Strive to celebrate and promote athletes, teams, coaches, officials and builders who have achieved the highest standards of excellence while representing Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. And to recognize those whose contributions have been exemplary in the promotion of sport, as well as current athletes who are achieving significant standards.
In September 2007, a group of Hamilton sports enthusiasts began efforts to create The Hamilton Sports Hall of Fame, recognizing Hamiltonians and those that have represented our community at a distinctive and successful level. A Board of Directors was formed; a not-for-profit corporation was registered, initial start-up funding secured, constitution established, and formats for Board Invitation, Selection Committee Application, nomination procedures and criteria for induction finalized.
A media launch was held at the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum on November 23, 2009 with attendance of 140, representing various facets of society – politicians, dignitaries, legendary sporting heroes, business leaders, community sport volunteers, and sporting participants. Announcements included the Mission, Website Launch, Nomination and Application Procedures, and the inclusion of an Education Program to be developed as a unique method connecting to the youth of the community of Hamilton.
January – April 2010
125 applications were received to form the 10 member Selection Committee in January. Media partners The Hamilton Spectator and Corus Radio (Y108 and 900 CHML) joined the team to promote the nomination process for inaugural induction. In excess of 500 nominations were received listing 240 athletes, coaches and builders in an on-line process during the month of February.
In March, Carmen’s Banquet Centre hosted the Hamilton Sports Hall of Fame Inaugural Induction Announcement Luncheon in front of an impressive group of attendees. That same week, the inductees and/or their representatives were introduced as part of a special opening ceremony prior to a Hamilton Bulldogs American League Hockey Game.
The Inaugural Hamilton Sports Hall of Fame Dinner was held in September of 2010. Over 500 attendees stood and cheered for the 12 inductees and/or their representatives in an emotional and entertaining ceremony. Following a video montage paying respect to each inductee, Russ Jackson represented the Class of 2010 with a memorable and respectful valedictorian address.
April – May 2011
On May 17th, 2011 the 2nd wave of Inductees were announced at the now traditional Induction Breakfast at Carmen’s Banquet Centre. Local media covered the announcement of 9 individuals and one team as the Class of 2011. Community and Corporate support increases, and stories begin about a future physical home for the Hall of Fame, while Board Members focus on the on-line growth, the adherence to the original mission of promoting a vast array of athletic achievements, and the educational plan continues its development.
On September 27th, 2011, Carmen’s Banquet Centre hosts the 2nd Annual Hamilton Sports Hall of Fame Dinner. 500 attendees honoured this second year of inductions, and following the now traditional video montage, Cecelia Carter-Smith represented the new inductees with an emotional and classy valedictorian address.
January – April 2012
The Hamilton Sports Hall of Fame announces in January that applications are being accepted to sit on the Hall’s Selection Committee fulfilling its mandate to rotate selection committee members on a bi-annual basis to ensure community participation. Nominations for induction continue to flow in via on-line processes. The Hall of Fame continues its efforts to build partnerships for its educational program. In March, the Class of 2012 Hall of Fame Inductions is announced at the C Hotel. Inductees are once again honoured at a Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Game in front of over 5000 attendees in a pre-game ceremony.
“The Hamilton Sports Hall of Fame “Wants Your Stuff”” Media Conference is held on September 5th at Hutch’s Restaurant. That the Hall is formally accepting contributions of historic artifacts and memorabilia from the community signifies that future announcements of physical location and educational purposes are forthcoming. Contributions pour in from Inductees such as Ron Foxcroft and Bill Friday, and from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Hamilton Bulldogs, and many others. A notable item is an original game day program from the Hamilton Tigers’ final NHL season.
On September 25th, the Class of 2012 is honoured in the 3rd Annual Induction Ceremony. Soccer Legend John McGrane represents the Class as Valedictorian and addresses the 400 in attendance with a theme of overcoming challenges and adversity to reach one’s goals, and the community of Hamilton’s history of embracing individuals and teams who require support.
The Hall of Fame introduces its Pathfinders Project in partnership with area school boards. The Pathfinders Project Education Program ensures that local students will be offered an opportunity to learn more about Hamilton’s sport history across several educational disciplines. Pilot projects commence in 2013.
The continuing Nomination Process for the Class of 2013 Hamilton Sports Hall of Fame is announced.
The Pathfinders Project Education Program is formerly announced in partnership with the Hamilton District Public School Board, the Hamilton District Separate School Board and The Hamilton Spectator Newspapers in Education. 87 Grade 6 classes in the Greater Hamilton area participate, with students learning the detailed stories of 10 inducted members.
The 2013 Hamilton Sports Hall of Fame Induction Class is announced with a media gathering at The C Hotel by Carmen’s
The Class of 2013 is honoured in the 4rd Annual Induction Ceremony. A record attendance of over 500 enjoyed the event, hosted once again by MC Al Craig, and featuring a dynamic Valedictorian speech by Dr. David Levy. Nick Bontis leads a spirited live auction assisted by Hall of Famers Dave Andreychuk and Angelo Mosca.
The Pathfinders Educational Project evolves into The Hamilton Sport Heroes Education Program, formalizing the branding of the program and its focus. The partnership continues with The Hamilton Spectator leading the promotion of teacher participation in the program, and expands into an additional 50 classes in its second year of operation.
The traditional media conference is held at The C Hotel by Carmen’s to announce The Class of 2014 in front of over 100 attendees. At this press gathering, details for The Inaugural HSHOF Golf Tournament are shared.
The Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Club honour the newly announced Class of 2014 in an on-ice ceremony before over 5000 attendees at a Bulldogs home game at Copps Coliseum.
The inaugural golf tournament is held at Century Pines Golf Course.
Carmen’s Banquet Centre hosts the 5th Annual Induction Dinner with once again over 400 attendees paying tribute to the Class of 2014. Valedictorian Don MacVicar spoke, representing the honourees. Plans for physical displays of Hall of Fame memorabilia with support of the City of Hamilton were included, with the project to be completed in 2015.