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Frances Helen Dafoe (b. 1929) is a costume designer and former Olympic figure skater. A former World Figure Staking champion, she won a silver medal (for pairs with partner Norris Bowden) at the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. She was awarded the Order of Ontario in 1990 and the Order of Canada in 1991 in recognition of her contributions to costume design and sport in Canada. She is also a recipient of the Confederation medal and the Golden Jubilee medal.
Dafoe was a graduate of Branksome Hall and Central Technical High School in Toronto, where one of her teachers was artist Doris McCarthy. She also attended Parsons School of Design in New York.
After her retirement from professional figure skating, Dafoe worked a costume designer for the CBC, where she contributed to such television series and specials as "The Wayne and Shuster Show", "The Royal Canadian Air Farce", The NHL Awards, and various dance or figure-skating specials. She also designed the costumes for the closing ceremonies of the Olympic Winter Games in Calgary in 1988.
A long-time collaborator with choreographer Alan Lund, Dafoe worked on stage productions at the Charlottetown Festival, as well as performances by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and numerous figure skating productions featuring Kurt Browning, Elizabeth Manley, Brian Orser and Toller Cranston.
Also a free-lance designer, Dafoe has created costumes for many professional performers, dancers and figure skaters, including Karen Kain, Michael Burgess, Alan Thicke, Al Waxman, Sharon, Lois & Bram, Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton, Elvis Stojko, Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Lloyd Eisler, Katarina Witt, Elizabeth Manley and Kurt Browning.
Dafoe was nominated for a Gemini Award for costume design for such works as "Return to the beanstalk", "The true gift of Christmas", "I'll never go to heaven" and "You must remember this." She received an Ace award for costume design for her work on "Rich Little's Robin Hood", a Golden Gate award at the San Francisco International Film Festival for her work on "Strawberry ice" and a Prix Anik Award for her costume designs in the television productions of "Strawberry ice" and "Return to the beanstalk."
In 2011 Dafoe published a book "Figure skating: eight centuries of sport and inspiration." She is married and has two children.
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2014/05/08 Last updated.
2018/07/04 KCP. Added VIAF.