Daleman stands second at Trophee de France

PARIS – Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., posted her personal best score in the women’s short program to stand in second place at the Trophée de France, the fourth stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

World champion Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia is in first place with 78.52 points, Daleman follows at 72.70 and Maria Sotskova of Russia is third at 68.71. Daleman eclipses her previous best of 67.38 set at the world championships this past March where she placed ninth.

In ice dancing after the short dance, Piper Gilles of Toronto and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., are in fourth place at 64.74 points less than four points from second spot.

World champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France are first at 78.26, Elena Ilinykh and Ruslan Zhiganshin of Russia second at 68.72 and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the U.S. third at 66.77.

Canada has no entries in men’s competition or pairs.

All four free skates are on Saturday.

Full results: ISU GP Trophée de France 2016

Behind The Blades With Lubov Ilyushechkina

Welcome to my second blog!

The Grand Prix season has started and the second stop is already over. Amazing how quickly the time is passing by. It feels like the summer was just yesterday but you see people wearing their topcoats. Very useful at the rink though!

Well, enough of the small talk – let’s get to the main topic.

lubov2It was my third Skate Canada Grand Prix, and second at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga. We are quite familiar with this arena as every year the High Performance Camp is held there in the smaller community rinks. The camp this is also where we film our fun videos and take our team photographs. You will see many of the videos on the Jumbotron at Skate Canada International and the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships.

Actually, it was fun to watch myself do something else rather than skating.

There was a clip played where Meagan was hosting our game “How Well Do You Know Your Partner?”

“Who is more tired after your long program run through?”

I said “The coach!”

These videos give the fans a little insight into our lives beyond our skating. It brings out more of an open view of what our personalities are like off the ice. And they keep you entertained during the flood or breaks in between the events.

I really hope that you enjoyed watching the competition. It is still the beginning of the season, and not all the athletes are at their peak yet. When you come out to compete, you want to bring all your focus, strength, passsion and love of figure skating to the highest level and show a beautiful performance.

But falls and failures still happen. Of cource, it is always disappointing, but the errors show the areas you need to strenghthen. Competing at the highest level requires us to have a certain set of elements. Most of the athletes are usually very capable to perform at a high quality, and some athletes even do more elements than they need in their programs.. It always comes down to delivering, under pressure, at the right moment.

lubov1During the competition you always have a chance to see all the skaters and all your skating friends that you don’t see during the training year. I was happy to meet my old teammates, spend some time with them and tell about my life in Canada.

I was glad to compete at home in front of the Canadian fans, seeing a lot of Maple Leafs in the arena. This event was successful for Canada, with our athletes on the podium in all disciplines. Dylan and I got our first Grand Prix medal together – and my first Grand Prix medal for Canada !!!

Last year, we had three trips to Asia, each  flight lasting 12 hours or more. Now we only had a 30-minute car ride from home. It’s a noticeable difference!

We still have one assignment coming up, and my next blog will be after Cup of China!

I hope this colorful autumn will bring you a lot of joy and peace.

Always yours,
Lubov Ilyushechkina

Canadians continue on ISU Grand Prix circuit in France

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will have two entries, for a total of three skaters, competing at the 2016 Trophée de France. The event takes place from November 11-13, 2016, at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France. Canada will have one entry in ladies and one entry in ice dance.

Gabrielle Daleman, 18, Newmarket, Ont., will be the Canadian entry in ladies. Last season, she placed sixth at this event. This season, Daleman won bronze at the Nebelhorn Trophy and placed fourth at her first ISU Grand Prix event of the season, Skate America. The 2016 Canadian silver medallist is coached by Lee Barkell and Brian Orser in Toronto, Ont.

Canadian silver medallists Piper Gilles, 24, Toronto, Ont., and Paul Poirier, 25, Unionville, Ont., will be the Canadian entry in ice dance. They have previously competed at this event three times, winning the silver medal in both 2014 and 2015, and placing sixth in 2012. This season, Gilles and Poirier won the bronze medal at the Nebelhorn Trophy and also won bronze at their first ISU Grand Prix assignment, Skate Canada International. They are coached by Carol Lane and Juris Razgulajevs in Scarborough, Ont.

