MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT: SCOTT WATERS
2016 is sure to be an exciting and a historic year, marking the 50th anniversary of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF). Celebrations are currently underway, having officially begun in January with the first of our 12 Months, 12 Events initiative. The SSHF is also planning a Traveling Exhibit, scheduled to visit dozens of communities across Saskatchewan between July and October. More details will be announced in spring, 2016.
The 50th anniversary celebration culminates September 30, 2016 with a formal gala, along with other events. Full details of the 50th anniversary celebrations will be updated regularly on the SSHF’s website at www.sasksportshalloffame.com. While the 50th anniversary celebrations are currently at the forefront, we also remain focused on regular day-to-day operations and are busy planning many other exciting events for 2017 and beyond. As mentioned in an earlier message the SSHF has undergone great transition and improvements in recent years, and the staff and Board of Directors remain focused on providing visitor enhancements to the SSHF, and continuing to deliver a great product to our members and to the public at-large.
I would like to formally welcome a new member to the Board of Directors, and also acknowledge and thank two long-serving members of the Board who recently resigned. Joining the board is Kevin Dureau of Regina. We look forward to working with Kevin and are excited about the passion, experience and perspective he will bring to the organization. I would also like to thank two board members who recently stepped down; Vance McNab and Hugh Vassos, who completed four and eleven years of service, respectively. During their tenure each contributed greatly to the SSHF, serving on several committees and in various roles, with Hugh Vassos recently serving as President and then as Past President of the SSHF.
The Board of Directors and staff of the SSHF held their annual retreat January 8th and 9th at Manitou Springs Resort and Mineral Spa at Manitou Beach. Much was accomplished and a good time was had by all. We had the added delight of being joined for lunch by SSHF inductee Leroy Coates and his wife, Marlene (pictured) who currently reside in nearby Watrous.
On behalf of the SSHF Board of Directors I would like to wish you the best for the remainder of the winter season and upcoming spring season. Please stay in touch and stay connected with the SSHF (and encourage friends and family to do the same) through our Social Media channels.
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12 MONTHS, 12 EVENTS: HOCKEY DAY IN SASKATCHEWAN
Throughout 2016, the SSHF will be selecting one special event each month to feature in our “12 Months, 12 Events” 50th anniversary project – dedicated to all 505 of our inductees and Saskatchewan’s rich sport history. Our first event of the year served to celebrate Hockey Day in Saskatchewan.
A day of celebration began at the SSHF, with the arrival of inductee Ed Staniowski. Ed flew in from Ontario for the event, and was gracious enough to spend the entire day with the SSHF staff. The day’s activities began at 11:00am when Global Regina came to interview Ed as the first in a series of 12 Player Profiles that they will run throughout the year as part of our 50th celebration. Ed then visited his former high school, Martin Collegiate, where he had the chance to speak with young hockey players enrolled in the Academy. The day concluded with an event at Peak Performance Hockey, which included a Fan Forum featuring three members of the 1974 Memorial Cup winning Regina Pats: Staniowski, Kim MacDougall and Drew Callander. Former Pats Captain, Frank Kovacs, and Pats Alumni, Kyle Ross, also joined as panelists.
It was a great night filled with memories, reconnecting and reminiscing. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to help celebrate our 50th, watch for our next 12 Months, 12 Events announcement on social media!
SSHF RECIEVES SPONSORSHIP FROM INFORMATION SERVICES CORPORATION (ISC)
We are very pleased to announce our newest All Star sponsor, ISC – an organization that passionately supports initiatives that preserve and promote the rich heritage of Saskatchewan.
As the safe keeper of historical documents like land grants, titles, maps and photos, ISC recognizes the importance of preserving Saskatchewan history.
“Heritage is how we came to be, who we are today and what we will become in the future,” said Jeff Stusek, ISC President and CEO. “It’s our business to preserve and celebrate heritage, and it’s also our responsibility. That’s why the partnership with the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame is such a good fit for ISC.”
ISC’s sponsorship is already making an impact at the SSHF. With the help of their generosity, six multi-media monitors have been installed in the galleries. These monitors allow us to create multi-media presentations, providing for expanded exhibit capabilities of the collection, which our physical space doesn’t allow for. Current feature exhibits all benefit from this new presentation format, which has also greatly enhanced our interactive visitor experience.
