CanSkate Then and Now – Retro CFSA Badges to Skate Canada Levels and Ribbons

For my first ice show, I was a lollipop. I remember touching my toes because my long hair fell in front of my face. And not much else. I was a Beginner under the National Skating Test (N.S.T.) stream. This changed in 1983/84 when the Canadian Figure Skating Association (C.F.S.A., now Skate Canada) introduced CanSkate... Continue Reading →

Qualifying for Skate Canada Challenge with Faith and Gratitude – An Interview with Chanel Cabak

SUBMITTED PHOTO/Chanel Cabak Chanel Cabak's figure skating season was almost thrown for a loop. Luckily, the ambidextrous skater can perform a double in either direction. "I can write with both hands," said Cabak, via an email interview, "and I can do an Axel, a double Salchow, and a double loop the other way." The global... Continue Reading →

Every Skating Medal Has a Story – The Hardware is Fine, It’s the Ribbon

In 1989, I won my first singles gold medal. Technically, the anniversary is today - December 3, 1989. That's okay. My mom forgot too. It's still pretty, but why does the ribbon look melty? I won my first gold medal with my older sister in Primary Dance at that year's Interlake Regionals. While that was... Continue Reading →

Skate Canada Cancels Competitions and Events from Coast to Coast – A Complete List

On the heels of the 2020 World Figure Skating Championships in Montreal, Quebec, Skate Canada has announced further skating competition cancellations and restrictions in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic. From the coast to coast, over 20 competitions have been cancelled, including Skate BC/YT's STAR Competition in Burnaby, BC from March 21 to 22, 2020. Skate... Continue Reading →

Senior Skater Bids Adieu at 2020 Manitoba Open, Passes Torch to Sister

This weekend marks a changing of the guard. Or skate guards, so to speak. From March 6th to 8th, Tundra Oil and Gas Place in Virden will host the 2020 Manitoba Open. The three-day competition welcomes skaters from Manitoba and Saskatchewan at the STARSkate, AdultSkate, and Competitive levels. It's in competitive stream where senior women... Continue Reading →

From Eight to Sixteen – The Story of a Synchronized Skating Team

Skating isn't all about the medals. It's about the memories. Medals are a bonus though. During the Arborg Skating Club's 1988/1989 season, our coach produced three successful synchronized (precision) skating teams. I was on the eight-member senior team, winning two silver medal. Two competitions, two silver medals. Not too shabby. We won our second silver... Continue Reading →

To The Worlds Delivers on Laughter, Intensity, and Tissue

If you want to spark some motivation, watching  To The Worlds on CBC Docs POV is your first step. To The Worlds follows six women from the Winfield Skating Club near Kelowna, BC as they prepare for the prestigious ISU Adult World Figure Skating Competition in Oberstdorf, Germany. Actually, there were seven skaters ... These woman,... Continue Reading →

To The Worlds – An Interview with Donna Bergvinson

Donna Bergvinson/CBC POV Promotional Photo/Submitted "I feel like I'm going through a second childhood." Adult skater and preschool teacher for the Boys and Girls Club in Kelowna, Donna Bergvinson, uses the lessons she teaches to the ice. "I wasn't the best skater. I had to figure it out. I learned how to do a three-turn from... Continue Reading →

To The Worlds – An Interview with Wendy Ord

"To The Worlds" is getting plenty of attention. From television, radio, online news, blog posts, four-time world figure skating champion Kurt Browning ... Yes. That Kurt Browning. Wendy Ord, the film maker and 59-year-old adult skater said, "(Kurt) He actually heard about this documentary about these crazy ladies going to Germany." Ord plays two roles... Continue Reading →

To The Worlds – An Interview with Henrietta Penney

"Engaging in Aging." That's Henrietta Penney's outlook on life. Penney is one of the adult skaters whose story is chronicled in the CBC documentary "To The Worlds." The documentary follows six adult skaters who travel from Kelowna, BC to Oberstdorf, Germany to compete at the 2018 ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition. The 77-year-old adult figure skater... Continue Reading →