André Bourgeois, Skate Canada NextGen Director, will be the Canadian team leader at the event and physiotherapist Shirley Kushner of Westmount, Que., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Jodi Abbott of Edmonton, Alta., will be the sole Canadian official at the event.

For results and full entries please visit www.isu.org.


Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Ladies Gabrielle Daleman 18 Newmarket, Ont. Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club Lee Barkell / Brian Orser
Ice Dance Piper Gilles / Paul Poirier 24/25 Toronto, Ont. / Unionville, Ont. Scarboro FSC / Scarboro FSC Carol Lane / Juris Razgulajevs

Richard Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte win at 2016 Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Awards

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada coaches Richard Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte were honoured once again as recipients of the 2016 Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Awards. The annual awards were presented on Friday, November 4th by the Coaching Association of Canada at the annual Petro-Canada Sport Leadership Awards Gala, which took place in Richmond, B.C.

The Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Awards recognize coaches whose Canadian athletes or teams win gold, silver, or bronze medals while competing in an Open World Championship, the Olympic Games, the Special Olympics World Games, or the Paralympic Games.

“We’re extremely proud of Richard and Bruno’s work with Meagan and Eric on the path to their second consecutive world championship title. Richard and Bruno are tremendous leaders and ambassadors representing over 5,500 Skate Canada certified coaches across the country,” said Debra Armstrong, Skate Canada CEO. “Thank you to the Coaching Association of Canada along with Petro-Canada for doing a wonderful job recognizing the important the role of coaches in the development of athletes and sport in Canada. Congratulations again to Richard and Bruno for earning this esteemed award.”

In total, 60 coaches from a variety of sports in Canada were honoured at the banquet in Richmond.

Behind The Blades With Michelle Long: Skate Canada International

long4Flashback to 2003, Hershey’s Center Mississauga, Skate Canada International: As an eager eleven-year-old and lover of figure skating, I was so excited when I found out there was a big skating competition coming to town. Without knowing much about the competitive side of the sport, I went with my mom, sister and a friend to attend the official practices at Skate Canada International 2003. I remember sitting in the stands, watching, in amazement. My favourite part was when the practice was over. We would rush down, over to the boards, to ask the skaters for their autograph. I was so new into the sport that I only knew a few of the skaters (mostly Canadians) but I didn’t care. I still wanted their autograph because, in my eyes, they were famous!

Skate Canada International has always had a special place in my heart. I believe that having the opportunity to watch such a high level competition, at such a young age, really inspired me to be a competitive skater! Now, attending events like this later in my skating career have definitely not hindered their magic. I still get excited to watch some of the best skaters in the world compete, but now instead of asking for their autographs, I am able to converse and learn from them.

long3One of the highlights of my weekend was actually being able to be a fan, sit back, relax and enjoy the skating! Usually, I am most interested in the ladies event, since that’s what I compete in. I have to give a shout out to both of our Canadian ladies, Kaetlyn and Alaine, for both skating fierce short and free programs. Once their event had finished, I was able to sit with Kaetlyn, chat, and watch some world class skating!

I was so impressed with the level of athleticism and performances from the Canadian team. Some of my favourite moments were Kevin’s quad-filled free program, Megan and Eric’s throw triple axel and Piper and Paul’s post free dance celebration!

long5A friend of mine made a donation to the Skate Canada Athlete Fund, and bid on an opportunity at Skate Canada International for a backstage ‘behind the scenes’ tour with Elvis Stojko. I was fortunate enough to be brought along for this amazing experience. I was shown around the dressing rooms, warm up area, data rooms and media centre. I got to see some of the skaters warm up and getting ready for the Gala on Sunday. The coolest part was seeing the press conference area. It is so much larger than what you see on television. There was a large head table for the athletes, and surrounding that were smaller tables and chairs, filled with photographers, video cameras and microphones, something I had never scene before, nor was prepared for. Elvis also had some great advice for me as someone aspiring to be at an event of this calibre one day. He spoke with me about his experiences with the media, how to prepare for interviews and how to overcome obstacles. These were all very valuable lessons that I hope to be able to put into action one day! long2

Over the course of my weekend, I was able to get out and talk to some of the fans. I also ran into some familiar faces. Many skaters from my training centre were in attendance, as well as many of the regular skating fans and veteran competition goers. It was great to hear the positive comments from the fans and to see their enthusiasm. I was also given some advice on what to bring to a competition:

1. Wear your team colours: Red and White, Go Canada Go!
2. Bring a flag: from your home town, country, or favourite skater’s country!
3. Something to keep track of the scores. A program, or good old-fashioned pen and paper work well!
4. Bundle up: sometimes those rinks can get chilly, bring along your Skate Canada sweaters, scarves and mittens!
5. Your skating stories: everyone in the audience has one, listen to someone’s story and share yours!

