As if getting dressed up and making sure my socks matched wasn’t enough pressure. A couple of weeks ago I had the great pleasure of attending the book launch of “Figure Skating
and the Arts: Eight Centuries of Sport and Inspiration.” by Frances Dafoe
with introduction by Dick Button.

Two of skating’s heaviest hitters ever in the same room.

My panic about the socks and making sure that my sweater isn’t inside out is justified. Aside from winning two world pair titles and one Olympic silver medal for
Canada with Norrie Bowden, Ms. Dafoe is an internationally-awarded costume
designer for TV, film and theatre. I frequently have passed her framed costume sketches on
the top floor of the CBC building reminding me of her enormous talent.

Once retired from competing Ms Dafoe earned an outsanding reputation as an international,
world and olympic judge. Her contribution to sport earned her the Order of

More than anything, I know this woman as my mom’s friend who mentored her as a judge and
who sent annual Christmas cards that were original sketches. Let’s just say,
they didn’t end up in recycling but rather as framed art on the walls.

As for her friend Mr Button – well – living legend doesn’t quite say enough.  In one of those serendipitous moments that you can never predict, I had just written my Top 10 Male Figure Skaters list the week before for CBC and had Dick Button as #1. (  Considering I hadn’t yet pulled the invitation to the book launch from its’ envelope; it was A stroke of luck. way easier to ask Mr Button for a Patrick Chan comment as #1 on my list rather than say #8…

One thing is for sure: the launch was the location of a virtual who’s who of figure skating. People like Olympians Brian Orser, Don Jackson and Maria Jelinek among many others had descended on the Cricket Club to be part of this special night.

For her part, Ms Dafoe. was able to finally bring this project to fruition after many years of trying. It has been a labour of love with many hands helping to finish the project. If you are a skating fan or an art fan or a history fan, this book is for you. It is filled with beautiful pictures and wonderful writing and is a treasure trove of information about figure skating. Look for it on in the US and in Canada:

Catching up with Ms Dafoe at her home in Toronto, she had this to say:



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