Rhythmic gymnastics in Canada simply wouldn't exist if it weren't for the efforts of Evelyn Koop. Known as "The Godmother" of the sport in Canada, Evelyn is recognized as being the one who actually brought the sport to North America and fostered its growth nationwide.

Evelyn Koop founded Kalev Estienne Rhythmic Gymnastics Centres and has been working hard ever since to build its legacy as one of Canada's most prominent Rhythmic Gymnastics Centres. Having taught Rhythmic Gymnastics at the University of Toronto, McMaster University, McGill University, she is considered a foremost authority on the sport. She has also written books about the sport itself, has created instruction manuals on how to judge it, and has even developed technical manuscripts, by-laws, and constitutions around it.  

Image of Kalev founder Evelyn Koop, taken by Shelley A. Hassard

Image of Kalev founder Evelyn Koop, taken by Shelley A. Hassard

  • 1951 - Kalev Estienne founded

  • Starting in 1960’s Evelyn Koop taught Physical Education courses in Rhythmic Gymnastics through various courses, seminars and programs at: University of Toronto, McMaster University, McGill University, WEstern Univercity, Simon Fraser University, Washington State University and more.

  • November 1971 - With help of Evelyn Koop Canadian Modern Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation was established

  • Evelyn Koop meets her majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Canada Day, 1967

  • With the help of colleagues Koop founded Ontario Rhythmics Federation (May 10, 1968). By 1974 Ontario Federation had approximately 3000 members and the national federation over 4000 members. Koop continued to serve both federations as a President until 1980 when she became Executive Director for Ontario Rhythmic Gymnastic Federation.

  • Evelyn Koop was honoured member of Technical Committee from 1976-1980

  • In 1975, Koop began to organize the first international competition to be hosted in Canada.

  • She also founded the World's Best Championship, which was held in 1975.

  • Kalev with Evelyn Koop also hosted the first event under the name “Four Continent Championships” in Toronto in 1978.

  • In recognition of her work to the advanced sport in China And her influence in the development of the rhythmic gymnastic discipline in the USA , Evelyn Koop was awarded the FIG Medal for Achievement in 1978.

  • Kalev performed at a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Federation International de Gymnastique (FIG) in Montreux (SUI). The second significant event for Kalev Estienne that year was a performance by the Senior Elite at the Tallinn Estonian Festival in Estonia.

  • Golden performances by the Kalev Juniors garnered the team Gold at the Ontario Provincial Championships and the Coast to Coast games in 1989. The Junior team returned from Saskatoon that year with Silver at the Canadian National Championships.

  • Kalev Estienne was in the spirit of sharing as much as it was receiving in 1991. Evelyn Koop devoted enormous effort into creating “The world’s Best” an international invitational competition to be hosted in Toronto every decade.

  • Kalev Estienne hosted their firth Koop Cup in 2001. The international Invitational was hosted at Toronto’s Metro Convention Centre. This edition celebrates 50 years of Rhythmic Gymnastic in Canada and the Toronto Estonian Kalev Sports club which fostered the creation of Kalev Estienne.

  • In Graz, Koop and leaders of 12 others delegations came together to sign the agreement formally creating the Federation Aesthetic Group Gymnastics (IFAGG). Koop and her local peers came together again and at the end of 2003 to form the Ontario Federation for Aesthetic Group Gymnastics.

  • Kalev with Evelyn Koop hosted the AGG World Championships in 2008 in Toronto.

  • Kalev Estienne  and the Ritmika Club jointly hosted the Elite Canada Meet in Toronto in 2010 and their Senior and Junior troupes finishes with Golds.

  • Evelyn Koop also founded the Four Continents Championships for RG - the first held in Brazil.  

Honours bestowed on Evelyn Koop

  • Estonian Central Council (EKN) Award, Silver Star Award

  • 1968 - Founding Member Ontario Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation

  • 1968 - Sport’s Federation of Canada “Donald King Memorial” Award

  • 1969 - Founding Member Ontario Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation

  • 1971 - Government of Ontario Achievement Award

  • 1972- Government of Ontario Achievement Award

  • 1972 - Ontario Place Award

  • 1974 - Government of Ontario Achievement Award

  • 1974 - Finland’s Women’s Sports Award

  • 1976 - Member of the Federation International de Gymnastique (FIG)

  • 1977 - Queen Elizabeth 25th Jubilee Award

  • 1977 - Air Canada Sports Executive of the Year Award

  • 1978 - FIG Medal for Achievement (for introducing the sport to China)

  • 1980 - Gymnastics Canada Life Member

  • 1980 - Honorary Member of the Federation International de Gymnastique (FIG)

  • 1982 - Gymnastics Canada Life Member

  • 1982- Honorary Member Canadian Gymnastics Federation Citation (four Continents Champion Honour)

  • 1985 - Governor General of Canada Award

  • 1988 - Canadian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation Citation (four Continents Champion Honour)

  • 1988 - Ontario Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation, Recognition Award

  • 1991 - Gymnastics Ontario Key Builder Award

  • 1991 - City of Toronto Proclamation declares June 14, 1991 Rhythmic Gymnastics Day

  • 1992 - Commemorative Medal, 125th Anniversary, Confederation of Canada

  • 1993 - Province of Ontario, Service Award for Dedication and Commitment to Sport

  • 1993 - Ontario Gymnastics Federation, Builder Award

  • 1998- Sports Federation Award

  • 1998 - FIG Honorary Diploma (for distinguished service as an International Judge)

  • 2001 - Kalev 100 Year Start Award, Government of Estonia

  • 2006 - Gymnastics Canada Rhythmic Gymnastics Program Awards 2006 since renamed the “Evelyn Koop Rhythmic Gymnastics Program Award”

  • 2007 - President's Award, Republic of Estonia

  • 2007 - Ontario Government Volunteer Service Award

  • 2007 - Ministry of Citizenship Award

  • 2008 - Gold Start Award, Russian Federation of Aesthetic Group Gymnastics

  • 2016 and 2017 - Award to recognize individuals who have made a significant difference to the community, from Mayor Frank Scarpitti and Council, City of Markham