All-in-all, the fans were super supportive and cheered the skaters one whether they were having the performance of a lifetime, or needed some help to continue. The number of times the audience started clapping in time to the music during footwork was amazing! Everyone, young and old, found themselves immersed in the experience and were able to get involved! It was also incredible to witness the younger skaters carry the same joy as I did when I was a youngster.

The greatest feeling was being able to see the sparkle in their eyes. It’s amazing to see the next generation inspired and as excited like I was.


Bronze medal for Weaver and Poje at ISU Grand Prix

MOSCOW – Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., won the bronze medal on Saturday at the Rostelecom Cup, to conclude the third stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia took the gold with 186.68 points. Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. were second at 182.13 while the Canadians followed at 178.57.

‘’We are really pleased with how the performance went,’’ said Poje. ‘’We really wanted to come out there and show the work we’ve put into creating our story and our emotion. We felt really connected to the audience. It’s early in the season but we wanted a strong technical score and to feel like we are on the right track.’’

Weaver and Poje’s new Spanish-flavored long program was ranked second on the day as they nearly reeled in the Americans for the silver. They ended a six Grand Prix event winning streak dating back to 2014.

‘’We’ll take the feedback from here and analyse what worked and what didn’t work in our programs,’’ added Poje. ‘’This being our first competition we want to take the best direction from here until the rest of the season.’’

In pairs, Julianne Séguin of Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau of Trois-Pistoles, Que., remained fifth overall following their free skate. Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany won the gold medal ahead of two Russian pairs.

Camille Ruest of Boucherville, Que., and Andrew Wolfe of Montreal were sixth. In the end Séguin and Bilodeau, the Skate America champions two weeks ago, were only 5.5 points from the podium.

‘’It was a tough fight today,’’ said Séguin. ‘’But we continued to believe in ourselves and gave a good performance. It was a learning experience.’’

Bilodeau said it was hard to go into the free skate standing fifth.

‘’We made big errors in the short so we had a strike against us right off the start,’’ he said. ‘’But we were able to stay focused and get through our long program.’’

Ruest and Wolfe completed their debut on the circuit.

“We continued to improve,’’ said Ruest. ‘’We need to continue to gain speed and improve our transitions on our long programs. Our technical scores are where we wanted them to be for now.’’

In men’s competition, world champion Javier Fernandez of Spain took the gold medal with Shoma Uno of Japan second and Alexei Bychenko of Israel third.

Elladj Baldje of Pierrefonds, Que., produced another clean program and was sixth.

‘’There were some small errors but overall it was a satisfying competition for me,’’ said Baldje. ‘’Fitness-wise I felt super strong and that will be a real plus for me in the future. I’m going to continue working on the quad and make it better.’’

The fourth stop on the circuit is next Friday and Saturday in Paris.

Full results: ISU GP Rostelecom Cup 2016

Weaver and Poje unveil thrilling short dance at Grand Prix

MOSCOW – Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., are in third place after a spectacular debut of their Michael Jackson flavoured short dance on Friday at the Rostelecom Cup, the third stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S., the Skate Canada International silver medallists last week, are first at 75.04, Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia second at 74.92 and Weaver and Poje earned 69.81.

‘’We are very pleased with our performance,’’ said Weaver. ‘’This is our first competition of the season for us and we underwent many changes through the summer including this brand new short dance. We came out today feeling calm and excited to perform.’’

The Canadians, who skated a highly original program to three Michael Jackson tunes (The Way You Make Me Feel, Dangerous and Jam), received a rousing and extended ovation from the crowd for their performance.  Weaver and Poje will try to extend their Grand Prix event winning streak to seven in Saturday’s free dance.

‘’We were treated like hometown athletes from the crowd here,’’ Weaver said. ‘’We had an error on our twizzle and lost points there but we are taking away a lot of positives. We can’t wait to show of our free skate.’’

