A vision was unveiled on the eve of the third anniversary of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash on how to honour and remember the 29 victims.
Sixteen people were killed and 13 others injured after a semi ran a stop sign at an intersection in eastern Saskatchewan on April 6, 2018.
The City of Humboldt and the Humboldt Broncos Memorial Committee said the Humboldt Broncos Tribute Centre will highlight the perseverance, resiliency, inspiration, community spirit and national unity that emerged in the wake of the tragedy.
“Today we begin to turn the page. The memorial committee’s vision is to do something extraordinary and make a positive impact, local and nationally,” said Humboldt Mayor Michael Biehl.
“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.”
Organizers said the tribute centre will promote the values spelled out by former coach Darcy Haugan in his core covenant.
“The way Darcy was and the way he lived his life was he always looked to be able to do good, to give more than he takes. For us, that is now what we’re trying to do,” said Haugan’s wife, Christina.
“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.”
Carol Brons said she hopes the centre will bring hope and healing to everyone affected by the tragedy.
“It is my hope this tribute centre will help many young people fulfil their potential to achieve their aspirations,” said Brons, mother of Dayna Brons, the athletic therapist for the team who died on April 11 from the injuries she sustained in the crash.
“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.” Another component of the tribute centre is a gallery.
Organizers said images, video and a selection of the thousands of items sent to the community in the days and weeks after the crash will be on display to remind visitors of the outpouring of support.
They said themes of teamwork, community spirit, character, integrity, grit and resiliency will be embedded throughout the gallery.
A roadside memorial at the site of the crash is also in the planning stages.
Organizers said it will provide a quiet place for people to reflect on the lives of the 16 people killed in the crash, the 13 who were injured and the efforts of those who answered the calls for help in the days that followed.
“First and foremost of importance to everybody is a roadside memorial up at the accident site,” Biehl said.
“Hopefully some of the obstacles and roadblocks to (the) best utilization of that site are cleared up in the near future so that we can develop that area to be a very respectful roadside memorial space.”
Biehl said those obstacles and roadblocks include power lines and road access.
A national capital campaign was announced on Monday to support the project, with a local and national campaign leadership team to be announced.