To The Worlds, A CBC Documentary – The Story Behind the Story

L-R: Isabella Ciocoiu; Donna Bergvinson; Karen Smith; Wendy Ord; Maureen Barnes; and Henrietta Penney It was a "filmmaker's dream come true." Independent filmmaker, assistant director, and adult figure skater, Wendy Ord, wanted to produce a documentary on adult skaters - ages 46 to 77 - who travel from Kelowna, BC to the ISU Adult Figure... Continue Reading →

The Issue at the 2018 Canadian Tire Nationals – How is this Live Streaming?

It's 2018. And we still can't fix figure skating. No pun intended. Today, I was watching the free dance from the 2018 Canadian Tire Nationals via live stream. With Ted Barton and Debbie Wilkes. It was going swimmingly until it was announced the final six ice dance teams could be seen on TSN. So, flip... Continue Reading →

Manitoba Skaters Closer to the Stars Thanks to Bursary Fund

It was a cool show. Complete with a Stars on Ice warm-up section. On Saturday, April 8, 2017, skaters shared their skills at the Manitoba Grassroots Bursary Trust Ice Show before a receptive crowd at the St. James Civic Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The show included bursary winners - plus skaters who had a remarkable... Continue Reading →

Manitoba Synchro Team Fearless at Nationals

Ice Intrepid lived up to their name tonight. The University of Manitoba team were fearlessness at the Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships on Friday, February 24th. They skated the first portion of the competition, Free Program I, with endurance and poise, garnering a score of  52.30. They skate their Free Program II on Saturday, February... Continue Reading →

A Transition to Further Success – Nicole Rogowsky in Profile

It was Nicole Rogowsky's first gold medal. As a synchronized skater. On January 21, Rogowsky competed in the 2017 Skate Manitoba Synchronized Championships with the University of Manitoba's Ice Intrepid team in Morden, Manitoba. After the competition, the 18-year-old watched the broadcast on Shaw TV Winnipeg. “It was really awesome … ” said Rogowsky. “There... Continue Reading →

Interlake Regionals Succeed Through Fog

They would've skated to the competition. On January 22, through the fog and slick roads, skaters from nine clubs travelled to Teulon for the 2017 Interlake Regional STARSkate Championships to vie for medals and ribbons. The competition went “All and all pretty smooth,” according to club president, Audra Nesbitt-Hume. “Nobody cancelled due to weather surprisingly,”... Continue Reading →

You’ve Been Warned – The Dangers of Flash Photography in Figure Skating

Let me tell you a story. In 1990 at a skating club competition, a figure skater – who was bound to win the gold medal – threw herself into an Axel. At close range, someone flashed her in the face with a camera. The skater tumbled to the ice after losing consciousness mid-air. Skaters, parents,... Continue Reading →

Camel Spins Ready to Fly at the Arborg Skating Club

Skaters, start your sit spins. On January 11, the 2015 Interlake Regional STARSkate Championships land at the Arborg Skating Club. A total of 66 skaters will vie for medals and ribbons, plus the opportunity to represent their club at the Manitoba Open and STARSkate Championship. Skaters will travel to Arborg from East St. Paul, Stony... Continue Reading →

Sailing on a Frozen Pond – Edmonton Skater Travels with Caribbean Ice Show

If Jessica Sergeant ever dreamed about skating on an ocean, she’s reached it. The 23-year-old signed with Willy Bietek Productions  ice show earlier this year - which produce shows for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. WBP also produce Festival on Ice and Broadway on Ice. Sergeant’s coach, Angela Duffy, said they discussed her future in the... Continue Reading →

Stephie’s Bike Tour in Motion – As the Wheels Turn

What a difference a year makes. In 2013, 11-year-old Stephie Gagnon was slowly being weaned off her medications that controlled her Juvenile Dermatomyositis – or JDM. Diagnosed when she was 6 ½ years old, it had been an uphill battle for Stephie and her family – which included around the clock care and uncertainty. Stephie... Continue Reading →

