Celebrating Honoured Members: It’s at the very heart of what we do


November 1st, 2020

At the BC Sports Hall of Fame, our three-pronged strategic plan is anchored in celebrating Honoured Members, cultivating sustainable partnerships and generating inspirational experiences.

One way or another, everything we do is related to telling the stories of the most compelling athletes, coaches, builders, pioneers, teams and media; the sports personalities that have shaped and textured the rich history, heritage and culture of sport in British Columbia.

The first pillar encompasses doing the best possible job we can in identifying, selecting and honouring our Hall of Famers. That entails our year-round process of nomination, selection, announcement and induction. The second pillar involves everything we do to build a strong infrastructure for the BC Sports Hall of Fame. It’s also, of course, all about our fund-raising, donor-cultivating and corporate sponsorships. It’s also about our essential relationship with the BC Sports Hall of Fame Foundation and our Council of Chairs to our BC Council of Sports Halls and our new Council of Trustees. That’s more than team-building for us. It’s relationship-building. It’s network-building. And, ultimately, it’s family-building.

The third pillar spans our efforts in the areas of curation (on the strength of our inspiring galleries, exhibits and displays) and education (including the Hero-in-You community outreach programs. Yet our definition of inspirational experiences also includes a fundamental intersection point – a clear overlap — with the ongoing recognition we provide to our Hall of Famers. And that is our annual Induction Event.

That Induction Event is literally our bread-and-butter. As part of our efforts to celebrate Honoured Members, it is at the very heart of what we do.

Yet during these times of COVID-19, the global pandemic that has decimated our sense of normalcy, we’re being forced to carefully consider the best way for us to stay true to our essential purpose – celebrating Honoured Members – while respecting the circumstances that we’re operating in. We are wanting to “do our thing”, but to do so in a way that fully respects provincial and federal health guidelines and protects the safety of our employees and governors, our key stakeholders and, of course, our guests and visitors to the BC Sports Hall of Fame at BC Place.

That’s why – for the Class of 2020 and the year ahead — we’re approaching our options with the utmost in careful consideration, research and comparative analysis, and creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, not to mention financial due diligence and fiduciary responsibility. That’s why we’ve been in such a holding pattern for much of the past eight months. We were forced to cancel of our “full meal deal” Induction Gala in June, we tentatively moved it to November 26th and we’re now looking at the first quarter of 2021 as the window of opportunity for us to fulfil the responsibilities we feel we have to our Class of 2020. In other words, we’re going through the kinds of exercises that many other organizations – including other Halls of Fame and some of the biggest professional sports leagues and tours in the world – have undertaken over the last few months. Like them, we are operating on somewhat of a sliding scale, waiting as long we believe we can before finalizing our due diligence, contingency planning and actual implementation of the best possible solution for our Hall of Famers (including of course the Class of 2020), our partners and other stakeholders.

We realize we’re in the stretch run of calendar 2020 and approaching the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2021. Yet we’re committed to working with our partners – including our friends at BC Pavilion Corp and BC Place – and the public health authorities to turn over every creative stone that we can in finalizing our plans. Our thanks to our management team and staff, including Chief Executive Nicholas Cartmell, curator Jason Beck and event director Carey Summerfelt, and our Induction Event Co-Chairs Michelle Collens and Jared Harman, for all of their efforts in this regard. Thanks also to the perspectives brought to bear by those Trustees and others on our Honoured Members Committee and Partnerships & Revenue-Generation Committee.

All that we know for sure is that whatever we do to induct our Class of 2020, in whatever virtual form that takes, it will NOT replace the full-fledged banquet that has defined the BC Sports Hall of Fame and our place in the community for more than 50 years. It might not happen until 2021 or even 2022, but the Class of 2020 will have the chance to celebrate their induction in front of family, friends and those who make up the BC Sports Hall of Fame family.

In the interim, we will continue to push the envelope on how to make induction official for the Class of 2020…how to get those traditional plaques and name plates up as soon as we can…and how to best tell the stories of these extraordinary athletes, coaches, builders, pioneers, teams and media personalities. In other words, how to best Honour the Past…and Inspire the 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 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.