The Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in Swift Current has received a substantial donation of $500,000 from the Knight family in honour of the late Edward “Ted” Knight.
This contribution and the organization's revised name was announced during a celebration at the Hall of Fame, Feb. 7.
It will now be known as the Ted Knight Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame to reflect this title sponsorship by the family.
Ted's three children decided to honour their father and his love for hockey through this donation. The family was represented at the announcement by two of the siblings, Kyle Knight and Tracey Knight-Szakacs.
“My father grew up with humble beginnings, and the one thing that he really enjoyed doing as a child was playing hockey,” Kyle said. “He always spoke highly of his time in organized sports, most notably hockey, and it was always a passion of his.”
Kyle and Tracey also spoke later that evening about the donation at the 2019 Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada banquet in Swift Current, when the family's contribution to the Hall of Fame was announced to the audience.
Ted Knight was born in Selkirk, Manitoba, in 1939 and grew up in Charleswood, which later became a part of the city of Winnipeg. He played for the Winnipeg Braves junior hockey team that won the Memorial Cup in 1959 against the Peterborough Petes. The 1958-59 Braves team was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.
He had a successful business career and the Knight Automotive Group has developed into a network of 15 dealerships in the three prairie provinces. He kept his passion for hockey and he was one of five partners that purchased the Regina Pats in 1986. They owned the team for 10 years. Ted passed away in October 2017 from cancer.
Hall of Fame Co-chair Blair Davidson expressed his gratitude towards the Knight family for this contribution.
“Ted's dream was to make hockey important in Saskatchewan, and I think he's done it with this,” Davidson said. “This is going to remember the players and the individuals, the builders, the grassroots people that contributed to the game of hockey in Saskatchewan. That's what we're about, and I think that's what the Knight family is about as well.”
Jack Brodsky, the other co-chair of the Hall of Fame, also referred to the significance of this contribution.
“I knew Ted myself,” he noted. “I was governor and president of the Saskatoon Blades through some of the years that he was that for the Regina Pats. So I knew Ted and worked together with him, and with that relationship being in place, it certainly is a little more special to us, for sure.”
The Hall of Fame received this donation as part of the Legends Live Here fundraising campaign, which was started in 2017 to raise funds to pay off outstanding capital costs and to create a capital fund for future use.
“It went really well,” Davidson said. “We exceeded our minimum goal. We’re somewhere between $800,000 and $1 million. We’re not done yet. We’re still going to go after more cash.”
Funds from this campaign will help them to realize various ideas to improve the Hall of Fame.
“We can't actually make the place bigger, but there are things that we can do within the building, such as improving some of these areas, and putting more displays up,” he said. “That's the plan.”
Another idea is to reach more people in the province with mobile displays that can be taken to different locations.
The Ted Knight Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame is located upstairs in the Innovation Credit Union iPlex in Swift Current. It is open before and during Swift Current Broncos home games and also during major events at the iPlex. Regular winter hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 1-5 p.m. Group visits can be arranged by calling 306-778-2775.