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Virtual Surrey Sports Hall of Fame viewed as ‘highly accessible’ and ‘contemporary’

Such a hall ‘provides all the benefits of a real-world museum without the limitations,’ according to city report
Surrey-raised hockey player Colin Fraser, shown here with the Stanley Cup at Surrey’s Central City Plaza in the summer of 2010, would be a candidate for induction in a Sports Hall of Fame in Surrey. Fraser is a three-time Stanley Cup champion, with Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 and Los Angeles Kings in 2012 and 2014. (File photo)

A virtual model for a Surrey Sports Hall of Fame is in the works, as “a highly accessible” and “contemporary” venue to honour Surrey residents for outstanding achievements in sport.

At the Museum of Surrey, Surrey’s sports history and achievement is currently recognized by exhibition display cases featuring sports-related artifacts, a report to city council notes.

“A Virtual Sports Hall of Fame model has been identified as offering the broadest spectrum of benefits for Surrey: accessibility, depth and breadth of content, and efficiency and effectiveness,” says the report, written by Laurie Cavan, general manager of Parks, Recreation & Culture.

A virtual hall “provides all the benefits of a real-world museum without the limitations,” Cavan adds, pointing to examples of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and BC Sports Hall of Fame.

The “total estimated one-time cost” to establish a “SVHOF” is estimated at $400,000, the report says.

• RELATED STORY, from 2019: Sports hall of fame in Surrey is ‘something that should be done,’ city councillor says.

“Exhibitions can include photos of individuals and teams, sports documentation as well as information. Exhibitions can include audio recordings, video recordings as well as other content added over time such as digital documents, images of trophies, uniforms, medals, news articles and other information related to sports.

“In addition to being available from home, kiosks offer an option for in-facility experience. Large interactive screens could be installed in key recreation centres which host major competitions, for those attending games or practices,” Cavan explains.

The content of a virtual hall of fame “is almost limitless,” the report adds. “Unlike some models in B.C., which are limited to just a name, or a name with a photo of the year’s honorees, a Virtual Hall of Fame can share interviews with those individuals, videos of them in action, or recordings of those who know them, or who have stories about the achievements of the honorees. This richer content is more inspiring.”

The virtual model “will be complemented by the ongoing acquisition of Surrey sports memorabilia and artifacts to be held in the Archives and Heritage collections of the City and presentations in changing exhibitions with different themes and stories at the Museum of Surrey and at the Surrey Archives,” the report says.

• RELATED STORY: Ex-Canuck Odjick, wrestler Kiniski now in BC Sports Hall of Fame, with 10 others.

The idea for a Surrey Sports Hall of Fame was floated two years ago, at a 2019 meeting of Surrey’s Parks, Recreation & Culture Committee.

In September, an endowment fund was launched with a goal to create a new Surrey Sports Museum, thanks to a launch donation from Elizabeth Model, who gave $1,000 after she completed her 100th Ironman triathlon in Wisconsin on Sept. 12.

The museum would “commemorate Surrey’s athletes who have demonstrated the mental fortitude and commitment to take their athletic performance to the highest level,” according to a news release from SurreyCares Community Foundation on Sept. 23.

The sports museum would be located in Downtown Surrey, where Model is CEO of the area’s business improvement association (BIA).

• RELATED STORY: Canada Sports Hall of Fame launches Indigenous Heroes Exhibition.

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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