Thursday, March 31, 2016

CIES Visits Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

CIES recently took several of its clients to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in Calgary Olympic Park and what a grand visit it was. It stands as a symbol of rich and storied Canadian culture and easily reminds one of just how ingrained sports are into the life of a Canadian.

When newcomers arrive in Canada they are often caught off guard at how much time we spend talking about sports, how many people and their kids participate in at least one sport if not several, and how pro teams like the Flames and the Stampeders are on the front page of the newspapers and mean so much to so many people

From cheering for Canada’s Summer and Winter Olympic athletes, to learning how to play new sports, to making new friends at their own or their children’s sporting events, new citizens often talk of how their involvement in sports makes them feel very much connected to Canadian life. Sports are clearly more than just sport here in Canada. They have the ability to connect people from different heritages and ethnicities, while providing a safe environment to explore different cultures.

For newcomers to Canada, playing and even watching sports with native or more established Canadians provides the chance to share and engage in discussions about Canada’s culture and history, helping them learn more about Canadian society and feel more at home with each passing game. And when Canadians take an interest in the sports new citizens have a passion for, sports becomes a powerful way to unite us all.

The story of a national hall of fame originally opened in Toronto on August 24, 1955 and featured the symbolic lighting of a flame that became the central image for Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame’s logo. When the Hockey Hall of Fame came on the scene in 1957, the two Halls joined forces and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame relocated to the Administration Building/Press Building on CNE grounds. The two organizations co-habited this facility until the Hockey Hall of Fame moved in 1993 to its new location in Brookfield Place, downtown, Toronto, ON. After the Hockey Hall of Fame moved, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame closed and the prized collection of sport stories and artefacts was put in storage at the Stanley Barracks.

In 2008, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Board of Governors launched a national bid process to rejuvenate and grow Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame – to find a new home. Nine cities bid on this opportunity and Calgary was declared the successful city. Only a few months later, all three levels of government committed to fund the construction of a 40,000 square foot facility that would be built on the west side of Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.

The new Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame building opened July 1, 2011 – offering 40,000 square feet of space dedicated to preserving and celebrating Canada’s impressive and inspiring sport history. Inside the new building, visitors are able to visit 12 galleries representing 65 sports, experience 52 interactive visitor experiences, watch an 11-minute feature film highlighting great sport moments in the 120-seat Riddell Family Theatre, and learn about Canada’s sporting traditions and artefact, video and photo collections in the Education and Resource Centre. School programs are offered to local schools and a Virtual Distance Learning Program is being developed for students and communities across Canada to ensure all citizens can experience this national treasure. For more pictures of the day's visit CLICK HERE.

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