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Ken Sinclair

Year Inducted1996 HometownAurora, Ontario

Major Accomplishments

Chairman of the Canadian Open from 1969-1983.
Instrumental in negotiating the original sponsor contracts with Imperial Tobacco Ltd.
Served as chair for junior nationals and for the tennis portion of the 1985 Canada Masters Games.
Member of the original planning and building committee for the National Tennis Centre.


Ken Sinclair started at Tennis Canada as the director of special events. He was in charge of negotiating a new sponsorship deal as the former sponsor of the Canadian Open and Tennis Canada decided that it was best to part ways in 1978. Sinclair’s goal was to sign a sponsor that would attract the top tennis players of the world to Canada and to turn the Canadian Open into a world-class tennis tournament. A sponsorship deal finally fell into his lap when he competed in the Canadian Seniors Championships and defeated Paul Paré, Chairman of Imperial Tobacco. Paré was very involved in tennis himself and his company had several sponsorship deals with other sporting events, including the Canadian Open golf championship and the Peter Jackson Classic for women. This opportunity would allow Paré to get behind a sport that he was passionate about and would give Sinclair the break he was looking for, which was to sign a deal with a major sponsor.
In the first year of the sponsorship, Imperial Tobacco invested half a million dollars in the tournament, which elevated the total purse to $210,000. Tennis Canada was also able to sign a deal with IMG, one of the top sports management companies in the world, to bring in elite athletes such as Bjorn Borg. The top Swede would not only sell-out the stadium, but he would encourage the other top players to compete in Canada.
Sinclair was the frontrunner in the building of the first tennis facility on York University campus in 1976. The $1 million stadium was going to be home to the Canadian Open and it would seat 8,000 fans in the bleachers. At the time, Sinclair was the vice-president of the Canadian Lawn Tennis Association and was a member of the original planning and building committee for the National Tennis Centre at York University. The Canadian Open had originally been a tournament that was run essentially for Canadian players, but after the facility was built, it became a tournament that would attract the top players in the world.
He was involved in a myriad of things throughout the sport of tennis. He was the chairman of the Canadian Open from 1969-1983 and during this time he negotiated initial sponsor contracts with Imasco. He also chaired the Canadian junior nationals and the tennis portion of the 1985 Masters Games.
Sinclair was the founder and operator of the All-Canadian Academy in London during the 1980s and founded and built the Timberlane Athletic Club in 1987 in Aurora. At both facilities he hired long-time friend Lorne Main as a teaching pro.
He has had a passion for the sport both as a builder and a player. He and Main have been doubles partners and hold the ITF record for most senior international men’s doubles titles. They have competed together in several doubles events and since 1990, have won 11 world seniors crowns. Also as a senior player, Sinclair won the Men’s Over 70 singles title in 2002.
Sinclair has been involved in a multitude of sports all his life, from tennis and golf to fishing, hockey and curling. He also founded the Sinclair-Cockburn Insurance Brokerage in 1953 and the Sinclair-Cockburn Financial Group in 1998 and is still the Chief Executive Officer.