Expanding Our Footprint

Message from the Chair


Last month, we spoke to the driving force behind our best efforts to use the rotating Annual Summit, the emerging BC Sports Hall Network and other new initiatives to demonstrate the power – and connective bonds — of our shared history and our inspired future.

Implicitly, those best efforts are designed to elevate the promotion of sport history, heritage and culture throughout British Columbia by increasing our capacity to tell the stories that bind us…stories of the athletes, coaches, builders, pioneers, media professionals and teams that have made their impact locally, provincially and in many cases, nationally and internationally.

Those game-changing individuals include athletes such as Dr. Susan Butt of Saanich, B.C., someone who was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame as an athlete in tennis earlier this year as part of the Class of 2023 and who will join those heralded in the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame in its own Class of 2023 October 28th at the Delta Ocean Pointe Marriott in Victoria. Susan is also part of the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame in its Class of 2000 and the USTA Pacific Northwest Hall of Fame in 2007. That’s four Halls of Fame for one of the country’s best female tennis players of all time; four compelling showcases for Susan’s story as a Canadian tennis player, a British Columbian, a Vancouver Islander and a Cascadian.

Yet explicitly, our work in staging the Annual Summits, building the foundation of the BC Sports Hall Network and enhancing our digital storytelling, among other new initiatives, is strongly aligned — directly and quite specifically — with our Inspiration 2026 strategic plan. That strategic plan, first incubated in 2016 and 2017 under the leadership of then Chair Jim Lightbody and then Executive Director Allison Mailer, has governed much if not all our activity since 2018, especially since it was updated and reinforced last year (2022).

The Inspiration 2026 strategic plan is anchored on the three fundamental tenets of (i) celebrating our Honoured Members; (ii) cultivating sustainable partnerships; and (iii) invoking inspirational and educational experiences. Ultimately, if we keep our eyes on these balls – the bread and butter of our Hall of Famers, our partnerships and our commitment to inspiring the future in whatever ways we can – we will be successful generating the kind of revenue that will allow us to become the best BC Sports Hall of Fame that we can be.

Consider how our Annual Summit is a key reflection of the Inspiration 2026 strategic plan, in all three areas of Board governance and Management focus.

First and foremost, it celebrates our Honoured Members; the first pillar in our Inspiration 2026 strategic plan. The Annual Summit is complementing the annual Induction Event as another opportunity to bring together BC Sports Hall of Famers, including in their own communities. That’s why you’ll continue to hear more about the concept of The Reunion at The Summit: Council of Chairs dinner this September 15th at the Greater Victoria 2023 Annual Summit. It’s also why you will note presentation ceremonies at the Annual Summit for the exclusive BC Sports Hall of Fame pin developed by Honoured Member Peter W. Webster.

The Reunion at The Summit: Council of Chairs Dinner presented by the BC Sports Hall of Fame Foundation will this year place the spotlight on both Vancouver Island-based BC Sports Hall of Famers and members of the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame – and over time will include the Honoured Members from other local, regional and sport-specific Halls of Fame in B.C. As per the Inspiration 2026 strategic plan, anything that celebrates our Hall of Famers is on strategy and the Annual Summit is exactly that at multiple levels.

Another aspect of the Annual Summit that is inherently aligned with the Inspiration 2026 strategic plan and its emphasis on celebrating Honoured Members is the DEFINING MOMENTS Luncheon powered by Canadian Sport Institute Pacific (also on Friday, September 15th, 2023). In fact, DEFINING MOMENTS not only celebrates Honoured Members, it also invokes inspirational and educational experiences by showcasing some of the most important accomplishments in British Columbian sport history. It connects directly with the DEFINING MOMENTS Gallery, literally one of the first things visitors see when they come to the BC Sports Hall of Fame at BC Place in Vancouver.

How can we not – as just one example — feel the awe and inspiration of the 1980 Marathon of Hope, which saw Terry Fox run 143 consecutive marathons while raising funds and awareness for cancer research, and forever changing that landscape?

Invoking inspirational and educational experiences is a big part of both our Strategic Plan and our Greater Victoria 2023 Annual Summit. This kind of outreach is designed to educate and inspire the community to appreciate the value of sport. A big part of inspiring the future is reflected in the Hero in You outreach sessions that will happen in Victoria next month. Moreover, the BC Sports Hall Network General Meeting and Workshops taking place at the Annual Summit represent a forum to share best practices to improve and enhance our collective efforts to inspire future generations.

Strategically, the Annual Summit is also about collaboration. It is designed to cultivate sustainable partnerships, locally, regionally, provincially and even nationally. As an example, having the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce on board as a community partner of the Greater Victoria 2023 Annual Summit will provide entry level opportunities for leading businesses to join in our best efforts to promote BC sport history, heritage and culture. If we play our cards right, it will also help strengthen the breadth and depth of corporate support for the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame, in the years to come.

Since the first pilot of the Annual Summit hosted by the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame and BC Lacrosse in New Westminster in 2019, it has provided us with the opportunity to strengthen existing relationships and create new ones. Post-COVID, that includes what we did last year in conjunction with the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame at the Kelowna 2022 Annual Summit and what we are doing this year in partnership with our friends at the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame.

On that note, we believe the stronger the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame – and other local, regional and sport-specific halls, museums, galleries, exhibits and displays like it around the province – the higher the upside for the BC Sports Hall of Fame. We respect and recognize the Greater Victoria Sports Hall and the more than 40 halls operating in B.C. for what they do to identify the people and stories that are synonymous with the communities they serve, first and foremost. Yet we also see these halls as part of a strong and valuable feeder system that will ultimately help the BC Sports Hall identify all the deserving nominees that began turning heads in their own community, often years before they became household names in B.C. and in many cases, across Canada.

More than anything, our collaboration with the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame on the Annual Summit September 14-16 and with the BC Sports Hall Network, the more than 40 sports halls doing their great work locally, regionally and within specific sports, is designed to expand our footprint in British Columbia.

The stronger the local halls throughout British Columbia, the stronger we’ll be…the more likely we’ll become the best BC Sports Hall that we can be.

(To register today for the Greater Victoria 2023 Annual Summit, go to www.bcsportshall.com/summit.)

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 founder and host of The Sport Market sport business radio show, 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 and founding Chair of the Paul Carson Sports Broadcast & Media Awards.