Committee members needed for project to digitize
​Sports Parade of History photos

by Carrie Debrone
Kitchener Citizen
January 11, 2018

Ever wonder which Canadian and international sports heroes come from Kitchener and Waterloo?

Well, if you’ve ever gone to an event at the Waterloo Recreation Complex or the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, you likely couldn’t help but notice the large photo galleries that cover some of the walls. The photos tell the story of championship sports teams and local athletes who competed and represented both cities provincially, nationally and internationally.

Called the Sports Parade of History, the idea to create and maintain walls of photos of our sports champions came from the late KW Civitan Club member Ed Davies. Established in 1988, in cooperation with the City of Kitchener, the Parade of History project became the way that the Kitchener-Waterloo Civitan Club celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Since then the numbers of photos have grown and now cover four walls beside the Subscriber’s Lounge at the Aud, and a large wall on the second level of the Waterloo Rec Complex outside the Hauser Haus Room.

From 1989 to 1993, 204 pictures of local athletes representing 42 sports were added to the walls, which include photos dating back to 1888 and represent historical sports pictures as well as championship teams and individuals.

Some are of athletes who have won Canadian and World Championships or have represented Canada at the Olympics.

Younger athletes who have also won championships in Ontario and had no higher level at which to compete, are also included in the displays.

Kitchener has had world champions in many sports including the 1918 Kitchener Allan Cup and World Amateur Champions in wrestling, boxing, waterskiing, windsurfing, 10-pin bowling, and men and women athletes who have played on Canada’s World Championship Hockey teams.

In recent years the project has struggled, mainly because it is running out of space, and because many of the people involved in its development and continuation have passed away including well-known champions of local sport Pat Doherty and Howie Dietrich.

And, some of the older photos are now showing their age, have become faded or ragged and need to be replaced.
An idea to update the project by digitizing all the photos has taken root, and four organizations have stepped up to the leadership plate.

The Parade of History digital project is a partnership of the KW Civitan Club, the Kitchener Sports Association (KSA), the City of Kitchener and the City of Waterloo. The project is looking for volunteers to be on a committee that would lead the project.

The work will involve digitizing all the photos currently on display, and presenting them to fans on web based touch screens, likely located at kiosks at the Aud, the Rec Centre and possibly other locations in the region, such as museums and libraries.

KSA President, Bill Pegg said he has received about seven applications so far from people willing to serve on the committee.

“The ideal would be to have ten or more,” Pegg said.

“The cities have all the negatives stored in their archives,” Pegg said, adding that the costliest part of the project will be converting the photos to a digital format and purchasing equipment to allow viewing.

No budget for the project has yet been set.

“We started talking about the project about three years ago. The KSA stepped in and said we’re willing to get involved. We think it is a very worthwhile project and I think both cities and the Civitans want to get going on it,” Pegg said.

Ashley Purvis, Sport Development Coordinator at the City of Kitchener, said that after applications are received, the committee will be struck with a view to having the project started next month and a goal to having all the photos digitized within two years.

If you are interested in local sports and/or local history with a background in either, skilled in research or technical aspects, or just an interested person that this appeals to, the committee would like to hear from you. The committee will also be charged with reviewing and approving all new applicants to the Parade of History.

Anyone interested should email a response/inquiry by January 31, 2018 to:
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