  • 2017 - Dr. Gene Sutton Memorial Award

  • 2018 - Mayor Scarpitti - Markham - recognition for a successful Koop Cup

  • 2019 - Lifetime Achievement Award, Toronto Sports Hall of Honour

GYMCAN 50th anniversary celebration (2019)

Gymnastics Canada @gymcan1 #50thanniversary celebration  Evelyn Koop cutting a cake, Tamara Bompa, Slava Corn and several Olympians and former National team athletes and coaches attending the event. #fromherewesoar #50years #since1969

Lifetime achievement award (2019)

Photos by Alex Trillium (Alexander Gatsukov)

Photos by Alex Trillium (Alexander Gatsukov)

The Toronto Sports Hall of Honour celebrates the exceptional accomplishments of those who have inspired and brought recognition to the City of Toronto, through sport. Congratulations to Evelyn Koop on her Lifetime Achievement Award ❤️


Dave Sandford, Chief Executive Officer of Gymnastics Ontario congratulates Evelyn Koop on being the recipient of the Dr.Gene Sutton Award.

Dave Sandford, Chief Executive Officer of Gymnastics Ontario congratulates Evelyn Koop on being the recipient of the Dr.Gene Sutton Award.

At the 50th Anniversary of Gymnastics Ontario Awards Banquet Evelyn Koop received the Dr. Gene Sutton Special Achievement Award.

CONGRATULATIONS from all of us! ❤️ 

Dr. Gene Sutton Memorial Award (2017)

Teresa Orr, National Team Director of Rhythmic Gymnastics presented Evelyn Koop with the Dr. Gene Sutton Memorial Award. Her words of kindness are below:

Bez názvu.jpg

I just experienced “Déjà vu”! “Why do I feel that the moment I am in right now has happened before?”

Well, it just so happens that in 2006, Rhythmic became part of the GCG Awards Gala & there I was honoring Evelyn Koop with the inaugural RG Program Award, named of course after her. She received her Diamond Pin that year & in 2013 she became a GCG Life Member recognizing her long time and I mean “long time” service to the Federation.

So here I am privileged once again to recognize this distinguishing, extravagant woman.

Rhythmic Gymnastics in Canada simply would not be if it were not for the efforts of Evelyn Koop, known by many as the “godmother” of RG. You just need to look at the Kalev Estienne website and you will find 65 years of highlights from bringing the sport of RG to Canada, developing World & Olympic gymnasts to hosting Provincial, National and International Events.

Evelyn Koop, the founder & President of Kalev Estienne, has been involved as a gymnast, coach, performer, choreographer, educator, author, administrator, judge, event manager and most importantly …remains as one of the major promoters of Rhythmic Gymnastics in Canada and volunteer extraordinaire!

There is so much information to share with you about Evelyn but unfortunately 65 years is a challenge to culminate in a few minutes so I will do my best to provide the highlights.

In her early years, Evelyn taught Physical Education courses in Rhythmic Gymnastics at the Universities of Toronto, McMaster & McGill. She authored books “Basic Rhythmics” and “Judging”, developed Technical Manuals, By-laws, and Constitutions.

She has trained many teachers and coaches and created awareness of RG through endless touring with her gymnasts throughout Canada and the United States. I was fortunate as a young artistic gymnast to have Evelyn come to our club to assist with upper body movement for beam & floor.

In 1968, Evelyn along with a few others formed the Modern Gymnastics Federation and later the Canadian Rhythmic Sportive Gymnastics Federation.

1971 was the year Evelyn received international standing as a judge and was awarded a Brevet 2. She was also a member of the FIG RG Technical Committee. From 1976 to 1980, and in 1998 she was awarded the FIG Honorary Diploma “in recognition of her long –term distinguished service as an International Judge atthe World Level”. 1976 proved to be a busy year. Evelyn was the lead choreographer for the opening Ceremonies of the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. Evelyn worked hand in hand with Juri Titov, President of FIG and others to get RG accepted as an Olympic Sport. 1976 was also the year she initiated “The Maple Leaf” International Meet which was held for four consecutive years. In 1978 she created the Pan Pacific Championships, which later became the Four Continents Championships. These events were created with one main goal in mind…to give Canadian rhythmic gymnasts the opportunity to experience international competition.

For the same reason, Evelyn introduced “The World’s best” International Invitational competition in 1991 which was later named by the federation as “Koop Cup” in Evelyn’s honour.

Evelyn has recruited many world-renowned coaches & judges which helped spearhead the development of RG in Canada. Tamara Bompa, originally from Romania and brought over as a coach, judged for Canada at six Olympic Games. Liliana Dimitrova from Bulgaria took gymnasts to 3 Olympic Games & more recently Janika Moelder from Estonia. RG became an official sport at the Olympic Games in 1984. BC gymnast Lori Fung, a former member of Kalev was crowned the Olympic Champion. The second gymnast, Adrienne Dunnet was also from Kalev. Representing Kalev at the 1996 Olympics was Camille Martins and in 2000 Emilie Livingston. As you can see Evelyn was responsible for producing a lot of firsts. In 2010, it was the Kalev Junior Group that represented the America’s at the first Youth Olympic Games and captured the Bronze medal. The group became part of the Olympic Games in 1996. The Senior group from Kalev made history qualifying Canada to their first Olympic Games in London 2012. One first that Evelyn may not want me to mention but I will – Evelyn was the first National judge to arrive at Elite Ontario one year wearing two different shoes. Different colours & different heal heights. Evelyn – I checked your shoes tonight and you are good to go!


Last year, Evelyn Koop President & Program Director of Kalev Estienne celebrated their 65th anniversary promoting Rhythmic Gymnastics in Canada & her club. Kalev continues to host Provincial, National & International Events. This year alone, Kalev under the management of Evelyn Koop hosted Slonny Cup international invitational, Elite Canada & the famous Koop Cup FIG event. She even gets the Mayor of Markham to come out to these events to help present awards. Evelyn has always been passionate about growing the sport so that all Canadians can participate and learn about the beautiful sport of Rhythmic Gymnastics. Evelyn deserves recognition for her continuous commitment and energy in exposing Canadian gymnasts to International Competition in Canada. Many of her former gymnasts are still with her as coaches, in her performance groups, as staff or return as dedicated volunteers that assist with the hosting of her successful events.

