Message from the Chair


The BC Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to telling the stories of the people, events and milestones that define us. It is storytelling reflective of our mission of honouring the past and inspiring the future. It is not only part of a series of year-round campaigns to promote sport history, heritage and culture in British Columbia, but central and essential to a multi-generational commitment to keep these stories alive, relevant and expansive.

The epitome of our best efforts to tell, re-tell and tell again the most important stories in the history of our province and our country, is what was done earlier this year on February 24th, 2023, in honour of Percy Williams, the double gold medalist and Olympic champion from the Amsterdam 1928 Games.

Percy was among the inaugural inductees of the BC Sports Hall of Fame when it was established in 1966, with 11 of his medals taking their rightful place at our original location at the BC Building at the PNE. He was among the very first athletes to donate pieces of memorabilia to our archives and collection of artifacts – including his two gold medals from the 1928 Olympics. Sadly, those golden pieces of history were stolen from the BC Sports Hall in 1980, leaving at least two large holes in the story of Percy Williams.

In the intervening years, his legacy has been represented in a beautiful statue outside the Gate A at BC Place that opens the doors to the current site of the BC Sports Hall of Fame. Yet now – thanks to Della (Williams) Riedel, Tracey and Brian Mead and the extended family and friends of Percy Williams – and the special consideration and leadership demonstrated by the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) — his legacy is complete. As it should be. Replicas of his 1928 Olympic golds are now back where they belong: At the BC Sports Hall of Fame, less than 50 meters from his statue outside BC Place.

This happy ending was yet another emotional and awe-inspiring chapter in the remarkable story that was and is Percy Williams. It was also a testament to what can be accomplished through thoughtful consideration and collaboration in pursuit of principle, justice, honour — and inspiration.

The return of the Percy Williams medals to the BC Sports Hall of Fame – almost 43 years after they were stolen – set the tone and tenor for what has been yet another special year of storytelling in 2023.

In March, April, May and June, we turned our focus to the Class of 2023 of the BC Sports Hall of Fame. Those efforts culminated in the Honoured Members Reception presented by the BC Sports Hall Foundation, featuring the plaque-unveiling ceremony at the Hall of Champions on May 31st, on the eve of the Induction Banquet at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver on June 1st. The two events embody the very essence of storytelling that is at the heart of the BC Sports Hall of Fame. And they exemplify what we are doing to celebrate our Honoured Members not only on the occasion of their selection for induction, but for the rest of their lives…and beyond.

– Our Collection itself: On the strength of which we honour the past and inspire the future, curating an astounding collection of 27,000 heritage artifacts and 100,000 archival documents representing more than 150-years of sport history in British Columbia.

– Galleries, Exhibits and Displays: Where visitors to the BC Sports Hall of Fame are informed, entertained and inspired by the stories of Terry Fox, Greg Moore, Rick Hansen and others, including those represented in the Indigenous Sport Gallery, which celebrated its fifth anniversary just 10 days ago.

– Today in BC Sport History and related content: Almost daily updates and reminders on the stories that earmark BC sport history, compiled by our curator Jason Beck and brought to life on the digital and social channels of the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

– Honoured Members Hosting Program: Where donors were this year inspired to help make it possible for BC Sports Hall of Famers to help create what was certainly a fitting atmosphere for our “Banquet of Champions”, with the initiative sponsoring many of those Honoured Members to attend the Induction Banquet.

– In Memoriam Table Tributes: Where we introduced – albeit in a pilot project — a new way to pay tribute to those BC Sports Hall of Famers who have passed. That new way of keeping their stories alive forever will extend beyond the likes of Terry Fox, Harry Jerome, Audrey Williams, Pat Quinn, Norm Fieldgate and Tony Waiters; those honoured that night of June 1st.

– Defining Moments: Where some of the biggest moments in BC sport history are captured in the Defining Moments Gallery at the BC Sports Hall of Fame and celebrated at the Defining Moments Luncheon powered by Canadian Sport Institute Pacific each year at our Annual Summit – an Annual Summit & AGM that is now moving around the province that has produced the people, events and milestones that have helped define us as British Columbians and Canadians. This year, we placed the spotlight on the 1925 Victoria Cougars, Silken Laumann’s heroic bronze at Barcelona 1992, Simon Whitfield’s historic Olympic men’s triathlon gold at Sydney 2000, Steve Nash’s back-to-back NBA MVPs in 2005 and 2006, and Parksville wheelchair athlete Michelle Stilwell, who won gold medals in three consecutive Paralympics! Previous Defining Moments celebrated at the Annual Summit since 2018 include the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and Paralympics, XV Commonwealth Games in Victoria in 1994, the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope in 1980, the Rick Hansen Man in Motion in 1987, Nancy Greene’s Olympic gold at Grenoble 1968, the Vancouver Canucks runs to the Stanley Cup Final in 1994 and 1982, the BC Lions 1994 Grey Cup victory and the Canadian win at the Alfred Dunhill Cup in 1994.

– The Reunion at The Summit: Council of Chairs Dinner: Presented by the BC Sports Hall Foundation, where in the coming years we will strive to provide additional meaningful opportunities to celebrate our Honoured Members from across the province (again, in conjunction with our Annual Summit). It has been a reunion not only for Honoured Members, but for the former Chairs who have led the best efforts of countless BC Sports Hall of Fame volunteers and professionals to effectively promote sport history, heritage and culture in B.C. for more than 57 years.

– Our Hero in You program: Through which the BC Sports Hall of Fame reaches over 6,500 young learners each year across the province. From school visits by Honoured Members to curricula inspired by the likes of Terry Fox and other BC Sports Hall of Famers, we endeavour to truly inspire the future.

None of it – our Hero in You and other inspirational children’s and youth programs or our other storytelling initiatives – happens without the professionalism and passion demonstrated by our dedicated staff and management team led by CEO Michelle Kitchen and curator Jason Beck or the support of our Board of Trustees, BC Sports Hall Foundation, Council of Chairs and other key partners, stakeholders and supporters. Ultimately, of course, none of it happens without the athletes, coaches, builders, pioneers, teams and media who have helped make our province one of the most dynamic sport hubs in Canada.

As we usher in a new cycle of induction – powered by our comprehensive annual approach to nomination, selection, announcement and, ultimately, induction next May – we can’t wait to share with you our Class of 2024 on ANNOUNCEMENT DAY, October 25th. It is an ANNOUNCEMENT DAY that will help us celebrate a new group of special people whose stories will forever become part of the pantheon of sport in British Columbia.

To that end, thanks to all of you who passionately believe and invest in the power of these stories of game-changing British Columbians and Canadians.

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