplines – free skate, dance and skills. This workshop will review the new program design and will also introduce the different elements, level of progressions, and provide tips for teaching and assessing STAR skills. Participants will also be lead through a variety of new and effective program delivery formats.

CanSkate in Action – Presented by Mary-Liz Wiley, Megan Svistovski, and Chris Stokes
Join us for an hands-on workshop on the CanSkate program, featuring you as coaches and skaters. This workshop will cover the key components of a CanSkate program including choreographed warm-ups, exciting group activities and lessons featuring circuits. Facilitators will take coaches participating in this workshop on an interactive journey and allow them to live the program.

Synchronized Skating – Presented by Shelley Barnett
Come learn effective strategies, approach, and techniques for the general training phase of training in synchronized skating. Focus will be on exercises that will assist in the development of synchronized skating skill competencies.

Connecting the dots…on the ice! – Presented by Mark Pillay
Skating programs at all levels benefit from “musical highlights” that appear in a section of a skating program – these highlights help engage an audience as well as a judging panel. This on-ice component will explore the development and creation of musical highlights. Different musical clips will be used and coaches will be shown examples of simple yet effective ways at developing a musical highlight. Coaches will be asked to learn some basic musical phrases set to different genres of music. Later in the session coaches will be placed in groups and then be welcome to create their own examples of a musical highlight. The session will end with the presentation of each group’s created musical highlight.

Get Technical – Presented by Manon Perron, Lee Barkell, Laurene Collin-Knoblauch and Raoul Leblanc
As the saying goes “best of both worlds”, this workshop will cover a wide variety of figure skating skills from a technical and tactical perspective. Pair and singles coaches will learn effective strategies and technique for spins, jumps, and step sequences from Olympic renowned coaches and ISU level Technical Specialists.

Also part of the 2015 NCC schedule is the Friday workshop program (May 29) at the Fort Garry Hotel which includes two streams of coach-relevant workshops. The Choreography Part 2 workshop will be offered off-ice on Friday May 29.

Meet your Skate Canada Board Member Candidates

Time: 18:30-19:30
Location: Fort Garry Hotel, Concert Ballroom (7th Floor)

This is an opportunity to learn more about the candidates who are standing for election to the Skate Canada Board of Directors. During this session, candidates will be introduced and delegates will have an opportunity to mingle with the candidates in a social setting, discuss ideas, ask questions, and learn more about how the candidates would lead Skate Canada.

Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje

Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje

Convention Opening – Partners in Progress*

Time: 20:00 – 22:00
Location: Fort Garry Conference Centre, Grand Ballroom (4th Floor)
Cost: $30.00

Skate Canada has identified five strategic imperatives to guide its work during the 2014-2018 quadrennial, with partnerships being the umbrella that covers them all. Our sport, like business, is all about relationships and we will be more successful if we seek out, foster, and support partnerships that can help achieve our mutual goals. Our convention opening will focus on the theme of partnerships and set the stage by highlighting Skate Canada’s partnership with Hockey Canada, in bringing the joy of skating to all Canadians. Paul Carson, VP Hockey Development with Hockey Canada and one of our special guests will join us to talk about the importance of partnerships to Hockey Canada.

Meaghan Mikkelson

Meaghan Mikkelson

Fresh off their best-ever competitive season, we are thrilled to be joined by Olympians and Canadian ice dance champions Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, who have fostered a very unique and successful partnership. Joining Kaitlyn and Andrew on stage will be two-time Canadian Olympic women’s hockey gold medallist Meaghan Mikkelson who formed some special partnerships of her own with her teammates, as well as a dominating partnership with Natalie Spooner, winning seven legs of the second season of The Amazing Race Canada.

A reception with cash bar and light hors d’oeuvres will follow.

Tickets must be purchased by 16:30 ET, Friday, May 15, 2015.

Friday, May 29
ACGM/NCC Workshop Program

Time: 08:15 – 16:45
Location: Fort Garry Hotel

Workshop Schedule

Although workshops are designed with clubs, sections and coaches in mind, participants are not limited to one stream. Select any of the workshops which are of interest to you.

