Paralympian Dean Mellway’s Hockey Sledge Makes its Way to the Canadian Museum of History
Hockey permeates every area of Canadian culture and subculture, so it should be no surprise that the Canadian Museum of History is celebrating Canada 150 with an exhibition on our country’s national winter sport. Not only does it feature artifacts from some of hockey’s most storied moments and players – like the jersey worn by Paul Henderson as he scored the game winning goal in Game 8 of the 1972 Summit Series – but from some of hockey’s most important subcultural developments. The latter comes in the form of Dean Mellway’s hockey sledge and sticks.
Dean Mellway has been an inspiration on and off the ice. He was a Canadian Paralympic athlete, who helped the country’s sledge hockey team take home bronze medals at the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics and the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. He also won gold in Snooker – Men’s Singles at the 1976 Toronto Summer Olympics.
Since retiring from the sport, Mellway has become the acting director of the READ Initiative at Carleton University. READ stands for Research, Education, Accessibility and Design. It is a project that furthers Carleton’s engagement within the disability/accessibility field, looking for new ways to support research and solution-based projects on accessibility in all disciplines. Additionally, READ engages students and faculty in Carleton with people with disabilities in the broader community, offering interactive learning opportunities for students and support and solutions for the community.
Mellway has since been an advocate for people with disabilities worldwide. In 2015, he travelled to Kingston, Jamaica to help officials make the country’s legislative building handicap-accessible.
The Hockey exhibit at the Canadian Museum of History is in every way an inclusive look at the sport. The exhibition chronicles the growth of women’s hockey with artifacts such as five-time Olympic medallist Hayley Wickenheiser’s skates. It also documents Aboriginal Canadians’ experiences with hockey with screenings of Suuhk! Suuhk Hockey, a documentary covering the cultural impact of hockey in northern Quebec, and The Uluit: Champions of the North, a documentary which tells the story of an all-female Inuit hockey team in Inukjuak, Nunavik.
Mellway’s hockey sledge and sticks are on display at the Canadian Museum of History as part of their Hockey exhibit March 10 – October 9, 2017. Learn more about the exhibition here.