“On behalf of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, I would like to thank Information Services Corporation for entering into a partnership with the SSHF,” said Scott Waters, SSHF Board President. “A partnership between ISC and the SSHF will further the preservation and celebration of sport and sport heritage in Saskatchewan.”
SSHF WINS THIRD “ISHY” IN FIVE YEARS
We are pleased to announce that The Spirit of ’89: Memories from the 1989 Jeux Canada Summer Games, co-published by the SSHF and The 1989 Jeux Canada Games Foundation, has been awarded an “ISHY” from the International Sports Heritage Association (ISHA) as the best book publication in the industry for institutions with a budget greater than $250,000 US.
Publications are adjudicated by our peers in the industry on the basis of how well they feature a member institution, collection, resources and/or inductees of the Hall of Fame.
The SSHF is dedicated to the celebration and interpretation of sport excellence and preserving the sport history of our province. One of the means by which we achieve our mandate is through our Sport History Project (SHP) which allows us to capture the history of organizations or events through different mediums. The Spirit of ’89 was produced under the auspices of the SHP and was written to capture the history of a major sporting event in Saskatchewan and Canada; to showcase the spirit of the people of Saskatoon in hosting the Games; and to commemorate the significant legacy components of the Games. Not only did the Canada Games leave Saskatoon with a wealth of facilities after the Games, the prudent financial stewardship of the Games resulted in a net profit of $1,319,663 from a $24 million+ budget. These funds, invested wisely, have resulted in $100,000 worth of grants being distributed annually to amateur sport programs throughout Saskatchewan resulting in the continued development of sport and providing opportunities to future world class athletes. The legacy of the Games continues.
Ironically, in capturing the history of the 1989 Jeux Canada Games, The Spirit of ’89 also captured historical anecdotes for a number of our hall of famers. Forty-two inductees, out of 498 at the time of publication, are represented in the book.
The ISHY Awards were announced at ISHA’s annual conference hosted by the World of Little League Museum in Williamsport, PA, in October 2015.
ISHA is a membership organization incorporated in 1971 to assist sport museums and halls of fame to develop, operate and promote their facilities in the best way possible. Member institutions are currently located throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia and New Zealand.
Photo: Collection of two previous “ISHY” Awards, next to a copy of “The Spirit of ’89: Memories from the 1989 Jeux Canada Summer Games”, which was awarded a third “ISHY” for the SSHF. Photo courtesy of the SSHF archives.
TWO NEW EXHIBITS NOW OPEN: “EXCEPTIONALLY-ABLED” AND “INDUCTEES THROUGH THE DECADES”
Our newest exhibit in Gallery 3, “Exceptionally-Abled”, is officially open to the public! On display until April 4th is a celebration of the accomplishments made by athletes with disabilities. This exhibit features sport-specific displays with everything from wheelchair tennis, to para water skiing, para athletics and so much more.
Our feature Gallery has also been given a facelift. To celebrate all of our wonderful inductees throughout 2016, a rotating display has been installed in Gallery 1. “Inductees Through the Decades” will rotate every three months to display the inductees from each decade: 60s/70s, 80s, 90s, 00/10s.
Come in during our regular gallery hours to marvel at these amazing artifacts! Don’t wait, many of the artifacts in Gallery 3 have been graciously loaned to us, and may not be on display at the Hall again!
For more information on our exhibits, please visit our website: http://sasksportshalloffame.com/exhibits/
Photos: Left – A close up of the Sochi case featured in our “Exceptionally-Abled” exhibit. Right – A panoramic view of Gallery 3. Photos courtesy of the SSHF archives.
Congratulations are extended to the following honoured members of the SSHF, who have been announced as part of the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame’s 2016 Induction Class.
Orland Kurtenbach (1957 Flin Flon Bombers – Hockey 2009 and Athlete – Hockey 2012) a double inductee of the SSHF, Kurtenbach was the inaugural captain for the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks from 1970 until his retirement in 1974. Since retiring from the game, Kurtenbach found a passion for coaching, and became the first Canucks player inducted into the teams’ Ring of Honour.
Robert “Bob” Turner (1974 Regina Pats – Hockey 1980 and Athlete – Hockey 1994) fellow SSHF double inductee, a native of Regina, Saskatchewan, Turner spent time with the Regina Capitals of the Saskatchewan Senior Hockey League before transitioning to the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League. Turner is one of only 12 players who was with the Canadiens for all five of their consecutive Stanley Cup victories. After retiring in 1964, Turner returned to his home town, where he coached the Regina Pats for nine years, leading the team to a Memorial Cup victory in 1974.
