Tanis and Doug Boardman

June 2018

For much of her teen years and into her twenties, Tanis Boardman traveled around the world as a professional figure skater. From competitions to performing on the ice rinks on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line to Disney On Ice (including the ice-show High School Musical), Tanis’s journey as a figure skater took her far and wide, but she and her husband Doug decided to return to the city on the lake, Thunder Bay, to make their home and raise their family.

Tanis met Doug when they were both teenagers attending Hammarskjold High School, though they did not become a couple until years later. “At that point, we were just acquaintances,” says Tanis.

Tanis moved to B.C. for 16 years after graduating high school. She would often have the opportunity to visit Thunder Bay in between skating competitions and her touring schedule, which took her all over the map, from South America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and more.

“I was home on a break from touring when Doug and I ran into each other at Movati,” Tanis tells me.

Some months went by after this initial meeting and Tanis was in and out of town quite a lot. She had requested Thunder Bay Airport to be listed as her home airport, so she was able to come back to see family often. She and Doug chatted more and more when they’d see one another at the gym, and this led to their first date at the Caribou.

“When we first started dating, I remember I came home from touring with a shoulder injury and Doug was really sick at the same time, so it was about a week before we were able to get together for a date,” says Tanis. “Doug came to the door with roses and we went to The Keg, and then Doug said, ‘I was worried I was going to have to cut your steak for you,” because of my shoulder being dislocated. I was fine, he didn’t have to cut my steak.” “I was prepared to,” says Doug. “You would’ve, if it had been necessary,” laughs Tanis.

Tanis skated competitively until she retired at age 25. “I was one of the oldest women competing at Nationals when I was 25. The youngest competitor was 14.”
Doug moved from Thunder Bay to B.C. to join Tanis, and they spent one year in Vancouver before they moved to Kamloops for four years.

“We were living in Kamloops but once we started seriously talking about marriage and children, we decided we wanted to be where our roots are,” says Tanis.

“The cost of living in Thunder Bay is relatively low, in comparison,” adds Doug. “You just can’t beat a ten minute commute to everywhere. My commute used to be an hour and fifteen minutes one-way in Vancouver with constant bumper-to-bumper traffic. The days are also way longer, you get two extra hours of sunlight here and you really get more done after work.”

“Plus, the recreational activities here are great,” says Tanis. “We like fishing, and it’s so accessible here. Just jump in the car and you’re at the lake. And you can’t ice fish in Vancouver!”

“Thunder Bay has a lot more to offer than first meets the eye,” says Doug who now works as an automotive General Manager at select i-Car on Memorial Avenue.

Tanis tells me that she’s been skating ever since she could walk, but started taking lessons at the age of 7. She still skates once a week in the winter months at the Thunder Bay Figuring Skating Club, which is where she used to train. “It’s a lot of fun. I go with some of the girls I trained with and it’s always a great night out.”

Doug, too, spent time on the ice growing up. “I played hockey and I always used to joke that the figure skaters who practiced before we got on the ice were the ones who chewed up the ice and that’s why I could never score goals,” he says, laughing.

Tanis, Doug, and their young daughter have just welcomed a new family member, a newborn baby, to their home, and they are looking forward to a spectacular and busy Thunder Bay summer.

Cassandra Blair has a Masters of Arts in English Literature and is a regular contributor to Bayview.

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