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 Allison Roach Alumna Award 2010

Frances DAFOE'48
As a young girl and student at Branksome Hall, Frances DAFOE Bogin'48 would normally begin her day at an ice rink, hours before she or any of her friends would arrive for their school day.
 
"Everyone was in awe of her devotion to skating practice before classes began," recalls Jeanne ROSCOE Sheridan'48, who nominated Frances for this prestigious award. "Frances would arrive in a rush, looking a bit damp and rosy from the exercise. I remember her lovely smile and warm personality." Who knew (except perhaps Frances herself) that an Olympian and World Figure Skating Champion was in the making.
 
And skate to the top she did, earning a Silver Medal in the 1956 Olympic Winter Games in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, with her partner, Norris Bowden. This trailblazing duo was the first to perform high lifts above the shoulders as well as daring jumps and catches never before seen.
Other trips to the podium included a first-place skate in both the 1954 and 1955 World Championships in Oslo and Vienna respectively; and second-place finishes in the Worlds in 1953 and 1956.
 
Recognizing that judging at skating competitions was becoming a political game, Frances decided not to turn professional, and, besides, she was well on her way to becoming a successful costume designer — another talent that presented itself early during her Branksome days. "I sat across from Frances during Algebra class, and observed her surreptitiously drawing designs for skating costumes," says classmate Priscilla HINCHCLIFFE Freeman'48.
 
A graduate of Parsons School for Design in New York City and the Art Centre at Central Technical School in Toronto, Frances designed costumes for shows such as Wayne and Shuster on CBC, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet with Agnes De Mille and the Charlottetown Festival with Alan Lund. She worked her magic designing outfits for Stars on Ice, and for performers in the 1988 Calgary Olympics Closing Ceremony. "My knowledge of movement and love of all colours and their various combinations influenced not only my own life, but the many productions in which I was involved," says Frances.
 
Over the years, however, Frances maintained a relationship with the skating world and, in 1984, was invited to judge the World Championships in Ottawa followed by many other international events, and finally, the Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway in 1994. With such vast contributions to her sport and her career it is no wonder that she was awarded the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada in the early 1990s, the Confederation Medal in 1992 and the Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.
 
Today, she is very involved with writing a book - working title Legacies-Art and Figure Skating - due to be published later in 2010. It is about the many forms of art, worldwide from the 15th century, that have taken their inspiration from skating.
 
Frances is the proud mother of two sons, Blake and Adrian, grandmother of four little girls, and is married to Paul Bogin. She splits her time between her residences in Toronto and Jupiter, Florida.
 

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