On This Day in BC Sport History.


February 1st, 2021

We are of course not alone, but these pandemic times have placed considerable stress on the BC Sports Hall of Fame as a not-for-profit society committed to the promotion of sport history, heritage and culture, compromising everything from our operating hours and guest admissions to fund-raising and venue rentals.

Our annual Induction Gala celebrating the newest additions to the BC Sports Hall of Fame and our next selection process remain in a holding pattern, at least for now. Corporate sponsorship awaits what we can sell and deliver during these periods of partial closures and staff layoffs. Given the uncertainty surrounding the levels of activity that we could responsibly maintain through 2020 and into 2021, we are only now coming out of these layoffs and closures (the Sports Hall is currently open two days per week; Fridays and Saturdays).

Fund-raising such as that for the 100 Ravens – our campaign to bring together 100 donors of $500 apiece to support educational outreach and curriculum development inspired by our Indigenous Sport Gallery – has taken much longer than originally anticipated given the limitations of personal networking in the middle of the global pandemic.

Yet thanks to the tremendous support of the federal and provincial governments, our steadfast BC Sports Hall of Fame Foundation Board of Directors and various community grant opportunities available to us, the good news is that we have not only navigated around what were serious financial concerns last spring, we have done so while maintaining a strong presence in the community. As we promised last spring, we were not going to let the pandemic prevent us from being the best BC Sports Hall of Fame that we could be – even in these challenging times. We remained committed to using every ounce of digital, virtual and social to keep on doing what we’re all about: Honouring the Past and Inspiring the Future.

We are inviting you into the Curator’s Corner every month. We are taking you behind the scenes at the BC Sports Hall with virtual tours by our curator Jason Beck and museum assistant Shelby McCannel and video features on notable artifacts from our collection of more than 100,000 pieces of BC sport history. We have featured several Honoured Members on Zoom and Facebook Live, using their extraordinary stories to engage with people of all ages throughout British Columbia. And we have translated On This Day in BC Sport History into more radio, digital and social traction than ever before, with Jason Beck appearing on TSN Radio weekly to tell us the stories of excellence and achievement and success in the face of adversity; stories that never get old. Jason reached his 40th weekly appearance last month and has generated well more than 10 hours of radio content throughout the year that has been punctuated by the pandemic.

Just how important Jason’s extra efforts have been was demonstrated again this week when On This Day in BC Sport History revisited one of the most exciting matches in Canadian tennis history, the upset of world No. 1 Stefan Edberg of Sweden by Daniel Nestor in Davis Cup competition at the Agrodome at the Pacific National Exhibition. That historic match 29 years ago – on Friday, January 31st,   1992 – was brought back to life on Facebook, Twitter and other social media by Jason and the BC Sports Hall of Fame. It received more than 100 mentions each on his personal account and that of the BC Sports Hall of Fame and triggered hundreds of thousands of social media impressions. The special moment inspired social engagement from Tennis BC, Tennis Canada, dozens of sports fans, media such as Bob Mackin of TheBreaker.News, TSN 1040, CBC Vancouver and The Province, venues such as the PNE, the Davis Cup and the International Tennis Federation and, yes, even Nestor himself!

That digital and social media flurry will culminate in another appearance on This Week in BC Sport History on TSN Radio.

It’s another example of how – even under these trying and complicated times – we can do what we’re hot wired to do as the BC Sports Hall of Fame. That is to share these inspiring stories in ways that ensure they remain “unforgettable” and in ways that inspire the next generation of British Columbians and Canadians to pick up a tennis racquet – or any piece of sports equipment – or even just to put a smile of civic, provincial and national pride on their faces.

You can count on the BC Sports Hall of Fame to continue to tell these stories and get them to as many people as we can, on digital, virtual and social. You can also count on us to ensure that – even in the post-COVID world – we will continue to push the boundaries of the new media platforms available to us to maximize our best efforts to honour the past and inspire the future.

PS – In case you missed it, our friends at the BC Hockey Hall of Fame have teamed up with Canucks Sports & Entertainment to assemble one of the most complete jersey collections ever as a fund-raiser designed to help support the work of the BCHHF in Penticton, B.C. Jerseys from six different eras of Vancouver Canucks history are up for grabs in a very cool raffle at the BC Hockey Hall of Fame website. It’s a great way to support the promotion of BC hockey history, especially in these times of COVID-19. Tickets begin at $5 for an individual and $50 for 50 tickets, with the deadline draw on February 16th. Do yourself a favour: Get in on the running for the six signed Canucks jerseys today!

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 and Chair of the Paul Carson Sports Broadcast & Media Awards.