In pairs, Julianne Séguin of Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau of Trois-Pistoles, Que., the Skate America champions two weeks ago, are in fifth spot after the short.

They are only eighth points from the leaders. Both skaters fell on the side-by-side jumps and Séguin touched one hand down on the throw.

‘’Of course it wasn’t our best,’’ said Séguin. ‘’I expect we’ll come back much stronger tomorrow because our long program is more polished right now.’’

Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert of Russia lead at 69.76, Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany are second at 69.51 and Valentina Marchei and Ondrej Hotarek of Italy third at 66.82. Séguin and Bilodeau scored 61.72 and Camille Ruest of Boucherville, Que., and Andrew Wolfe of Montreal are seventh at 60.09.

In men’s competition, Shoma Uno of Japan stands first after the short, world champion Javier Fernandez of Spain is second and Mikhail Kolyada of Russia third.

Elladj Balde of Pierrefonds, Que., produced a clean program but with no quad jump he is ranked sixth.  ‘’The goal was to come here and skate clean,’’ he said. ‘’That’s the way I’ve been skating every day at home. I broke the 37-point barrier for my components which shows that may skating’s improved.’’

Canada has no entries in women’s competition.

All free skates are on Saturday.

Full results: ISU GP Rostelecom Cup 2016


Behind The Blades with Meagan Duhamel: Skate Canada International

Another Skate Canada International has come and gone and as we say good-bye to Mississauga and the Hershey Centre, we are left with some amazing memories. Mississauga did a great job playing host to the 2016 Skate Canada International and everyone I talked to enjoyed the events at the Hershey Centre. And how could you not? There were numerous personal best performances, sold out crowds and enthusiastic media coverage of the event.

International skaters love to come to Canada for events because the crowd always welcomes them as their own. It doesn’t matter where you are from, you will receive support and love from the Canadian audience.

SCI Gala Practice (Meagan Duhamel)It was fun to reconnect with some of my old skating friends this week as well. Hao Zhang, Yuko Kavaguti, Alexander Smirnov, Eric, Dylan and I have all been competing together for a very, very long time. It was fun to all be at the same competition together, us “old” pair skaters, still fighting and still pushing the sport forward.

And how can a Canadian not be completely inspired by last week’s skating? Katelyn and Alaine managed to throw down two amazing programs each, and they showed the World that Canadian Ladies are a force to be reckoned with. Liam Firus achieved a new personal best long program score, and that’s only a shade of what he is truly capable of achieving. That score will only continue to go up from here. Kevin Reynolds came back to Grand Prix competition after a few years away and made a huge statement with his short and long program that earned him a bronze medal. I love watching Kevin seize opportunities like he did in Mississauga, it always makes me so excited and it’s something that I have come to expect from Kevin.

Patrick showed us what he does best: beautiful, effortless, seamless skating combined with musicality and complex choreography. He always leaves all the other skaters in awe of his basic skating ability. This week, Patrick also showed that he wants to be back on top of the skating World, by attempting a new quad jump for the first time, the quad sal. We saw him land it in practice and it won’t be long before he’s nailing a 3-quad long program, which will be more then enough for him to contend with the crazy quad faze that is going on in men’s skating.

The dance teams were also all beautiful. Alex and Mitch shone as they showcased gorgeous programs and costumes at the Hershey Centre. They have beautiful attention to detail, something I always admire with them. Piper and Paul put their stamp on the ice dance world this week in a big way! They have worked hard and it showed. Their programs are mature, intricate and powerful. I’m just making a guess here, but I think they will surprise a lot of people this season. Their 110-point free dance proved that.

It seemed like most people at the Hershey Centre came to watch the return of Tessa and Scott, and they lived up to the buzz. I thought they created two uniquely beautiful programs this year, and they have managed to step back into competition so no one would not be able to guess that they’ve been away from the sport for a few years. So respectable.

And my favourite, the pairs event! It was a strong event, with many teams battling for a spot on the podium, and potentially a spot in the Grand Prix Final. Britany and Josh skated very well and they will use this event as a stepping stone to future international competitions, as well as the Canadian Championships. Lubov and Dylan also had a good event, winning their first Grand Prix medal with bronze. Although they had some errors, they still pulled big scores, showing nicely choreographed programs and strong pair elements. And then there was us ….