I know that Gene will be smiling down and giving us the thumbs up with her approval just as we are!

Congratulations Evelyn on receiving the Dr. Gene Sutton Memorial Award.


  • 1951 - 59
    - During its first decade, Kalev was active mainly within the Estonian community in Toronto but also performed as follows:

  • 1950

    - Performed at Alan Lund's show at the CNE Grandstand

  • 1951
    - Travelled and gave seminars to YMCA and YWCA coaches

  • 1952
    - Performed gymnastics demonstrations and folk dances in Toronto
    - Performed gymnastics demonstrations in Toronto schools

  • 1953
    - Participated in "Cavalcade" and at a YMCA performance together with the Tiidus' group
    - Presented Ladies' Fitness performances in three high schools

  • 1954
    - Participated in "Cavalcade" in Toronto
    - Demonstrated fitness at the "Top Hat Club" and on CBC TV

  • 1955
    - Demonstration at the Palace Pier in Toronto
    - Held a seminar in Ajax

  • 1956
    - Was the subject of an article in the Montreal Star: "How to keep fit"

  • 1957
    - Participated in the Esto World Festival and a folk dance festival in Toronto
    - Demonstrated at Central Technical School
    - Was featured in The International Gymnast Magazine, they had a story about Kalev in three issues
    - The National Film Board made a production on Kalev

  • 1958
    - Demonstrated in Cleveland, Ohio

  • 1960
    - Participated in the Estonian Festival and other sports events in Toronto, e.g. at Varsity Arena and the CNE
    - Performed at Bloor Collegiate
    - Performed at the Toronto Police Games

  • 1961
    - Held several school board seminars in Ontario
    - Performed al Bloor Collegiate Institute, Shadow Lake and Sportsman's Show
    - CBC TV broadcasted show about Kalev nationally

  • 1962
    - Performed at Bloor Collegiate Institute
    - Shadow Lake
    - Sportsman's Show (this became a regular event for Kalev)
    - Another CBC national show

  • 1963
    - Performed at Lakewood, New Jersey

  • 1964
    - Performed at Festival of Lights at Maple Leaf Gardens
    - Performed at Varsity Stadium and at All National Fair
    - Canada Magazine featured Kalev
    - Evelyn Koop and Ingrid Saar produced the Estonian Festival in New York

  • 1965
    - Participated at the World Expo in New York, in the ceremonies for the opening of the new Toronto City Hall, and toured Canada and the US
    - Canada (Represented by Kalev Estienne) participated for the first time in a World Gymnaestrada, in Vienna, Austria
    - Demonstrated the sport at the Canadian Gymnastics Championships
    - Performed at IBM, Ryerson Polytech. and Black Creek Pioneer Village

  • 1966
    - Toured San Francisco and Los Angeles
    - Performed in Ottawa on Canada Day
    - Demonstrated for the Ontario Ministry of Education and their educational conference
    - Demonstrated in Gwillimbury
    - Performed at the CNE Grandstand and the Canadian Gymnastic Championships

  • 1967
    - Gave fifty Centennial Year performances at Expo 67 (was televised), performed on Canada Day at Parliament Hill, Ottawa, for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and gave a command performance for Princess Anne  
    - Performed in Buffalo, N.Y. and at the CNE Grandstand. Also at a Yoga conference and at the Centennial Showcase in Toronto, at Canada Day in Ottawa, and in Detroit
    - The National Film Board documented Kalev's performance in Niagara Falls
    - Demonstrated in Hamilton and in Ottawa schools
    - Montreal Gazette had a newspaper story about Kalev

  • 1968
    - Three extensive tours of performances and seminars to all the Canadian Provinces and to California
    - Performed a command performance for Queen Elizabeth
    - Performed at the Olympic Games in Mexico City
    - Performed at International Caravan, at Metro Caravan, at Grey Cup (Ottawa), at Baltic Federation, in Sault Ste. Marie, In Ottawa for the Governor General, for the Board of Trade conference and the CNE Grandstand.

  • 1969
    - Canada was represented for the first time at a World Gymnaestrada (inSwitzerland) by Kalev Estienne 
    - Toured Holland, Germany and Spain
    - Performed at Metro Caravan and CNE Grandstand
    - Gave seminar to the St. Catharines' school board

  • 1970
    - Performed at the opening ceremonies of the World Exposition in Japan (Tokyo and Osaka)
    - Performed at CNE Sports Day, Metro Caravan and the Canadian National Gymnastics Championships

  • 1971
    Kalev 's Susanne Mihkelson, Connie Lindenberger and Melanie Ivey competed at the World Championships in Cuba, and the Senior group placed 8th - forming the first Canadian team to the RG Worlds!
    - The Senior Elite participated in the opening ceremonies of Ontario Place and received a participation award
    - Gave other performances at City Hall, at St. Lawrence Centre, at a Canadian Tire Convention, at a Western Fair, on Canada Day in Ottawa, at United Nations Day in Hamilton, and in Sault Ste Marie
    - Toured California (L.A. and San Fransisco) and performed in Detroit and Buffalo, and in Vancouver
    - Made another fitness film for CBC

  • 1972
    - Kalev's Shirley Lehtinen became Junior National Champion
    - The Senior Elite performed at the Brazilian Army Olympics and at Esto '72 Festival of Lights at the CNE in Toronto. Also at Ontario Place, Caravan, the St. Lawrence Centre and the CNE
    - Three Kalev gymnasts competed in the Bulgaria Invitational Meet
    - Evelyn Koop lectured at Buffalo State University

  • 1973
    - Denise Fujiwara, Senior National Champion, competed at the Worlds in Holland, as did Kalev 's Senior Group which placed 14th. They also competed in international competitions in Bulgaria, the Netherlands and Germany
    - Gave a fitness program and seminars at Seneca College
    - Performed at Michigan University, Ontario Place, Caravan, CNE, and in St. Catharines (Ontario Gymnaestrada) 
    - Evelyn Koop lectured at Rome University, Italy

