Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (CSHoF) is a Registered Charitable Organization and a vital cultural institution in Canada for the past 65 years. As one of North America’s oldest sports museums, we focus on recognition, education, curation, thought leadership, and supporting and celebrating Canada’s sport heroes for the value they return to, and the impact they have on, their communities. There are over 673 Inductees in the Hall of Fame, and as of 2019, the new Order of Sport is awarded to Canada’s top athletes and builders with a focus on the impact these Canadians have beyond their sports accomplishments. It is also a formal acknowledgement that Canada’s shared values are sports shared values; respect, equality, fairness and openness. The Order of Sport marks the occasion which, together with Induction, is Canada’s highest sporting honour. We represent all sports in Canada and showcase our country's diversity, inclusion and accessibility through each Class of Hall of Famers inducted annually.
OUR IDEA – #WeWillDoBetter
#WeWillDoBetter is a new campaign that supports the Black Lives Matter movement by increasing awareness about systemic racism in Canada. Through our education programs and media channels, CSHoF will bring awareness to the adversity that Black Hall of Famers (HoF’ers) have overcome and their contributions to Canada through sport. CSHoF is committed to “doing better” and your funding will help us spread this message. Our role as historic storytellers means we have a platform and obligation to amplify Black voices and share the experiences of Black HoF’ers; we hope to show how far we have come and how far we haven’t as a society when it comes to racism in our country. We are asking Black HoF’ers to share their experiences of discrimination and the adversity they have overcome. We plan to create 6+ vignettes – curated mini documentaries – that will be featured on our social media channels and used in our education programs. These vignettes will highlight our HoFs’ incredible accomplishments, what they have contributed to their communities, and also the adversity they have faced. By utilizing our social media channels and virtual education programs, we are able to reach the Southern Alberta Community Market directly, and we hope that these videos will lead to discussion, as conversation leads to change. This ripple effect is what will allow this idea to promote diversity, change and acceptance within our community.
Who Will it Benefit?
This digital campaign will specifically target the opportunity to reach out into communities across our nation and has the ability to impact and inspire Canada Sports Hall of Fame’s diverse audiences. CSHoF’s purpose is to “Build Canada through Sport,” and this campaign is one way we will achieve this mandate. By utilizing our social media channels and education programs we are able to effectively spread the message that we can ALL do better and become a gateway into better citizens and a better country, building Canada through sport.
Our communities include all Canadians, specifically youth – all of whom can benefit from this message. We firmly believe that sharing the stories of Black Hall of Famers will encourage Canadians to have important and difficult discussions about racial inequality in our province and across the nation. We plan to use our platform to educate, reach and inspire our community in an authentic way, while also acknowledging we don’t have all the answers.
All Hall of Famers have inspiring stories that showcase trials and tribulations that they faced to become the best. The stories we hope to share have more than just athletic challenges. We plan to begin by creating vignettes sharing the stories of Herb Carnegie, Willie O’Ree, Damon Allen, Harry Jerome, Fergie Jenkins and Phil Edwards. Carnegie, one of the best ice hockey players to not be allowed to play in the NHL; O’Ree, the first Black man in the NHL – yet for less than 50 games; Edwards, who faced segregation while playing baseball…these are only a few of the stories that show our audiences what these athletes faced, and how they still decided to give back to their communities.
As a national museum, we reach students all across Canada through our virtual and outreach education programs. These digital vignettes will be used in future education programs that have the capacity to reach a national audience. Children are our future and we believe that by sharing these stories with youth, we will encourage an understanding of racial injustice and inspire them to work towards a better future. It will benefit these students to learn that no matter the adversity you face, you can still achieve your dreams and make your community a better place.
We hope that through this campaign we can help lead the way for Canadians to be good allies to the Black community, to assist in raising awareness about systemic racism, and make Canada a better place – build Canada through sport.