In a show of extraordinary skill, grace and strength, the world's finest figure skaters will meet in Vancouver between March 19 and 25 to compete in the 2001 World Figure Skating Championships. To commemorate this widely-anticipated event, Canada Post will issue four domestic-rate ($0.47) stamps on March 19, 2001.
The Early Years
Defined as a type of ice skating in which the skater combines a number of different movements, figure skating began to evolve after 1742 when the Edinburgh Skating Club was established. In Canada, the sport owes much to Montreal's Louis Rubenstein (1861-1931), Canadian champion and winner of numerous international awards. In 1914 the first official Canadian Figure Skating Championships were held in Montreal, and Canada first participated in the World Figure Skating Championships in 1928.
Figure Skating Organizations in Canada
Skate Canada, which is part of the International Skating Union (ISU), is dedicated to enabling every Canadian to participate in skating whether it be for fun, fitness, or achievement. With upwards of 190,000 members belonging to the organization's more than 1,400 member clubs, it's the largest figure skating governing body in the world. Recent international successes and innovative programming have helped make figure skating one of Canada's most popular sports.
Famous Canadian Skaters
Barbara Ann Scott of Ottawa reached celebrity status in 1947 when she won the first-ever World Championship crown. She was also the first Canadian figure skater to win an Olympic gold medal; just one of her numerous international achievements. Many have followed in her footsteps Maria and Otto Jelinek, Toller Cranston, Elvis Stojko, and Elizabeth Manley, to name a few
The 2001 World Figure Skating Championships
Canada first hosted the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in 1932 and has hosted it six times since. The 2001 Championships will be held at Vancouver's General Motors Place with 220 skaters from some 50 countries expected to participate. It is estimated that approximately 175,000 spectators from Canada and around the world will attend, bringing British Columbia an estimated $50 million.
About the Stamps
Vancouver designer Barbara Hodgson used a montage to portray the beauty and artistry of both the sport and the skaters, with background colours to reflect the coldness of the venues and the warmth of the performance. Photographer Lorne Bridgman focused on the skater(s) as the primary source of artistry in the sport, emphasizing the aesthetics of the distinctive poses while capturing the tension of the skaters' movements. In creating the background for the stamps, illustrators Pascal Milelli and Nola Johnston chose the graphic simplicity of a repetitive, fluid pattern to mimic a skater's markings on ice.