TIME Marketing Operations Sport Sport Coaching Coaching
08:15 – 10:00 Plenary Workshop – The Skate Canada Strategic Plan: Update & Discussion
10:30 – 12:00 Brand Workshop Safe Sport: Bullying in Sport (Simultaneous translation) Skate Canada’s New Power Skating Movement CanSkate: After the Launch Sustainable High Performance: Preventing Under-Recovery & Burnout in Coaches & Athletes Boots & Blades: Making the Right Choices for Performance and Injury Prevention
13:30 – 15:00 Maximizing Partnership Potential Skate Canada Financial Overview (Q&A) (Simultaneous translation) Planning for Expansion: Learn-to-Skate Partnership Strategies CanSkate: After the Launch Safe Sport: Bullying in Sport Choreography Part 2: Musicality
15:15 – 16:45 Boost Your Club’s Success With Club Management Technologies SC Productions Update (Simultaneous translation) Officials Expansion: Building the Tools Clubs & Sections Need to Recruit and Retain Officials STAR Program: Getting Ready for Change Sport-Related Pain & Injury What the Referee Says to the Panel Before an Event: Information Coaches Don’t Want to Miss!
Workshop Descriptions

Plenary Workshop – The Skate Canada Strategic Plan: Update & Discussion
Skate Canada CEO Dan Thompson and the senior leadership team will kick off this plenary session reviewing the status of our strategic plan objectives. Then, it’s your turn to get involved, discuss progress, ask questions, and contribute to the discussion of how clubs, coaches, officials, volunteers, sections, and the national service centre can move the organization closer to achieving its goals.

Boost Your Club’s Success With Club Management Technologies – Presented by the Uplifter Team
In this fun and informative workshop, the founders of Uplifter Inc. ( will provide an overview on the Uplifter Club Management System, including how Skate Canada clubs and schools can use the technology to reduce club administration hours, improve club financial stability, boost online program registrations, elevate the delivery of coaching programs, and track long-term athlete development. This workshop is ideal for club administrators, coaches and section office personnel.

Maximizing Partnership Potential – Presented by Sarah Clarke
This workshop will review Skate Canada’s work in building partnerships with corporate Canada. We will review our philosophy of building partnerships that will build the Skate Canada brand and inspire all Canadians to embrace the joy of skating. Using Canadian Tire as a model, participants will discuss how the national relationships can be leveraged by clubs across the country. Delegates are encouraged to share their ideas and stories of partnerships in their clubs and communities.

Skate Canada Productions Update – Presented by Nicole Mickelow
This workshop will put a lens on Skate Canada Productions and the partnerships required to produce compelling content on our sport for a wide audience. We will review the discussions that are being held with business partners to meet their objectives for skating content that will build their brand. We will also discuss some of the areas that Skate Canada is planning to highlight in the coming months. Delegates are encouraged to share content ideas from their experiences.

Branding Workshop – Presented by Mark Halliday and Paula Roberts
This workshop will delve into the brand architecture of Skate Canada, exploring what the brand stands for and how it will be positioned to skating stakeholders. This workshop has relevance for sections and clubs right across the country and will explore what we can all do to strengthen the Skate Canada brand in our communities.

Skate Canada Financial Overview – Presented by Bob Dillman
This Q & A session will be an opportunity for an open and transparent discussion regarding the financial health of Skate Canada. We look forward to sharing the audited financial statements for 2014-2015, discussing the budget development process, and outlining the work of the Finance & Enterprise Risk Management Committee during the past season. Bring your enthusiasm for financial queries!

Sustainable High Performance: Preventing Under-Recovery and Burnout in Coaches and Athletes – Presented by Dr. Cal Botterill
In the last 15 years, instances of under-recovery and burnout have become much more prevalent in high performance environments in sport, medicine, and business. Cumulative overload and stress is interfering with our ability to rest, recover, train and perform and opportunities for quality recovery seem to be disappearing or ignored. Cumulative stress usually builds slowly, and many performers often don’t realize how under-recovered they have become. Efficient performance and efficient recovery are the keys to human potential, but most of us need to improve our perspective and strategies. The workshop will discuss causes, perspectives, lessons and strategies that can help in preventing and overcoming this phenomenon.

