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TORONTO (June 24, 2021) – Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) would like to congratulate Kathryn Giffen on the completion of her term as Chair of the CSIO Board of Directors. Kathryn has served as Chair of CSIO since 2017 and has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2010, serving as Secretary prior to being appointed Chair. Her term officially ended at the CSIO Annual General Meeting which took place on June 22, 2021.

Kathryn brought a wealth of knowledge and insight to the Board of Directors from her work as a lawyer, her Board experience including an ICD diploma from Rotman Business School Governance and having held senior positions in the insurance and banking sectors, including as the President of RBC Life Insurance Company. She also previously served as Chair of Women’s College Hospital. Kathryn’s expertise as a litigator, strategist, business analyst and in corporate governance have made her an invaluable asset as a member of CSIO’s Board of Directors and as its Chair.

She was part of CSIO’s Board of Directors whose vision helped to achieve the organizational milestone of transitioning CSIO from a Sport Centre to a Sport Institute, as it moved into the legacy facilities of the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games. It was a game-changer for the entire sector, greatly expanding CSIO’s ability to support Ontario and Canada’s high performance athletes and coaches more effectively in their daily training environments.

Throughout her tenure as Chair, Kathryn’s leadership saw the organization continue to evolve and grow as it strives to deliver best-in-class programs and services to high performance athletes and coaches. It saw CSIO co-host (with Canadian Paralympic Committee) the International Paralympic Committee’s 2017 VISTA Conference, bringing together over 300 of the world’s leading sports scientists, sport medicine practitioners, researchers, classifiers, coaches and athletes in parasport. And most recently, Kathryn guided CSIO’s CEO and Senior Management Team through unprecedented times with its pandemic response and return to sport in preparation for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond.

CSIO thanks Kathryn Giffen for her dedicated leadership and commitment to the organization over the years and wishes her all the best moving forward.

Kathryn is succeeded as Chair by Ian Gordon, a member of CSIO’s Board of Directors since 2016 and currently serving as its Secretary.

Ian Gordon is Senior Vice President of Loblaw Brands Limited where he leads the development and innovation behind Canada’s two largest consumer brands; President’s Choice and no name. Ian holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University and has held senior sales and marketing positions at Unilever, International Multifoods, and was President of ACLC Advertising in Toronto.

Ian, along with fellow board members – Phil Sanders (Treasurer), Dr. Ira Jacobs, Olympic Gold Medallist Marnie McBean, Spencer Orr and Nancy Spotton, also welcomed new members to the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting.

Joining the Board are Anita Comella (Senior Director, Facilities Development at Tennis Canada), Joseph Lo (Partner, Private Equity Value Creation, PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP), Richard Powers (Associate Professor, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto), and Greg Westlake (Paralympic Gold Medallist, Para Ice Hockey).


“On behalf of the CSIO staff we thank Kathryn for her leadership and contribution to CSIO and the high performance sport system in Ontario and Canada. As a friend and mentor, Kathryn has provided invaluable support and guidance to myself and our Executive Team, and ever more so as we navigated this past year. We wish Kathryn all the best in this new chapter of her life. We are also very excited to welcome Ian as our new Chair and look forward to working with him and the rest of our Board of Directors as we strive to elevate people and performance.”

Debbie Low

CEO, Canadian Sport Institute Ontario

“I am so proud of the evolution of the CSIO. From seeing the transformation to an Institute, to seeing the organization adapt in response to the pandemic, it has always been about providing best-in-class people, programs and services. It has been my pleasure to work with Debbie and such a great team at CSIO, and I look forward to watching and cheering on the success and achievements of our athletes and coaches.”

Kathryn Giffen

Former Chair, Canadian Sport Institute Ontario 

“I want to congratulate Kathryn on her exceptional work and dedication to CSIO throughout her time on the Board and as Chair. It has been a pleasure to work with her and I wish her great success as she moves forward. I am excited to begin my new role as Chair as we emerge from an unprecedented global event and look toward new possibilities in high performance sport and providing best-in-class programs and services.”

Ian Gordon

Chair, Canadian Sport Institute Ontario

About Canadian Sport Institute Ontario

Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) is a non-profit organization committed to the pursuit of excellence by providing world-class programs, services, and leadership to high performance athletes, coaches, and National and Provincial Sport Organizations to enhance their ability to achieve international podium performances. Our team of expert practitioners deliver sport science, sport medicine, life services, and coaching and technical leadership support to help Canada win medals and strengthen the sport system in Ontario and Canada. CSIO is part of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network, working in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee. CSIO is further supported by funding partners such as the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Sport Canada, Own the Podium, and the Coaching Association of Canada.

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Media Contact:

Laura Albright, Senior Advisor, Communications & Marketing

Canadian Sport Institute Ontario
Phone: 647.395.7536