Mayor Chris Spearman presented the Key to the City of Lethbridge to Tyler Wong, the former captain of the Lethbridge Hurricanes on May 8, 2017.
Bestowed at the discretion of the Mayor, the Key to the City is a municipal government’s highest honour and is given to recognize the outstanding civic contributions of each recipient.
“The Key to the City tells the world that you are held in the highest esteem by our community. It gives me great pleasure to present the Key to the City to Tyler Wong, who has demonstrated outstanding citizenship in our community as well as outstanding leadership and commitment to his team and the entire Lethbridge Hurricanes organization,” said Mayor Spearman, who presented the Key to Wong at the beginning of the City Council meeting on May 8.
Wong was recently name the 2017 winner of the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy as the Western Hockey League’s Humanitarian of the Year. He was also named the WHL Eastern Conference Humanitarian of the Year for a third consecutive season. Wong’s off-ice contributions in the community included establishing a local ‘Canes Kidsport program which raised more than $13,000 this season, joining coaches and teammates to help local food banks deliver food hampers and toy baskets, visiting seniors’ homes during the holiday season, and volunteering elsewhere in the community. He played his entire five-year WHL career as a member of the Hurricanes, was voted the Fan Favourite Player all five years.
Traditionally, the Key to the City is given by the mayor to a visiting dignitary or to a deserving resident. It typically is presented as a larger-than-life-sized model key, and it represents the city’s welcome by placing the city at the recipient’s disposal. The practice of presenting a Key to the City dates back to medieval times, when admission to a city was often hampered by walls, locked gates and many legal restrictions. Possession of the Key symbolized free entry. By the mid-1800s, it was customary to bestow a Key to the City as a symbol of goodwill indicating that the recipient was free to come and go at will.