Eric and I showed up at SCI 2016 with a mission in our short program: The Throw Triple Axel. We worked hard tweaking our short program after Finlandia Trophy to ensure the triple axel would be assessable and the program would be preformed with high energy and sharp movements. In practice, our throw triple axel has gained consistency. I’d say it’s at an 85% success rate at home, and during the practice sessions at SCI, so we felt like our odds were good. I had a good feeling all day leading into the short program. I felt calm, confident and sure of myself and our ability to hit a great short program. I had to remind myself, and Eric, before we skated that “When we land that triple axel, let’s try to stay calm so we don’t make any silly mistakes afterwards”. Well, I did land the triple axel, but I didn’t quite stay so calm after, there was some stumbles and a lack of complete “Smoothness” but I’ll take it for October.

The energy that builds in our short program, set to music from Seal, is crazy and the crowd knew what we were planning on doing, which along with a triple axel throw, also included a side-by-side triple lutz, another high-risk manoeuvre. In addition to having a blast during our short program, we were so pleased to see that we set a new personal best score of 78.3. We are already thinking about how we can reach 80 points for our next Grand Prix, NHK Trophy.

Resetting after such a big moment is very, very difficult. We focused a lot on the short program coming into this event, and with that being a huge success, I did have a thought going into the long of “What are my goals?” We just hadn’t thought about it too much, because our focus was on the short program coming in. I feel like we zoned in well and focused to deliver a strong long program. Sadly, I took an uncharacteristic, terrible fall on the quad throw at the beginning of the long program, but we reset well and still managed a strong, emotional performance. We know we can develop more nuances in our long program, and deliver better quality side-by-side jumps (each of them received minus 1s for the most part). This will be a big focus as we prepare for the NHK Trophy.

It was announced that next year Skate Canada International will go back west, to Regina, Saskatchewan. I have no doubt that Regina will do an incredible job organizing this event, and that the hard-core skating fans (I’m one of them!!!), and local individuals from Regina, will come support all the skaters.

Thanks for joining me, and everyone else from Skate Canada in Mississauga this week. Can’t wait to see you all in the near future!

Behind The Blades with Kaetlyn Osmond: Skate Canada International

My bags were packed, I was ready, and I was off to the airport to begin my short journey to Mississauga for Skate Canada International! Only my short journey became a little bit longer than expected. Two hours delayed leaving Edmonton, a short flight, a quick trip to the hotel, and the registration process complete: I had the perfect amount of time to collapse onto my bed and sleep for my early morning trek to the rink.

Practice Day. This day involves getting the lay of the rink and know where everything is. I scout out where I want to do my warmups, where the dressing rooms are, and where we get on/off the ice. Knowing all these things allows me to feel more relaxed when I am doing what I have to do. It lets me focus on what my job is. The practice day includes two practices. It also includes a few media interviews, and the opening press conference, and of course, the draw for the short program.

kaetlyn1Competition days! To be completely honest, I am the most boring person on competition day. My alarm clock goes off at 5:30am. I had to be super quiet not to wake my roommate who was competing later that night. I did my hair. I put my makeup on. Grabbed my skates and my dresses, then left my room to eat and catch the early bus to the rink. At the rink, it is always the same process. Warmup, skate, cool down, and catch the bus back to the hotel. Then it is a much-needed rest up before I compete. There is a nice nap involved, card games, colouring, a little walk outside to freshen up, and then some food to fuel up. The time between practice and competition is really finding ways to distract myself, while still staying relaxed and ready.

About an hour before it is time to head back to the rink, it is time to get ready. Time to redo my hair and makeup, while watching my tv show choice of the competition: this time, it was Supergirl!

kaetlyn3When it is all over, I enjoyed the rest of the event as much as I could. I was beyond happy with how well I had done. I was amongst so many other amazing skaters that I love to watch. There were so many friends and fans in the stands that I wanted to be a part of. So, that is exactly what I did. I became a part of the crowd. I watched the remaining events with Elvis Stojko, his wife, Gladys, and my national team member and friend, Michelle Long. The next morning, I got to hang out with the other skaters for the gala and just have fun, enjoying celebrating the event we just finished. The gala is always my favourite part of the event. It is a time to celebrate, skate, and thank every single fan for coming to the competition and continuously supporting the sport.

