Sport and Community Leaders Perry Cavanagh and Wally Kozak Receive Honourary Naming at City Arenas

Yesterday, City Council formally approved Hockey Calgary’s request for honourary naming at two City-operated arenas to recognize the contributions of Perry Cavanagh and Wally Kozak. In their own way, Mr. Cavanagh and Mr. Kozak contributed to the growth of the game, helped promote fairness and equity, and advanced the participation of females in the sport.

Max Bell Arena #2 (1221 Barlow Tr. S.E.) will be named the Perry Cavanagh Arena while Village Square Leisure Centre Arena #2 (2623 56th St. N.E.) will be known as the Wally Kozak Arena.

“Calgary has a rich sporting history and Perry Cavanagh and Wally Kozak’s contributions are unquestionably a part of that fabric,” said Ward 10 Councillor Andre Chabot. “Their success and excellence as sport and community leaders merits this recognition.”

“Hockey Calgary has brought forward two very deserving names for this distinction,” said Ward 9 Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra. “Perry Cavanagh and Wally Kozak are recognized throughout the hockey community for their contributions to advancing the sport in Calgary. This is a well-deserved honour.” 

Perry Cavanagh
Mr. Cavanagh was the driving force in implementing the Respect in Sport program throughout the Hockey Calgary system. This program is designed to support and reinforce positive sport behaviours among parents’/guardians’ and participants to improve the overall playing environment.  A devoted volunteer, he previously served as the President of the Minor Hockey Association of Calgary, sat on the Board of Directors for Hockey Calgary and Hockey Alberta, and was Chairman of Sport Calgary.  A complete biography is attached.

“I have been an avid supporter of minor hockey in Calgary for over 30 years,” said Mr. Cavanagh. “Youth sports are essential to fostering healthy, vibrant, and connected communities, and I am honoured to be recognized as being a part of this legacy.”

Wally Kozak
A physical education teacher in northeast Calgary, Mr. Kozak has been instrumental in fostering the growth of women and girls hockey and served as the technical advisor to Girls Hockey Calgary. He is known internationally as one of the best technical coaches and was integral in establishing the development of the Women’s National Team program. A complete biography is attached.

"I am humbled and honoured to have one of the Village Square arenas named after me,” said Mr. Kozak. “That facility provided an opportunity to learn how to teach and coach and continually serve the ‘good of the game’."

Hockey Calgary formally submitted the honourary naming nominations for Mr. Cavanagh and Mr. Kozak in 2021. The nominations received support from other arena users, including synchro skating, ringette and indoor lacrosse groups.

“We’re proud to add Perry Cavanagh and Wally Kozak to a list of significant sport and community leaders whose names adorn our arenas,” said Calgary Recreation Director Heather Johnson. “Arenas are important community assets and we remain committed to ensuring Calgarians have access to quality recreation amenities.”

The honourary naming requests coincided with a recently completed $14 million upgrade at Max Bell Centre that brings improved accessibility, energy efficiency and event-hosting ability.

The City operates 19 arenas (ice surfaces) at 13 properties throughout Calgary.