Sophia Maher, Nanaimo Museum general manager, by a hockey broadcast kiosk at the Hockey travelling exhibit at the downtown Nanaimo museum building. The Hockey travelling exhibit is on display until November. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

It’s game on as new hockey exhibit fills Nanaimo Museum

Canadian Museum of History travelling exhibit on display until November

The puck has dropped at Nanaimo Museum, where there are exhibits featuring Paul Henderson’s famed ‘72 Summit Series goal and a brief-tenured Nanaimo Western Hockey League team.

The Canadian Museum of History’s Hockey travelling exhibit will be on display at Nanaimo Museum until Nov. 24, featuring iconic images and local artifacts from Canada’s favourite pastime that show its influence on Canadiana. Information about Henderson’s Summit Series-clinching goal and Roch Carrier’s children’s book The Hockey Sweater will be on display, but according to Aimee Greenaway, museum curator, and Sophia Maher, museum general manager, there are some lesser-known items of Nanaimo hockey lore.

“As far as artifacts that connect with Nanaimo’s history, a really unique one that’s in the hockey exhibit is a jersey from the Nanaimo Islanders, which were a very short-lived WHL team in Nanaimo in 1982-1983 season,” said Greenaway. “So because their time here was so short, we’re really fortunate that there was a member of the community that had a jersey and loaned it to us for the exhibit.”

“They were a WHL team for one year and the team has gone on to be the Tri-City Americans, so it’s a lesser-known hockey story in Nanaimo,” said Maher. “Some people, of course, remember them.”

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Greenaway said visitors can also release their inner broadcaster, as the exhibit, has “interesting interactives.”

“One of those is a space where you can put on a headset with a mike, and you can be the broadcaster in a hockey game, which is really fun,” said Greenaway. “There’s three different selections. One is the second game of the Summit Series in 1972, Canada versus Russia; the fifth game of the Stanley Cup finals 1986, Montreal versus Calgary and the final one is the semifinal ice hockey world junior championships 2009, Canada versus Russia.”

And while NHL hall-of-famers, such as Maurice Richard are part of the exhibit, Maher said a recognizable Nanaimo hockey institution will be spotlighted as well.

“The Clippers of course,” said Maher. “They’re exciting. They’ve been around since 1940, so they’re the oldest existing Nanaimo hockey team and they have won numerous championships. It was really fun. I was able to give the current team a tour of the museum and take them back and look at some of the artifacts. We have some hockey sticks from the 1946 team that have got their signatures on. One of them is on exhibit, as well.”

In addition, displays on Sheldon Kennedy, a former NHLer who raised awareness about sexual abuse and female goalie Manon Rhéaume, who played in exhibition games with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the ’90s, will also be part of the exhibit.

Hockey will be at the museum until Sunday, Nov. 24 and people can view it during regular museum hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

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Nanaimo had a Western Hockey League team, the Islanders, for one season, 1982/83. Here Sophia Maher, Nanaimo Museum general manager, poses with the team’s jersey, which is part of the Hockey travelling exhibit. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

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