This isn’t a Guns N’ Roses Song – Why Synchro Should Be an Olympic Sport

2015 Grand Prix Figure Skating Final, Team Paradise/Wikipedia Synchronized figure skaters must have a lot of patience. There was hope synchro might be included in the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway, but it didn't happen. As the 2010 Vancouver Games inched closer, another carrot was dangled and then chopped up. In 2014, a glimmer... Continue Reading →

The Arborg Ice Show – The New Generation

Big Ball Soccer, part of the corporate challenge, my Dad in the red toque, Winter Carnival 1987 The Arborg Ice Carnival used to be on a Sunday, part of a weekend of family friendly events during - usually - the coldest time of the year. There was a corporate challenge with different winter events, such... Continue Reading →

A Conversation with Heather Kemkaran-Antymniuk

Heather Kemkaran was three years old when she first stepped onto an outdoor rink.  Her neighbour, Mr. Black, in the small town of Strathclair, Manitoba - northwest of the City of Brandon - offered to teach Kemkaran and her brother to skate. Kemkaran’s dad agreed and made an outdoor rink. Little did the Kemkaran family... Continue Reading →

An Interlake Regional Memory – Capturing a Golden Figure Skating Kodak Moment

The Interlake Regionals are an annual competition that debuted in 1975. After researching the archives, I learned the Arborg Skating Club attended the Interlake Regionals prior to 1989, attending in the late-70s and early-80s.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~When I skated, January meant one thing: the Interlake Regionals. After a brief hiatus, the Arborg Skating Club attended the 1989 Interlake... Continue Reading →

Figure Skating Federations Need to Change Olympic Selection Process

It seems some skaters had their ticket pre-punched to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, courtesy of their friendly figure skating federation. Which begs the question: why bother to hold a national championship when the federation has already determined who they want on their Olympic team? For the sake of ruining mascara and innocent Kleenex, skating federations... Continue Reading →

Mandatory Compulsory Silence – Figure Skating’s Nemesis

I almost miss compulsory figures. Those horrible, former mandatory double-bubbles of trouble. Or three circles for a serpentine. Scratching out figure eights for up to four hours a week was not my idea of a good time. However, when we skated patch, our arena was so quiet you should hear a skate rivet drop. The... Continue Reading →

How Tonya Harding Tried to Cripple a Canadian Champion

Even 20 years later, there’s still an appetite for the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan saga. On Jan. 6, 1994, it seemed only the lives of Kerrigan and Harding where changed. It’s a lesson to never underestimate Tonya Harding. Harding was well-documented train-wreck. Her wardrobe malfunction at the 1993 U.S. Nationals and her skate issues at 1993... Continue Reading →

It’s Time To Revive Synchronized Skating

The first synchronized figure skating competition my team competed in no longer exists. It was the Interlake Regional Precision Competition. There were nine teams in three different categories, divided by size and skill. Five towns from our region were represented. Today, there are approximately four teams in the same region of 88,000 people. The Arborg... Continue Reading →

Figure Skating and Steroids – The ISU Needs Tougher Sanctions

Banned substances keep finding their way into the bodies of top-level athletes whether through accidental ingestion or on-purpose injection. The ISU released their Anti-Doping Procedures for this season. I don’t believe their sanctions are strict enough. Major League Baseball bans a two-time offender while under the ISU, a second infraction might garner a four-year suspension.... Continue Reading →

Check Yes or No – An Eleventh Hour Decision for the Royal Glenora Club

Figure skaters are passionate about their sport and clubs. If my old club were closing down, I’d be writing a “Save the Arborg Skating Club” blog. My skating club isn’t closing, though. Luckily the multitude of hockey teams keep my small former club able to thrive. The eleventh hour is fast approaching for the Royal... Continue Reading →

