OTTAWA, ON – The Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame is proud to announce that five new members will soon be welcomed to its local sports shrine – Carol Anne Chenard, Murray Costello, Tim Higgins, Earle Morris and Jill Perry.
After the COVID-induced postponement of in-person festivities, the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will return this year to the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park the evening of Wednesday, September 27th, 2023.
“It’s been quite the wait, but we’re thrilled to gather again and toast several great figures who have contributed to Ottawa’s proud sports history,” says Dave Best, Chair of the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame. “And we’re especially pleased to welcome this class of local sports legends to the Hall – with this group of five, we’re definitely coming back with a bang.”
All five of the new inductees were high-performances athletes and each one has gone on to make an impact after their playing careers. Chenard (soccer referee), Costello (hockey administration) and Morris (curling coach) will be inducted as builders, while Higgins (hockey) and Perry (boxing) will be recognized as athletes.
Carol Anne Chenard was a Team Canada short track speed skater who won six World Cup medals and once held the world record in the women’s 3,000-metre relay. But most would likely recognize her as Canada’s most accomplished international soccer official.
In 15+ years as a FIFA international referee, Chenard officiated at two Women’s World Cups and called the 2016 Olympic final between Germany and Sweden in Rio de Janeiro. She missed the 2019 Women’s World Cup while undergoing cancer treatments, but will return for this summer’s 2023 Women’s World Cup as a video official.
Chenard has also served as a mentor for rising Canadian referees, she’s officiated numerous Major League Soccer and National Women’s Soccer League games, and she’s called many matches on local pitches too, where she got her start in Gloucester.
Murray Costello played four seasons in the NHL in the 1950s, but his biggest impact came after his playing days. Costello spent nearly 20 years in charge of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (now Hockey Canada) and was a key figure in the International Ice Hockey Federation for another 14 years.
The University of Ottawa law graduate used his platform to influence positive change in hockey. He set up screening programs and background checks in minor hockey, spoke out against bullying and helped inspire amazing growth in women’s hockey during his time in leadership.
Costello is a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, the Hockey Hall of Fame, the IIHF Hall of Fame and the Order of Canada. He’s called Ottawa home for 50 years and will now become a member of his local Sport Hall of Fame as well.
Born and raised in Ottawa, Tim Higgins became a junior star with his hometown Ottawa 67’s and went on to play parts of 11 seasons in the NHL. Higgins was a star right from the beginning. He played Peewee hockey for the Ottawa Junior 67’s, which played more than 100 games and never lost. Four members of that team went on to play in the NHL.
NHL scouts flocked to Higgins’ junior games. In 1978, he was chosen 10th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks. He made his NHL debut that same year at age 20. A solid, dependable two-way player, Higgins played over 700 games in the NHL and tallied more than 350 points.
Some of his most productive days came in his post-playing career. He spent nearly two decades and a scout and coach in hockey, including time as a 67’s assistant beside the legendary Brian Kilrea. But Higgins perhaps made an even bigger impact as an addiction counsellor. He took many of the hard lessons he learned during his battles with addiction and helped many overcome their own challenges.
The curling roots run deep in Earle Morris’s family. Morris, his grandfather Cliff and his son John together make up the only three-generation family to have skipped teams at the Brier. While moving around as a member of the military, Morris played in the Brier for Manitoba, Quebec and finally Ontario once he settled in Ottawa in 1983.
When his competitive curling days ended, Morris moved to coaching. He found that role more rewarding than playing, and he continues to coach to this day. Morris has become one of the most successful coaches curling has ever seen. He has coached many of Canada’s top curlers to national and world titles, including Rachel Homan, Jennifer Jones and his own son John.
The member of the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame was also a key contributor to establishing Curling Canada’s adult learn-to-curl program and has helped improve accessibility in the sport he loves.
Jill Perry has strong memories of the first time she set foot into the boxing gym that would become an important part of the rest of her life. At age 28, she felt a little intimated taking part in her first boxing workout at the storied Beaver Boxing Club, but she wound up liking it.
Never in her wildest dreams did Perry see herself ever going into a ring and fighting. But she ended up competing in 57 bouts in her career, winning most of them. Perry earned numerous provincial titles and was twice crowned national champion in the 57 kg category.
Perry’s late start in the sport paid dividends in a way – she set a record for becoming the oldest Canadian champion at age 39. That was her final year competing, but Perry had already begun coaching while active as a boxer and she’s since become a high-performance coach and administrator at many levels.
In the lead-up to the banquet, full-length features on each of the inductees will be posted on the Hall’s new website at OttawaSportHall.ca and shared through the Ottawa Sports Pages, the Hall’s new partner.
Event tickets are $125 per person or $1,200 for a table of 10, while premium tables go for $2,000 and additional sponsorship opportunities are available. See OttawaSportHall.ca for more details.
Chair, Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame
Director, Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame
About the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame:
The Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization, which documents, curates and celebrates outstanding achievement in local sport heritage. The Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors which works in close partnership with the City of Ottawa to maintain and preserve Ottawa’s rich sporting legacies. Each year, the Hall of Fame Board receives nominations from the public, and selects new inductees to be represented in the Hall. The Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame is located at City Hall. It contains artifacts, photographs and memorabilia honouring our sporting heritage, as well as commemorative plaques honouring its more than 275 inductees.