  • 1974
    - Shirley Lehtinen became the Canadian Senior National Champion for the second time
    - The senior girls toured Finland, gave seminars and performed
    - Evelyn Koop used a film, "Harmony in Motion", to demonstrate to a meeting of Phys. Ed. coordinators on why rhythmic gymnastics should be incorporated into the Physical Education programs of Canadian schools
    - Performed at Rochester, N.Y., at Caravan, at the CNE Scottish Festival, Ontario Place, the Police Games (as usual) and the Winter Games.
    - Canadian Weekly Magazine featured "Exercises by Kalev Estienne"

  • 1975
    Kalev gymnasts were part of the Canadian Senior Group, which placed 4th at the Worlds in Spain  
     Kalev gymnasts also competed in Moscow, Romania and Bulgaria
    - Shirley Lehtinen placed 13th and Denise Fujiwara 14th at the Worlds
    - Mari Vähi became Senior National Champion and was on a CBC show
    - The Senior Elite performed at the Berlin Gymnaestrada
    - At the Berlin Gymnaestrada, Canada was represented by teams from Kalev Estienne, Quebec and Alberta. Kalev ranked among the top ten in the world
    - The Canadian Ministry of Education incorporated RG into its program at its Leadership Development Camp
    - Performed at the CNE, St. Lawrence Centre and Caravan
    - Evelyn Koop gave lectures at an International conference on Physicla Education in Germany and in Finland for the National Health and Welfare. She also gave an M.G. course in New York

  • 1976
     Kalev demonstrated the sport at the the Olympic Games in Montreal, and also performed at the Special Olympics in Toronto, at American Bicentennial celebrations and at the Esto '76 Festival in Baltimore
    - Other performances given were at Easton's Centre, at the Winter Games, and at the Maple Leaf Meet
    - Gave seminars in in Wallaceburg, Sudbury, Sault St. Marie, Ottawa and Collingwood.

  • 1977
     Kalev and Arabesque gymnasts made up Canada's Senior Group, placing 8th at the Worlds in Switzerland. Shirley Lehtinen placed 15th at the Worlds
    - The Junior Elite performed in Denmark
    - Evelyn Koop published the book: "Basic Modern Rhythmic Gymnastics"
    - She received the Air Canada Sports Executive of the Year Award.

  • 1978
     Kalev 's Senior Group won gold at the Nationals. 
    - The Maple Leaf Invitational meet (later called Four Continents Championships) was founded by Evelyn Koop and hosted by Kalev
    - The Senior Elite group visited China, Japan and Hong Kong.  Sold out at the Peking Workers' Gymnasium, which seats 15,000, and the Shanghai Stadium, seating 18,000
     - Later in the year, Evelyn Koop was invited to China to teach and was recognized as the one who introduced the sport to China 

  • 1979
    - The combined  Kalev & Arabesque Senior Group, representing Canada at the Worlds in London, placed 7th
    - Jana Lazor Senior National Champion again, 29th at the Worlds
    - The Seniors performed at the Grey Cup festivities in Montreal, and for Princess Anne at the Sheraton Centre

  • 1980
    - Jana Lazor, Senior National Champion, 3rd time! 
     Kalev performed in Finland to celebrate 80th years of gymnastics
    - Participated at Four Continents Championships, in Brazil, and at ESTO in Stockholm.

  • 1981
    - Performed at Grey Cup, Toronto, in the opening ceremonies for Ontario Place and at the Harbourfront Dance Festival
    - The Senior Elite performed at the Tallinn Festival (Estonia); Harbourfront Dance Festival (Toronto); 100th birthday of the Federation of International Gymnastics (Cedar Valley)
    - The Junior group were the National Champions.

  • 1982
    - The Senior Elite competed in USA and Israel, and performed at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia
    Kalev participated at the Gymnaestrada in Zurich, Switzerland
    - Performances at Ontario Place, opening ceremonies for Special Olympics, at "Christmas Around the World" at North York City Centre, at Olympic Torch celebration at City Hall at the Ontario Gymnaestrada, and at an International Gymnaestrada in Herning, Denmark
    - The Junior group became the National Champions once again.

  • 1983
    Kalev's Adrienne Dunnett competed at the Worlds
    - The Senior Elite travelled to San Francisco for the West Coast Estonian Festival, and to Israel, where the  Kalev group was chosen the 5th best rhythmic group in the world at the Hapoel Games
    - Performed at the O’Keefe: Mary Kay Convention and at Caravan

  • 1984
    - Participated in the Esto '84 World Festival, and also performed during the Pope's visit to Toronto
     Kalev 's Junior group won gold at the Nationals and Kalev's two Senior Groups got silver and bronze
    Kalev 's Adrienne Dunnett was part of the Canadian Team to the Olympics in Los Angeles, where Lori Fung won gold

  • 1985
    - Held a competitive and performance tour across Brazil
    - The Senior elite spent two weeks performing at the Epcot Centre, Florida
    - Performed at the opening ceremonies for the World Masters' Games
    - Again, the Senior Group won silver at the Nationals
    - Co-hosted and participated in the National Gymnaestrada
    - Performed at Roy Thomson Hall and Ontario Place
    - Evelyn Koop received the Governor General's award.

  • 1986
    - Performed for the Chinese Sports Minister at the Sheraton Centre, and participated in the Expo '86 opening ceremonies at both the Ontario and Canada Pavillions. 
    - Performed at the CNE.

  • 1987
    -  Kalev 's Junior Group won gold at the Winter Games, the Provincials, the Coast-to-Coast AND at the Nationals. 
    - Nicole Dervourst, became the Junior NationalChampion. 
    - Vanessa Hii,  was the Novice Champion. 
    - The Senior Elite performed at the opening ceremonies for the Special Olympics and at the World Gymnaestrada in Herning, Denmark; and Toronto City Hall for the Olympic Torch Celebrations.