Figure Skating Needs CPR

The judging system in figure skating is leading to the inevitable demise of our sport. That’s probably what some people thought after 2013 World Figure Skating Championships. It won’t die, but it might become one of those sports only watched online because it’s so rarely picked up by a network. I predict the only time... Continue Reading →

Remembering Johnny Esaw

Figure skating has lost a legend. Johnny Esaw, the dynamic commentator with CTV from the 1970s to 1989 died on April 6, 2013. He was 87 years old. Esaw was already an established football and hockey reporter when he brought figure skating to the forefront. At a time when skating was all glitz and glamour,... Continue Reading →

No Limit on Talent

Clara Peters, Paul Richardeau, and Reyna Hamui. A skater should be excited to win their national title. It’s like finding the golden ticket in a chocolate bar/ Or an invitation to that cool kid's party. Unless that invitation was meant for someone else. In 2011, someone at the ISU had an ingenious idea, "Hey! Let's... Continue Reading →

Not a Novice – An Interview with Kira Gallant

Last November, I covered the Skate Alberta-NWT/Nunavut sectionals for the Edmonton Journal. Once home, I wrote my story and compiled competition results, and live–tweeted – for fun(!) The deadline loomed, and my computer screens constantly changed — the adrenaline definitely flowed. I stepped away from the computer for not more than three minutes, and I... Continue Reading →

A Conversation with Lisa Sargeant-Driscoll

Lisa Sargeant strikes a pose at the Royal Glenora Club - Credit/Edmonton Journal The first Canadian championship I ever watched was the 1989 Canadians from Chicoutimi, Quebec. My older sister and I were at my grandparents' for the weekend, and we nibbled on Baba’s puffed wheat cake as we watched CKY’s endless hours of coverage.... Continue Reading →

Based on Fictional Facts of Realism – You’ll Need More Than a Throw Double Salchow, Doug

What makes a good skating movie? From the vast catalogue of titles out there: just about anything. And you would think with the vast catalogue of titles to research, a screenwriter might say, “Hmm, maybe this should be accurate.” Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy an unbelievable and unrealistic skating movie, because unless it’s a... Continue Reading →

The Royal Glenora Club Closure and the Final Four

The Royal Glenora Club's ice facilities faces possible closure as operating costs and renovations are too blame/Undated photo The 2013 Canadian Tire National Figure Skating Championships haven't even started, and drama is unfolding. The Royal Glenora Club's skating facilities in Edmonton, Alberta will cease operations on May 31, 2013. The reason? Allegedly, the arena needs... Continue Reading →

It’s Time for the Holiday Spectacular at the Ice Palace Figure Skating Club

Call it the future members of the Stars on Ice cast. Or you can call it by its real name: Holiday Spectacular. On December 15th, skaters from the Ice Palace Figure Skating Club will display their talents in an ice show at West Edmonton Mall for an anticipated audience of 450. Shoppers are invited to... Continue Reading →

A Throwback Skating Tale – Uphill … Both Ways

I don’t know what it is about freshly fallen snow, but I dragged out my old ice carnival and competition footage – already transferred to DVD. This time, though, certain details popped out. Or, should I say changes? Helmet use was not mandatory in CanSkate in the mid-80s. It was optional. In one of the... Continue Reading →

Stolen Skate Won’t Stop Promising Royal Glenora Club Figure Skater

When a vehicle is broken into, usually the items stolen are easily replaced. Unless one of those items are an $1800 pair of figure skates. On Oct. 22, Kayla Harrison, an 18-year-old figure skater, left morning classes to head to the Royal Glenora Club. Only one problem: her Jimmy was broken into, and three of... Continue Reading →

The Alberta-NWT/Nunavut Sectionals are Coming

Move over pucks and hockey sticks, you’re being replaced by toe picks and triple jumps. Tomorrow and over the weekend at the Terwillegar Recreation Centre, Edmonton figure skaters will duel with skaters from around the region at the 2013 Skate Canada Alberta-NWT/Nunavut Sectionals. Skaters from various ranks – Juvenile to Senior – as well as... Continue Reading →

