(November 19, 2004)
Skating fans, mark your calendars.
On Sunday, Nov. 28, six-time Canadian Ladies Champion Jennifer Robinson and members of the Skate Canada National Team will participate in the BMO Financial Group Community Skate “Skate with the Stars,” which will be held at London, Ont.’s John Labatt Centre.
The event is in celebration of the 2005 BMO Financial Group Canadian Championships, which will be held Jan. 17-23 at the John Labatt Centre. Over 250 skaters from across Canada will compete at the national championships, with current Canadian Champions Cynthia Phaneuf, Emanuel Sandhu, Valérie Marcoux and Craig Buntin and Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon looking to defend their Canadian titles.
In addition to Robinson, Skate Canada National Team members Lesley Hawker and Nicholas Young will be on hand to sign autographs at the community skate. Tessa Virtue, a native of London, and Scott Moir, of Ilderton, Ont., who were crowned the 2004 Canadian Junior Ice Dance Champions at the 2004 BMO Financial Group Canadian Championships, will also participate, along with Lauren Wilson, the 2002 Canadian Junior Ladies Champion, who is also from London.
BMO Financial Group will donate all proceeds from the event to the Skate Canada Athlete Trust Fund, which provides support through a number of grants to athletes at various stages of development and competitive levels as part of the pursuit of competitive excellence. The support aids Skate Canada’s athletes in the pursuit of their goals by providing funding for international travel, training grants and scholarships.
“BMO Financial Group is always developing new initiatives to support the athletes,” said Robinson. I think it’s a great vehicle to raise money for the Skate Canada Athlete Trust Fund.
“It’s great that the whole community can turn out and skate on the very same ice surface that the national-level skaters will be skating on just a few weeks later to compete for the national championships.”
There will be two “Skate with the Stars” skating and autograph sessions, the first scheduled from 2-3 p.m. and the second from 4-5 p.m. As a special treat for the fans, the skaters will participate in a skating show from 3:15-3:45 p.m.
Local London area skaters who are enrolled in CanSkate, Skate Canada’s learn-to-skate program which is proudly presented by BMO Financial Group, who were awarded a BMO Financial Group CanSkate Champions medal, will demonstrate their skills to the public.
Former Toronto Maple Leaf Darryl Sittler will also be at the event to sign autographs. Sittler, who was also a member of the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights prior to playing with the Leafs, will be signing autographs from 2-3:15 p.m.
Tickets to the BMO Financial Group Community Skate are $10 and can be purchased through the Skate Canada Member Services department, at either the Westmount Mall or Masonville Mall BMO Bank of Montreal branches (located in London), or at Lynda’s Skating Apparel & the Dancer’s Den (also located in London). Tickets will be available online beginning Monday, Nov. 22. Tickets will also be available at the John Labatt Centre box office only on the day of the event.