The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame has opened an exhibition to mark the 100th anniversary of the National Hockey League.
The exhibition, “Frozen Fables: A Century of Saskatchewan in the National Hockey League,” is a collection of hockey artifacts from the NHL hockey legends. The artifacts, including trophies, jerseys, and photos, represent the accomplishments of the hockey legends and will take visitors back in time to some of Saskatchewan’s proudest sports moment.
For the first time, the SSHF exhibition is displaying the extensive goalie mask collection which is on loan and will be returned at the close of the exhibition in April 2017. It is also the only chance to come and have a look at the legendary memorabilia loaned by Glenn “Chico” Resch.
This year SSHF will also display the artifacts of Floral SK born Gordie Howe, who played twenty-six seasons in the NHL and six seasons in the World Hockey Association. Mr. Hockey passed away on June 10, 2016. “We got Gordie Howe’s artifacts by Michael Martin this year and decided to showcase it in the NHL exhibition.” said the Communication Coordinator for SSHF, Autumn McDowell.
“SSHF welcomes visitors to see the collection and learn more about sports legends, their lives, and accomplishments,” says McDowell.
But what if you can’t travel to Regina to see the collection?
To celebrate their 51st anniversary, SSHF will be taking their collection on the roads this summer in a semi-trailer. The semi-trailer will not only exhibit NHL legends history but will also showcase other sports moments. The semi-trailer trip will be the second tour across Saskatchewan which will start again in May and will last until September. The mobile museum trailer will travel to 70 communities in Saskatchewan. “The first tour of our semi-trailer museum and artifacts across Saskatchewan communities was a great achievement,” said McDowell.
“One of the main reasons for doing our Traveling Exhibit was that, even though we are the “Saskatchewan” Sports Hall of Fame, we are located in Regina and many Saskatchewan residents often don’t have the chance to visit us. During our 50th year, it was very important to us that everyone in the province would have a chance to celebrate our Anniversary with us, so we brought the Hall to them. The response from our Traveling Exhibit was incredible; the only word that most people were able to muster as they were surrounded by some of Saskatchewan’s proudest sports moments was awesome." said McDowell.
Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame was founded in 1966 in a heritage building on Victoria Avenue. It has 505 inductees from sports including hockey, basketball, volleyball, aquatics, athletics, football, water skiing, curling, soaring, bowling, lawn bowling, horseshoes, baton, lawn bowling, soccer, wheelchair sports, softball, and baseball.
Communication coordinator for SSHF, Autumn McDowell says that out of 505 inductees, their organization has 98 inductees just comes from Hockey and NHL. “Saskatchewan has sent 4.67 from every 100,000 people to NHL which is the highest per capita,” quotes McDowell.
The author of Fire on Ice: Why Saskatchewan Rules the NHL. Semi-retired sports writer, the member of Canadian Football Hall of Fame and co-host of CJME's Green Zone, Darell Davis states that Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame has done an excellent job in showcasing the collection of the hockey legends. He says that Saskatchewan proudly acquires the highest per capita among other countries for recruiting hockey players for NHL. Manitoba and Alberta, on the other hand, produces half of amount of players than Saskatchewan.
SSHF is funded through Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust fund, as well as through sponsorship, fundraising initiatives, and donations. Money earned through fundraising initiatives is used to support the ongoing preservation and conservation of the collection as well as the development of education programming and exhibits.
According to Autumn, the exhibition and the tour turn out to be an enriching source of learning sports culture. "The project allowed us to greatly increase our awareness levels and we hope to continue this trend with our second tour in 2017,” said McDowell.