Ice-hockey-1Skate Canada’s New Power Skating Movement – Presented by Joel Lenius
Hockey and ringette are fast paced, high intensity, and multi-skilled sports. To be successful at these sports, players must display quick reaction skills, responsive thinking, and diverse athletic skills. The evolution of hockey and ringette into extremely fast-paced games has subsequently developed a strong emphasis on the importance of high-level skating skills. Skating is the foundation upon which all other hockey and ringette skills should be built. However, despite this current recognition of skating as the foundational skill, there are still many players who require development and fine-tuning in this area. The emergence of power skating as a tool to improve hockey and ringette skating skills has been expansive, not just within the hockey community, but also within figure skating and speed skating communities. The use of power skating as a driving development tool in hockey and ringette has encouraged Skate Canada to explore the redevelopment of its current power skating program, CanPowerSkate. This workshop will educate participants on the redevelopment process and direction of Skate Canada’s CanPowerSkate programming. In this workshop, we will discuss and welcome input on program partnerships, curriculum redevelopment, Skate Canada membership fees, coaching certification, continuing education and NCCP criteria.

Boots and Blades: Making the Right Choices for Performance and Injury Prevention – Presented by Sally Rehorick, Dr. Jane Moran, and Monica Lockie
The correct selection of boots and blades is one of the most important decisions for skaters, their parents, and their coaches -and it can be a very confusing landscape to negotiate. Issues of fit, price, and stiffness all come into play. One brand of equipment might work at a certain stage of development, but not at another. This workshop will address what is known about boots and blades from the latest research and will demonstrate some of the best practices in making the right choices.

What the Referee Says to the Panel Before an Event: Information Coaches Don’t Want to Miss! – Presented by Karen Howard
Judging is such a significant part of every event, that it is important for coaches to understand how referees prepare their judging panel. Understanding program components marks and technical scores is complicated. Putting this all into play can be equally as daunting. This workshop will simulate a mock singles panel and what a referee says to the panel before they head out: key points to remember, rules to adhere to, and everything in between – come out and experience this first hand.


Planning for Expansion: Learn-to-Skate Partnership Strategies – Presented by Joan Bard Miller
Has your club engaged in a learn-to-skate programming partnership with the municipality, a community group, a school, or a competitor? Has the partnership met or exceeded your expectations? Have your club, coaches, or community benefitted? In this workshop participants will have the opportunity to shape Skate Canada’s partnership strategy for learn-to-skate programming by sharing their success stories and ideas. There will also be an opportunity to learn about the work in progress at the national level to expand Skate Canada’s reach through new learn-to-skate programming.

Officials Expansion: Building the Tools your Club and Section Need to Recruit and Retain These Valuable Resources – Presented by Sheila Beard and Meredith Warner
Improved membership retention of athletes in our advanced (non-CanSkate) programs has been identified as one of Skate Canada’s strategic initiatives. The success of this initiative relies heavily on the ability of our officials’ community to service the organization’s growing test and competition needs. Since officials recruitment and retention plays such an integral role in achieving this goal, our clubs and sections need effective resources and practices to expand their current pool of officials. Join us in this interactive workshop as we take the first steps in creating a toolkit that will ultimately assist in the recruitment and retention of officials in your club and/or section. This is your opportunity to share your needs and ideas as a club, region, section, or official and make an impact that will help our organization grow for years to come!

Word cloud stop violenceBullying in Sport – Presented by Dr. William Bridel
Bullying is generally defined as, “unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance…It can include actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.” Bullying can also occur through electronic means, such as social media, email, or texting. In this presentation, Dr. William Bridel will discuss what has been referred to as “bullying culture” and consider this idea within the context of skating in Canada.

CanSkate: After the Launch – Presented by Donna King, Monica Lockie, et al
What an exciting season it has been! With the new CanSkate program’s official launch year now under our belts, join us as we review the season’s many successes and learnings. We’ll share more club and coach best practices as well as a preview of what is ahead for 2015-2016, including new materials, resources, and activities. Your feedback will also be welcomed. CanSkate is in the forefront more than ever with increased national exposure and sponsor interest and we wish to ensure clubs and coaches have what they need to offer the highest quality learn-to-skate program in Canada.

