By Sam Cortes, Communications Coordinator
See ya never, 2021! Many people would be happy to put the past year in the rearview mirror and never look back.
It’s easy to see and focus on the negative impact the pandemic has had on many, including our organization, but I thought it would be better to look back at the incredible positive developments we’ve had this year at the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.
New Decades Gallery in Our Museum
We officially opened our new and improved gallery on September 7, 2021. After a year of careful planning, the public finally got to come and enjoy the many amazing artefacts and stories we love to showcase on a daily basis.
We’ve seen over 100 people visit our gallery since then, and they all leave with a smile on their face with many saying they’d love to check it out again soon.
The gallery now features QR code technology that tells visual stories of our honoured members and illustrates their amazing sports careers in an impactful way. We then digitized our text into audio files, making it more accessible to the public.
We also extended our scope and discussed significant events and topics that are important to and have an impact on sport in Manitoba, including politics, women in sport, BIPOC in sport, the Olympics, the emergence of professional sports leagues, and our commitment to the sport-specific Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
This was all done to compliment the new paint job and the expansion to include the 2010s+ decade gallery!
Live Induction Dinner
This was really important for us this year. After the 2020 live induction was cancelled, half of that inductee class had to wait another year before we could officially make them honoured members of the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame on November 4, 2021.
Choosing not to have an induction class of 2021, we moved to a hybrid-style event, where we inducted half of the class of 2020 at the November dinner and will induct the other half at the 2022 Night of Champions.
This event turned into a massive success, even with all the added COVID-19 measures put in place to make it a safe and stress-free zone!
The inductees shared their amazing tales of triumph with family and friends, and the audience was treated to some excellent banter in the process.
“Despite the many challenges this pandemic posed to a live event, I am proud of the volunteers and staff for their extraordinary efforts in staging a live, in-person induction ceremony when most of the rest of the country was going virtual for their Class of 2020,” said Rick Brownlee, Executive Director of the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.
“It was a smaller, safer evening that was cherished by the inductees and their families and friends. And thanks to Manitoba Liquor Marts as the presenting sponsor and to Sport Manitoba for all their support in making it a reality. [We’re] looking forward to inducting the rest of the Class of 2020 in April of 2022 at Night of Champions.”
Thanks to this generosity, we skyrocketed past our Patron donor budget by 40 per cent, which has eased some of the hardships we’ve faced over the last two years.
With this, we were able to continue to operate in our community, keep our gallery open, and work on some new initiatives so we can better showcase and celebrate sport in our province. This is a huge win for us!
One of those programs we are working on is geared toward educating our younger audience on our tremendous sports history.
We’ve worked on developing sports-themed lesson plans that compliment school curriculums, so that we can bring our content to schools!
To all you teachers out there looking to spice up your lesson planning and want to bring some inspirational education to your class, we would be more than happy to visit and share our content with you!
Even though the ups and downs of 2021, we do encourage you to look back at the positive steps you have taken this year and move forward with your best year yet in 2022!