June 29, 2011 (Calgary, AB) – The doors of Canada’s new Sports Hall of Fame at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary will open for a free public preview on Canada Day, July 1, one day prior to the facilities official opening on July 2. The 4,085-square-metre building with a $30-million price tag houses a 120-seat theatre, 50 interactive displays and more than 1,000 artifacts.
The central main hall features a statue of Wayne Gretzky at its entrance and other permanent statues include figure skater Barbara Ann Scott and cross-country skiing pioneer Herman (Jackrabbit) Smith-Johannsen, who lived to 111. Memorabalia on display include Olympic gold medals, Terry Fox’s running shoes and Maurice “Rocket” Richard’s hockey stick.
Founded in 1955 the Hall once shared space with the Hockey Hall of Fame at Toronto’s Exhibition grounds but in recent times only existed on-line and in boxes. Calgary beat out nine other cities to become home to the new Sports Hall of Fame.