The Bracebridge Skating Club began in 1934 at Yearley’s Rink, which was located on the present Bracebridge Memorial Arena site, at the corner of Jane and James Streets. Its founding members built a club that attracted many top skaters of the time, including a large group of competitive skaters from the Granite Club in Toronto. The Club’s founding President was Ann (Kit) Ecclestone Fryer. The Club was the first organization to provide instruction and programs for minors in Bracebridge.
Life During Wartime
Due to the onset of World War II in 1939, the skating club ceased. As well, Yearley’s rink burnt down in 1944, but was rebuilt as the Bracebridge Memorial Arena in 1949.
The rebuild inspired Muriel Misner Gibbs to once again establish the Bracebridge Figure Skating Club in 1948 and it is the 1948 Club’s mandate under which our present executive works.
Muriel Gibbs Era
The Club has had a long and reputable life and has championed several well-known international skating coaches and skaters. Names such as international coach Sheldon Galbraith—who coached Barbara Ann Scott and Wagner & Paul—instructed here for many summers, bringing his skating stars with him. Another international coach, Doug Leigh—who coached Brian Orser and Elvis Stoyko—started his coaching career with our club. His aunt Marilyn Leigh was the Clubs’s head coach for over 40 years and also instructed many international skating stars.
In Pursuit of Excellence
Skaters Tamiko Uyeda, Lindsay Wood, Sandy Kelly and Miranda Hall all started at the Bracebridge Club and went on to compete nationally and internationally, with Miranda taking a Silver Medal at the World Synchronized Skating Championships in 1999. 2003’s Bracebridge Team of the Year was The Blades Junior Synchronized Skating Team, which became the first Bracebridge youth team to make the national podium, taking the Silver Medal in 2003 and the Bronze Medal in 2004 at Skate Canada’s National Synchronized Skating Championships.
The Skating Club is proud to continue the tradition of skating in Bracebridge and beyond, and as of the season kicking off in September 2020 is expanding into Gravenhurst and changing its name to Skate Muskoka.