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Champions & Challenges in Sports

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The Galt Museum & Archives celebrates local competitive sports this summer in the new special exhibit “Champions & Challenges in Sports” featuring challenges and successes faced by some amazing personalities including athletes, coaches and managers, officials, sponsors, casual athletes and the fan.

“Competitive sports have long been an indelible part of human culture,” says Curator Wendy Aitkens, “because people like to challenge each other and themselves to achieve physical, mental and often monetary success. Sports are important to a community’s identity, recreational infrastructure and economics. Involvement in sports helps humans stay healthy, improve physical strength and dexterity, develop team spirit and, above all, have fun.” 

Athletes in organized sports are usually in the spotlight but their activities would not be possible without coaches and managers, referees and timekeepers, sponsors to provide necessary funding, advocates to promote and plan events and the fan to cheer on everyone. Family members who buy necessary equipment and deliver kids to the arena, media who write about and announce at games also contribute to the overall success of games, tournaments and leagues. 

Many people are athletes in a more casual sense. Weekend runners, players in a slow-pitch beer league, paddlers at the Lethbridge Dragon Boat Festival, and curlers who ‘hurry hard’ throughout the winter are a significant part of the local sports scene.

Champions & Challenges in Sports” features an individual, company or group in each of these areas with stories, historic and current memorabilia, and in their own words captured through video interviews. They include: Tyler Birch [bowling/alpine skiing], Karen Collin [dragon boating], Dennis Connolly [fan], Alan Dixon [sponsor], Susan Eymann [community identity], Allan Friesen [coach], Lori Greene [curling], Jennifer Grimes [curling/power lifting], Bill Halma [referee], Brian Jeannotte [announcer], Willy Kimosop [marathon runner], The Lowe Family [running], Knud Petersen [advocate], Heather Steacy [track and field], Hank Stoffer [slow pitch], and Kris Versteeg of the Florida Panthers [hockey].

“We acknowledge that the Lethbridge community has thousands of people involved in sports that are not included in the exhibit,” says Aitkens.  “We worked with a community advisory group to realize the final list of 19 people. Their stories are considered representative of a much larger community; with this exhibit we celebrate all those who participate, contribute to and support sport in Lethbridge.” 

Champions & Challenges in Sports” runs May 12 – September 9, and officially opens Sunday, May 13 at 2:00 pm with Curator Presents presentation “Who Are the Champions?” featuring Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame inductee Brad Brown, followed by a ribbon cutting.

Programs reflecting the sports theme will be offered throughout the run of the exhibit, including family activities during Saturdays at 1:00 and Summer Fun at 1:00; presentations as part of Wednesdays at the Galt for ages 55+; and special topics during Thursday adult programs and special events throughout the summer.

Developed by the Galt Museum & Archives with a panel of community sports advisors: Brad Brown, Susan Eymann, Robert Kossuth, Knud Petersen.

Special thanks to University of Lethbridge Applied Studies student Stephanie Heidebrecht.

Made possible in part by support from the 2012 Lethbridge Alberta Summer Games.

Major topics:

 A Sport for All Ages: Curling

Announcing is Second Nature

Best Job Ever: Slo-Pitch

Blowing the Whistle: Referee

Family Made it all Possible: Hockey

Giving Back: Sports Advocates

I Want to Run: Cross-Country Running

Juggling a Full Schedule: Family Commitment

Paddles Up!: Dragon Boating

Safety, Fun and Competition: Target Shooting

Special Athletes: Powerlifting, Skiing

Sponsoring Community

Sport and Lethbridge

The Ultimate Fan

Throwing the Hammer

Display elements include:

  • Kris Versteeg: Hurricanes Jersey #18, World Junior Team Canada ID Tag & Jersey #9, First NHL Goal Plaque, hockey stick, foot cast, NHL Awards Program, MVP Plaque, school book, game tickets, trading cards

  • Hank Stoffer: Slo-Pitch National Trading Card, Misuno Baseball Glove & Ball, Award of Excellence, Canadian Softball Championship Ball Cap, Western Canadian Softball Championship Medal

  • Dennis Connolly: Pronghorn Athletics Game Tickets, University of Lethbridge Pronghorns Scarf, Women’s Hockey 11/12 Season Program, Math Assignment Paper, U of L Pronghorns Men’s Hockey Playoffs

  • Alan Dixon: ATCO Gas #1 Fan Foam Finger, ATCO Gas Ice Hockey Puck, ATCO Gas Relay Torch, Alberta 55 Plus Winter Games Lethbridge Water Bottle

  • Bill Halma: Referee Shirt, SABOA Referee Whistle

  • Jennifer Grimes: 50 lb weightlifting dumb bells, Olson curling broom and gloves, Special Olympics Lethbridge Golf Shirt, Special Olympics Participation Ribbon, Special Olympics Lethbridge Curling ‘Most Improved’, Special Olympics Lethbridge “Best Female Power Lifter”, 5 pin bowling ball

