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In honour of #IndigenousHistoryMonth and #IndigenousPeoplesDay in Canada, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum invites you to celebrate the amazing stories of our Honoured Members.

Click the links below for their individual bios and videos:

Charlie Smallface: Inducted 1974 Boxing Athlete
He won 49 of his 50 career fights and received the Tom Longboat Trophy in 1951, 1952, 1953 & 1954.

Ronald Southern: Inducted in 1992 Equestrian Builder
In 2013, Ron was named an honourary member of the Tsuu T'ina chieftainship - given the name Chief Sorrel Horse.

Api-Kai-ees Deerfoot: Inducted 1998 Achievement Award
Deerfoot is the legendary Blackfoot runner who raced in the1800s, and was said to have outrun horses and riders, and left other runners choking on prairie dust.

Sam Donaghey: Inducted 1999 Soccer Builder
Sam Donaghey has been made an Honourary Chief and given Indigenous names in Seven Native Indian Bands and the Metis Nation of Alberta, principally for sports research from 1967 to 1992.

Willie Littlechild: Inducted 2009 Multisport Builder
A Cree from the Ermineskin Tribe of the Maskwacis Cree Nation, he has won more than seventy provincial, regional, national and international championships in the sports of hockey, swimming, baseball and triathlon.

Theo Fleury: Inducted 2018 Hockey Athlete
Honorary Chief of the Siksika Nation in 2009 and a recipient of the Aboriginal Indspire Award in 2013.


Red Deer Advocate: Pair of Central Albertans heading to Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Red Deer’s Dianne Finstad and Halkirk’s Leighann Doan Reimer in class of 2018

A pair of Central Albertans were among those introduced on Friday as the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum class 0f 2018.

Red Deer award-winning farm and rodeo broadcaster and reporter Dianne Finstad and Leighann Doan Reimer, who grew up in Halkirk, and went on to play for the national team and is considered by many as the best woman basketball player to suit up for University of Calgary’s Dinos, were introduced along with 10 other inductee individuals and teams.

One of the most familiar faces, especially for hockey fans, belonged to Theoren Fleury, who starred for 11 seasons with the Calgary Flames, winning the Stanley Cup in 1989. Fleury also has gold medals from the 1988 World Junior Championships, 1991 Canada Cup and 2002 Olympic Games.

Finstad, who began her career at Red Deer’s CKRD in 1981 and has been a regular Advocate contributor, enjoyed being more than a broadcaster and reporter on the sidelines. She was the recipient of the Hall of Fame’s Bell Memorial Award.

“We were kind of cheering along with the cowboys and trying to bring more coverage and more awareness of the sport,” said Finstad. “As the sport grows, I think it’s maybe kind of cool to be a part of that.”

She has been a general assignment reporter and anchor, and as a journalist specializing in farming and rodeo, she was behind award-winning shows “This Business of Farming” and “Makin’ 8.” She has covered all of rodeo’s marquee events, including the Canadian Finals Rodeo, Calgary Stampede and the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

Finstad said she has enjoyed telling the stories of the farming community and rodeo athletes. She’s been doing it long enough she is now interviewing the children of her early subjects, she said with a laugh.

“It’s kind of neat to have felt part of their family and still be watching the next generation come forward.”

Doan Reimer played high school basketball in Stettler and went to the University of Calgary, where she was named 1997 Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Women’s Basketball Rookie of the Year, 2000 and 2001 CIS Women’s Basketball Player of the Year and 2001 CIS Athlete of the Year. She was a four-time First Team All Canadian, competed for Team Canada at the 2003 Pan Am Games and played professional basketball in France from 2001 to 2004.

Doan Reimer is now a business owner and a teacher in Three Hills, where her students have been impressed by her Hall of Fame induction and basketball achievements. She is still the Dinos all-time leading scorer with 1,958 points.

She encourages her students to follow their dreams, no matter where they are from.

“Small town doesn’t mean anything anymore. I like to encourage them in that.”

Doan Reimer has been to the induction banquet to see friends honoured and was a little taken aback when her name was called.

“It kind of shocked me to begin with, but it’s always fun to look back over those memories and to relive some of that.”

Calgary Flames star Theoren Fleury said he liked that the Hall of Fame inducted whole teams — this year it is the Calgary Colts Junior Football Team that won the Canadian Junior Football League National Championships in 1989 and 1990. About 50 players from those teams were expected to show up for the evening banquet.

