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Douglas H. Mitchell

Multisport Builder - Inducted 1999

Douglas Mitchell has been a sports icon in Calgary for many years. Doug’s involvement in sports began as an athlete while attending and playing for Colorado College on a hockey scholarship and then playing football for the University of British Columbia while completing his law degree. Doug then went on to play professional football for the B.C. Lions and the Hamilton Tigercats.

After Doug’s playing career he moved on to his legal profession and began to involve himself as a builder of sports in Calgary. Some of his involvements include Commissioner of the Canadian Football League from 1984 to 89, at which time he introduced the salary cap which has been said to have saved the C.F.L. from folding; he is currently a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee; a member of the National Hockey League Board of Governors (Alternate Governor), 1980-84 as a member of the Calgary Flames; the Chairman and Founder of Canadian Athletic Foundation which honours the top Canadian Inter-University Athletic Union Athletes of the Year, the Howard Mackie Awards; the Chairman of the Canadian Olympic Hockey Team Advisory Board which was responsible for bringing Canadian hockey back to the 1980 Olympics after a 10-year absence; Doug was Director of Calgary Olympic Development Association; the Chairman of the Alberta Racing Commission, and a past President and one of the founders of the Calgary Booster Club. He was appointed by the Premier's Office in 1994 to undertake a review of Government in Professional Sport.

Douglas Mitchell sponsored NBA exhibition basketball games in Calgary and Edmonton with proceeds going towards basketball scholarships. In 1996, Douglas Mitchell became only the second Albertan to win the Lester B. Pearson Award, in recognition of exemplifying the ideals and purposes of inter-university athletics and amateur sports through his own personal accomplishments.

After Induction

Mr. Mitchell served as Chair of the Canadian Athletic Foundation.  In 2004 he was appointed Member (CM) to the Order of Canada.  In 2009 he was Chair of the Calgary Sports Tourism Authority.  He Chaired the Canadian Athletic Foundation, and served on the CFL Board of Governors.  He is a co-owner of the Calgary Stampeder Football Club.  Douglas was named the Calgary Booster Club's Sportsman of the year in 2007; and, is a former president of the Booster Club and an honorary lifetime director.  In 2010, he was named one of the Power 50 of Canadian Sports by the Globe and Mail.  He was the Honorary Chair of Calgary's exploration committee for a potential bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games.  Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame named Douglas Mitchell as a 2019 Multi-Sport Builder Inductee.  The Induction Festival and Formal Program takes place October 23, in Toronto.


2001 - Leadership role with the 2001 World Track and Field Championships

2004 - Member Order of Canada

2005 - Alberta Centennial Salute for Sport and Recreation Award

2007 - The Alberta Order of Excellence

2007 - Calgary Booster Club's Sportsman of the Year

2009 - UBC named their new sports centre the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre in his honour.

2010 - One of the Power 50 of Canadian sports (named by the Globe and Mail)

2012 - The Doug and Lois Mitchell Outstanding Calgary Artist Award was established in 2012 from contributions Doug and his wife.

2015 - Doug's wife, Louis, became the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta on June 12.

2016 - Named Honorary Chair (no voting privilege) of Calgary's exploration committee on a potential bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games

2017 - was inducted into the Colorado College Athletic Hall of Fame May 13, 2017 for football and hockey.

2019 - Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Inductee.  2019 Induction Festival and Formal program takes place October 23, 2019 in Toronto.

Named one of:

- Calgary's 12 Most Influential Business People by the Calgary Herald

- the 50 Greatest Albertans of the past 100 years by Alberta Venture Magazine

- the Power 50 of Canadian sports by the Globe and Mail in 2010.

Community Involvement:

  • Founder, BLG Awards, a national awards program to honour Canadian university athletes

  • Co-Owner of Calgary Stampeder Football Club and a member of the Canadian Football League Board of Governors

  • Chair, Calgary Sports Tourism Authority; Chair, ParticipACTION

  • Member, Board of Governors, University of British Columbia

  • (Past) President, Calgary Chamber of Commerce; (past) Chair, Alberta Economic Development Authority; (past) Chair, Calgary Airport Authority