  • Karen Collins: Dragon Boat Drum, Dragon Boat Dragons Head, Dragon Boat Paddle

  • Lori Greene: Asham mitts, Olson gloves, knee slider, digital timer, curling broom and shoes

  • Heather Steacy: Pronghorns singlet, NACAC 2010 Gold Medal, leather throwing glove, Nike throwing shoes, 4 kg (8.8 lb) Outdoor Throwing Hammer, 9 kg (20 lb) Indoor Throwing Hammer

  • Tyler Birch: one piece ski suit, PEI and Nagano Special Olympics bib, medals and pins, 10 pin bowling ball

  • Susan Eyman: Coupe Canada Cup 2011 Lethbridge, Leather Shooting Jacket, Olympic Walther Air Rifle, banners, flags, posters 

  • Alan Friesen: Fish & Game .22 Rifle Competition Trophy, Fourth Annual Trophy Shoot Program, Feinwerkbau Model 80 Air Handgun, RWS Handgun Pellets, ISSF Approved Target, 1990 Commonwealth silver medal


  • 8th Annual Shirtsleeve Bonspiel Button, 1947

  • Binoculars, ca.1940-50

  • Bowling Pin, ca.1940-50

  • Bowling Shoes and Bag, ca. 1973-99

  • Bussei Baseball Team Jersey, ca.1950-55

  • Catcher’s Baseball Glove, ca.1930-50

  • Chinese Taipei Baseball Team Banner, 1993

  • Curling Stone, ca. 1900-10

  • Curling Tam, ca.1940-50

  • Farm Women’s Union of Alberta President’s Cup, 1958

  • Fielder’s Baseball Glove, ca.1920-40

  • Hockey skates, ca.1920-30

  • Hockey Tape, ca.1955-69

  • Homemade Referee’s Vest, ca.1915-24

  • Lethbridge Hurricanes Noisemaker, ca.1990-2000

  • Lethbridge Ladies Curling Club Trophy, 1937

  • Lethbridge Native Sons Hockey Sweater, ca.1949-50

  • Lethbridge Ski Club Badge, 1949

  • Microphone, ca.1960-70

  • Pronghorn Fan Pom Poms, ca.1998-2001

  • “Schnookie” Sticker, 1996

  • Special Olympics Pin, 1987-88

  • Sport Medal, 1951

  • Sports Sweater, ca.1950-60

  • Sugar Kings Lethbridge Jacket, 1969

  • Track and Field Prize Ribbon, 1970

  • “Yell-a-Phone” Megaphone, ca.1998-2001

Special Focus Areas

Mini-Theatres featuring stories and thoughts from the featured participants

Try this weight lift a weight comparable to the hammer thrown in competition

Hurry Hard try 4 different styles of curling brooms and see how challenging it is to sweep “hard” for 20 seconds [the time is takes to sweep a draw shot from end to end]

19 featured Athletes & Supporters

A Sport for All Ages

Lori Greene grew up in a family that played many sports, in fact, Sunday afternoons were always set aside for some family sport activity.  She started curling in high school because a handsome fellow student was involved.  Curling outlasted the crush and Lori played often to develop and maintain her unique technique.  She started off as a lead (the person to throw the first two team rocks) and moved up eventually to the skip position.

“We try real hard, we win a few, lose a lot but we have fun.”

High resolution images are available by request: contact Anine Vonkeman, Marketing Communications Officer at the Galt Museum & Archives: 403.320-4009


Contact Leslie for more information: | 403.320-4700

The Curator Presents… Who are the Champions?

Sun MAY 13 | 2:00 – 3:00 pm
admission rates apply, includes exhibit access | free to annual pass & invitation holders | exhibit open from 1:00 to 4:30 pm | Ribbon cutting at conclusion of The Curator Presents…

A special presentation and celebration of the opening of Champions & Challenges in Sports

Participate in this conversation with Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame inductee Brad Brown about professional and casual athletes, families, coaches & managers, referees & umpires, sponsors, advocates & fans, the significance of sports to our community, and the development of Champions & Challenges. Followed by the official opening of the new exhibit, and some special surprises too!

Café Galt

7:00 pm | admission rates apply, includes exhibit access | free for annual pass holders | registration not required | the Discovery Hall and Museum Store are open on Thursdays until 9:00 pm

Explore and discuss current exhibits and ideas through film screenings, lectures and other unique experiences.

Thu JUN 21 Calgary Stampede Centennial for over 125 years the Calgary Stampede has been building and celebrating the spirit of Calgary, growing and evolving to recognized around the world as a celebration of western hospitality and values. Calgary Stampede Archivist Aimee Benoit will present the history of the Stampede, including the people and characters that have been a part of the story along the way.  

