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Olympic Champion Mark Tewksbury unveils new exhibit at Alberta Sports Hall of Fame – The Halftime Report

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New 2SLGBTQIA+ exhibit, ‘True to You in Sport’, unveiled in Hall of Fame Gallery

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame is thrilled to unveil our newest exhibit, “True to You in Sport”, which examines the journeys and challenges faced by four of our Honoured Members who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+.

Honoured Member Mark Tewksbury and his partner, Rob Mabee, were on hand on July 9th to help us officially unveil the display.

The exhibit features artifacts and stories from Mark as well as fellow Honoured Members Danielle Peers, Keely Brown, and Kessie Stefayk.

“Every person should have the ability to pursue their dreams without fear of discrimination or prejudice based on age, race, religion, gender, or sexual identity. Unfortunately, this is not the case,” says Breanna Suk, Collections and Exhibit Coordinator. “Many athletes have faced, and many still do, discrimination from sport organizations, team management, coaches and even fellow athletes for things they have no control over.”

Located in the Hall of Fame Gallery, “True to You in Sport” is open from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, and from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm on weekends and select holidays.

Look who recently stopped by the Hall

Legendary Medicine Hat Tigers announcer Bob Ridley swung by the Hall on July 9 to drop off two mini banners celebrating his call of the 4,000 Tigers game of his career.

One will be added to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame’s collection, while the other will go to Hockey Alberta’s Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame collection.

Greg Korbutt, son of Alberta Sports Hall of Fame visionary Orest Korbutt, was also by on July 9 to tour the Hall for the first time. Thanks for visiting, Greg!

Save the Date: Induction Banquet now scheduled for October 22 at RDC’s Arts Centre

We are excited to announce that the 2020 Induction Banquet, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, is now scheduled for Friday, October 22 at Red Deer College’s Arts Centre.

More details will be shared in the coming months.

Nominations are also now being accepted for next year’s class of inductees. The deadline for applications is October 29, 2021.

Visit https://www.albertasportshall.ca/nominate for more information.

Exciting changes on Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to announce some
exciting changes to our Board of Directors following the Annual General Meeting held on June 29.

We would like to welcome new Board Chair Dale Henwood and new Vice-Chair Leslie Sproule to their new positions. Don Oszli remains Treasurer, and Jack Neumann is staying on as Secretary.

Also joining the Board are Calgary’s Jasen Pratt and Innisfail’s Desmond Bouteiller. Both men come from an extensive sports background, including high development sports coaching.

This newsletter is sponsored by the Peavey Mart.

Honoured Member in Focus: Donald Lovo

Donald Lovo won several Provincial and National Archery Championships.

From 1962 to 1965, he was a member of Canada’s Elite International level team. He served as both Vice President and President of the Federation of Canadian Archers.

In 1968, Donald Lovo became the first Canadian to be recognized as an International Judge of Archery.

He has been awarded the Federation Internationale Target Archers gold and silver plaquettes and was honoured as Air Canada’s Official of the Year in 1984.

Provincial Sport Organization: Archery Alberta

Archery Alberta is the source for target, field, and 3D archery in Alberta.

Archery Alberta, the trade name of the ATAA (Alberta Target Archers Association), is the recognized Provincial Sports Association representing archery in Alberta.

Archery Alberta facilitates the development of the sport of archery by providing accessible opportunities for clubs and archers to participate in a broad range of programs across multiple disciplines to whatever level they choose.

The Olympic Flames light a fire in athletes

The tradition of the Olympic Flame is one that connects the modern Games with their ancient Greek heritage.

The ancient gift of the flame was said to give humanity a start towards civilization.

In the modern Olympic Games, it signifies of that same myth, an ode to the growth of civilization, and the ancient traditions of the Games.

The modern Olympic Flame tradition as we know it today dates to the 1928 Olympic Games when the first Olympic flame was lit.

Honoured Member Keely Brown joins Ringette Canada’s Junior National Team as assistant coach

Honoured Member Keely Brown is moving on up!

Ringette Canada announced on July 6 that Keely was joining the Junior National Team as an assistant coach working with the goalies.

Keely was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2018 as a ringette athlete. She played goal with Team Canada from 2000 – 2012 and is the longest-serving goaltender in the team’s history.

Congratulations, Keely!

Are you ready to take your dates to a whole, new level?

Our new Date Night Out Monthly Charity Auction officially gets underway tomorrow.

Head to https://trellis.org/monthly-date-night-auction for this month’s auction item, and check back regularly for new, exciting date options.

Golfers wanted!

We’re looking for sponsors and golfers for the Annual Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Golf Tournament, which tees off on Tuesday, September 14 at the Innisfail Golf Course. This season, we will be partnering with the Innisfail Eagles Hockey Team.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to support the preservation of Alberta sports by playing at one of the province’s crown jewels.

Call (403) 341-8614 or email [email protected]ca for more information.

