Future champions making their dreams come true.


December 1st, 2020

The old saying suggests that failing to plan is planning to fail. It’s a long-standing axiom that underscores the importance of strategic planning in any set of circumstances. Yet it’s particularly relevant during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Like the vast majority of not-for-profit societies, the BC Sports Hall of Fame has been directly impacted by the pandemic and the public health measures undertaken to manage the spread of the novel coronavirus. Closures. Layoffs. Postponements. Lost fund-raising opportunities. Uncertainty. They’ve all been part of the challenging year that has been 2020.

The one thing for certain is that inaction was never an option. Despite a lower capacity caused by reduced staffing levels, we haver done and are doing the things that we could and can do to keep our Hall of Famers front and centre and maintain a strong community presence. Those initiatives have included virtual tours of the BC Sports Hall of Fame, video streaming of talks by Hall of Famers and fresh content on our website, including the popular feature Curator’s Corner. We took our Annual Summit – at least that portion of it that was deemed essential as our Annual General Meeting – to Zoom and invited Vancouver 2010 curling medalist Cheryl Bernard to be our virtual keynote speaker. We advanced the development of our Hero-in-You educational modules inspired by the Indigenous Sport Gallery in general and Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope in particular (work that is nearing completion as we come to you on this first day of December of 2020).

We’re also at seven months and counting in the development of something called “This Week in BC Sports History”, a platform on TSN Radio for curator Jason Beck to pay tribute to Hall of Fame moments and the stories behind those moments, not to mention to celebrate birthdays of BC Sports Hall of Famers and other notable milestones and anniversaries. We see this initiative helping to usher in many more like it; on radio and in podcasts, on television and in video, all online.

We’ve also made it a priority to maintain this very space: Our Inspirations e-Newsletter that is designed to keep the extended family of the BC Sports Hall of Fame informed, entertained and inspired. We’re proud to say that we haven’t missed a beat in this monthly endeavour.

Yet perhaps the most important thing that we’ve done during this pandemic is double down on our strategic plan. As we reminded you last month in this space, our three-pronged strategic plan is anchored in celebrating Honoured Members, cultivating sustainable partnerships and sparking inspirational experiences. We built Vision 2020 around those three pillars and – acknowledging that there is much more work to do in all three areas – we’re building Vision 2024 around the same strategic directions that not only define our primary purpose but remind us what we need to do to fulfil that purpose in a meaningful and sustainable way.

The key word in all of this is indeed vision. Vision, in our view, transcends strategic planning. It really is all about setting out our long-term vision and asking ourselves what the truly timeless imperatives are that stand at the heart of the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

That vision — future champions making their dreams come true — exceeds any four or five-year strategic planning cycle. So does our mission, which is simply put: building outstanding community legacies by honouring the past and inspiring the future. Our vision and mission – our ends and the means to those ends – are, in many ways, intended to be multi-generational; bringing together the leaders of the past and present while inspiring the next generation of community leaders to help us map out where we want to be in 2030, 2040, 2050 and beyond.

It is that vision that keeps us going, despite the limitations, constraints and stresses associated with COVID-19. It is emboldening our resolve to leave no stone unturned in seeking out the right way to induct our Class of 2020 when we recognize we cannot do that – at least in the immediate future – in the ways that have become part of the tradition and luster of the BC Sports Hall of Fame. It is that vision that is inspiring us to refashion how we tell our stories, one Hall of Famer at a time and what kinds of technology and innovation we need to embrace and use to bridge to the better days ahead. And finally, it is a vision that is provoking us to consider how and where we exist a generation or two or three down the road? How big a deal do we become in the virtual world and where do we best preserve, protect and promote the artifacts that represent the people and teams that have defined BC sport history.

Those are precisely the questions that we are using this period in time to consider – in consultation with our friends at BC Place, the home of the BC Sports Hall of Fame, and other key stakeholders.

We will continue to plan — and contingency plan — as we strive to work through the health, economic and social/mental challenges associated with COVID-19. Yet our driving force and northern star will be our mission and vision, respectively. We believe they will stand the test of time and ensure that we are doing the right things – strategically, tactically and executionally – in the short and mid-terms to get to a truly inspired long-term future for the BC Sports Hall of Fame; and the sport history, heritage and culture we are here to take into the next 55 years…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 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 and Chair of the Paul Carson Broadcast & Media Awards.