Skate Canada saddened by the passing of skating pioneer Billie Mitchell

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada is saddened by the passing of beloved Hall of Famer Billie Mitchell. She passed away peacefully at age 103 on Wednesday, February 13, 2019. Mitchell, a native of Vancouver, blazed a path for female leadership in sport and was devoted to advancing figure skating throughout her life.

Mitchell was a legend in Canadian figure skating, setting trends with a number of ‘firsts’ for the organization. She was the first woman on the Skate Canada Board of Directors as a section chairman in 1960, and in 1976 she became Skate Canada’s first female president.

“Our heart is heavy as such an influential leader in our sport has left us. Billie helped to shape the landscape of Canadian figure skating and lead the way for women to follow in her footsteps,” said Leanna Caron, President, Skate Canada. “She was a true pioneer and we are thankful for all the innovation she brought to our sport and to her dedication to volunteerism. Skate Canada sends its deepest condolence to Billie’s family and friends.”

Mitchell was instrumental in the successful campaign to bring the 1960 World Figure Skating Championships to Vancouver. During her tenure as president, she introduced “The Parade of Champions” for the first time at the 1973 Canadian Figure Skating Championships. In 1996, she was inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame as a builder and in 1998 she entered the BC Sports Hall of Fame, also as a builder.

Mitchell’s legacy in figure skating is celebrated annually at the Skate Canada Ice Summit during the Awards Banquet, where the Billie Mitchell Award is presented to a member of the Skate Canada Board of Directors for outstanding contributions throughout the year.

Mitchell will be deeply missed by the skating community, and Skate Canada sends its deepest thoughts and prayers to Billie’s family and friends.