  • 1988
     Kalev 'sSenior Group won gold at the Nationals. 
    - The Senior Elite performed at the Lion's telethon for Seeing Eye Dogs; Beauty pageants for Miss Toronto and Miss Teen Mississauga; the National Gymnaestrada in Winnipeg; Metro Police Games at the CNE; International Women's Show at the Metro Convention Centre; Canada Day at City Hall; half-time show at Blizzard's soccer game at Varsity arena, at Ontario Place, and the opening ceremonies for the SPORT Exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre.
    - They also traveled to Australia and performed at ESTO World Festival there.

  • 1989
     Kalev 's Junior Group won silver at the Nationals, gold at the Provincials and Coast-to-Coast
    - The independent York Rhythmics Club was created and began operations in Newmarket
    - The Senior Elite performed at the opening ceremonies of the Skydome; Christmas at Black Creek Village; at Black Creek Pioneer Village banquet; many performances on the main stage of the Ontario Science Centre; performed at the opening ceremonies for the Special Olympics
    - The Junior Elite performed at a Gymnaestrada in Denmark

  • 1990
    - Performed at the opening of the Special Olympics, and the Junior Elite performed at promotional shows for holding the Olympic games in Toronto and did a half-time show at an Argo's game.
    - The Senior Elite travelled to and performed in Hawaii. 
    - Performed at the Hospital for Sick Children's Telethon; Baltic Walkathon at City Hall; Mary Kay Convention at the O'Keefe Centre; Christmas Show at Casa Loma; July 1 at City Hall; Caravan; Labour Day shows at the CNE; Canada Day celebrations at City Hall; Opening ceremonies for the new East York Civic Centre; and the the Junior Elite participated in National Gymnaestrada in Calgary, Alberta
    - The independent club, Rhythmic Elite Centre, was founded.

  • 1991
    - "World's Best" Gymnastics competition (the"Koop Cup") at the Varsity Arena, and "Parade of Stars" at the Metro Convention Centre marked Kalev 's 40th anniversary
    - On June 16, Toronto Mayor, Art Eggleton, issued a statement that this was the" Rhythmic Gymnastics and Koop Cup Day".
    - Senior Elite travelled to Holland and performed at the International Gymnaestrada in Amsterdam
     Kalev also performed at Metro Drug Awareness campaign, at Canada Day celebrations at City Hall, at Caravan and at a Sports Celebrities' Auction for the benefit of the Special Olympics. Also functioned as hostesses at the Blood Donor Clinic.

  • 1992
     Kalev 's Clare McFarquhar qualified for the Olympic training pool
    Mississauga Newnorth was founded (now independent) 
    - The Children's Elite took part in a Danish Gymnaestrada and entertained at the banquet. Also at the kick off of Leukemia Awareness Month.
    - The Senior Elite performed at the World Estonian Festival '92 in Nyew York City, and on Canary Islands, Spain
     Kalev gymnasts also participated as hostesses at the Mayor's Blood Bank at City Hall and performed in the "Canada 125" Celebrations at City Hall and Queen's Park, the Parents' Show at the Metro Convention Centre; at Christmas Around the World" at North York Civic Centre; at Vanier Cup at the Skydome and at the Inauguration ofthe "Studio District" area of Toronto

  • 1993
     Kalev gymnasts performed at the opening ceremonies of the Track and Field World Championships at the Skydome (televised to 90 countries); at the World Wrestling Championships at the Varsity Arena; at the National RSG Championships in Vancouver, B.C.; at the first Provincial Gymnaestrada in Toronto; at the Royal York Hotel for the Duke of Edinburgh; at the O'Keefe Centre for the Mary Kay Convention; at CNE; at the National Championships in Vancouver; at an NFL exhibition game at the Skydome; at the International Conference of the Local Authorities under the Hague Convention on Children, and at the Parents' Show, both at the Metro Convention Centre
     Kalev 's Junior Group won gold at the Nationals

  • 1994
    - Rhythmic Elite Centre and Mississauga Newnorth got their own facilities, in Thornhill and Mississauga, respectively
    - The Senior Elite participated in performances at the 50th anniversary celebrations in Tallinn, Estonia, and also in Finland
    - The Junior Elite performed at the artistic gymnastics Provincial Championships in Toronto, at a Maple Leaf's game at the Skydome during the playoffs, at the National Gymnaestrada in Vancouver, BC, the Parents' Show at the Convention Centre, and the Christmas Craft Show at the Skydome

  • 1995
    Kalev 's Jenni McGuire became British NationalChampion and went to the Worlds
    - The Senior Elite participated in the 10th World Gymnaestradain Berlin, Germany
    York Rhythmics relocated to a gym of their own in Markham
    - "The Rhythmic Expressions ", a rhythmic dance company, was created by Evelyn Koop

  • 1996
    Kalev's Camille Martens, Senior National Champion, represented Canada at the Olympic Games in Atlanta
    Kalev's Emilie Livingston became Junior National Champion
    Kalev's Senior Group became Provincial Champions
    Kalev gymnasts performed at ESTO 96 in Sweden and Estonia

  • 1997
    Kalev Sportive 's Emilie Livingston retained her status as Junior National Champion
    Kalev Sportive 's Junior group got a bronze medal and the Novice group silver at the Group Nationals
    - The Senior Elite performed on the Canary Islands, Spain, and at the Sports Hall of Fame in Toronto
    - Senior Elite won Silver medals at the first Provincial Rhythmics Performance Group competition
    - A group of six Kalev gymnasts visited Cape Town, South Africa, where they competed and performed.

  • 1998
    KalevSportive 's Mary Sanders became Junior National Champion
    Kalev Sportive 's Novice Group won silver at the Group Nationals. 
    - An RG group from Cape Town, South Africa, visited Toronto, hosted by Kalev .They competed at the Kalev Group competition and performed in several places in and around the GTA

  • 1999
    Kalev Sportive 's Irina Funtikova became Canadian Junior National Champion
    Kalev Sportive 's Novice Group became Canadian National Champions. Our Junior Group took silver in their class
    - One elite group participated in the 11th World Gymnaestrada in Sweden and was chosen as the Canadian representative at the FIG Gala.