Dwight McMillan (1984 Weyburn Red Wings – Hockey 1995) is being honored for his historic involvement with the Weyburn Red Wings Hockey Club. After playing with the club during their inaugural year in 1961, McMillan would eventually become the team’s head coach in 1972. Although he missed a few years over nearly four decades of involvement, McMillan coached the team for 25 years straight, and became one of a very select group of individuals in all of hockey to record 1000 wins.
Terry O’Malley (1968 Canada’s Men’s Hockey Team Saskatchewan Participants – Hockey 1980), inducted to the SSHF as a team member of the 1968 Canadian Olympic Hockey team, O’Malley is being inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame because of his contributions as a builder. O’Malley spent 23 years at the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame as a coach, teacher and administrator, helping to shape the careers of many student-athletes.
1983-84 Weyburn Red Wings Hockey Club (Hockey – 1995), one of the teams that McMillan coached is also being recognized by the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame. The 1984 Red Wings captured three titles in just one season, winning the Provincial, Western Canadian and National Championships.
1956-57 Flin Flon Bombers Junior Hockey Team (Hockey – 2009), in what became an instant classic, the ’57 Flin Flon Bombers defeated the Ottawa Canadiens in a seven-game series to win the Memorial Cup. Numerous players from the squad went on to have professional careers in hockey including Mel Pearson, Teddy Hampson, Patty Ginnell, George Konik, Duane Rupp, Jean Gauthier and fellow 2016 inductee Orland Kurtenbach.
Photo: Right – The 1957 Flin Flon Bombers celebrating their Memorial Cup Win. Photo courtesy of SSHF archives.
The members of the Board and staff extend their sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Del, Bert, Don and Sam.
Del Wilson (1974 Regina Pats – Hockey 1980 and Builder – Hockey 2010), a double inductee of the SSHF, co-founder of the WHL and instrumental General Manager of the Regina Pats, Wilson was widely recognized in the hockey community. Wilson will always be remembered for his incredible contributions to junior hockey, he passed away November 5, 2015 at the age of 88.
Bert Olmstead (Hockey – 1998), a decorated hockey player from Sceptre, Saskatchewan, Olmstead played in 11 Stanley Cup finals, winning five Cups – four with the Montreal Canadiens and one with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Known in the hockey world as “Dirty Bertie” because of his aggressive playing style, Olmstead was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985. He passed away on November 16, 2015 at the age of 89.
Don Brownell (1954 Bayne Secord Saskatoon Technical Collegiate Curling Team – 1998), a farm boy from Delisle, Saskatchewan, Brownell led his curling team, alongside Stan Austman (second), Ken Moir (coach), Don Snyder (third) and Bayne Secord (skip), to the National School Boys Championship in 1954. Brownell recently celebrated his sixtieth wedding anniversary in October. He passed away on January 11, 2016 at the age of 80.
Garnet “Sam” Richardson (Curling – 1973), known for his talent on the ice, Sam was one quarter of the famous Richardson Curlers, along with Wes, Arnie and Ernie. Sam also had the unique ability to captivate an audience and was a highly sought-after guest speaker. He passed away on January 21, 2016 at the age of 82.
March 21 – World Women’s Curling Championships Special Event: From March 19-27, Swift Current will be home to the 2016 Ford World Women’s Curling Championships. This marks the second time that the Championships will be held in Swift Current. Speedy Creek also hosted the tournament in 2010, and efforts were made shortly after to bring the tournament back because of its success. With 43 curling inductees recognized at the SSHF, every effort will be made to bring many of them together to be part of the Championships, and celebrate the SSHF’s 50th on March 21.
April 14-17 – Keystone Cup Junior B Hockey Championships: Since the Cup’s inception, 2016 represents the first time this prestigious championship has been decided in Regina. The Extreme Hockey Regina Capitals will be hosting the 2016 Keystone Cup at the Co-operators Centre from April 14-17. Since 1983 the Keystone Cup has been awarded to the top junior B team from Western Canada and Northwestern Ontario. In total, 14 of our inductees have a connection to what is now the Prairie Junior Hockey League. The SSHF would like to celebrate these inductees through a number of initiatives to be hosted at the Co-operators Centre during April 14-17, 2016. Stay tuned for more details.
