2020-2021 Year in Review

Recreation North Vision
Across the North, the power and potential impact of recreation is embraced and valued as an essential service.

Recreation enhances personal, social, and environmental health and wellbeing and contributes to greater balance between quality of life and economic development. There is no doubt that recreation has become essential during this period of COVID-19.

Program Development and Delivery
Goal #1:
A successful, practical, and relevant program; a basic sustainable level of recreation opportunities; and staff/volunteer development and retention in communities.

2020 – 2021 Highlights:
We are now three years into our full Recreation North Training Program. We now have 32 graduates from our Certificate in Northern Recreation Leadership. This year we increased the number of learners from 15 to 20 in each learning event. These learning events continue to be at capacity. Majority of learners are registering for the full certificate (12 learning events), with a few learners that register for a learning event here and there.

In May 2020 we wrapped up our provincial pilot with Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia. This consisted of four learning events from the Certificate in Northern Recreation Leadership. Three of the learners decided to gain approval from their workplaces to continue to complete their full certificate. Since this time, we are still getting inquiries from rural, remote, and Indigenous communities from the south that want to take the program. Due to the demand in the North and our internal capacity, we’ve decided to hold off on providing the training program nationally until we have a more sustainable plan.

This year we added a second certificate to our Training Program; Certificate in Northern Recreation Management. This certificate has a series of advanced learning events. These learning events focus on proposal writing, more advanced risk management plans, and report writing. The first graduates of this certificate will be in April 2021.

We continue to have learners join throughout the year as they gain employment in the recreation sector. Recreation employers are now requiring their newly hired staff to have or take the Certificate in Northern Recreation Leadership within the first 2 years of employment.

We continue to experience growth in requests for custom learning events. These are asking for specific learning events to be delivered to their group of people. These learning events are delivered in the same manner but are closed to that organizations group of people. These have proven to be great way to build partnerships, and offer another way for learners to know who we are and a pathway into our full certificate program.

Because our program already occurs fully online with conference calls, we were fortunate that COVID-19 did not have a large impact. The area in which we needed to improve supports is when communities went into full lockdowns and learners didn’t have access to a computer or internet. In circumstances like this Trainers provided additional support once internet was resumed. Aside from that we were able to continue with our facilitation plans.

2020 – 2021 in Numbers:

  • 19 learning events were delivered online between April 2020 and March 2021 with learners from each territory.
  • Learners from each territory is growing, partly due to scholarships that some RPAs are able to offer.
  • 4 learning events were delivered to the Nunavut Youth Ambassador Program.
  • 4 learning events were delivered to the Mackenzie Recreation Associations’ Recreation Leader Training Camp

Goal #2:
An accountable, well-managed partnership and management team with the capacity, credibility, and connections to sustain the program over many years.

2020 – 2021 Highlights:
The management team, consisting of the executive directors of RPAY, NWTRPA, and RPAN, experienced lots of transition this year due to staffing changes at the NWTRPA. Throughout this period of transition, the management team also took the time to hire RC Strategies to do an organizational review. This review focused on:

  • Assessing Recreation North’s current governance practices against Recreation North’s policies and procedures;
  • Identifying gaps/discrepancies and solutions in both policy and practice that will enhance the management of Recreation North and ultimately the delivery of Recreation North programming;
  • Define/streamline the work processes used to administer Recreation North and deliver Recreation North programming; and
  • Determine what needs to be done, how these changes would benefit Recreation North, and how to prioritize solutions.

This review is due to Recreation North in April 2021, after which point the management team will determine how to move forward in making us a stronger and more efficient partnership.

Goal #3:
A sustainable future for Recreation North and the program with expanded option for capacity building and community service.

2020 – 2021 Highlights:
In 2019 – 2020 fiscal year we worked with the Canadian Recreation and Parks Association (CPRA) to create a pathway for learners to move from the successful completion of our two certificate programs to the CRPA’s Professional Development Certification (PDC). In 2020 – 2021 fiscal year this pathway was finalized, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by all three executive directors and the CPRA. 2020 – 2021 also saw new opportunities between Recreation North and the CPRA. A joint proposal to a Federal Sectoral grant was submitted to develop each program, as well as the sustainability of both. June 2021 we will find out if we are successful recipient.

Learning Consultant Caroline Sparks presenting Alex Jegier with his
Certificate in Northern Recreation Leadership.