And Along Comes Osmond…

Whenever I interview 16-year-old Kaetlyn Osmond, there’s something I notice about her – besides her triple-triple combination. It’s her smile. It never leaves her face. And right now, Osmond has a lot to smile about. On Friday, Osmond mamboed her way to second place in the short program at the 2012 Skate Canada International competition... Continue Reading →

Patrick Chan Fell, Get Over It

Did you hear? Patrick Chan fell four times at the Japan Open earlier this month and placed last? Blog upon blog have dumped on Chan since his result, and Twitter wasn’t too kind either. With Chan going into the Skate Canada Invitational as the two-time defending champion, no doubt the Japan Open is weighing on... Continue Reading →

A Tribute to Barbara Ann Scott

This morning my heart literally skipped a beat.As I watched the morning news, I put my head down for a mere second to scoop up some cereal, only to hear my husband ask, did you see that? I snapped my head up just as the headline ticker passed with enough information to comprehend: Barbara Ann... Continue Reading →

Live-Tweeting Today’s Champions – The 2012 Wild Rose Invitational

This weekend I live-tweeted the latter portion of the Wild Rose Invitational [#WildRose] figure skating competition in Leduc, Alberta over two days. It was fun, inspiring, challenging – and an adrenaline rush. When I was watching the live stream of the event on my laptop. And I told my husband I felt like live-tweeting the event. I... Continue Reading →

Photo of a Figure Skater Solves a Six-Year-Old Mystery

An amazing story out of Arlington, Texas, where a photo of a figure skater, tucked into her grandmother’s cremated remains in 2001, cracked part of a mysterious case which involved a mass grave. Rachel Stecher, 19, came forward after several news agencies ran a story about an unknown figure skater in a blue dress. Stecher... Continue Reading →

Midori Ito at the Adult Worlds

Midori Ito made her debut at the adult worlds this June. The 1989 World Figure Skating Champion, who made history by landing the first triple Axel in world competition, competed in the ISU Adult Figure Skating Championships in Oberstdorf, Germany. Ito finished second to Jan Calnan in the Masters Elite II level. While there were... Continue Reading →

Figure Skating, Meet Roller Blading

I tried inline skating in high school.  There were four of us on a street near our school - small towns - gliding up and down the paved road. Minus me. I was too nervous to move, convinced I'd do a face-plant. So much for that cardio exercise.  When I was a preteen figure skater,... Continue Reading →

The Zamboni Infatuation

When I was younger, our rink didn't have an official Zamboni. We had a tractor that dragged an orange, rectangular hot water tank over the ice.  The air was left a little hazy, but none the less, the ice was smooth and shiny. With our home rinks, my Dad would fill barrels of water and... Continue Reading →

A Tribute: To the Lives Lost in the Sabena Flight 548 Disaster

On March 24, the ISU decided Moscow would host the 2011 ISU World Figure Skating Championship as Japan continues to recover from the repercussions of a tsunami and nuclear crisis. It's a sigh of relief for many figure skaters and coaches who trained all-year for this moment. At the Worlds in Toyko, Japan, there were... Continue Reading →

Goodbye Mysterious Voice – Attention Skating Spectators, Please Keep Your Comments to Yourself

It was 20 years later and two women's comments still hurt. Until this morning. I love watching the old ice shows from my time at the Arborg Skating Club. However, my least favourite was the 1990 Arborg Ice Show: Movie Mania. Despite my coach’s efforts, I was far from a naturally graceful skater. My spins... Continue Reading →

And Now a Word From Our Sponsors…

Remember the pair skating Hersey's Kisses? Just like figure skaters' new programs, every year, I look forward to see what new figure skating commercials are out there. The amount of attention figure skating received prior to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics was phenomenal. I mean, who didn't love the Wonder Bread kids or the skating glasses?... Continue Reading →

Ben Ferreira, Will You Be My Friend?

