mackin gym

VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Libraries, in partnership with the Vikes Athletics and Recreation, officially launched their joint publication yesterday, UVIc Athletics: A Tradition of Excellence, The McKinnon Years on the occasion of the annual Championship Breakfast in the new CARSA Performance Gym before an audience of over 650 guests, with former Olympian Simon Whitfield as the keynote speaker.

The publication, which chronicles the rich history of athletics at the University of Victoria, is written by local sportswriter and former UVic Harvey Southam Lecturer Tom Hawthorn, and richly illustrated with archival photographs from the University of Victoria Libraries Special Collections and University Archives,  and Vikes Athletics.  As the third publication in the Libraries’ award-winning imprint, UVIc Athletics: A Tradition of Excellence outlines the forty years of sporting excellence and facilities that define “the McKinnon Years.”  

“This joint publication by the University of Victoria Libraries and Vikes Athletics and Recreation celebrates the vital importance of sporting accomplishments within the life of the university,” University Librarian Jonathan Bengtson states in his introduction, adding that “The partnership between the Libraries and the Vikes is a wonderful example of how UVic Libraries continues to redefine learning, research, and community engagement to highlight the strength  of our university programs and create awareness of our rich resources.”

With a foreword by Ken and Kathy Shields, the publication highlights the history and achievements of the teams, coaches, and players of basketball, cross-country and track, field hockey, golf, rowing, rugby, soccer, and swimming at the University of Victoria. A timeline also compliments the publication, beginning starting with the birth of Archie McKinnon in 1896, and concluding with a section on the new Lynda & Murray Farmer Walk of Excellence. 

In his preface UVic Athletics and Recreation Director Clint Hamilton reflects upon the incredible legacy of athletic excellence associated with UVic Athletics.  

“We will never say good bye to the many great memoires, stories and achievements that occurred during the McKinnon era,” said Hamilton. “With the opening of our new facility we have ensured a way to remember, share, celebrate and inspire through the Lynda and Murray Farmer Walk of Excellence. This along with our new McKinnon book are powerful ways for us to pay tribute to the many stories and accomplishments associated with Vikes athletics.”

Available in a limited edition of 2,700 print copies, UVic Athletics: A Tradition of Excellence, The McKinnon Years is also available in a free PDF and flip book versions at

In 2013, the University of Victoria Libraries launched its imprint, and published the first in a continuing series of publications devoted to our archives and special collections. The publications support the Libraries’ commitment to dynamic learning and vital impact and are meant to illustrate, in an accessible format, the rich collections housed at the University of Victoria. Previous publications include The Transgender Archives: Foundations for the Future (2014) by Aaron Devor, and The Seghers Collection: Old Books for a New World (2013) by Hélène Cazes.