The Rainmakers Behind the Class of 2024

Message from the Chair


In what is arguably the second most important day of the annual induction cycle of the BC Sports Hall of Fame, we had the distinct privilege last month of ushering in the Class of 2024 on Announcement Day (Wednesday, October 25th, to be exact). It’s the day that we first introduce and unveil the newest class of athletes, builders, pioneers, teams and media, announcing that they’ve been selected for induction and officially beginning the countdown to Induction Week in May of next year.

As Chair of the BC Sports Hall of Fame, it is my honour to provide the closing remarks on Announcement Day in the concourse at Gate A at BC Place, home of the BC Sports Hall.

What I said this year, above and beyond congratulating the Class of 2024 that is profiled elsewhere in this edition of our Inspirations newsletter, is that such a group of history makers doesn’t come about without the contributions of many others. Suffice to say, for each inductee, there are many stories behind their own story.

We acknowledged the professional role of the BC Sports Hall of Fame management team – headed by our CEO Michelle Kitchen and curator Jason Beck – in the staging of Announcement Day. The dedication of our lean but mean management machine is the reason that Announcement Day went off without a hitch, was well-attended and why it created an immediate buzz and sense of anticipation for Induction Week next spring.

I thanked the members of our Board of Trustees who were in attendance, acknowledging the importance of their contributions to the strategic governance of the BC Sports Hall of Fame and the role that Announcement Day plays within that.

It was gratifying to acknowledge the former Chairs of the BC Sports Hall of Fame who were in attendance, with Dann Konkin, Doug Mason and Honoured Member Ron Jones reminding us of the history and long-standing tradition that celebrates each new class of inductees. It was also a pleasure to see the new Chair of the BC Sports Hall of Fame Foundation Blair Horn, the first Honoured Member (Rowing) to serve as Foundation Chair.

I also thanked our co-emcees, Michelle Stilwell and Karin Larsen, both Honoured Members of the BC Sports Hall of Fame, for the professionalism, elegance and enthusiasm they brought to the introduction of each and every person or team selected for induction. Announcement Day represented the continuance of another cherished BC Sports Hall tradition – that the emcees are typically drawn from our family of Honoured Members. Thanks again Michelle and Karin!

(It was also great to see two of the longest-serving executive directors of the BC Sports Hall of Fame, Peter W. Webster, himself an Honoured Member, and Allison Mailer).

Yet there are so many more people that contribute to Announcement Day in particular and our year-round induction cycle, that I wanted to acknowledge and thank. We dedicate this edition of Inspirations to them…

First and foremost are the other Honoured Members who help create such a positive and electric atmosphere simply by being there. There is nothing more fitting, appropriate and even sacred, in my view, than new inductees being introduced, welcomed and celebrated by existing Honoured Members of the BC Sports Hall of Fame. We thank the more than a dozen Hall of Famers who were in attendance to welcome the 12 newest inductees on Announcement Day last month.

Next in line is Stan Wong, Lara Mussell-Savage and the other 13 members of our Selection Committee of the BC Sports Hall of Fame. Stan and Lara are the chair and vice-chair, respectively, of our Selection Committee, a wide-ranging and impressive team of people tasked with the job of sifting through dozens and dozens of nominees, all with a view towards selecting the most-worthy candidates for 2024. It isn’t an easy job, but it may just be one of the most important jobs held by supporters of the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

Thanks to our Selection Committee for the Class of 2024: Community at Large selectors Michelle Stilwell, Bobby Lenarduzzi, Dan Jukic, Deb Huband and Kathy Newman (all of whom are Honoured Members of the BC Sports Hall; Media Representatives Jay Durant, Steve Ewen, Samantha Chang, Scott Rintoul and Karin Larsen, who is also an Honoured Member, along with Trustees Joanie McMaster, Carolynn Boomer, Greg Keith and of course, Stan and Lara.

Yet the thanks really should begin and end with a group of individuals who are absolutely essential to our annual cycle of induction – our nominators. It is no exaggeration to proclaim that there is no class of new inductees without this group of community leaders and advocates. They are central to the process, stepping up as they do each year to identify the most-worthy candidates for selection. They are those who care enough about the development and promotion of sport history, sport heritage and sport culture in British Columbia to take out the time to compile and submit their nominations prior to June 30th of each year.

They understand how each of those inducted have helped to make the sport community here in British Columbia what it is today: One of the leading sport and athlete development hubs in all of Canada. They recognize that by honouring the past, they are helping us to inspire the future!

Thanks to those nominators whose candidates were successful. But thanks also to all those who may have to “wait until next year” to see their nominations break through. Even though there is no guarantee that your personal nominee will be selected for induction, it is still an honour to even be nominated. So, please keep on doing what you do. The more and better the nominations, the stronger each induction class and the more inspirational stories there will be to engage and inspire the next generation of young British Columbians and Canadians.

For the Class of 2024, we thank the nominators: Dale Harris (also a long-standing member of the Board of Trustees), Ian Dixon, Nicole Robb, Kris Jonasson, Adam Madrussan, Scott Crawford, Ketih Halsey, Faythe Lou, Jennifer Verhaeghe, Noel Mercer, Dave Mihalech and veteran sport historian and nominator of multiple deserving recipients, Fred Hume.

Whether you are a sport historian, a member of the sports media or a representative from a club, district, association or professional sport franchise, we appreciate what you’ve done to help create such a special BC Sports Hall Induction Class of 2024.

Know that all of you – this year’s nominators and those from over the course of the 57-year history of the BC Sports Hall of Fame — have played an important service to the sport community of British Columbia; and to your province and your country.

With the countdown now on to Induction Week – with the Honoured Members Reception Wednesday, May 15th, and the Induction Banquet Thursday, May 16th, at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver – we know we wouldn’t be where we are today without those of you who nominated deserving candidates this year. Thank you.

To register today for the Honoured Members Reception and Induction Banquet, go to INDUCTION WEEK

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 founder and host of The Sport Market on Sportsnet 650 and the Sportsnet Radio Network, 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 founding Chair of the Paul Carson Sports Broadcast & Media Awards.