The fans have spoken! In tonight’s season finale, three-time World Ice Dance medallist and three-time Canadian Ice Dance champion Kaitlyn Weaver and her partner, former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy, were crowned the Season 5 champions of CBC’s hit live competition series BATTLE OF THE BLADES. After receiving the most votes online from the series’ fans, the duo wins the trophy and $100,000 for Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, a national charity dedicated to helping kids overcome financial and accessibility barriers to sport and recreation in an effort to provide inclusive play for kids of all abilities.
“This is a surreal experience, I had no idea what to expect going in. I came here with an open heart and an open mind, and I leave so blessed to share this experience with Sheldon – all for an incredible cause. I feel changed, I feel like a better version of myself because of him, and I’m so grateful,” said Weaver.
“This was a journey; I remember the first day, Kaitlyn and I had a conversation about how we needed to show people hope, we needed to inspire people. If you’re in a dark place, you can come out of that, and that’s what I’m so grateful for. For a long time I never thought I could smile or do anything like this. We had to show people, and give them hope,” said Kennedy.
Also a two-time gold medallist at the Grand Prix Final Championships and two-time Olympian with ice dance partner Andrew Poje, Weaver performed throughout the season with Kennedy, a Manitoba-born former NHL player who played for three teams over the course of his eight-year NHL career: the Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames. For his tireless work as a spokesperson and advocate for abuse survivors, Kennedy has received numerous awards, including being named a Member of The Order of Canada (2015) and a Member of The Order of Manitoba (2015), and receiving the Hockey Canada Order of Merit (2018).
Poje and two-time Olympic Games medallist in ice hockey, Natalie Spooner, had the second-highest number of votes, and they each receive $17,500 for their charities based on their participation in the competition. Spooner was competing in support of Fast and Female, a charity dedicated to keeping girls healthy and active in sports by introducing them to inspiring athlete role models at non-competitive, fun-filled events all over North America, while Poje was competing in support of Right To Play, which works to protect, educate and empower children to rise above adversity using the power of play. The third pair of the finalists, Season 2 winner and two-time Olympic Games gold medallist in pairs skating Ekaterina Gordeeva and former NHL player Bruno Gervais, each receive $15,000 for their charities. Gordeeva was competing in support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, while Gervais was competing in support of the Gervais-Talbot Foundation, which supports disadvantaged youth.
The highest-rated original English-language Canadian format of all time,* BATTLE OF THE BLADES featured NHL veteran and Olympic hockey players and World and Olympic figure skaters partnering in a live, high-stakes figure skating competition in the hopes of winning the Season 5 championship, and a $100,000 donation to the charities of their choice. Hockey Night in Canada’s Ron MacLean reprised his role as host, and four-time Canadian and four-time World champion figure skater Kurt Browning returned as head judge. Former NHL player Colby Armstrong joined him on the panel alongside this week’s guest judges, beloved Canadian Olympic Games ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Fans can relive the excitement of the season on-demand anytime via the free CBC Gem streaming service.
*Source: Numeris, Total Canada, CBC Total, Battle of the Blades Seasons 1-4, Oct.4, 2009-Dec. 1, 2013, 2+ AMA, generated by InfoSys+TV.