It Takes More Than a Village. It takes a Province!


July 2nd, 2021

It’s often said that it takes a village…that anything worth doing, anything important, takes a village to get done.

When it comes to producing a class of BC Sports Hall of Famers – our latest Honoured Members – it takes more than a village. It takes a province.

First and foremost, it takes a province in the form of the Government of British Columbia to make sport in general and sport history, in particular, a priority of the public good. That baseline funding and support from the Sport Branch in the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport and from viaSport helps to sustain the BC Sports Hall of Fame and allow us to do what we do each year, including selecting a new class of Hall of Famers and celebrating them in whatever ways we can, from their initial induction and recognition on our various broadcast channels to special events and their engagement in our Hero in You program of community outreach and youth education.

It takes a province in the form of Sport BC and all of its member Provincial Sports Organizations. We rely on them to help bring forward deserving nominees from each of their specific sport communities. We rely on them to help identify deserving candidates from throughout the province, and reflecting the very diversity that makes British Columbia such a vibrant Pacific Gateway province here on the west coast of Canada. And once they’re selected for induction, we count on our PSO partners to celebrate the achievement and the new-found Hall of Fame status and promote it within their own sport membership.

On the subject of the nominations, they are of course fundamental to the entire process. That’s why we count on nominators from throughout the province to identify and put forward the best candidates from all walks of life in the BC sports community. Without the nominators, we have no nominations. And without nominations, we have little to no growth in the BC Sports Hall of Fame family.

It takes our Selection Committee, drawn from the Hall itself, and from our Board of Trustees, the Community at large and members of the media. It is this important cross-section of the BC Sports Hall of Fame community that gathers each year to review the list of eligible nominees, to carefully consider their contributions to sport history, heritage and culture in B.C. and to ultimately recommend their selection for induction. We of course thank Wendy Pattenden, the President & CEO of Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, for taking on the duties as Selection Committee Chair this year, filling the large shoes vacated most recently by Ken Olynyk of Kamloops, B.C.

It takes our Honoured Members Committee, co-chaired this year by Joan McMaster and Alexa Loo, to support the work of the Selection Committee, and to set the groundwork for the kinds of meaningful initiatives that continue to honour our Hall of Famers, year-in, year-out. Included among these little touches is the brainchild of Peter Webster, former Executive Director of the BC Sports Hall of Fame and an Honoured Member himself; our exclusive BC Sports Hall of Fame Honoured Members pins.  It also takes our Induction Committee, co-chaired by Jared Harman and Michelle Collens and supported by our Chief Executive Nicholas Cartmell and Event Director Carey Summerfelt.

It takes the ongoing support of our BC Sports Hall of Fame Foundation Board of Directors, chaired by Bill Maclagan, who typically – in non-COVID years – host the Honoured Members VIP Reception, which serves as the official plaque unveiling ceremony on the eve of each Induction Gala.

It also takes the wise counsel and input of our Council of Chairs, the past Chairs of the BC Sports Hall of Fame. These former Chairs, chaired by Anna Nyarady, serve as our so-called Senate, an advisory Board steeped with the invaluable knowledge gleaned from years of service to the Sports Hall. To this day, many of our former Chairs continue as supporters and donors to the BC Sports Hall of Fame, thereby helping us stage the best possible inductions and joining us in honouring the new class of inductees each year.

Producing a new Class of Hall of Famers also takes the work done at the grassroots level by all of the local, regional, national and sport specific Halls of Fames operating in British Columbia. These Halls are literal stepping stones to the BC Sports Hall of Fame, in precisely the same way that our own BC Sports Hall is a stepping stone to other Halls, including Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. Under the co-chairing of Scott Ackles and Jim Hughson and the passionate support and guidance of Dale Harris and Alison Noble (CEO of the BC Games Society), these more than 40 halls come together in the BC Council of Sports Halls. Through information-sharing and best practices and economies of scale, this network of Halls helps to create the best possible provincial environment for the recognition of deserving athletes, coaches, builders, pioneers, media and teams. The stronger this new network of local, regional and sport specific Halls is, the stronger our overall capacity to identify, select and honour the most deserving candidates in communities throughout the province of British Columbia.

Each new Class also benefits from the dedicated staff of the BC Sports Hall of Fame, including our Curator Jason Beck and Museum Assistant Shelby McCannel…from the support of our Board of Trustees…from our sponsors, community, media and broadcast partners…from BC Pavilion Corp and our friends at BC Place, who operate BC Place as the home of our BC Sports Hall and help add prominence and import to our Honoured Members, whose plaques will stand in perpetuity at the home of some of the greatest moments in BC sport history and across the street from another such hub, Rogers Arena…from our visitors from around the world – who we will be inviting back to full operations real soon…from those organizations and companies who choose to stage their meetings and special events at the BC Sports Hall at BC Place…from all of those from across the province who believe in the power of sport and subscribe to the importance of sport history, heritage and culture.

Our upcoming Class of 2020 welcoming ceremony on July 15th, our virtual and video streamed opportunity to officially induct and raise the plaques of our latest group of Honoured Members, is of course an opportunity to salute those new Hall of Famers. Yet it is also an opportunity to recognize, the village; the literal province that it takes to produce these classes and to keep building on the 416 individuals and 64 teams who have been inducted to the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

Welcome Class of 2020. And thanks to all of you who helped identify, select and induct this class. And, of course, we look forward to gathering for our full-meal deal gala dinner recognition of your induction at our earliest opportunity in 2022.

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 Chair of the Paul Carson Sports Broadcast & Media Awards.