  • 2000
    Kalev gymnasts performed at the ESTO 2000 "Festival of Lights" at MacMillan Theatre and at the Molson Amphitheatre. Producer for the events was Evelyn Koop. 
    - Emilie Livingston placed 18th at the Olympics. 
    Kalev Sportive 's Junior Group were the National Champions.

  • 2001
    - At the Nationals, Kalev qualified as Canada's best club to represent the country at the Aeon Cup, Japan. 
    - Koop Cup 2001 was held, and the 50th anniversary of RG in Canada and of Evelyn Koop and Kalev was celebrated at the Metro Convention Centre. CBC broadcast a 90 minute program from the event. 
    - One group competed at the second World Championships in Aesthetic Gymnastics and placed 13th, best of all non-European countries.
    Kalev gymnasts performed at Parliament Hill, Ottawa, on July 1. 
    - Two Kalev gymnasts (Irina Funtikova and Emilie Livingston) represented Canada at the World Championship in Madrid, Spain.

  • 2002
    - Irina Funtikova and the Kalev Junior Group represented Canada at the Four Continents' Championship in Brazil. Canada won the team competition.
    - Emilie Livingston and Irina Funtikova performed at the Sony International Convention in Toronto.
    Kalev gymnasts performed at the Baltic States Independence Day celebrations, at Markham Sports Day, at Junior Board of Trade, at the National Gymnaestrada in New Brunswick and at the Avon Convention.
    - Kalev's (and Canada's) top AGG group, Rhythmic Expressions, competed at the third World Championships in Aesthetic Gymnastics in Prague, Czech Republic, placing 9th.
    - The Rhythmic Expressions opened a convention at the Harbourcastle Hotel
    - The ExpressionsSenior Elite and other Kalev gymnasts performed at the Skydome for "First Night".

  • 2003
    - The Expressions participated in the annual international competition, Miss Valentine, in Estonia, placing 7th in the finals.
    - They also performed at the Marriott Hotel at a "Father Daughter Dance", at the London Club, at Royal York Hotel as part of a fundraiser for the General and Western Hospitals.
    - The Senior Elite performed at the Thornhill Festival
    - The Expressions competed at the AGG World Championships in Graz, Austria and placed 9th, best of all non-European teams.
    - The Senior Elite and the Expressions performed at the 12th World Gymnaestrada in Lisbon, Portugal. The latter, Kalev's AGG group, also represented Canada at the FIG Gala on this occasion.
    - The Expressions taped three performances for a TV Variety Show
    (on Toronto 1 channel, starting in January 2004).
    - The Expressions performed at the Architectural Ball at the U of T's Hart House in November, at the Toronto Convention Centre and, in December, at the Art Gallery of Ontario and "First Night" at the Skydome on New Year's Eve.
    - Kalev's Novice group were the champions.

  • 2004
    - The Junior "Expressions" performed at the Toronto Convention Centre
    - The "Expressions" taped three performances for a Variety Show in January on the Toronto 1 TV channel. 
    Kalev's Junior AGG team competed at Junior Tournament, Spring Breeze, Tallinn, Estonia and placed 10th. They also made the finals.
    - Kalev's Senior and Junior National Aesthetic Teams performed at an arts festival in April in the United States. 
    - All of Kalev's AGG teams joined to perform at the Metro Toronto Police Games on May 2.
    - The Expressions performed May 24 at the Hersey Centre, Mississauga, where Evelyn Koop was a guest of honour at the National Championships and Gala in Artistic Gymnastics.
    - In June, the Junior Expressions performed at celebrations for the European Union. 
    - Several of Kalev's AGG teams competed at "Red Ribbon" where the Rhythmic Expressions won gold in the International Level.
    - The Rhythmic Expressions competed at "AGG World Wide", Sofia, Bulgaria and placed 10th of 28 teams from 19 countries!

  • 2005
    - All Kalev performers competed at our annual AGG competition, "the Kalev Cup"
    - The "Expressions" gave a 40 minute performance at an Art Show in Vancouver, B.C.
    - A Kalev AGG group made the finals in a Dance Competition in Toronto. 
    - The "Expressions" competed at the 6th AGG World Championships in Denmark and placed 7th in the general competition, 8th in the finals. 
    - The "Junior Expressions" competed at the first AGG Worlds for Juniors in the Czech Republic and reached the finals.
    - Kalev's National Novice group were the champions

  • 2006
    - In February, Evelyn Koop received a presidential award, a medal from the President of Estonia, honouring her work within the sport.
    - At Gymnastics Canada's Annual Awards Banquet, she also received the Rhythmic Gymnastics Program Award, now renamed in her honour to "Evelyn Koop Rhythmic Gymnastics Program Award".
    - Kalev's Provincial Novice and Pre-Nvice groups became the champions and the National Junior and Novice groups were the National champions.
    - Kalev sent two teams to the Junior AGG World Championships in Estonia and one of the teams reached the finals. One Senior team competed at the AGG Worlds om Finland and at the World Cup IV, where they placed 6rh.
    - Performed at the Royal Canadian Mint project with Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation event on March 31, 2006.
    - RG Junior group were the first ever Gold Medalist at the Pan Am Championships

  • 2007
    - The "Senior Expressions" competed at the AGG Worlds in May, the only Canadian team, and also at the AGG World Cup II.
    - Kalev's Junior, Novice and Pre-Novice groups were the National Champions.
    - Kalev was, again, asked to represent Canada at the FIG Gala of the World Gymnaestrada, which took place in Austria in July
    - Kalev performers and competitors performed for the Estonian President at Estonia House

  • 2008
    - Kalev, together with Ritmika, hosted the AGG World Championships 2008 and the Expressions competed with two teams. The A team reached the finals!
    - Kalev AGG teams also competed at three of the World Cup event
    - Kalev's Novice, and Junior groups became the National Champions.
    - Mariam Chamilova was the National Junior champions.
    - Expressions performed at a General Motors celebration in September, at the Bell Gala at Sick Kids' in October, both at the Toronto Convention Centre, and at a Fashion Show at the Sheraton Hotel in November.
    Kalev individual and group gymnasts participated in an international summer camp in Spain with special guest Bulgarian coaches

