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Alberta

Could our sports history be … history?

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5 minute read

Could our sports history be … history?

What began as a simple question was turned suddenly into a discouraging truth. The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame has not received any support from the provincial government this year and no discussions have been held about when – or if – the money might arrive.

The question was: “What chance is there that the annual banquet (postponed because of COVID-19) will be staged before the end of 2020?” Tracey Kinsella, who became executive director of the Hall last summer, responded that many existing lockdown issues would have to be cleared up, and some funding would be required. Then she pointed out that the Hall of Fame, which sits on the edge of Red Deer and has honoured athletes and sportsmen for decades, has been operating without funds. And she also pointed out that she has had little communication to date with any government representative about the cost of staying in business.

Given those simple facts, it takes no large dose of imagination to see the possibility that the Hall of Fame, which sits on the edge of Red Deer and has honoured athletes and sportsmen for decades, will not exist much longer. Alberta’s annual contribution is a mere $302,000,  peanuts in the budget of any provincial government.

Of course, this is not just ANY government. It has bigger problems than most. The United Progressive Conservative government is locked in vital struggles over billions of resource revenue and thousands of jobs. Before the coronavirus interfered, facing a debt level already out of control, the UPC dismantled the Alberta Sports Connection board of governors, which provided years of experience in administration, public service and fund-raising, then oversaw the dismissal of at least one high-ranked staff member who served ASC with integrity for more than 25 years.

Moves to fill those gaps, if any, have been made in silence.

To put the record straight, this reporter spent five years as chair of ASC, the last two under control of an NDP  minister so disinterested he once told hundreds of Leduc residents, “you know, of course, that I’m not in politics because I care about sports.” My term ended on schedule, before the UPC was elected.

In times like these, where major issues such as COVID-19 collect almost every available ounce of governmental focus, it is easy to look beyond issues that supposedly don’t matter. But, if provincial history and recognition of many who have contributed is important, some attention must be paid soon.

Kinsella, who has been involved in sport as an administrator and unpaid supporter for years, replaced veteran Donna Hately. She entered with enthusiastic ideas about “investments in the Hall.” Her concept would provide entertainment and education for youngsters while also upgrading the building, completed in 1997.

In recent years, she said, attendance at the annual induction banquet had not been “any kind of money-maker.” Other funds were raised in the annual Hall of Fame golf tournament. “Now, we’re doing whatever is necessary” as she looks toward the future. “I think we can get by at this level for about a year and a half, but it won’t be easy.”

Initially, the Hall of Fame induction banquet was scheduled for May 29. To be recognized whenever a date can be set are four athletes, three builders and two to share the Bell Memorial Award for media excellence, as well as individual Achievement, Pioneer and Legacy Award winners. Click for this year’s inductee’s. 

Click here to make a donation to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

Editor’s note:  John is an Alberta Hall of Fame member, inducted in 1988 with the Bell Memorial Award for media excellence. 

Click to read more of John’s stories.

Todayville has a many stories about the inductees over the past few years.  Since 2017, we have produced a video of each inductee.  Click here to find some amazing stories. 

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Alberta

Garland, Hall each score in 3rd as Coyotes beat Preds 4-1

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EDMONTON — Conor Garland and Taylor Hall each scored in the third period and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Nashville Predators 4-1 Wednesday.

Now the Coyotes, seeded 11th in the West in the NHL’s restart, can eliminate the sixth-seeded Predators in Game 4 on Friday in this best-of-five qualifying series.

Christian Dvorak scored on Arizona’s first shot of the game, and Coyotes scored three in the third for the victory capped by Carl Soderberg’s empty-netter inside the final two minutes.

The Predators thought they had a 2-1 lead 1:13 into the third period on a goal by Kyle Turris, but the Coyotes won their challenge of offside with Nashville centre Matt Duchene found over the blue line on review. Turris later hit the post with 6:19 left.

Garland put the Coyotes ahead to stay with his wrister from the slot at 7:08 of the third. Hall padded the lead with 4:22 left with his first goal of the series on a snap shot from the left circle. The Coyotes had been 1-of-9 on the man advantage through the first two games.

Goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 39 saves for the victory in his third start in four games and second in as many days.

Viktor Arvidsson scored Nashville’s lone goal.

The Coyotes stuck with Kuemper in net with Antti Raanta out. Raanta apparently was hurt during warmups Tuesday and left the Coyotes bench during the second period.

The Predators dominated the first five minutes putting shot after shot on Kuemper. Then Niklas Hjalmarsson took a shot on net that Dvorak redirected past Juuse Saros at 5:09 of the first, giving Arizona a 1-0 lead. Kuemper made 19 saves in the first period, setting a franchise record for most saves in a period of a playoff game.

Arizona captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson went to the locker room after being hit by Predators forward Austin Watson at 6:28 of the second.

Barely a minute later, Nashville finally scored for the first tie at any point of this series. The Coyotes turned it over in the neutral zone with Predators forward Filip Forsberg feeding the puck to Arvidsson, and he put a slap shot under Kuemper’s blocker at 7:31 of the second tying it up at 1-1.

Nashville went on the power play less than a minute after Turris’ goal was overturned. Kuemper came out of the net to stop a shot from Arvidsson in the slot. Then Derek Stepan clanked the puck off the crossbar on a short-handed try.

Notes: Kuemper topped the previous mark of 18 saves in a playoff period held by Sean Burke, Ilya Bryzgalov and Mike Smith. … This was the ninth time Kuemper has started games on back-to-back games. He had been 5-3 with a .939 save percentage and 1.85 goals-against average in the second game. … This was the first back-to-back playoff games for Nashville since Games 2 and 3 of the first-round against Detroit in 2004.

UP NEXT

Game 4 is Friday.

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

The Associated Press

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Alberta

Alberta government announces $48M to support homeless during pandemic

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EDMONTON — The Alberta government has announced $48 million in funding for shelters and community organizations that have been serving homeless people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money is on top of $25 million announced in March.

Minister of Community and Social Services Rajan Sawhney says details on how the funds will be spent are forthcoming.

But she says the money means isolation and care centres can continue to shelter people who are sick with, or have been exposed to, COVID-19 and have nowhere else to go.

Sawhney also says overflow shelter spaces will be needed to ensure there is adequate physical distancing, especially once the weather gets colder.

She says there are no plans to reactivate emergency satellite shelters at convention centres in Calgary and Edmonton that wound down earlier this summer.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on August 5, 2020

The Canadian Press

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