Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 – CALGARY, AB – The Canadian Sport Centre Calgary is excited to unveil the newest painting in the Canadian Sport Heroes Collection: 1992 Olympic Swimming Gold Medallist and Chef de Mission of the 2012 Canadian Olympic Team Mark Tewksbury.
The Canadian Sport Heroes Collection is a series of large-scale acrylic portraits by Alberta artist Gordon Milne celebrating the achievements of remarkable Canadian Olympians. Currently comprised of 14 portraits, the Collection began in 2002. Commissioned by the Canadian Sport Centre Calgary and currently on display at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in Calgary, this growing series of portraits will ensure a lasting tribute to our sport heroes.
Tewksbury is best recognized as the star swimming athlete who burst out of the water at the Barcelona Olympics after winning gold for Canada in the closest of races. His career highlights include 21 national titles, seven world records, three Olympic medals, inductions into three major Halls of Fame (including Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame which is currently housing the Collection) and a cover appearance on TIME Magazine.
He joins the ranks of many distinguished Olympians in the Canadian Sport Heroes Collection including Kurt Browning, Cassie Campbell, Catriona Le May Doan, Alex Baumann, Gaetan Boucher and many more.
Tewksbury expressed his excitement at his portrait being inducted into the Collection, “I am completely moved by Gordon Milne’s portrait of me. I have had a long and vast career in sport and humanitarianism, and I feel that this powerful image captures so much of it. While I can still see the swimmer I was, Gordon has also captured the leader and man I have grown to be. I am thrilled with this work.”
Not only have these paintings emerged as an important and unique collection for Canada, they have also evolved into a strong fund development opportunity for the Canadian Sport Centre Calgary through which the next generation of Olympians and Paralympians will benefit. “Our hope is that with the support of the community, the collection will continue to grow to include the many more deserving sport heroes in our country. If we can do that, then what a display of honour and inspiration these vibrant paintings will be to the next generation of Canadian athletes”, says Dale Henwood, President of the Canadian Sport Centre Calgary.
The first 12 paintings were made possible by the financial support of ARC Energy Trust. The portrait of Kevin Martin was commissioned by the Alberta Olympic & Paralympic Secretariat in conjunction with Alberta Culture. The Canadian Sport Centre Calgary welcomes new corporations or individuals who would like to become involved in expanding the Collection.
ARTIST GORDON MILNE
Originally from Hamilton, Ontario, Gordon Milne has spent most of his life working as an artist. Fascinated by people and portraiture, the Canadian Sport Heroes Collection has given Gordon the opportunity to meet and paint some of Canada’s greatest Olympians. Milne has also begun a series of portraits of Canada’s iconic dancers called Art & Dance.