  • 2009
    - Rhythmic Expressions and Kalev soloists performed at Estonian House at a Veterans' Day celebration, at the opening of the WuShu World Championships and at the Special Olympics Festival in Toronto.
    - Mariam Chamilova was the 1st ranked Junior in Canada.
    - Kalev's Senior, Junior and Novice groups were the National champions. The Junior group was also the Junior Pan-American champion!
    - Kalev Senior RG Group went to the World Cup in Belarus and Italy, and competed in the World Championships in Mie, Japan
    Kalev individual and group gymnasts participated in an international summer camp in Spain with Spainish and Bulgarian coaches 

  • 2010
    - Rhythmic Expressions performed at the "Dragon Ball", celebrating the Chinese New Year, at the Toronto Convention Centre.
    - They also performed at the Elite Canada event, hosted by Kalev.
    - Kalev's Junior 4 and 5 groups won Elite Canada and the National championships, as did the Senior group (which reached the finals at Thiais, France).
    - At the Pan-American Championships, The Senior National team, consisting mainly of Kalev gymnasts won three gold medals: for each routine plus the overall medal! Through this, they qualified for next year's Pan-American Games. And Kalev's Mariam C was the top Canadian at the event, winning a bronze medal in the Hoop final. 
    - Kalev's Junior Group won bronze at the Youth Olympics in Singapore.
    - Kalev AGG competed in Barcelona, Spain
    - Kalev  Senior Group went to World Cup in Belarus, Italy, and France as well as the World Championships in Moscow, Russia 

  • 2011
    - Kalev celebrated 60 years of its existence and of RG in Canada with a new edition of the Koop Cup. Competition and Gala took place at the John Bassett Theatre of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
    - Kalev gymnasts performed at Estonian House in January.
    - Kalev gymnasts, Mariam Chamilova and Patricia Bezzoubenko, were given the titles of "Athlete of the Year" and "Junior Athlete of the Year" on the same occasion.
    - Canadian RG Senior Group were Silver Medalist all around at Pan Am games
    - Kalev Senior RG Team also competed at World Cups in the Ukraine, Italy, and Belarus and the World Championships in France
    - The "Rhythmic Expressions" performed at Casino Rama in March.
    - "Canadiana" performed at a Toronto school and several of our gymnasts demonstrated RG in high-schools.
    - In July, members of the "Northern Lights" performed at Dundas Square.
    - Kalev's Senior Group, which is also the Canadian National Group, placed ahead of the groups from the US and Brazil at the Worlds and will, therefore, represent the Americas at the Olympics in London next year.
    - In October, Senior and Junior athletes from Kalev performed at a Cooking show at the Toronto Convention Centre.
    - The "Northern Lights" placed 12th of 23 teams from around the world at the final Challenge Cup in Moscow in November.
    - Our Estonian gymnasts performed at "Christmas Around the World" at City Hall in December.
    - Kalev gymnasts Dora Yudeikin and Aleksandra Yurevich performed at Mount Sinai in an "Orlando Production".
    - Kalev AGG competed at the World Championships in Vigo, Spain

  • 2012
    - The FIG draw for rhythmic gymnastics participants in the 2012 Olympics took place in February and confirmed that Kalev's Senior group will start as #2 with their ball routine on August 9 in the Wembley Arena in London, UK! 
    - Kalev's Senior Group as well as Kalev's Junior Group were confirmed as Canada's National Groups at the Nationals, and Patricia Bezzoubenko was the Junior National Champions again.
    - The "Rhythmic Expressions" placed 7th in the finals of the AGG World Championships.
    The Kalev Senior group, the first Canadian RG group ever to participate in the Olympic games, placed 11th at the London Olympics.
    - The Kalev Junior group got bronze overall and silver for their ball routine at the Junior Pan American Championships in Cordoba, Argentina. In the same competition, our Junior Patricia Bezzobenko became the Junior Pan American champion.
    - Kalev got the "Club of the Year" Award from Gymnastics Ontario.
    - AGG team competed at the World Championships in Cartagena, Spain
    - Kalev Gymnasts competed at the World Cup Bulgaria
    - AGG Gymnasts represented Canada in 2012 in Austria

  • 2013
    - Kalev's Senior, Patricia B, was 1st at Elite Canada and at the Nationals and was awarded "Athlete of the Year".
    - Evelyn Koop received a "Life Membership" from Gymnastics Canada and was named Honorary Member of IFAGG because "she is one of the founding members of IFAGG and has promoted AGG since she began develop the sport in Canada in the 1950s".
    - In June, the two senior AGG teams and the Alumnae Elite performed at the Ontario Gymnaestrada.
    - In July, the "Rhythmic Expressions" participated in the second "Gym for Life" Challenge in Cape Town, South Africa, and brought home a silver medal.
    - Kalev performed at the Estonian House at their Christmas Holiday celebration.
    - AGG competed at the 2013 World Championships in Lahti, Finland
    - AGG team competed at the 2013 World Cup in Barcelona, Spain

  • 2014
    - AGG teams performed at a Raptors' game and the Junior RG group at the convention centre in January.
    - Gave two shows at Roy Thomson Hall in February, performing with the Toronto Symphony
    - May 2 - 3, Kalev hosted two international competitions: Koop Cup 2014, where the Canadian Junior group, with four Kalev gymnasts, won gold; and the very first Four Continents AGG Championships, with more than 150 athletes from around the world. Here Kalev groups won gold in all categories: Masters, Seniors, Juniors and two child levels (8-10 and 10-12 year olds).
    - Kalev's Patricia Bezzoubenko, became the Senior National Champions, and the Senior and Junior groups, consisting mostly of Kalev gymnasts, became the National groups.
    - By winning the Junior Pan-Am Games the Junior group became the Canadian representative to the Youth Olympics in China.
    - Kalev gymnasts performed at two pre-PanAm events in Markham in the fall.
    - AGG team competed at the World Championships in Moscow, Russia
    - AGG team competed at the World Cup in Sofia, Bulgaria
    - Kalev Gymnasts performed at the Canada Day celebrations at Dundas Square in Toronto, Canada