Then it was just time to head home.

It is amazing how fast the competition week goes. So much anticipation to get there. Then all of a sudden it is time to go home and train for the next event. Though, I will always celebrate with my friends when I get home. This time, it was with a giant bowl of delicious coffee.


Rostelecom Cup marks third stop for Canadian team on ISU Grand Prix circuit

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will have four entries, for a total of seven skaters, in Moscow, Russia, for the 2016 Rostelecom Cup. Canada will have one entry in men’s, two entries in pairs and one entry in ice dance at the event which takes place from November 4-6, 2016.

Elladj Baldé, 25, Montreal, Que., will be the Canadian entry in the men’s category and will be competing at this event for the first time. Baldé placed eighth at his first event this season, the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic. He trains in Montreal, Que., with his coach Bruno Marcotte.

Julianne Séguin, 19, Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau, 23, Trois-Pistoles, Que., will be the first of two Canadian pairs entries at the event. This season, they won gold at their assignment on the ISU Challenger Series, the 2016 Autumn Classic International, and also won gold at their first ISU Grand Prix assignment, Skate America. Séguin and Bilodeau are coached by Josée Picard in Chambly, Que.

Camille Ruest, 22, Rimouski, Que., and Drew Wolfe, 21, Calgary, Alta., will also represent Canada in pairs. Earlier this season, the duo placed fourth at their first international assignment together, the 2016 Autumn Classic International. Ruest and Wolfe are coached by Richard Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte in Montreal, Que.

Two-time world medallists Kaitlyn Weaver, 27, Toronto, Ont., and Andrew Poje, 29, Waterloo, Ont., will be the Canadian entry in ice dance. Weaver and Poje have previously competed at this event three times, winning the silver medal in 2011 and 2013, and the gold medal last year. The two-time consecutive Canadian champions are coached by Nikolai Morozov and train in Hackensack, NJ, USA.

Terra Findlay of Echo Bay, Ont., will be the Canadian team leader at the event. Dr. Albert Schumacher of Tecumseh, Ont., and physiotherapist Meghan Buttle of Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Janice Hunter of West Vancouver, B.C., and Leslie Keen of Vancouver, B.C., will be the Canadian officials at the event.

For results and full entries please visit www.isu.org.


Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Men Elladj Baldé 25 Montreal, Que. CPA Anjou Kinsmen Bruno Marcotte
Pairs Julianne Séguin / Charlie Bilodeau 19/23 Longueuil, Que. / Trois-Pistoles, Que. CPA Longueuil / CPA Chambly Josée Picard
Pairs Camille Ruest / Drew Wolfe 22/21 Rimouski, Que. / Balmertown, Ont. CPA De Rimouski / Glencoe Club Richard Gauthier / Bruno Marcotte
Ice Dance Kaitlyn Weaver / Andrew Poje 27/29 Toronto, Ont. / Waterloo, Ont. Sault FSC / Kitchener-Waterloo SC Nikolai Morozov

Skate Canada Appoints New Chief Executive Officer

The Board of Directors of Skate Canada is pleased to announce that Debra Armstrong has accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer of Skate Canada, effective immediately. Debra joined the organization in January of 2016 as Chief Operating Officer. She brings an impressive combination of skills, experience and collaborative leadership style that has already made a significant impact on the organization.

Throughout her career, Debra has focused her legal and business acumen on contributing to the growth of leading national and international private sector and not-for-profit institutions. In her 17 years with MBNA Canada Bank, Debra attained increasingly senior roles, and as President & CEO led the organization through its acquisition by TD Bank.

A committed community leader, Debra serves on the Board of Governors of Carleton University, is Past President and Board Chair of Volleyball Canada and was recently appointed to the Nominating Committee of the Canadian Olympic Committee.

“Debra’s proven background in business growth and change management, as well as in sport governance and leadership will be a tremendous asset to Skate Canada” stated Skate Canada President, Leanna Caron.

Earlier this week the Skate Canada’s Board of Directors announced that Dan Thompson would be leaving the organization after serving as Chief Executive Officer since June 2013. Skate Canada thanks Dan for his contributions and wishes him every success in his future endeavours.