Bringing out the “BC” in the BC Sports Hall of Fame


The BC Sports Hall of Fame is committed to honouring the past and inspiring the future. That has been the general mantra of the organization since Eric Whitehead and company created the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 1966. For 56 years, the Sports Hall has celebrated the accomplishments, achievements and, in many cases, successes in the face of tremendous adversity, by leading athletes, coaches, builders, teams, pioneers and media. These Honoured Members are at the very heart of the BC Sports Hall of Fame, from our actual hall and museum at BC Place to our website at British Columbians from all parts and corners of the province are among the distinguished list of Honoured Members that have been selected for induction since 1966. It’s a list that includes 427 individuals and 65 teams.

Yet in this fall of 2022, we are working hard to truly enhance, elevate and expand the footprint of the BC Sports Hall of Fame – to bring out, recognize and celebrate the “BC” in the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

The first in a series of new initiatives designed to make us the best BC Sports Hall of Fame that we can be is our Kelowna 2022 Annual Summit, scheduled for September 23-24, 2022 at the Rotary Centre for the Arts and the Prestige Kelowna Beach House. It marks the first time that the BC Sports Hall of Fame Annual General Meeting has been held outside of Greater Vancouver. That is history in and of itself. Yet it is also simply the first step towards bringing this annual BC Sports Hall of Fame event to leading sports communities throughout the province. We aim to offer hosting opportunities by interested local, regional and sport-specific sports halls, museums, galleries, exhibits and displays by rotating the Annual Summit throughout the province each and every year. This year, the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame and the Okanagan zone will be home to the Annual Summit. That includes the AGM on Saturday, September 24th. Yet it also includes the DEFINING MOMENTS Luncheon powered by Canadian Sport Institute Pacific – a celebration of Nancy Greene and her gold and silver medals in skiing at the Grenoble 1968 Winter Olympics, Rick Hansen and his Man in Motion World Tour in 1987, and Canada’s 1994 Alfred Dunhill Cup team of Dave Barr, Ray Stewart and Rick Gibson. That team upset the United States at the fabled St. Andrew’s Golf Club and is to this day one of the greatest moments in Canadian golf history – made possible by a trio of British Columbians!

This first Annual Summit and AGM held outside of Greater Vancouver will be a starting point for all of us associated with the BC Sports Hall of Fame. What will this year draw dozens of delegates and special guests will attract hundreds in the years to come. Our ambition is to bring the BC Sports Hall Annual Summit to each one of the province’s eight zones – the BC Games Society zones that are now recognized as the province’s sport zones on multiple fronts – over the next 15 to 20 years.

A second and related initiative is the emergence of the BC Sports Hall Network, co-chaired by Scott Ackles (chair of the BC Football Hall of Fame) and Jim Hughson (chair of the BC Hockey Hall of Fame in Penticton. What is beginning as an outreach and information-sharing initiative open to the more than 43 local, regional and sport-specific sports halls of fame operating in British Columbia is intended to grow into a powerful platform for collaboration, best practices, functional effectiveness and financial efficiency. The Kelowna 2022 Annual Summit will be another opportunity for leaders of other sports halls across the Okanagan and Interior and throughout the province to address shared opportunities and face common challenges. It will be offered in person at Kelowna 2022 and virtually by Zoom to anyone interested in joining in to discuss those shared opportunities and common challenges. It, too, will grow into a comprehensive networking opportunity for all advocates of BC sport history, heritage and culture. We look forward to using the BC Sports Hall Network to strengthen our own already valuable relationship with the Canadian Association of Sports Heritage (CASH). The long-term goal is to significantly expand the number of local, regional and sport-specific halls of fame throughout BC. By doing so, we truly believe we can take authentic storytelling of the best BC athletes, coaches, builders, teams, pioneers and media to the next level.

Imagine the power of a “feeder system” helping to recognize these extraordinary British Columbians locally and provincially and within their own sports halls…and then ultimately nationally through Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and internationally through halls as diverse as the Hockey Hall of Fame and the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Consider for a moment how much stronger and better we can be by collaborating, teaming up and working together more closely than ever before?

These two new approaches are sure to help us expand a BC footprint that already includes the popular Hero in You community outreach and education program. They will work in tandem with the Council of Chairs – our esteemed group of past-chairs of the BC Sports Hall of Fame – and the BC Sports Hall of Fame Foundation to ensure that we strive to grow together in the months and years to come, doing so on the strength of the collective passion of people who believe in the power of sport; and, in particular, the magic of sports storytelling.

Anyone who cares about the promotion of BC sport history, heritage and culture is welcome to join in at the Kelowna 2022 Annual Summit, either in person by registering at or virtually by taking part in the video streaming that is planned for September 23-24. Wherever you are in beautiful British Columbia, we look forward to seeing you in your community as we move the BC Sports Hall of Fame Annual Summit around the province each year…and as we build the BC Sports Hall Network as a passionate team of collaborators with a common purpose: Telling stories that inspire all British Columbians, most notably the next generation of young athletes and active living participants.

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.