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Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum

Alberta loses a sporting legend and an educational leader

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Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Inductee Jim Donlevy passes away

As a football coach he was a national champ and an absolute institution at the University of Alberta.   But it’s likely that Jim Donlevy may actually have made an even bigger impact in hockey where he was instrumental in the formation of the post secondary scholarship system in Junior Hockey. Jim was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame just a few months ago.  

His brother Michael is a long time Red Deer resident and recently retired from a brilliant career of his own at Red Deer College.   Here’s what Michael shared with friends after the death of his oldest brother:

Early Sunday, we lost an amazing individual in Jim Donlevy. A great husband, father, uncle and Grandpa – and my oldest brother. He was a friend and mentor to me over many years in my career and in life, who encouraged all of what I did. I was and remain deeply proud of what he accomplished, benefiting so many people and am very grateful that Jim was properly recognized this year, with his induction into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame. Jim was a coach and dedicated educator, totally committed to teaching, learning and student athletes.  He leaves an incredible legacy and all of us will miss him dearly.

Here’s Jim Donlevy’s Alberta Sports Hall of Fame induction video.

‘Jim’ Donlevy devoted his professional career to more than 50 years of coaching, teaching and administrative leadership. His career in football began in 1954 coaching Bantam and High School Football teams. He joined the Edmonton Huskies from 1961 to 1963 and won two Canadian titles. At the University of Alberta, he led the Golden Bears to four National Championship games and brought home the Vanier Cup in 1972 and 1980. He had the most wins of any Golden Bears football coach with 89 wins, 69 losses and 3 ties. From 1993 to 2015, Jim was the Western Hockey League’s Education Consultant. He built a formal education and scholarship program for the student athletes playing in the league. It is now considered one of the most comprehensive education programs for hockey in the world today.

Please consider sharing this inspirational story on your own social media channels so others can learn about and enjoy Alberta’s rich sports history. Click here for more inspirational stories from the Class of 2019.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

When Sports Stopped – Timely new exhibit at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

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New feature exhibit examines “When Sports Stopped.”

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic Albertans have been adapting to one change after another with little idea when things will return to “normal”. We are living through a historic time. It began with the closing of museums, schools and daycares – forcing families to stay home and employers to accommodate employees working from home. Soon after we saw the closure of businesses and non-essential stores – once more pushing us to stay home and stay safe. Then came the cancellation of sports – from minor leagues where our children competed, to the profeissional leagues suspending play. This was a shock to our systems as we were gearing up for NHL and NBA playoffs and MLB pre-season games.

“I was just about to return to work from my maternity leave when COVID struck and sports stopped. It made me stop and think about what other global events have caused sports to stop? If I was asking these questions then so were many other people.” Comments Breanna Suk, Collections and Exhibit Coordinator. “I came back to work in May with this exhibit already forming in my mind. It got pushed back as we had bigger priorities when I first returned, so seeing it all come together seven months later is a great feeling.”

This new exhibition examines the effects of global events from the Spanish Flu through both World Wars and right up to COVID had on sports. It may seem likely that the postponement of the Utah Jazz – Oklahoma City Thunder NBA game just minutes before tip-off due to Rudy Gobert’s positive COVID test and the subsequent suspension of many professional leagues was a new occurrence. This exhibit highlights multiple past occurrences where international events have brought a stop to sports.

This exhibition is expected to be on display in the museum’s main gallery starting November 20, 2020. Be sure to stop in and see it for yourself.

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Alberta

Celebrating Veterans Week 2020 at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

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In honour of Veterans Week 2020 and the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame would like to highlight some of our Honoured Members who served in the armed forces, and those who stepped up to fill the roles left behind by our men in uniform.

We have set up several of our panels from a past exhibit “Victory on the Field” in our lobby, which more closely looks at sports’ response to the wars, as well as the rise of women’s sports due to men being called overseas to fight.

This mini-exhibition is available to view free of charge for all visitors and reflects on the impact of the two world wars.

The November “Artifact of the Month” has ties to wartime sports as well. This wool sweater belonged to Helen (Northup) Alexander c. 1939 of the famous Edmonton Commercial Graduates Basketball team, who were World Champions from 1937 -1940. They were forced to disband in 1940 when the Edmonton Arena was taken over by the Royal Canadian Air Force, leaving the Grads with nowhere to play.


Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram as from November 5-12 we will showcase six different Honoured Members who were connected to the Second World War.

From soldiers fighting on the front lines, women who embraced sports for entertainment left vacant by the war efforts, to citizens displaced due to their heritage, each of them gave something of themselves as a result of the war.

The board and staff of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum are proud of all our brave men and women who fight and have fought for our freedom and safety both at home and abroad.

Lest we Forget.

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november, 2020

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