April & May – Heritage Fairs: The SSHF is extremely excited to be involved in the Heritage Fairs held throughout the province this year. For the first time in the history of the Fairs, a Sports specific award is being presented to a student during each Regional Fair (Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Swift Current), and at the Provincial Fair held in Regina. We are thrilled about the opportunity for a standalone Sports Award and look forward to involving inductees in the presentation and judging of the awards.
June 1 – Annual General Meeting: All members of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame are welcome to attend the AGM.
September 30 – 50th Anniversary Gala: Save the date! You won’t want to miss our 50th Anniversary Gala. More details will be announced shortly.
Throughout our 50th anniversary the primary goal of the SSHF is to celebrate our inductees and showcase their back stories and accomplishments for the people of Saskatchewan. One very unique opportunity presented itself when Menagerie Productions and playwright, Maureen Ulrich, proposed a one-act, one-woman play featuring the Saskatchewan connection to the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League as a project to be pursued through the SSHF’s Sport History grant. With the support of Softball Saskatchewan, Women in Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation, and Saskatchewan Lotteries the project has become a reality. Here is Maureen’s back story to this unique 50th anniversary project.
DIAMOND GIRLS: DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH
Writing a one-act, one-woman show about the rise and fall of a baseball league is challenging, especially when eighteen players plus officials, fans, and coaches are required to play an actual game. Diamond Girls focuses on the involvement of three Saskatchewan women – Arleene Johnson Noga, Mary Baker, and Daisy Junor – who participated in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) during the 1940’s.
My relationship with Diamond Girls began with a Leader-Post article about a dedication to Mary Baker at Central Park, Regina. A League of Their Own is one of my favourite movies – and I wanted to learn more about the role Mary and other Saskatchewan women played in the AAGPBL.
It has been thrilling and sobering to get to know them through nonfiction books, newspaper and magazine articles, yearbooks, letters, photographs, and interviews with their families and Arleene herself. Mary, Arleene, and Daisy not only played in the AAGPBL – they were stars. Furthermore they didn’t stop competing when their pro baseball careers ended.
I deeply regret never starting down this path sixteen years ago when I first met Arleene – when many of the Saskatchewan ladies were still alive – but it simply did not occur to me. Nevertheless, Arleene, who played ball for six decades, has lost none of her passion or loyalty towards a league that sent her on countless road trips, many miles from home, to play in front of thousands of fans and set fielding records. In sportswriter Ned Powers’ words, “There are a few women who could play a position as well as a man, and Arleene was one of them.” Yes, Arleene has fueled my fire to get these three characters on stage as quickly as possible.
My first draft merely told their stories, but over time their competitive, vibrant, baseball savvy personalities have emerged, showing the audience how unique their experiences truly were. A process of continual revision has begun, as each word of dialogue and direction is carefully considered. How can I provide actress Colleen Sutton (RiderGirl) with the tools she needs to create clear and lasting images in the minds of her audience? After all she will be roleplaying multiple characters in a variety of settings – baseball diamonds and hotel rooms, even a television game show. Naturally I will lean heavily on Colleen’s comedic and dramatic expertise. It is our goal to make every “inning” of Diamond Girls (yes, there are nine!) funny, gritty, enlightening, or poignant.
Like the AAGPBL teams, Diamond Girls will be on the road most of the summer. Therefore, the set design must be minimal. Projections will be used at the beginning of the play both to create nostalgia and to acquaint the audience with the faces of all 25 Saskatchewan players. Two AAGPBL uniforms will be fabricated, as damage or loss of this important element would be devastating.
We are four months away from our first rehearsal in Estevan, but the groundwork for a solid, accurate, and entertaining story is slowly and carefully being laid. We hope you will see Diamond Girls if it travels to a community near yours. If you are interested in hosting a performance, please contact me or Sheila Kelly, as the tour schedule is still evolving.
I am indebted to the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF), the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Softball Saskatchewan, Women in Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation, and Saskatchewan Lotteries for their enthusiastic assistance and support. I especially look forward to helping the SSHF celebrate its 50th anniversary year.
Maureen Ulrich firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Tour Locations and Dates
Estevan (Souris Valley Theatre) – June 2016 (exact dates TBA)
Regina Fringe Festival – July 6-10
Weyburn (Tommy Douglas Performing Arts Centre) – June 27
Winnipeg Fringe Festival – July 13-24
Assiniboia (Olympia Theatre) – June 28
Edmonton Fringe Festival – August 11-21
Regina (The Artesian) – June 30
Saskatoon (Broadway Theatre) August 28