“I played on a lot of teams that had success and with the team success comes personal success,” said Fleury.

Fleury, who won the Stanley Cup with Calgary in 1989, thanked the many people who helped him along the way including from the hockey world, teammates, coaches and managers.

Other inductees were:


Doug Barkley, hockey athletes and builder
Keely Brown, ringette athlete
Cindy Klassen, speedskater
Phil Allen, basketball builder (inducted posthumously)
Dave King, hockey builder
Dr. Lorne Sawula, volleyball builder
Stuart Erskine, Achievement Award
Rod Davies Pioneer Award

Edmonton Journal Article: Edmonton couple use funds to renovate Israeli tennis centre

One of Edmonton’s most lively couples will dedicate funds raised at a gala honouring them to an Israeli tennis centre uniting children of different races, religions and economic backgrounds.

Lisa Miller and Farrel Shadlyn will be honoured June 19 at the Jewish National Fund of Edmonton’s Negev Gala dinner at the Fantasyland Hotel ballroom.

“The Ettenberg Israel Tennis Centre (ITC) in Haifa is at maximum capacity and must expand if it is to accommodate the needs of vulnerable youth from low-income households, new immigrant families and children with special needs,” said Miller.

Miller and Shadlyn have both played tennis at the Royal Glenora Club for many years and when told of their honour, quickly suggested helping the ITC would promote unity and coexistence between children of all backgrounds.

“Plans include the construction of two new tennis courts and expanding the building for more classrooms to accommodate the ITC’s growing education, remediation and enrichment programs,” says Shadlyn.

The new addition will be called the Lisa Miller and Farrel Shadlyn Tennis Courts for Peace. Friends say the couple is well-deserving of the recognition.

The duo has helped sponsor scores of local charities, from the Salvation Army and sports organizations for the handicapped to the Citadel Theatre and the Edmonton Community Foundation.

Inspired by his mom in his native Toronto, Shadlyn, then 15, volunteered to help the mentally challenged and went on to run a program for 200 at-risk kids ages five to eight.

He was later hired to teach drama to kids in after-school programs and says he had a flare for drama.

“Up until Grade 10, I was the class clown, acting up and sometimes getting into trouble,” says Shadlyn. “But I auditioned for a school play and landed a major role.”

As an undergraduate at York University, he toured with the York U Story Players, received an Ontario Drama Scholarship and contemplated a career in show business.

“But I was told to be successful I also had to dance, sing or play a musical instrument, skills I lacked,” says Shadlyn.

He concentrated on education and graduated with four degrees: a BA in child psychology; two master’s, in public administration and social work; and a law degree. Shadlyn now practises family and criminal law.

Miller was on all the sports teams at Crestwood Junior High School. But sitting around the family table celebrating her 16th birthday, there were guffaws when she declared her ambition was to be a TV sports reporter.

“The CBS’s Phyllis George, a former Miss America, was the only female sportscaster at the time,” says Miller.

“The only pageant I had won was being named the Crestwood Carnival Queen. And that was for selling the most raffle tickets.”

Her first media job was as an intern at CFRN, where she found herself cutting audio tape with a razor blade. (Digital editing was futuristic.)

In 1978, Miller was hired by Standard Broadcasting to be a “gopher” for a radio crew during the Commonwealth Games and got her break when asked to stand in for a reporter with a time conflict.

Returning to CFRN after the Games, she was offered part-time work while finishing university.

“I was later asked if I had a class or could I cover a story,” says Miller. “I cut the class and covered the story.

“At 19, I decided that was the end of my university career and began a full-time job at CFRN.”

It was a career that spanned 21 years before she became an award-winning freelance documentary film-maker and awards show producer.

Miller was the first female [Bell Memorial Award] to be inducted unto the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

The couple has three academic-achieving children and can often be found in the summer at their Seba Beach cottage.

Miller hones her physical skills by mowing the lawn, painting the deck or tending the vegetable garden.

“Farrel has a flair for pursuing a good book while sitting on a lawn chair,” says Miller. “He’s happy to allow me to experience all the rustic joys of cottage ownership.”

Challenging age
How all-round athlete Sue Lampert and I came to be featured in a feature-length documentary came about three years ago when we were cycling back from Haida Gwaii with a totem pole for the Stollery Children’s Hospital.

Staying at the Terracana Ranch and Resort west of Jasper, we met Laurent Goldstein, a Vancouver documentary maker who was taking two years and visiting six countries to produce Your Second Fifty, Rising above the Fears of Aging.

