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THE HALFTIME REPORT News from the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

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Honoured Member Darryl Sutter Wins Jack Adams Award

Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter has won the 2021/22 Jack Adams Award, presented annually to the NHL’s coach of the year.

Sutter was Inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2000, with his brothers Brian, Duane, Brent, Rich, and Ron. All six brothers grew up and played minor hockey in Viking before moving to Red Deer to play with the Red Deer Rustlers of the AJHL.

The NHL announced the award winner on Sportsnet prior to Game 2 of the Western Conference Final on Thursday, with a video of Brian Sutter, a winner of the award in 1991, presenting the award to his younger brother Darryl.

The Flames missed the playoffs in the 2020/21 season when Sutter took over halfway through the year. In the following 2021/22 season, Sutter captured the 6th best record in the NHL for the largest season to season improvement, as well as winning the Pacific Division.

To learn more about Sutter’s amazing coaching story, click the link below.

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Honoured Member Dr. Willie Littlechild has been Awarded by  the Governor General of Canada

On May 26th Honoured Member Dr. Willie Littlechild received the Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division), a prestigious award by the Governor General of Canada. The award is given to a nominated individual in recognition of their contributions that bring honor to the country in various fields including advocacy, health care, research, humanitarian, and more.

For more information, please click on the article link below.

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This newsletter is sponsored by Travel Alberta.

Honoured Member in Focus: Edmonton Grads

Basketball Team – Inducted 1974

The amazing record of the Edmonton Grads spans an era of 25 years. Under the expert coaching of the late Percy Page, the Grads played 522 official games in Canada, the United States, and in Europe, winning 502 and losing 20 for an average of 96.2%. The Grads won seven of the nine games they played against men’s teams. In establishing their outstanding record, they had two consecutive winning streaks of 147 and 78 games respectively. They won the Provincial Championship during their first year of existence in 1915, and continued to win 23 of the 24 times they competed for it. In the Western Canadian Championship, the Grads won all 21 games they played from 1926 to 1940. In the Canadian Championships they never lost a series, from commencement of title play in 1922 to the team’s disbandment in 1940.  They were crowned World Champions from 1937 to 1940.

The Edmonton Grads received many honours over the years.  They were inducted into the Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame in 1973 and the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980.  The Grads still have the record for best winning percentage of all time for North American teams.  In 1976, the Edmonton Grads’ achievements were declared a National Historic Event and Parks Canada dedicated a plaque in their honour, two years later, in 1978. The Edmonton Grads Youth Basketball Association was founded in 2002, in Edmonton, to honour the legacy of the famous women’s basketball team.

Honoured Member Profile

Provincial Sport Organization: Alberta Basketball

Alberta Basketball is the governing body for the sport of basketball in Alberta. We believe that our amazing sport is more than just a game; it is – A Game for Life. The game of basketball assists all who participate by developing life skills and habits that will benefit and enrich their lives. ABA’s mission is to champion the sport of basketball by inspiring unity, facilitating development, and delivering superior value.

Visit their website by clicking on the link below.

Alberta Basketball Site
Artifact in Focus!

This large Silver Vase-like trophy that is engraved to read “Offert Par La Municipalite De Monaco 1936” was given to the Edmonton Commercial Graduates Basketball Team while they were in Europe playing exhibition games prior to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

June is Pride Month

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 always the case. Many athletes have faced, and many still do, discrimination from sports organizations, team management, coaches, and even fellow athletes for things they have no control over.

Four of our Honoured Members have come forward to share their journey through sports and coming out to help inspire the next generation of athletes to be true to who they are in all aspects of their lives. By sharing these heartfelt stories with you, we hope that we can start to see the changes needed to allow all athletes regardless of age, race, religion, gender, or sexual identity to feel safe to be their authentic selves in and out of the locker room. Our featured honoured members in this exhibit are Mark Tewksbury, Danielle Peers, Keely Brown and Kessie Stefanyk.

Soon we will be saying goodbye to our ‘True to You in Sport’ Exhibit which highlights these Honoured Members. Mark Tewksbury, for example, became Canada’s first sports hero to openly declare his homosexuality in 1998. He helped start a national conversation on the taboo subject of gays in sport. Since that time, Mark has been an outspoken advocate for inclusive and safe sport spaces for all.

Come see it before it’s gone!

Hall of Fame in the Community

Our Hall of Fame summer students were out in the community attending events geared towards our youth. We were at the Central Alberta Family Expo on May 28 in Red Deer as well as the Central Alberta Children’s Festival which showcases opportunities for the children of Central Alberta to learn, play and be active.

If you would like your Hall of Fame to visit your event please contact us at 403-341-8614 or [email protected]

Donate Now

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.

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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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Edmonton police use DNA phenotyping to find sex assault suspect

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By Angela Amato in Edmonton

Edmonton police say they are using DNA phenotyping, for the first time in its history, in trying to solve a sexual assault.

DNA phenotyping predicts physical appearance and ancestry from unidentified DNA evidence, and police use that information to narrow suspects and generate leads in criminal investigations.

Det. Colleen Maynes says the method is a last resort after all other investigative avenues have been exhausted.

