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Eric Whitehead, founder of the BC Sports Hall of Fame

OUR HISTORY

The BC Sports Hall of Fame was founded in 1966 by the late Eric Whitehead and a group of sport minded individuals. Their goal was to establish a permanent tribute honouring BC’s outstanding athletes, teams and builders of sport.

May 31, 1966 – The BC Sports Hall of Fame is incorporated as a Society under the Province of British Columbia’s Societies Act.

August 1966 – The BC Sports Hall of Fame officially opens, located in the BC Pavilion on the Pacific National Exhibition grounds. The Hall is established by a grant from the British Columbia Centennial Sports Committee.

August 1966 – An initial induction of 34 BC athletes into the Hall of Fame occurs. A yearly nomination process inducts a maximum of five athletes or builders from this point on.

April 1968 – The first annual BC Sports Hall of Fame Banquet of Champions held.

October 1971- The BC Sports Hall of Fame officially opens its new home on the PNE grounds.

January 24, 1971 – The BC Sports Hall of Fame officially changes its name to the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum under the Societies Act.

May 1977 – The BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum institutes the induction of outstanding British Columbian teams for the first time with an initial induction of five BC teams in both 1977 and 1978.

November 1980 – The ‘Neglected Heritage’ school program established.
1981 – The “C.H. (Chuck) Wills Memorial Library,” a new research and resource library is created.

May 1981 – An award honouring BC Premier W.A.C. Bennett is established, known as the “W.A.C. Bennett Award”. The purpose of this award is to recognize outstanding individuals who have made a significant contribution to sport in British Columbia, but who would not otherwise qualify for induction into the Hall of Fame. The late Terry Fox is the inaugural winner of this prestigious honour.

August 1983 – The “BC at the Olympics” exhibition opens honouring BC’s past Olympians.

July 1990 – Construction begins on new BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum to be located in BC Place Stadium.

1991- 25th anniversary of the establishment of the BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.

May 1992 – Official Dedication of the BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum’s new 20,000 square foot facility at BC Place Stadium.

May 1993 – The 25th annual Banquet of Champions is held at the Hotel Vancouver, where the late Eric Whitehead (1915-1993) is honoured for his work in establishing the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 1966.

May 1994 – The Jack Farley Youth Sports Achievement Awards are awarded, for the first time, at the annual Banquet of Champions. Two annual scholarships of $1,500 are awarded to amateur athletes looking to pursue post-secondary education in BC.

October 1995 – 12 new chronological sport history galleries officially open, outlining BC’s sporting past decade by decade from the 1860’s to the 1990’s.

April 1998 – Media members are eligible for induction into the BC Sports Hall of Fame for the first time. In addition, the new ‘Pioneer’ category is created to honour BC’s early contributors to sport.

December 2003 – The “Olympic Inspirations” exhibit opens honouring BC Olympic medal winners.

March 2004 – The ‘Hero In You’ education program is launched.

March 2006 – The new 2000s Gallery officially opens to the public.

May 2006 – First annual Honoured Members Luncheon takes place at the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

February 2007 – Gallery celebrating the career and life of race car driver Greg Moore opens.

June 2008 – Aboriginal Sport Gallery and the 2010 Display opens.

May 2009 – First annual “Inspiring the Future” event is held in conjunction with Honoured Members Luncheon. The event embraces the Jack Farley Award Scholarship and Karen Magnussen Foundation bursary presentations.

June 2009 – Hero In You® on-line education program reaches over 1,300 registered teachers.

August 2009 – BC Sport Heritage Program launched.

January 2010 – Go Canucks Go, the temporary exhibit opens.

February 2010 – BC Sports Hall of Fame welcomes the world for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

April 2010 – BC Sports Hall of Fame not open to the public due to the construction of BC Place’s new roof.

May 2010 – BC Sports Hall of Fame launches BC Sports Hall of Fame community experience.

November 2010 – BC Sports Hall of Fame launches new Go Canucks Go Hero In You® unit.

January 2011 – Hero In You® on-line education program reaches over 1,500 registered teachers.

November 2011 – BC Sports Hall of Fame re-opens to the public within BC Place Stadium