  • 2015
    - AGG team competed at the World Championship at the Faroe Islands
    - Kalev hosted the 2015 Koop Cup
    - Kalev Gymnasts competed at Elite Ontario, Elite Canada, and the National Championships competition
    - AGG placed 7th at the World Cup in Budapest, Hungary
    - Kalev Gymnasts performed at the Canada Day celebrations at Dundas Square in Toronto, Canada
    - Kalev RG Gymnasts performed at the Imperial Ball "Arts in Motion" at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel
    - RG Gymnasts participated in the opening of Markham Pan Am building before Pan Am games
    - 2nd Four Continents Championships in Nagano, Japan - three Kalev teams and individual RG gymnasts competed
    - Kalev group and individual gymnasts competed  at the Elite Canada competition in Winnipeg
    - RG Group and individuals competed at the Miss Valentine competition in Estoni

  • 2016
    - AGG team competed at the World Championships in Brno, Czech Republic
    - AGG group went to Hungary
    - Kalev hosted the 2016 Koop Cup - 12 countries participated
    - Kalev gymnasts competed in the Elite Ontario Competition as well as the Elite Canada competition in Vancouver
    - Gymnasts from Kalev  competed at the Canadian Nationals in Manitoba
    - The Mayor of Markham honoured Evelyn Koop and Gymnasts with an award for Community Development
    - Kalev Individuals went to Chicago for competition
    - Kalev individuals competed in the RG World Championships in Germany
    - Kalev gymnasts participated in invitational competitions in Quebec
    - Kalev Gymnasts performed at the Canada Day celebrations at Dundas Square in Toronto, Canada

  • 2017
    - Junior Clubs Group and Individuals competed in Tartu, Estonia
    - Kalev girls participated in the Elite Canada Competition
    - Gymnasts competed at the Elite Ontario Competition
    - Kalev hosted the Kalev Cup
    - Kalev gymnasts competed in Eastern Regional to qualify for Nationals
    - AGG team competed at the World Cup in Denmark
    - Individual gymnasts competed in Spain, Estonia, and Hungary
    - Kalev hosted the 2017 International Koop Cup

  • 2018


Koop Cup International was first presented in 1991, as a bi-annual event. Two decades later, we are not only celebrating 27 years of Koop Cup, along we are proudly honouring 67 years of Rhythmic Gymnastics in Canada.

Rhythmic gymnastics in Canada simply would not be if it weren’t for the efforts of Evelyn Koop. Known as the “God Mother” of rhythmic gymnastics, and recognized as the one who introduced the sport to North America. In the forties and fifties, there were many ethnic groups in Toronto who started rhythmic gymnastics movements. Among them was the Kalev Sport Club, which included women’s, men’s gymnastics, folk dance, known as “Modern Gymnastics”.

Founder of the Ontario and Canadian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federations in 1968, the creator of the Four Continents Championships, and the crusader behind the sport’s acceptance into the Olympics, Evelyn Koop’s story is highly accented with experiences that originate in Sweden and across the world. Trained at the Idla Institute of Physical Education in Sweden, under the direction of one of the international founders of the sport Ernst Idla, and armed with a Canadian Dance and Arts Degree. Mrs. Koop became a member of the Estonian Sports Club, Kalev, first as a gymnast, then as a coach. Out of this club, she organized the Kalev Estienne Rhythmic Gymnastics Club. The other “Modern Gymnastics” programs no longer exist, however Kalev Estienne, is marching on.

Evelyn Koop has taught Physical Education courses in Rhythmic Gymnastics, previously called “Modern Gymnastics”, at the Universities of Toronto, McMaster and McGill. Mrs. Koop authored the books of “Basic Modern Rhythmic Gymnastics” and “Judging”, she developed Technical Manuals, By-Laws, and Constitutions for Rhythmic Gymnastics. Evelyn has trained nearly a thousand teachers and instructors in Ontario, and created awareness of the sport by endless touring with her gymnasts across Canada and the United States. It was a great honour for Canada when Evelyn Koop was given the task of introducing the sport to China.

In May 1968, Evelyn Koop was able to form both the Provincial and the National Canadian Federations for rhythmic gymnastics and she was elected president of both Federations, remaining in that position until 1980. Evelyn Koop initiated the “The Maple Leaf” international meet in 1976, which was held four consecutive years. In 1978 she created the Pan-Pacific Championships, which later transitioned into the Four Continents Championships. During this competition in 1997, Kalev’s Emilie Livingston won silver overall (2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze, and the only Canadian with an overall medal). This event was created to give Canadians an opportunity to achieve higher honours than possible at the World Championships. In 1991 “The World’s Best” international invitational competition was created, where Evelyn Koop was honoured by the Canadian Gymnastics Federation, naming the competition “Koop Cup”. Evelyn Koop was the choreographer for the opening ceremonies of the 1976 Olympic Games, demonstrating rhythmic gymnastics, which opened the doors for the sport to be a part of the Olympic Games. The first Olympic competition, in 1984, was won by a former Kalev athlete, Lori Fung. Evelyn Koop has had the honour of being selected as a world level judge, attending many international competitions, including the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Evelyn was honoured to send Camille Martens from Kalev, as Canada’s only competitor in rhythmic gymnastics at the 1996 Games. In 2000, Kalev’s Emilie Livingston represented all of the Americas at the Olympic Games in Sydney!

Kalev Estienne is now the umbrella organization for eight different rhythmic gymnastics clubs. One of the most recent is the “Kalev AGG Academy”, which began in 1995 as a rhythmic dance company. When Evelyn Koop realized an old dream: to create a company that could lift the sport to levels where it would be recognized as one of the most ihe mpressive of t performing arts. It would also mean returning to the roots of the sport: the rhythmic group performance, now called aesthetic gymnastics. Kalev has the most successful AGG teams in Canada. Evelyn Koop will continue to expand and develop her beloved rhythmic gymnastics in ever-new directions.