“This was a vicious assault,” said Maynes, adding she doesn’t want to see the perpetrator act again.

A woman lost consciousness after she was violently sexually assaulted by a man who followed her from a bus stop in the central Spruce Avenue neighbourhood in March of 2019.

She sustained serious injuries and was found wearing only a shirt when it was -27 C.

“This survivor deserves justice,” said Maynes.

There were no witnesses, surveillance video, public tips or DNA matches in the case.

Detectives enlisted DNA technology company Parabon NanoLabs in Virginia to help in the investigation. The lab has provided DNA phenotyping to help with other files in Saskatchewan and Ontario.

Most DNA testing in Canada goes through the RCMP’s lab. Maynes said this can take a long time, as the RCMP deals with cases across the country and doesn’t have the resources or technologies that other labs do.

“We are lacking with that technology here in Canada,” said Maynes.

Paula Armentrout with Parabon said that since 2018, its labs have helped solve 230 violent crimes in North America, although not all of them used DNA phenotyping.

DNA phenotyping is not exclusive to sexual assault cases. The analysis has also been used to find possible suspects in murder cases and to identify remains.

With a computer-generated snapshot in the Edmonton sex assault case, DNA phenotyping determined the suspect to be a Black man with dark brown to black hair and dark brown eyes who stands about five-foot-four.

Armentrout said the turnaround for this type of analysis is about 45 days after receiving a DNA sample.

Police said the suspect’s description may impact a marginalized community. After consulting with community stakeholders and considering the severity of the assault and the threat to public safety, police released the details with a computer-generated image.

Any leads generated from the image will require further investigative steps, said Maynes.

“It is by no means an immediate path to accusing a suspect,” she said. “What it does is potentially give us leads in a cold case, and we can follow up with DNA testing from there.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 4, 2022.

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Former head of Alberta Human Rights Commission suing justice minister over dismissal

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By Bob Weber in Edmonton

The former head of the Alberta Human Rights Commission is suing the province’s justice minister for wrongful dismissal, claiming Tyler Shandro caved in to carefully orchestrated political pressure.

Collin May’s statement of claim alleges members and supporters of the Opposition New Democratic Party feared May would expose sexual harassment problems at the commission that occurred when they were in government.

“This made the plaintiff a threat, and he was subsequently targeted by political opponents weeks before he was scheduled to start his term as chief,” the document says.

New Democrat justice critic Irfan Sabir called the charges a distraction.

“Collin May published overtly racist and Islamophobic views,” he said in an email Tuesday.

“The UCP government belatedly held him accountable for that. Mr. May’s innuendo is merely an attempt to distract from his own behaviour.”

May, a Calgary lawyer, was hired as chief of the commission on May 25.

Questions about his appointment began almost immediately. Some criticized his lack of experience in human rights law and others pointed to a book review he wrote in 2009 in which he quoted statements saying Islam was a fundamentally violent religion.

That review drew concerns from the National Council of Canadian Muslims. Members of the NDP caucus also called for May’s resignation.

The statement of claim accuses NDP supporters of stockpiling May’s book review years ago, then carefully co-ordinating and managing the public outcry against him to engineer his removal.

“The NDP were clearly co-ordinated for the purpose of smearing the plaintiff’s character,” the document says.

It goes on to allege the New Democrats went after May because they were afraid he would renew sexual harassment allegations against two senior members of the commission who had been appointed by NDP leader and then-premier Rachel Notley.

“(May) learned that there was also a culture of pervasive sexual harassment within the NDP during Notley’s time as premier,” says the claim.

“Notley therefore could not afford to have the public learn that … her own appointees had also allowed for a culture of pervasive sexual harassment and bullying.”

The document says Shandro neither defended May nor emphasized that the commission is an arm’s length agency, which he has no direct control over. In fact, it alleges senior officials in Shandro’s office were so insistent on getting May to apologize for statements he says he didn’t make that May had to block their numbers on his cellphone.

As well, the lawsuit alleges May was forbidden from meeting with Muslim organizations by Muhammad Yaseen, Alberta’s associate minister of immigration and multiculturalism. It says May was told to wait to await ministerial direction, which never came.

“Minister Shandro’s office was heavily involved in facilitating the smear campaign against Collin May,” said May’s lawyer Kathryn Marshall in an interview.

The situation got so bad that May received threatening phone calls at his home. May’s law firm removed his phone number from its website and for four days in July, the lawsuit says, May and his partner were afraid to leave their Calgary home.

“The (commission) and the defendant did nothing to support (May) during this difficult time,” the lawsuit says.

It says that on Sept. 15, May got a letter telling him his job was over on a “without cause” basis.

A spokesman for Shandro declined to comment, saying the matter is before the courts.

Marshall said May had signed a five-year contract on the same basis as any other civil servant and was not given the basic rights he was due under Canadian law.

“It’s not about deflecting criticism or playing political games,” she said. “This is about getting my clients’ rights enforced.

“(The government) fired him and are now falsely alleging he resigned.”

The lawsuit seeks to recover the money May would have earned over the five-year term as well as damages to his reputation — about $2.1 million.

The allegations in the statement of claim have not been tested in court.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 4, 2022.

— Follow Bob Weber on Twitter at @row1960

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