Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame

Saskatoon Field House, 2020 College Drive, (306) 664-6744

Peter Zakreski

Builders (2005)
Peter was among the community leaders who helped Saskatoon become famous for its ability to stage sports competitions, like the 1979 Western Canada Summer Games, the 1989 Canada Summer Games, the 1991 World Junior Hockey Championships and the 2002 World's Women's Softball finals. Peter was born in Alvena, where he attended elementary school and was a farm boy at heart before moving into Saskatoon for his high school years at St. Paul's. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Saskatchewan and soon joined Federated Co-operatives and became active in community recreation. Among Peter's highlights as a city councillor was meeting Queen Elizabeth and he served on council from 1973 until 1979. He was invited on the management committee of the 1979 Western Canada Summer Games where he, Tony Dagnone and Ed Sebestyen were among the organizers on both the bid and the organizing teams. Peter attended the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, as part of the learning process leading up to his next assignment as senior vice-president of the 1989 Canada Summer Games. The 1989 Games became a widespread promotional activity and Peter, with his two mascots, made an appearance in Yellowknife, North West Territories. The 1989 Summer Games turned out to be a rousing success and Peter was on the scene, shaking hands and meeting with the visiting athletes from all provinces. Perhaps the crowning achievement was his role as president of the 1991 World Junior Hockey Championships and among the displays he lured to Saskatoon were the Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame and the Stanley Cup. Canada scored a 3-2 victory over the Soviet Union to win the gold medal in the tournament and Peter shared a visit with Eric Lindros, one of the stars of the Canadian team. One of the special guests at the tournament was Saskatoon's own Ray Hnatyshyn, who was governor-general of Canada at the time. Peter was also the chair of the Welcome Home ceremonies for hockey great, Gordie Howe, in 1993 and the unveiling of his statue at the corner of First Avenue and 20th Street. One of the events, which slipped out of Saskatoon's grasp, was a bid on the 2007 World University Games and Peter and two associates, Murray Osborne and Bill Peterson, made staunch arguments on Saskatoon's behalf when they visited Beijing in 2002.
** Deceased