Hall of Famer
Inducted in 1970
Vocational Director, Dominion Government
Vice-President, Ontario Athletic Commission
Founder, Canadian Horse Show Association
Pioneered establishment of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
Harry Price spent most of his career at the forefront of sports promotion in his hometown of Toronto. He did wonders for the promotion and funding of amateur sport and also provided the impetus for the establishment of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, a place where Canadian sports heritage would be preserved and celebrated. A runner and rower in his youth, Price grew up with a profound interest in sport; however, ill-health brought on by service in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces during the First World War put an end to much of his competitive activity. After recovering sufficiently, Price was hired as vocational director for the Dominion Government in 1919. In 1923, he was appointed to the Ontario Athletic Commission, an organization that had recently been formed to support amateur sport. Price was made vice-president of the commission and given the responsibility of bringing order and integrity to boxing, a sport which was popular, but widely criticized, at the time. Price's work resulted in complementary rules for bouts in both Canada and the Unites States. As vice-president of the OAC, Price soon became involved with the Canadian National Exhibition, the centre for many of Toronto's sporting events in the 1920s. He became chairman for the Athletic Committee of the CNE and often acted as referee for the legendary marathons swimming events. An avid horseman and an active rider, Price also founded the Canadian Horse Show Association and chaired the Canadian Equestrian team that competed across the globe. As a result of his efforts, the provincial and federal government agreed to fund the creation of the Horse Palace at the Exhibition grounds. Through his involvement in equestrian competition, as well as his experiences with the OAC, Price noticed that there was a significant lack of honour and remembrance for Canada's great athletes. He voiced his concerns to the CNE Board of Directors and pioneered the creation of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1955. As its first chairman, Price worked with Clarence Campbell and Frank Selke to bring the struggling Hockey Hall of Fame from Kingston to the CNE, forging a close association between the two Halls. A former member of the Ontario Legislature, Price used his connections with the Conservative Party to push the Diefenbaker government to introduce the National Fitness and Amateur Sports Act. Passed in 1960, this Act provided five million dollars of federal funding per year for the promotion of amateur sport and fitness, thereby helping to raise the status and quality of amateur athletics in Canada. For his dedicated work at the CNE, Price received the Toronto Civic Merit Award in 1959. For his immense contribution to amateur sport, as well as his fervent campaign to honour the nation's finest athletes, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame stands as his "tangible legacy."