Looking for fun and engaging programs for your kids this summer?

We will be hosting two camps this summer:July 19-23, 2021 & August 16-20, 2021. The sessions run from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm daily.

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame will be hosting two week-long summer camps with daily themed programming ranging from Healthy Active Living to All About Art and everything in between.

Register for a day or the whole week!

$30/ day or $125/week per child, Ages 6-12yrs.

Call 403-341-3814 to register your child today- Space is limited.

**Our decision-making process is based on directives given by the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services. As the COVID-19 situation progress over the next two months, so will our plans.**

Leave a legacy

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame needs your support to continue the ongoing preservation of Alberta’s sports history and the development of museum exhibits. We are grateful and appreciative of the generosity of our supporters and friends. We would be happy to assist you in choosing how your personal legacy will be fulfilled and the many options available. Here is some information on donating shares to ASHFM and the benefits to you as a donor.

Donate

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame provides a family-friendly, interactive experience. You will be surprised by what you discover inside! Have fun, laugh, play and discover Alberta sports heroes together. The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame is an interactive, hands-on celebration of Alberta's sporting history. Our over 7,000 square feet of exhibit space includes a multisport area with virtual baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer; an adaptive sports area, including a 200 meter wheelchair challenge; a Treadwall climbing wall; the Orest Korbutt Theatre; the Hall of Fame Gallery; an art gallery displaying works by provincial artists, and much more. Our venue boasts a collection of over 17,000 artefacts of Alberta sports history and showcases many of these items in a number of displays. The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame also offers an education program, group activities, and a unique environment to rent for your birthday party, special event, corporate reception or meetings.

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Battle of Alberta hockey allegiances split in Red Deer

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The old Crown and Anchor bar in Red Deer, Alta., was famous for its line drawn down the middle when hosting hockey fans during the fierce Battle of Alberta playoff games of the late-1980s.

Calgary Flames fans sat on one side. Edmonton Oilers fans were relegated to the other.

NHL allegiances are split in the city of just over 100,000 people that sits within a kilometre of the exact halfway point of the 300-kilometre drive along Hwy. 2 between Calgary and Edmonton.

The Flames host the Oilers in Game 1 to kick off the second round of the NHL playoffs on Wednesday, in a Battle of Alberta of proportions not seen in decades.

“To see both fan bases totally engaged in playoffs is something that has just never happened in a lot of people’s life times who are under the age of 40,” said Merrick Sutter, senior vice-president of the Red Deer Rebels, and nephew of Flames coach Darryl Sutter. “We see it every day in Red Deer, just the sheer nature of being exactly in the middle.”

While it marks the sixth time the two teams have battled in the NHL post-season, it’s the first time in 31 years. The Oilers own a 4-1 series record.

The Rebels tweeted, tongue in cheek, on Monday: “Pray for Red Deer.”

Red Deer actually wins, no matter which team emerges victorious, said Mayor Ken Johnston.

“Really, every city from Fort McMurray in the north to Lethbridge in the south is going to benefit from the series, the bars, the restaurants, the hospitality industry, the ability for people to come together and socialize … and it couldn’t come at a better time from that perspective. People are just so eager to get out and be in person.

“But certainly Red Deer will benefit. Every other town and city (in Alberta) is going to have a piece of this series.”

The Mayor’s allegiances, he wasn’t afraid to admit, are with the Flames. He worked in Calgary during the team’s heyday of the late ’80s, when they made the Stanley Cup final in ’86 and won it all in ’89.

He has a Calgary jersey and a hat signed by Flames legend Lanny McDonald.

“Being a good mayor, I also have a little Oilers fanfare to wear from time to time,” he added with a laugh.

Sutter said allegiances in the Battle of Alberta have generational roots. His, of course, were forged in his family’s long history with the Flames. His dad Brent, now owner, president and GM of the Rebels, coached the Flames for three seasons, and uncle Darryl’s first coaching stint in Calgary was in 2003.

“Not many can understand, but there’s not very many circumstances where you have two franchises with such a longstanding rivalry,” he said. “This goes back to grandparents and parents, back in the ’80s and whatnot. It’s embedded. Now, to be able to reignite it is special, but to me it’s really about the younger people who have never seen that rivalry.”

Troy Gillard, who does play-by-play of Rebels games, said Red Deer has unique connections to both teams — although he noted he wore a Flames polo to the office on Monday. There’s the Rebels’ ties to the Sutter family. But he believes the Oilers saw a surge of new fans when the club drafted Rebels centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins first overall in 2011. He was the first Rebel to go No. 1 in the draft.

The Oilers also have defenceman Kris Russell, who’s from nearby Caroline, Alta., and had Red Deer native Colton Sceviour before waiving him in late-January.

“Even here at the Rebels, we’re split pretty much 50/50. It’s gonna be a lot of fun around here the next couple weeks,” Gillard said.