Sport-Related Pain and Injury – Dr. William Bridel
There are over 30 years of academic research investigating sport-related pain and injury from a socio-cultural perspective. Focusing on sports ranging from men’s professional rugby to age-group triathlon, an overarching interest has been the influences of culture and cultural norms on the way pain and injury is experienced and talked about (or not talked about!). In this presentation, Dr. Bridel will apply some of this sociological knowledge to figure skating in an effort to enter into a conversation about creating an optimum environment for athletic success, which necessarily includes dealing effectively with issues of pain, injury, and health.

Choreography Part 2: Musicality – Presented by Mark Pillay
This off-ice workshop will examine the use of music and musicality within choreography. Musicality requires both: (1) Musical receptivity – to receive, comprehend, be sensitive, and have a working knowledge of concepts like rhythm, tempo, and phrasing, and (2) Musical creativity – to connect with, relate to, and interpret music in an interesting way. Musical clips will be listened to and discussed. Coaches will learn to break down music and have discussions about how certain musical clips could be used in choreography. Coaches will also be shown video footage of examples of effective musicality within choreography. Here, coaches will begin to see the connection between music, musicality, and choreography. Musical selection is potentially one of the most important decisions of the season for competitive skaters and will also be discussed, including finding music, appropriateness for skaters, and use of lyrics. Mark will also highlight the importance of music editing and will show examples of his musical editing process, as well as some resources to help coaches with their own musical editing.

STAR Program: Getting Ready for Change – Presented by Monica Lockie and Reaghan Fawcett Fortin
In this workshop, an update will be provided on both the second year of the STAR 1-5 Event Pilot as well as the STARSkate Concept Testing project. Learn how the new STAR 1-5 event structure will align with the new STARSkate testing structure to ensure a coordinated path for young skaters that will consider both events and tests. As an organization, we need to create programming that will enable valuable ice time to be spent learning and acquiring new skills, as opposed to adapting skills and programs for a test day or an event. Information about the direction of our programming will be shared, touching on free skating, ice dance, and skating skills, as well as other non-traditional STARSkate event categories.

Workshop Participants Contest
All ACGM or NCC workshop participants will have a chance to win two all-event tickets to the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, compliments of Skate Canada. A draw will be held on Saturday during the AGM.

Achievement Awards Gala & Banquet*

Time: 18:30 – 19:00 Reception
19:00 – 22:00 Gala & Banquet
Location: Fort Garry Conference Centre, Grand Ballroom (4th Floor)
Cost: $90.00 (includes dinner)
Dress: Formal / Black tie optional

Always a highlight of the Skate Canada Annual Convention and General Meeting and National Coaches’ Conference, the Achievement Awards Gala & Banquet is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the tremendous accomplishments and contributions of our skaters, volunteers, officials, and coaches who made a difference in 2014-2015. Come hear their inspiring stories and help us recognize these amazing individuals!

Tickets must be purchased by 16:30 ET, Friday, May 15, 2015.

Saturday, May 30
Annual General Meeting

This session will be live streamed on the internet so visit the following link when the session starts at 9:00am, Central Time on Saturday, May 30, 2015.
Time: 09:00 – 15:00
Location: Fort Garry Conference Centre, Grand Ballroom (4th Floor)

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is an opportunity for members of the association to participate in discussions surrounding rule amendments and to direct questions to appropriate stakeholders within the association. The AGM provides delegates the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process of Skate Canada, including the opportunity to influence the direction of the organization through election of members to the board of directors.

In order to allow for the highest degree of participation possible, this year Skate Canada will be live streaming its AGM on the internet and registered voters will be able to participate in the meeting by voting electronically on the internet. More information will be forthcoming.

Coaches are reminded that recent changes to Skate Canada’s bylaws now allow all Skate Canada professional coaching members the right to vote during the AGM.

*These activities are not included in the convention packages and must be purchased separately. All convention and conference packages and social tickets must be purchased by 16:30 ET, Friday, May 15, 2015. No tickets or packages will be sold after this date.