Thu JUL 12 From the Fields to the Archives: Preserving and Documenting Lethbridge’s Sport History a presentation by Dr. Robert Kossuth. How does one go about documenting and preserving a community’s sporting history? Presenting the history of sport in Lethbridge must be more than recording past teams, individuals, and events; it must also engage us in the process of finding and preserving the artifacts, documents, and memories that link us to it.


Contact Leslie for more information: | 403.320-4700

Saturdays at 1:00
presented with Green Acres Kiwanis Club of Lethbridge

NOW YEAR-ROUND! | adults required to attend with children | admission rates apply | free for annual pass holders | registration not required | includes exhibit access

This interactive program animates our exhibits and collections for families with children of all ages and is now offered year-round thanks to our new partner, the Green Acres Kiwanis Club of Lethbridge. Programs marked with * are outdoors. Please meet us at the venue listed.

SATURDAYS through JUN 30:

* MAY 05 Old-fashioned Games at the Park Join us at Galt Gardens at the Alberta Federation of Labour Centennial celebrations”.

* MAY 19 Valley Walk meet at Fort Whoop-Up and other historic sites in Indian Battle Park. 

MAY 26   Kites Learn about aviation history as you make your own hexagonal kite to fly. 

*JUN 09  Disc-Golf Join us at Nicholas Sheran Park disc golf course to learn the history of this sport, and to try it out. 

*JUN 16  Fishing Join us at Nicholas Sheran Park lake to learn casting and fishing from the Lethbridge Fish and Game Association. Children will cast with weighted lines not hooks, on the grass or water depending on their age. Children under 16 do not need a license. If parents wish to cast they must pre-purchase a license and present it at the program. 

*JUN 23  Downtown Walking Tour Meet at the east side of the museum and then take our self-guided mystery tour where you solve clues and explore downtown history. Fastest team wins a prize

PLEASE NOTE Saturdays at 1:00 becomes Summer Fun at 1:00 in July & August and runs Wednesdays or Thursdays. Off-site programs will be cancelled if there is bad weather [check message at 403.320-4700 on program day].

Thu JUL 05 Curl Like the Pros Learn the historic sport of curling in this fun interactive program.

Wed JUL 11 Chalk Making Join us at the museum to make your own home-made sidewalk chalk. 

Thu AUG 16 Tiny Sail Boats Using various found materials make your own tiny sail boat and compete in our tiny regatta. 

* Wed AUG 22 Learn Archery with the Lethbridge Bowbenders Learn the basics of archery with the Lethbridge Bowbenders Archery Club 


Contact Leslie for more information: | 403.320-4700

Wednesdays at the Galt

Year-round first & third Wednesdays monthly | 2:00 – 3:00 pm | admission rates apply | free for annual pass holders | registration not required | includes exhibit access

From hands-on learning to lectures by special guests, behind-the-scenes tours and tutorials, historical anecdotes to contemporary conundrums for ages 55+.

JUL 18    Curator Tour Join Curator Wendy Aitkens for a special tour of our Champions & Challenges in Sports exhibit. 

AUG 01 Downtown Walking Tour Meet us at the Galt for a walking tour of downtown Lethbridge history. 


Contact Belinda for more information: 403.320-4248 |

Champions & Challenges in Sports exhibit-related programs are available for the duration of the exhibit.


Contact Wendy for more information: | 403.320-3907

Let the Games Begin

Fri JUL 27 | 7:00-9:00 pm

Tickets available at the Alberta Summer Games office [1st Floor, 1010 - 4 Ave S]: Adult $4, Seniors/Youth $3 | Presented with the 2012 Alberta Summer Games 

A special all-ages evening event to celebrate the Alberta Summer Games, featuring Curator-led tours of the special Champions & Challenges in Sports exhibit, games including giant checkers and giant Snakes & Ladders, ‘curling’, board and card games, music and snacks.

Speaker contact information:

Thu JUN 21  | CAFÉ GALT - Calgary Stampede Centennial

Aimee Benoit Calgary Stampede Archivist

403.261-0407 |   

Jennifer Booth Publicity Manager, Calgary Stampede

tel 403.261.0327 |403.463.6834 (c) |

Aimee Benoit has a background in western Canadian history and museum collections management. She started her career in heritage at the Galt Museum in Lethbridge, later spent a few years at the Glenbow Museum, and is currently the Archivist/Historian for the Calgary Stampede.

Thu JUL 12  | CAFE GALT - From the Fields to the Archives: Preserving and Documenting Lethbridge’s Sport History

Dr. Robert Kossuth

tel 403.317-2803|

Dr. Kossuth's primary research focus is the history of sport, recreation, and leisure in 19th and early 20th century Canada. Within this broader field of inquiry his interests range from examining various local historical experiences, the sports of rugby and Canadian football, and issues relating to masculinity and manliness as located in various sport and recreation practices.

Dr. Kossuth's post secondary schooling has been completed at Wilfrid Laurier University H.B.A. (Physical Education), The University of Windsor M.H.K. (Human Kinetics), and The University of Western Ontario Ph.D. (Kinesiology).