These playoffs are the first held in full arenas in Canada since the COVID-19 began. Red Deer was slammed by the Omicron variant this past winter that saw the world junior championships there cancelled four days after it started.

“That Game 7 in overtime was as close to a return to normalcy as you’re going to find,” said Sutter, who was in Calgary on Sunday night for the Flames’ 3-2 OT thriller over Dallas.

“To see the crowd at Rogers Arena (in Edmonton) in Game 7 two nights ago, that game ended with a late goal and a burst of energy, and then to match that and then probably even beat it (Sunday) night in Game 7, overtime (in Calgary) — game sevens with premium endings in their own arenas … you couldn’t script it any better than that.”

Red Deer bars are buzzing with anticipation after a couple of years of hard times amid the pandemic.

“We’re all very very excited, it’s been a long time to have this kind of thing happen,” said Brennen Wowk, owner of 400-seat Bo’s Bar & Stage. “Staff will be in jerseys of their choice, (he’ll be in his No. 99 Wayne Gretzky Oilers jersey), we’ll be pouring lots of beer, and have the volume on as loud as it can go. As much excitement we can put into this room, we’re going to put into this room.”

Dallas Gaume hopes Alberta’s teams in the post-season will see hockey registration numbers in Red Deer return to pre-pandemic numbers.

“A lot of eyes are going to be on the province in the next two weeks, and I really think we’re going to get some growth out of this,” said Gaume, the GM of the Red Deer Minor Hockey Association.

There was no season in 2020-21 due to COVID-19, and then number of returning players dropped by 7.5 per cent this past winter. Gaume believes it’s a combination of issues, such as players needing to be vaccinated to enter arenas and players finding other winter activities during the lockdown.

Like the city of Red Deer, Gaume’s allegiances are split. He coached Nugent-Hopkins with the Rebels, “so I’m a big fan of his. And I’m a big fan of the Sutters, I think Darryl is a terrific coach. So I like both teams.”

There’s no love lost between the two squads, he said, and said Canada vs. the U.S. in women’s hockey would be an adequate comparison.

“I know that’s an extremely strong rivalry, with lots of dislike for one another,” Gaume said. “I think the same could be said with these two teams. I know with a lot of people, if you like the Oilers, you generally hate the Flames and the same the other way. You can’t like both.”

If he had to pick a winner?

“I think the Flames are the better team. Doesn’t necessarily mean they win the series. How’s that for my sitting-on-the-fence prediction?” he said with a laugh.

Game 2 is Friday in Calgary before the series heads north to Edmonton for Games 3 and 4. The series winner meets either St. Louis or Colorado in the Western Conference Final.

“One of the Alberta teams is going to be playing for a spot in the Stanley Cup Final,” Gillard marvelled. “It’s going to be heartbreaking for whichever team loses in Round 2, but for whichever team moves on, how exciting is that?”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2022.

Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press

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Canada-wide warrant issued after Calgary mother of five killed in crash

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Calgary police say they have issued Canada-wide warrants for a man they believe is responsible for the death of a mother of young children after a shooting led to a crash.

Angela McKenzie, who was 40, was killed last week when a truck that was pursuing a sedan collided with her van and another car at an intersection in the city’s southeast.

Police say they have reviewed video surveillance cameras from the scene, talked to witnesses and processed the evidence collected.

They have issued seven Canada-wide warrants for 29-year-old Talal Amer.

McKenzie’s church pastor said last week that the woman was a mother of five children between the ages of nine and 17, and that the children lost their father to an illness in February.

The warrants for Amer include attempted murder, manslaughter, reckless discharge of a firearm and possession of a prohibited firearm.

“Based on the initial context from the scene, investigators believed that this incident may have been road-rage related,” police said in a news release Monday afternoon.

“However, after identifying the individuals involved and examining all evidence, we believe the shooting was targeted and that the driver of the (sedan) was the intended target. Occupants of the (sedan) did not exchange gunfire as previously thought.”

Amer is described as five-feet, 11-inches tall with brown eyes and brown hair.

Police allege Amer was the aggressor in pursuing the sedan and discharging a firearm before hitting McKenzie’s van.

“Our investigators have worked day and night to identify the person responsible for the tragic death of Ms. McKenzie,” said Staff Sgt. Sean Gregson of the homicide unit.

“This incident was a careless and senseless display of violence in our community.”

McKenzie’s mother, Sylvia McKenzie, issued a statement through police earlier Monday.

“Nobody expects to lose someone they love in an act so shocking it has people across Canada talking about it,”  she says in the statement.

“Angela was our beacon of light, a feisty defender of her family and children, and the most generous person we have ever known. She saw joy and hope where others only found struggle.

“In our struggle to accept her death, Canadians, and especially Calgarians, have shown … a grace and generosity that matches that of our beloved daughter, sister, and mother. We see the beautiful soul of our community blossoming from this ugly act, and we get to experience the dignity of the world the way Angela always experienced it.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2022.

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