Message from the Chair


The BC Sports Hall of Fame relishes its role in honouring the past and inspiring the future, which is at the heart of our mission statement. It’s a role and a responsibility that we don’t take lightly as the go-to storytellers of BC sport history, heritage and culture.

We of course honour the past in many different ways, from selecting game-changing athletes, coaches, executives, builders, pioneers, media and teams for induction into the BC Sports Hall of Fame to celebrating them at our annual Induction Gala (this year to be held Thursday, June 1st at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver). The day before, on Wednesday, May 31st, we stage our Honoured Members Reception and Plaque Raising Ceremony at our Hall of Champions at BC Place.

The Honoured Members Reception is presented by the BC Sports Hall of Fame Foundation. And that, to be clear, is meant to be merely the start of the celebration of our Honoured Members, not the end by any means.

Selected Honoured Members – and the events, competitions and accomplishments that defined them on the provincial, national and international stage – are the subject of special galleries, exhibits and displays; some permanent and others seasonal or otherwise temporary.

That’s where our mantra of Honouring the Past and Inspiring the Future becomes Curating the Past in order to Inspire the Future.

The Oxford Dictionary defines “curating” as “selecting, organizing and looking after the items (in a collection or exhibition), typically using professional or expert knowledge.”

In that regard, we are so fortunate to have unrivalled professional and expert knowledge, led by our Curator & Facility Director Jason Beck, who doubles as the President of the Canadian Association for Sport Heritage (CASH). Jason is a veteran of almost 20 years of service to the BC Sports Hall, including 17 years as Curator. He has been at the helm of the recent upgrades of the Greg Moore Gallery and oversees our special galleries honouring Terry Fox and Rick Hansen. Special occasions such as the Sportspage exhibit, as just one example, have also come to life under his direction.

Yet among the most inspired accomplishments of both Jason as our Curator and the BC Sports Hall of Fame in its totality is the Indigenous Sport Gallery, which was launched September 25th, 2018. It is a testament to triumph over adversity and a very meaningful signpost for truth and reconciliation.

Less than six months away from its fifth anniversary, the Indigenous Sport Gallery is also an award-winning celebration of the province’s leading indigenous athletes, coaches and builders. It has been named best gallery in Canada (on a budget of less than $1 million) by the Canadian Museum Association and the best in the world (on a budget of less than $1 million) by the International Sports Heritage Association (ISHA).

There are many who shaped the Indigenous Sport Gallery – including former Executive Director Allison Mailer and Tewanee Joseph and Lara Mussell Savage of our Board of Trustees – but none prouder of this project than Jason as Curator.

Which leads us to an exciting new chapter for the Indigenous Sport Gallery and the BC Sports Hall of Fame. And that is our new partnership with Canadian Heritage and the Government of Canada in support of the digitalization of the Indigenous Sport Gallery. Targeting a completion date of the spring or summer of 2024, the digitalization project will take the Indigenous Sport Gallery to another level of access throughout British Columbia, across Canada and around the world.

This online or virtual celebration of the stories, artifacts, photographs, audio and video that define Indigenous sport aims to be best in class (just like the Gallery itself).

It will not only serve to help us learn from the past, but to welcome reconciliation – and the very learnings, pride and inspiration found in these remarkable stories. Alongside other technological advances such as the Terry Fox Hero in You educational module released in 2021, it will help us usher in a new era of storytelling; at the intersection point of new media and technologies, where actual artifacts available for viewing at our Sports Hall and Museum at BC Place are simply one of many “channels” made possible by digital, streaming and other innovative new platforms.

That will greatly increase our capacity to honour and inspire in the years to come. That’s why we’re so glad to announce — in this edition of the BC Sports Hall e-newsletter Inspirations — the appointment of Shelby McCannel as Project Lead for the Canadian Heritage digitalization project. It marks her return to the BC Sports Hall of Fame after almost two years serving as Collections Manager for Squamish Nation. It’s a great reunion of Jason and Shelby and a terrific addition to our team.

Look out for regular updates on the digitalization of the Indigenous Sport Gallery. And, in the meantime, if you haven’t already done so, please visit us at BC Place to see this very special gallery and tribute, one that is very close to the heart of the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

Thank you Jason and Shelby – and our entire team – for your professional and personal commitment to the BC Sports Hall of Fame. We truly believe we have the best one-two curatorial punch of its kind in Canada.

And thank you to the Museum Assistance Program of Canadian Heritage for your very meaningful support and encouragement, without which we wouldn’t have this tremendous opportunity to help Indigenous Sport Gallery stories achieve new multiples in terms of reach across Canada and beyond.

Tom Mayenknecht, Chair
BC Sports Hall of Fame

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 BNN Bloomberg Radio and TSN Radio, he is a strong advocate for the KidSport, Right To Play and other children’s charities. He is also a member of the Ringette Canada Hall of Fame as a builder.