“My idea was to motivate people to challenge preconceived beliefs and thoughts surrounding aging,” he said. “I wanted to explore the mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and financial dimensions of life and ask can one be 70 and climb Mt. Everest?”

The documentary will be screened 6 p.m., June 6, at the NAIT Shaw Theatre, 11726 106 St. Tickets $10 at the door.

Diary date
Wear your best flowery shirt and move to the music of the Beach Boys while sipping some of the world’s finest Pinot Noir and supporting CASA at the Thursday, June 28, California Dreaming-themed Pinot on the Patio at the Royal Glenora Club. Tickets $85, call 780-400-4538.


Jack Neumann (University of Calgary) – Lifetime Achievement Award
by Dave Reed, Colorado College Associate Director of Athletics Communications/CoSIDA Special Awards Committee member

When Dr. Dennis Kadatz, then the athletics director at the University of Calgary, suggested Jack Neumann attend his first CoSIDA workshop (convention) in 1980, it was impossible to predict the profound impact the adventure would have for Neumann.

Neumann set aside the era’s tools of the trade – a rotary phone, typewriter and lots of WhiteOut – to travel to Kansas City in an effort to comply to his boss’s instruction to become the best sports information director that he could be.

“I was scared and apprehensive about not knowing anyone when I arrived at the Alameda Plaza Hotel,” Neumann said. “I was in the registration line with Nick Vista, who turned around and introduced himself. Moments later, Rosa Gatti comes by and Nick introduced me to her. It was like winning the lottery.”

That chance encounter with two CoSIDA legends — Vista is the award-winning retired Michigan State and CoSIDA Hall of Famer while Gattis is a former SID and ESPN executive, CoSIDA Hall of Famer and multi-award winner — is a perfect example of what made Neumann successful throughout his career. He had a penchant for being at the right place at the right time and he valued personal relationships above all else.

Personal connections were the lynchpin to Neumann’s remarkable 40-year career because he understood the value of the relationships he would make with colleagues, student-athletes, alumni and administrators.

“I took a cut in pay and lost my stock options, all for the opportunity to work longer hours,” Neumann said. “I made a great decision.”

Neumann has long been CoSIDA’s unofficial “Canadian Ambassador,” and will receive a CoSIDA Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization’s June 2018 Convention. He served admirably as sports information director with the University of Calgary Dinos for nearly three decades (from 1978 to 2007) and then was in alumni development for Calgary Athletics until his official retirement in 2012.

Neumann credits his friendships with CoSIDA Hall of Famers George Wine and Don Bryant, the (retired) sports information directors at the University of Iowa and the University of Nebraska respectively, for providing valuable professional opportunities and experience.

Wine introduced Neumann to the importance of service to CoSIDA by adding him to the Allied Organizations Committee. Bryant provided him valuable professional advice while they worked together at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

Since then, the affable Neumann, who earned CoSIDA’s 2012 Warren Berg Award for outstanding college division contributions to the profession, has served the organization on several committees, and also served a three-year term on the board of directors.

Neumann also was a founding member of Association of University Sports Information Directors and president of the group for two years.

A native of Saskatoon, Neumann unofficially began his career as a high school sports information director without knowing what the position was. It all began when a teacher asked him to be the public address announcer for the basketball team and then asked him later to phone in scores to the conference commissioner. It was something Neumann had been doing for the Saskatchewan Minor Hockey Association.

Displaying a keen sense for how to fulfill his duties more effectively, he bypassed the commissioner and called in scores directly to the editors and on-air personalities. It was no coincidence that Neumann’s teams received the best coverage.

Another occasion where the stars aligned for Neumann was at a holiday party in 1978, where he met Joyce Fromson, the SID at the University of Calgary, who was relocating to Winnipeg. She told Jack to give her a call at the beginning of the week to discuss the position, and that led to him being hired by Dr. Kadatz as the university’s first full-time sports information director.

Hearing about the position at a social function was especially appropriate since Neumann played a prominent role in a pair of once-in-a-lifetime athletics events in The Stampede City.

Dr. Roger Jackson, a Dean at the University of Calgary, was a prominent figure in the Canadian Olympic Association, which led to Neumann being involved in the 1988 Winter Games.

One day, Dr. Jackson told Neumann that Juan Antonio Samaranch, then president of the International Olympic Committee, would be visiting Calgary and ‘you are in charge of the press conference. Notify the media. No mistakes.’

