Celebrating our Shared History

Message from the Chair


We are still early in the summer of 2023, one that is shaping up to be another summer of shared history. Or at least a summer in which we are reminded about how rich our shared history is throughout British Columbia and across Canada and between Canada and the United States.

We not only marked Canada Day from coast-to-coast-to-coast earlier this month, we paid tribute to our friends south of the border on Independence Day, ubiquitously celebrated of course as The Fourth of July. As we pointed out one year ago at this time, the proximity of our two national holidays is as close as the proximity of our two countries and our shared sport history. It only makes natural sense that there are so many sport stories – and historical sports events, accomplishments and other milestones – that intertwine Canada and the United States.

The Shared Sport History of Canada and the United States – July 2022

Just around the corner is BC Day, that special opportunity to reflect on the dynamic growth and development of beautiful British Columbia, from the province’s earliest indigenous roots to its move to join confederation in 1871 and beyond. A big part of the building and evolution of British Columbia of course relates to our sport history, heritage and culture. Make no mistake, blessed by our climate, our natural amenities and an outdoor lifestyle and active living culture, BC is one of the leading hotbeds for sport and recreation in Canada.

From Nancy Greene and Karen Magnussen to Terry Fox and Rick Hansen, BC athletes have contributed in a major way to Canada’s emergence on the world stage, and on multiple fronts. We’re proud of the interconnections between Canada and British Columbia when it comes to sports milestones and special events, including but not limited to the 1954 British Empire Games in Vancouver and the XV Commonwealth Games in Victoria in 1994, along with the game-changing success story that was Vancouver 2010.  Fast forward to the FIFA Women’s World Cup that Vancouver co-hosted in 2015, and coming up soon the 2025 Invictus Games and the FIFA 2026 Men’s World Cup.

An Almost Daily Commitment to Honouring the Past and Inspiring the Future – August 2022

Above and beyond the shared history that we have as Canadians and British Columbians – and the shared history that we have with Americans, especially built around intense rivalries in hockey and soccer, to name just two – the BC Sports Hall of Fame is very cognizant of the shared history we have as British Columbians from all parts of the province.

That shared history brings together indigenous and non-indigenous success stories; stories of joy and exhilaration and oftentimes, heartbreak and courage in the face of adversity. It is a shared history – and an inspired future — that helps to welcome and embrace New Canadians as they make their mark in British Columbia.

Yet it is also a shared history — and inspired future — between British Columbia proper and the leading sport communities – in some cases, they’re veritable sport factories — across the province, from Dawson Creek and Prince George to Kamloops and Cranbrook and from Vancouver and Whistler to Kelowna and Victoria.

That shared history is not only the theme of the Greater Victoria 2023 Annual Summit of the BC Sports Hall of Fame coming up September 14-16, it is a driving force of the BC Sports Hall Network, our new information-sharing and collaboration platform designed to elevate the promotion of sport history, heritage and culture in British Columbia on the combined strength of more than 43 local, regional and sport-specific sports halls, museums, galleries, exhibits and displays situated throughout the province.

We were fueled and energized last year by the shared history that we celebrated last summer at the Kelowna 2022 Annual Summit. In the past year, as just one example, freestyle skier Kelsey Serwa consolidated her own credentials as a gem of the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame by being inducted as part of the Class of 2023 of the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

Serwa is just one of dozens if not hundreds of such stories. Like many others, she’s proud to be a pillar of the Central Okanagan community as much as she is to be a British Columbian and a Canadian. Again, that shared history is so compelling, it advances the notion that sport is truly one of the most powerful integrators in society.

As the BC Sports Hall of Fame, we’re here to acknowledge and celebrate that shared history. We celebrate our shared history in the cultivated emergence of the BC Sports Hall Network. We celebrate it on the podium of an Annual Summit that moves around the province, connecting the BC Sports Hall of Fame with local, regional and sport-specific Halls throughout British Columbia.  It’s a shared history that we chronicle through regular initiatives such as On This Day in BC Sport History and This Week in BC Sport History. It’s a shared history that we celebrate in literally everything that we do, week-in, week-out.

That’s why we’re so excited to be bringing the Greater Victoria 2023 Annual Summit to the Coast Hotel and Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria September 14-16.

It’s why we’re energized by our plans to convene a General Meeting of the BC Sports Hall Network on Friday, September 15th, followed by Community Workshops that afternoon at the Coast Hotel (2:30-4:45 p.m.).

It’s why we can’t wait to pay tribute to another three special milestones in BC sport history in the Defining Moments Luncheon powered by Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, Friday, September 15th, from 12 noon-2 p.m. at the Coast. It’s why we’re so looking forward to the Reunion at the Summit in conjunction with the Council of Chairs Dinner presented by the BC Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, Friday night 6:45-9:45 p.m. It’s a chance for Honoured Members of the BC Sports Hall – especially those living on Vancouver Island — and Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame (and for that matter, any local, regional or sport-specific Hall in BC) to gather and see old friends and meet new ones who have made similar marks in our sport history.

(Also becoming a tradition at the Annual Summit is our Honoured Members’ pin ceremony, unique to BC Sports Hall of Famers. That’ll happen just prior to the Reunion at the Summit: Council of Chairs Dinner on Friday evening.)

If you haven’t already done so, please make sure to save the dates for September 14-16. Make note of what will be the first-ever BC Sports Hall Annual Summit and AGM held on Vancouver Island and only the second to be convened outside of Greater Vancouver in the 57-year history of the Sports Hall. The more of you who attend, the greater the tribute the Summit will be to the shared history that we dedicate ourselves to honouring and celebrating every day of the year. By definition, that shared history brings us closer to our inspired future.

And that’s what it’s all about for all of us associated with the BC Sports Hall of Fame. It is all part of our 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.

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, 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.