Culver Riley was sculler of Olympic calibre but because of circumstances surrounding team selection for the 1928 Games, he never had the opportunity to represent his country. His father, Conrad, was also a prominent athlete in the sport of rowing. Culver Riley’s rowing career spanned from 1926 until 1932. At the outbreak of war in 1939, Riley joined the Canadian Army and returned to Winnipeg in 1945 as a Lieutenant-Colonel and recipient of the Order of the British Empire.
Winnipeg lacked adequate sports facilities as it essentially relied upon the Amphitheatre Rink and Osborne Stadium and Riley felt that both buildings were insufficient for the city’s growing population. As President of the Winnipeg Football Club, Riley prepared plans for a new football complex and hockey arena and was successful in persuading the Manitoba Legislature to financially support their construction. In addition to those facilities, a baseball park to accommodate the Winnipeg Goldeyes club was included in the stadium. The stadium was completed in 1953 and the arena in 1955. Riley served as President of Winnipeg Enterprises Corporation which oversaw construction and became the new landlords upon its completion.
When the City of Winnipeg hosted the 1967 Pan American Games, Culver Riley was the natural choice to be President of the organizing committee and much of the Games’ success was attributed to his experience and strong guidance. Following this event, Riley maintained a lower public profile due to health reasons. Riley served as a Director for the Royal Bank, Great West Life, Dominion Bronze, Union Oil, and Southam Press while the Community Chest also benefited from his leadership.
b. June 21, 1907