While Neumann did not play a role in Calgary being selected to host the Olympics, it was his brainchild to bring the 2004 CoSIDA Convention to his hometown.

Nearly 500 CoSIDA colleagues ventured north to experience the best of what Western Canada has to offer, which that year included seeing its native son become the first Canadian SID inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame.

“Having CoSIDA in Calgary and Canada was a dream come true,” Neumann said. “It was an honor to host many of my colleagues in my city and country. Everyone who came loved it and the feedback was tremendous. Entering the Hall of Fame was extra special since it occurred in Calgary.”

After his career in sports information came to a conclusion a few years ago, Neumann continued to serve his school as its alumni fundraiser, or as he prefers to call it, the ‘friendraiser.’ 

“Jack Neumann is synonymous with the Dinos Athletics program at the University of Calgary,” said Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, now president of the University of Calgary. “During his 39 years on campus, he has shown unwavering support for our student-athletes as a mentor, career counselor and fundraiser. And even in retirement, Jack remains a loyal supporter and volunteer within Dinos Athletics.

“Through his personal example of commitment as our Sports Information Director, Alumni Relations Coordinator, and an all-around Dinos supporter, Jack has inspired our students to grow to their full potential — both as athletes and as individuals.”

And giving back to his revered university is something Neumann continues to do. This past November, Neumann established a legacy fund at the University of Calgary to cover future uniform costs for the Dino Football program. Neumann will pay for all football players’ jerseys in perpetuity. He does however have one non-negotiable condition — that the uniform scheme remains the same, his beloved scarlet and gold. 

"I always wanted to leave something that is different," said Neumann, quoted in stories around the announcement. "There's a certain amount of pride in it, yes, but I believe in giving back. The university was good to me — I had a great career there. I made some life-long friends there."

When a revered colleague receives a Lifetime Achievement Award, the first reaction is to list all of the awards he or she received during their illustrious career.

It’s nearly impossible to detail every award CoSIDA’s unofficial Canadian Ambassador has received, however it should be noted that Neumann is the organization’s only member to enter the Order of the University of Calgary as well as the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame. He also is the first-ever SID to receive the Austin Matthews Award for his contributions to Canadian university sports.

For Neumann, however, his many awards and honors are not as valuable as the friends he has made throughout the last 40 years — friendships and relationships jumpstarted as he stood in line to register for his very first CoSIDA workshop.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame article: Olympian and visionary Canadian athlete, Cheryl Bernard, announced as new President & Chief Executive Officer

New Leadership at Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
Olympian and visionary Canadian athlete, Cheryl Bernard, announced as new President & Chief Executive Officer 

On behalf of the Board of Directors and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame team, Robert Rooney, Chair of the Board, is pleased to announce Cheryl Bernard as new President & Chief Executive Officer of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. Ms. Bernard will be assuming her new responsibilities on June 18, 2018.

"Canada's Sports Hall of Fame is proud of the role it plays to inspire Canadians - in sport and life." explained Mr. Rooney. "Cheryl is the living embodiment of our mission and we are confident her exceptional career in sport and business will ensure Canada's Sports Hall of Fame is recognized as a unique and important Canadian experience that unites and inspires the best in us."

"An added advantage is that Cheryl is a dedicated community leader and believer in what sport can teach us." continued Mr. Rooney. "She understands our values and shares her message proudly in that 'what you get by participating in sport is not as important as what you become'. This profound focus points towards an exciting future."

Ms. Bernard has extensive experience in business and in sport and leveraged those experiences to become a corporate keynote speaker, sports ambassador and as an expert TSN Broadcast Analyst. A published author, Ms. Bernard speaks authentically about sport and promotes its value and impact through numerous charitable initiatives. She was founder, owner and president of a successful Calgary-based insurance agency for 13 years before focusing her attention on building an elite curling team, winning the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials in 2009 and the right to represent Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

"Canada's Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving and celebrating Canada's impressive and inspiring sport history in an innovative experience that breaks the mould," stated Ms. Bernard. "What you learn from sport, integrity, work ethic and teamwork builds values that contribute towards great individuals, communities and nations. I am excited and honoured to build on this platform as we continue to evolve."

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame board partnered with Boyden to lead the Chief Executive Officer recruitment.

For more information, please contact:
Janice Smith
Interim President & CEO 
Phone: 403.776.1061

Marina Montgomery
Marketing & Communications Manager
Cell: 403.437.0939