By Nolan Kowal, Sport Performance Specialist
It’s April, and that means the annual selection process is underway to decide who will be honoured at the next induction ceremonies later this fall. Here’s a little sneak peek into what goes on during the spring each year at the Hall of Fame.
First, nominations are submitted through our website by April 1st. Once new nominations have been gathered and vetted for accuracy and detail, the Hall of Fame staff prepares selection binders with condensed bios on each athlete, builder, athlete/builder and team that is being considered for that given year.
Two volunteer Selection Committees are then tasked with looking at the nominations.The first, chaired by Dr. Jan Brown, is the Veteran Selection & Research Committee and it looks at athletes and teams (and a few builders and athlete/builders) that wrote their resumes at least 40+ years ago.
They meet and discuss and make recommendations to the regular Selection Committee, chaired by Blake Fitzpatrick. This committee consists of some 15 people with representation from the sport media, other sport-specific halls of fame, past inducted members of our hall of fame, and four representatives elected by the Provincial Sport organizations (PSOs) who serve three year terms.
The Chair is also allowed to appoint a couple of people to ensure things like gender equity, diversity and a broader representation of different sport knowledge, both amateur and professional.
This committee gets their binders for a few weeks ahead of the actual meeting to read up on the candidates and comes prepared with short-lists for each category. Voting and discussion takes place at a meeting(s) that can last two-three hours until a consensus is agreed upon for the new slate of inductees.
The Board of Directors ratifies the slate at the June Annual General Meeting and the inductees are contacted by the Chair with the good news.
A media conference is then held to announce the class and the staff spends the summer getting to know the inductees, gathering their memorabilia along with photos and videos, and preparing for November’s show.
The Selection Committee changes up one or two people every year or so to ensure a variety of opinions sit within the group. It’s been a system evolving for four decades and produces great inductee slates every year!