Humboldt, SK, Canada – On April 6, 2018, the world stopped for 29 families and the city of Humboldt, Saskatchewan. The world grieved and the loss has been profound, yet there is common sentiment among the Broncos families that something positive must come from this tragedy. Today, the Humboldt Broncos Memorial Committee, comprised of members of the 2017-2018 Broncos families, Humboldt Broncos Board members, Humboldt Public Art committee members, together with the City of Humboldt, unveiled an extraordinary vision for a Humboldt Broncos Tribute Centre and Roadside Memorial.
“If we don’t find a way to inspire others and create something positive for the community, the families and the nation, then that would be a tragedy.” Christina Haugan, wife of former Broncos Coach Darcy Haugan.
In late 2018, the Broncos Memorial Committee set out on a mission to honour the lives lost and forever changed, and make a generational impact on Jr Hockey and community sports in Humboldt, towns across Canada and beyond. Through this process themes of perseverance, resiliency, inspiration, community spirit and national unity emerged. The ambition for the proposed Broncos Tribute Centre is to symbolize these qualities, celebrate the lives lost and changed, and highlight the role that hockey and other team sports play in developing character and integrity, while creating a sense of belonging and community values.
North of Humboldt, a permanent Roadside Memorial will be constructed at the site of the tragedy, providing a quiet place to reflect on the lives of the sixteen angels that have been lost, the thirteen players whose lives have been forever changed, and the heroic efforts of so many who answered the call to help in the chaotic days that followed.
Tribute Centre Gallery
Located adjacent to the Elgar Peterson Arena, the proposed facility will be a forward-looking tribute with a dedicated exhibit gallery that hopes to inspire the many visitors who make the trip to Humboldt to watch a Broncos game or visit the arena to feel the emotion and unique sense of community. Visitors will gain a greater appreciation for the team, their special bond, unique team culture and commitment to selfless community service and selfless play on the ice – the guiding principles spelled out in former coach Darcy Haugan’s Core Covenant. Images, video and a selection of the many thousands of thoughtful items that were received from around the world will remind visitors of the unprecedented international outpouring of support. Themes of teamwork, community spirit, character, integrity, grit and resiliency will be embedded throughout the facility. Leading artists, exhibit and design firms will be engaged as part of the design process.
Arena and Fitness Facilities
Beyond the exhibit gallery, the proposed Tribute Centre will include a new ice arena to support local hockey, the Humboldt Broncos, and other local skating sports. A proposed fitness facility will be used by the whole community and options for a therapy centre are being evaluated to support those in surrounding communities who are recovering from injuries and are now driving hours for treatment. All of these facilities are needed in this physically active community that has limited options for fitness and rehab facilities.
“Today we begin to turn the page. The Memorial Committee’s vision is to do something extraordinary and make a positive impact, locally and nationally. We have a vision, however there is a long way to go, a lot of details to iron out and significant funds to raise, but we’re confident we can pull people together to make this a reality. We welcome others to be a part of this effort and support this vision.”
Michael Behiel, Mayor of Humboldt
As a symbol of Canadian Junior Hockey, the Broncos Tribute Centre will seek to recognize other junior programs from across the country and highlight acts of local community service, perseverance and resiliency. Plans for a revolving display of messaging tied to team leadership, team culture and sportsmanship from Canadian and International leaders will complement proposed workshops and clinics on these topics.
The Centre will aspire to make an impression and inspire visitors, sports teams, coaches, athletes and parents from across the country by promoting the values spelled out in former coach Darcy Haugan’s Core Covenant, which continues to influence sports leaders across North America.
“Our hope is that the values that guided the 2017/18 Broncos will continue to inspire our kids to become better teammates and future leaders, regardless of their sport, academic or professional pursuit.”
Carol Brons, mother to Dayna Brons
Funding; Capital Campaign Announced
A Humboldt Broncos Tribute Centre Capital Campaign will engage philanthropic, corporate, government and construction partners who are inspired to contribute and bring this extraordinary project from concept to reality. A local and national campaign leadership team is being developed. Campaign details and information on how you can participate can be found at www.broncostributecampaign.com