Expanding Our Footprint on the Strength of Community Outreach and Collaboration

Message from the Chair
December 1st, 2019

What happens inside the four walls of the BC Sports Hall of Fame is obviously a fundamentally important aspect of what we do to bring to life the stories of excellence, accomplishment and courage that define sport history, heritage and culture in British Columbia.

It is at our location at BC Place where we preside over a collection of over 25,000 artifacts, 20,000 archival documents and dozens of galleries, exhibits and displays spanning more than 150 years of sporting accomplishments. It is at the Sports Hall where we do so much of our work as champions, advocates and curators of BC’s sports heritage. It is the home of our mission to create outstanding community legacies by honouring the past and inspiring the future and our vision of future champions making their dreams come true.

For more than 50 years – first from our original location at the Pacific National Exhibition and now for the last several decades at BC Place — we have done the work involved in honouring teams, builders, athletes, pioneers, and media through our annual Induction Gala, including the yearly additions we make to our Hall of Champions. Yet our Induction Gala and Hall of Champions are only two of the ways in which we inspire the next generation of young people in BC.

An increasingly important aspect of the work we do is our Hero-in-You youth education program, chaired by Honoured Member and Trustee Lara Mussell Savage. It is under that 15-year-old banner that we bring the stories of the BC Sports Hall of Fame – the remarkable and inspirational storylines behind all of our inducted Honoured Members and teams – to communities throughout the province.

The stronger our delivery network of schools, community centres and libraries in cities, towns and districts throughout BC, the greater the reach, responsiveness and impact of our youth education programming.

That’s why one of the defining characteristics of our Inspiration 2020 strategic plan is the priority we’re placing on expanding our network throughout the province.

To that end, we are working with like-minded leaders and champions of sport history to launch the BC Council of Sports Halls. This Council of Halls is designed to ultimately bring together the more than 40 municipal, regional and sport-specific sports halls, museums and galleries. It will link all of us through a comprehensive database, via regular conference calls and by annual opportunities to meet to share information, discuss common challenges and collaborate to build the strongest network of sports halls in Canada.

It will build on our own membership in the Canadian Association of Sports History (CASH) to promote the best practices in curation, celebration and promotion. With long-time sport and community leader and Trustee Scott Ackles serving as our Co-Chair of the Council of Halls, we are committed to building on the soft launch of this collaborative network last September 27th in the City of New Westminster.

Among our plans is a Best Practices workshop for volunteers, staff and supporters of member Sports Halls throughout the province. That Best Practices workshop will happen next fall thanks to another plank in our elevated commitment to community outreach. The plan is to bring together the leaders behind the more than 40 BC Halls to our Annual Summit September 17th-19th in Kelowna, BC. The Annual Summit itself is being co-hosted by the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame and by Curl BC on the 125th Anniversary of curling.

A robust and increasingly mobile Hero-in-You program. A collaborative Council of Halls. Annual Summits that rotate throughout the province. They’re just a few of the things we’re doing to expand our footprint on the strength of community outreach. If we do what we are aspiring to do and if we do it as well as we plan to, there is no question in our minds that community outreach will strengthen our capacity to honour the past and inspire the future.

Tom Mayenknecht is the Chair of the BC Sports Hall of Fame. A principal at Emblematica Brand Builders in Vancouver and a nationally-recognized sport business commentator and host of The Sport Market on TSN Radio, he is a strong advocate for KidSport, Right To Play and other children’s charities. He is also a member of the Ringette Canada Hall of Fame as a builder.