Figure skaters are taking the social networking sites by storm to promote their television shows, their causes and themselves. And why not? The sites are great vehicles. After a quick search on Twitter, I was able to track down, and follow, Katarina Witt, Jeffrey Buttle and of course Kurt Browning. Facebook is a tad different.... Continue Reading →

Binder, Paper, Scissors – An Adolescence Well Documented

The winds passed like a Chinook over the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.  Amateurs turned professional, allowing new faces to emerge, such as American sweetheart Jill Trenary, pair strongholds Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler, and Canada’s Cowboy Kurt Browning. I started to document their progress - and skaters at the local level. Collecting newspaper clippings... Continue Reading →

The Gold, the Silver, and the Wildcard – It Makes a Great Movie, But Not Real Life

On a clear day in Arborg, Manitoba, I’d have my pick of CBC, CTV, CKND (Global), and MTN. However, most days, it was CBC programming, which explains my love for Degrassi Junior High. CBC showed memorable movies back then, such as Love and Hate - The Story of Colin and Joanne Thatcher and Loyalties. And for... Continue Reading →

Holly Cook – Making a Statement on the World Stage

At the 1990 World Figure Skating Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, American Champion Jill Trenary won the world title. Japan’s Midori Ito placed an unheard of 10th in the compulsory figures - unheard of for a defending world champion while Trenary won the segment.   But a short program was a different story. After a... Continue Reading →

Stand on Guard for Thee

My skate guards are white. They stand out amongst the teals and oranges on the boards at the arena where I skated a last year. On several occasions we had to make quick exits from the ice because of an overzealous Zamboni driver, so I thought I would play it safe. In 1990, while I... Continue Reading →

Plushenko, Meet Karma

Remember the kid who was whined when you would beat then at Sorry or Life, or even Chinese Checkers? Accusations of theft, high-jinx, deception or illusion would surface. They say things like “you didn’t deserve to win” and “you looked at my cards.” And you, being the good sport, just bite your tongue and walk... Continue Reading →

Spandex, Spangles and a Seam Ripper – My Homespun Costumes

The 1987 Arborg Ice Show - Candyland. My last year of CanSkate, we were bakers. I'm third from the left, shining like a disco ball. Today, I saw a post on Facebook: "Do you remember when mom would make your clothes?" I chimed in: "Clothing and skating dresses." Thanks, mom, for the memories.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Anyone who understands... Continue Reading →

Bye Bye Compulsory Dance

Who doesn’t love to snuggle up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and watch three hours of compulsory dance? Hopefully no one. The International Skating Union’s announcement on June 17, 2010 was a longtime coming. They voted to nix compulsory dance at junior and senior competition and will devise a plan to retool... Continue Reading →

The Russian Legends – The Protopopovs

On YouTube, I found a program skated by Ludmila Belousove and Oleg Protopopov. They skated under the name the Protopopovs, and were brilliant pairs skaters in the 1960s. I first heard of them when I read Toller Cranston’s book, Ice Cream, where he counts down, in his opinion, the top figure skaters that revolutionized figure... Continue Reading →

Compulsory Figures – Gone but Not Forgotten

Before International Skating Union phased them out in 1990, compulsory figures were an integral part of figure skating. For those who are not familiar with figures, they were patterns on the ice that resemble figure eights, hence the name. Figure skaters would spend hours honing their figures, meticulously looping around these circles. But they were... Continue Reading →

Silver Blades and Hot Pink Bow Ties

Our Ice Revue during the Winter Carnival. Yesterday, when I should have been studying for upcoming exams, purely by accident, I stumbled upon coverage of the 2010 World Synchronized Figure Skating Championships. As I explained to my husband the different moves, I realize the changes in the sport since I was a precision skater -... Continue Reading →

Days of the 6.0 Meet Skating Scene – Same Coverage, Different Name

It was the summer of 2010. I wanted to start another blog. At the time, "Days of the Perfect Six" suited my interests. However, two provinces later in 2012, "Skating Scene" was born. Skating Scene's mission is to promote figure skaters from the past, present, and future who spent - and will spend - hours... Continue Reading →

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