Our Job: Honouring the Past to Inspire the Future

Message from the Chair


On Wednesday, May 15th, we are convening our VIP Class Reception for the newest group of inductees to the BC Sports Hall of Fame. That is the day of our plaque unveiling ceremony for the Class of 2024, to be held in the Hall of Champions at the BC Sports Hall at BC Place.

That part of our official induction process represents the end of the annual cycle that each year adds new names to the 452 individual members and 69 teams who already make up a big and important of BC sport history as Hall of Famers.

That annual induction cycle begins with Nomination Day June 30th of each year. Selection Day typically happens in September, followed by Announcement Day in October. That leads us, of course, to Induction Week, headlined by the Honoured Members VIP Class Reception on the Wednesday of that week and then the Banquet of Champions fundraising extravaganza on the Thursday, this year again at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (May 16th, 2024).

Yet what is scheduled for Induction Week May 15th-16th, 2024 is truly only the beginning of a celebration that is designed to last for a lifetime…and beyond.

That week gives media and other key stakeholders in the promotion of sport history, heritage and culture the chance to place the spotlight on the new members selected for induction. It allows new members to mingle with existing Hall of Famers – and vice-versa — in a symbolic passing of the torch. It is a celebration not only for the new inductees themselves, but for their families and friends, not to mention the communities they call home.

Yet that is still only the beginning… Throughout the year, milestones associated with our newest inductees – and all Honoured members of the BC Sports Hall of Fame — are recognized through On This Day in BC Sport History and other related digital and media opportunities pursued by our CEO Michelle Kitchen, our curator and facility director Jason Beck and our entire team of storytellers. That happens year-in, year-out. It is our way of helping to ensure that none of these awe-inspiring stories of accomplishment – oftentimes victory in the face of tremendous adversity – are ever forgotten.

Special galleries, exhibits and displays are curated from time to time to celebrate the events and timelines that bring together many of our Honoured Members. In some cases, they are temporary exhibits, such as the tribute to the iconic Sports Page, the beautiful tribute to the art and culture surrounding Dragon Boat racing or the anniversary of the original founding of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. In other cases, they are permanent galleries or exhibits, such as the salute to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Greg Moore Gallery or the Defining Moments gallery.

In still other cases, the galleries, exhibits and displays of the BC Sports Hall of Fame clearly transcend pure sport accomplishment, and serve as inspirational tools in the fight for social justice (the Indigenous Sport Gallery and the soon-to-be-launched Digital Indigenous Sport Gallery, two initiatives strongly supported by Canadian Heritage, the BC Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport, the City of Vancouver and ISPARC). Others demonstrate the unparalleled reach and power of spectacular sport odysseys that give rise to tremendous advances in the treatment of cancer or important leaps forward in spinal cord research, including but not limited to the Terry Fox Gallery and the Rick Hansen Man-in-Motion Gallery.

Not every Honoured Member of the BC Sports Hall of Fame will have a permanent or temporary gallery, exhibit or display created to tell their story, but everyone of us will be affected in some way by those stories. It is all part of honouring the past and inspiring the future. Yet there’s more that we can do to continue to celebrate the often legendary accomplishments of our BC athletes, coaches, builders, pioneers, teams and media. And we will.

One such new initiative is our In Memoriam Tribute table program. Piloted for the first time last year, it paid tribute to Audrey Williams, Terry Fox, Harry Jerome, Bobby Ackles, Norm Fieldgate, Pat Quinn and Tony Waiters. This year, we are elevating the In Memoriam Tribute campaign to include the late, multiple Olympic medal-winning rower Kathleen Heddle, among others to be announced in the weeks leading up to the Banquet of Champions, May 16th, at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

Our plan is to work with the families of these deceased Honoured Members to ensure that they are forever remembered with the elegance, professional class and high standards of inspiration that they personified throughout their game-changing careers as champions of BC sport history. The In Memoriam Tribute tables are being made possible by individual donors and/or corporate partners who are as inspired by the stories of our Honoured Members as we are.

A full list of In Memoriam Tributes – marking the late Hall of Famers to be honoured this year, along with the donors or sponsors who made this layer of special recognition possible — will be found in the first edition of our Inspirations e-newsletter following the Banquet of Champions.
Look out for these In Memoriam Tributes at the Banquet of Champions May 16th. In the meantime, a big thanks and shoutout to Dann Konkin, the former Chair of the BC Sports Hall of Fame who has followed in the footsteps of Anna Nyarady as Chair of our Council of Chairs, for leading the charge on both our Honoured Members Hosting Program tables and our new In Memoriam Tribute initiative.

Our vision is to work towards a Banquet of Champions in the future that winds up having dozens of late Hall of Famers remembered this way. Done well, it will ensure that our province’s most important athletes, coaches, builders, pioneers, media and teams will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.

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, including the Sports Hall’s own Hero in You programs. 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.