OTTAWA, ON : Skate Canada is pleased to announce four new members into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame. The class of 2019 includes athlete Veronica Clarke, and in the professional disciplines, coach Lee Barkell, choreographer David Wilson, and builder Audrey Williams.
Veronica Clarke, of Toronto, Ont., was a skating pioneer in women’s singles, pairs, dance and fours. Clarke competed from 1928 to 1938, winning 20 Canadian medals—10 of which were gold—as well as three international medals. With her pair partner Ralph McCreath, Clarke won the 1937 North American Championships, three Canadian Figure Skating Championships and along with McCreath, Constance Wilson-Samuel, and Montgomery Wilson, fours medallists in the 1938 Canadian Figure Skating Championships. Clarke is being honoured posthumously.
Lee Barkell, of Kirkland Lake, Ont., enters the Skate Canada Hall of Fame as a professional. Barkell has been a leading singles and pairs coach since his retirement from competition as a pair skater with his wife Melanie Gaylor. During Barkell’s skating career with Gaylor, the pair team won three international competitions. Over the course of his 27-year coaching career, Barkell has coached an extensive list of skaters, including world champion and Olympic medallist Jeffrey Buttle, Olympian and world medallist Gabrielle Daleman, and two-time national champions Michelle Menzies and Jean-Michel Bombardier, and Canadian pair champions Anabelle Langlois and Cody Hay, and Lenny Faustino and Jacinthe Larivière.
David Wilson, a former figure skater born in Toronto, Ont., has worked as a master choreographer for more than 20 years. Wilson’s choreography expertise begins from crafting a program, to searching for music, to the end product of seeing a skater perform. He has produced numerous artistic programmes for Olympic, world & national medallists including singles skaters Sasha Cohen, Jeffrey Buttle, Yu-Na Kim, Patrick Chan, Yuzuru Hanyu, Joannie Rochette, ice dancers Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.
Audrey Williams, from Vancouver, B.C., has served as an official for more than 50 years, first being appointed as a national judge in 1959 and later as a judge for the ISU in 1967. Williams is a role model as a judge, referee, and team leader, especially mentoring pair judges in Canada. She was a team leader at both junior and senior worlds, as well as at the Olympics in 1972. She has sat on several Skate Canada committees over many years. She judged six world championships, four junior worlds and the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer. As a skater, she was a four-time Canadian Figure Skating Championship medallist with pair partner Brian Power. Most recently, she was inducted into the British Columbia Hall of Fame as a Builder in 2011.
Skate Canada is proud to celebrate the achievements of the skating community through the inductions of exceptional members in the Skate Canada Hall of Fame. The exact date and locations of the various inductions will be announced as they become available.