May 22, 2015


Aquatic Hall of Fame to return to Pan Am Pool gallery

Movers pack up pieces from the Aquatic Hall of Fame and Museum of Canada at the Pan Am Pool in July of 2006.


Movers pack up pieces from the Aquatic Hall of Fame and Museum of Canada at the Pan Am Pool in July of 2006. Photo Store

The Aquatic Hall of Fame is returning to its home.

A last-minute settlement has been reached in a 2007 lawsuit between the hall and the City of Winnipeg, which will see the hall’s collection returned on display at the Pan Am Pool.

A report to city council states the city will pay the Aquatic Hall of Fame and Museum of Canada a cash settlement of $250,000 and set aside exclusive use of the Pan Am Pool gallery for the hall exhibits.

The City will also pay the $600,000 cost to install the hall’s cabinets in the gallery and allow the hall of fame to link its website to the city’s.

A spokesman for the Aquatic Hall of Fame could not be reached for comment.

The Aquatic Hall of Fame and Museum was set up inside the Pan Am Pool in 1967, when the pool was built. It’s collection used to be housed on shelves along the walls of the pool’s running track and in the gallery addition to the pool.

The collection housed awards, medallions and memorabilia from the country’s swimming community, including: the swimming medals that once belonged to Winnipegger Reta Tustin, a local swimming phenomenon from the 1920s and ‘30s; Pierre Trudeau’s swimming trunks (he was an avid diver), and paintings of Olympian Alex Baumann, including one of him in the nude.

The hall of fame was evicted from the Pan Am Pool in 2006, following a bitter dispute over who was responsible for providing insurance coverage and the city’s insistence of sharing the hall’s gallery space with recreational users.

After the hall of fame left, the city turned over the gallery space for a variety of recreational groups, including indoor lawn bowling, yoga, and triatholon training.

The administrative report indicates the city was wrong in evicting the hall from the pool, acknowledging that agreements between the two sides revealed the provision of insurance was the city’s responsibility.

The report states the hall of fame was seeking $21 million in damages.

A four-week trial was set to begin in mid-April.

The terms of the settlement include a 50-year lease to the hall, with no option for renewal. The hall of fame will be allowed to stage events in the gallery.

City council will be asked to approve the settlement at its meeting Wednesday morning.

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