Born to Stan and Edna Shippam in the small town of Schumacher, Ontario, the heart of the gold mining community, Joan began her figure skating career at the age of six.
World Champion Hans Gerschwiler became the skating coach and asked permission of Joan’s parents to train her with the World and Olympic Championships as the ultimate goal, so at 9 years of age, Joan began training 8 hours each day at the McIntyre Arena and 2 hours daily with a private tutor for school.
Winning many championships over the next four years, Joan earned her gold medal in figures and free skating at 14; won the Junior Canadian Championships in Calgary at 15; won Bronze in Senior Canadians in Toronto at 16 and earned a place on the World Figure Skating Team to represent Canada.
The Shippam family moved to Peterborough in 1956 and one year later Joan turned professional and began her long and successful career as an instructor, taking her across North America, where she had contracts with Winnipeg Winter Club, Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Toronto Cricket CIub University Skating Club, Ice Gardens at York University, LakefieId, Havelock, Minden, Belleville, Keene and Peterborough.
Joan began coaching in Peterborough and has dedicated over 50 years of her life to the sport of figure skating, with 30 years spent in Peterborough. She continues to provide her expertise and experience in aiding the development of skaters of all ages.