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In 1978, Lynda Garland was contacted by the newly formed World Baton Twirling Federation with an invitation for Canada to join the WBTF. Lynda sent letters across Canada to ask coaches, judges and administrators to come together to work on the formation of, what was then called, TWIRL CANADA.
Prior to this time, each province worked independently of each other and each was affiliated with United States organizations. It was time to come together and form a national body to represent Baton Twirling in Canada!
At a meeting held in the fall of 1979, representatives from Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta met at Mohawk College in Hamilton to discuss the formation of a unified national organization. Shortly after, the first Twirl Canada National Executive & Representatives were elected with Lynda being chosen as the first Twirl Canada President.
Over the next few years, the following projects were completed by hard-working CBTF board members, committees and individuals:
- Creation of the CBTF Code of Ethics & Conduct, Bylaws and Constitution
- Creation of administrative policies, technical rules and competition procedures
- Development of the CBTF Coaches and Judges programs and courses and many individuals were certified as CBTF Coaches and Judges.
- Introduced the CBTF Badge Program (now called the Skills Development Program)
- Formation of the CBTF Sanction Process, Group Declaration Process and Canadian Team Trial Entry Procedures
- British Columbia became a CBTF member shortly after 1980 with New Brunswick joining in 1990. Quebec is in the initial stages of re-joining and Nova Scotia is poised to join CBTF in the very near future.
- Assisted WBTF in preparing their first constitution and bylaws.
At the 1984 Annual General Meeting, on the recommendation of Sports Canada, Twirl Canada became known as the Canadian Baton Twirling Federation (“CBTF”).
The first Canadian Team Trials was held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in May 1980 and the following athletes represented our country at the first WBTF World Championships held in Seattle, Washington in August 1980:
- Junior Women – Susan Irwin, Krista Young, Lucinda McMaster
- Senior Women – Cara Chisholm, Pam Wilson, Brenda Hasenfratz
Only Women and Men competed that year – Teams were introduced the following year in 1981 and Pairs in 1992.
In 1982, Alberta, on behalf of Twirl Canada, submitted and won a bid to host the 1984 World Baton Twirling Championships in Calgary. This huge endeavor brought Canadians together working for the common goal to successfully run this international event. Fifteen WBTF-member countries attended.
Canada continues to send many athletes to the WBTF Championships each year and to provide representatives to all WBTF meetings to ensure continued input into the direction of international Baton Twirling. We have, proudly, had several World Champions – notably:
- Stacy Singer – 8 time World Women’s Freestyle Champion
- Hollie Neilson – 6 time World Women’s Freestyle Champion
- Lucinda McMaster
- Carolyn Day
- Kevan Latrace – who represented Canada for more than 10 years
- Jennifer Tangjerd & Leah Holliday
- Buffalo Gals World Team 1991
And many others who have won silver and bronze medals in freestyle, pairs and teams.
Canada has won the World Cup twice.
Two Canadians, Lynda Garland and Maureen Johnson, have been awarded WBTF Honorary Membership recognizing their contributions developing the sport and the WBTF.
Canada has hosted the following World Championships:
- 1984 – Calgary, Alberta
- 1994 – Newmarket, Ontario
- 2002 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
- 2007 – Hamilton, Ontario
In 2015, Canada will once again host the world at the 2015 WBTF International Cup in Abbotsford, British Columbia between August 5 and 9.
On August 10 and 11, Abbotsford will also host the IBTF Grand Prix - a world championship event bringing together athletes from the member countries of the World Baton Twirling Federation (WBTF) and the World Federation of National Baton Twirling Associations (WFNBTA).
Over the years, the CBTF Technical Committee has introduced many innovative steps to improve the development of our athletes, coaches and judges. To name a few:
- Creation of “Medley” – CBTF’s own unique competitive routine
- CBTF Set System used at all competitions using timed standard music for all individual/duet events
- Adoption of flashcard scoring use at all competitions
- Grand National Titles for Level A Champions
- Development of Qualification Procedures for Canadian Team Trials, Championships and International Cup events
- CBTF Pre-Competitive Events Program with standardized mini-routines for young athletes
- CBTF Minimum Score to Advance Policy
- CBTF Individual Group Status Determination process
CBTF celebrated 25 years of growth, unity and pride in 2004 and the organization is the recognized sports governing body for Baton Twirling in Canada. Through the dedicated work and efforts of many volunteers, CBTF continues to update and revise its coaching, judging and skills development programs, improve its policies and procedures, interact progressively with other countries and maintain a high standard of athletic and professional development.
Information on the current Technical Committee can also be found on this website.