What's New in Recreation

  • November 08, 2021 11:23 | Anonymous

    Recreation Manitoba is pleased to announce the continuation of our partnership Marmak. Asset management is a key component of running a successful facility and to be able to meet the challenge of both the present and future head on.

    Our partnership with Marmak provides our members with access to software which allows them to be able efficiently and effectively manage those assets and the support and training to ensure they can implement an asset management program.

    This partnership will provide Recreation Manitoba with the following benefits

    1. Access to Inventory module at no cost ($2400 annual value / member).

    2. Training and support for recreation asset management. 3. Ability to become RCMs at no cost (https://www.rfam.ca/rfam-certified-member)

    4. Opportunity for Recreation MB members to attend joint Marmak and Recreation Manitoba to webinars and workshops for free.

    5. Recreation Manitoba members will receive a reduced cost on having Marmak staff visit to collect inventory data for capital assets (https://www.rfam.ca/news/recreation-asset-inventory-collection-municipality-of-south-glengarry).

    6. Recreation Manitoba members will receive help and support when applying for FCM Asset Management Funding.

    Zachary Tarantino from Marmak had this to say “We are excited to renew our partnership with Recreation Manitoba. It has been a great opportunity to work with the members of Recreation Manitoba to help establish and develop recreation asset management. We are looking forward to many years of this successful partnership. Our thanks go to Shane Ray, all the staff at Recreation Manitoba, and the Board of Directors as well to make the opportunity possible!"


    In 1999, Marmak established the Municipal Partnership Program to assist municipalities implement asset management solutions. This Municipal Partnership comprises of over 100 clients whose participation has resulted in the development of various solutions.

    Marmak continues to grow its solutions offerings and garner a superb reputation for delivering cost effective, leading-edge municipal solutions.


    Ontario Recreation Facilities Association approached Marmak in 2016 with an idea to collect and standardize recreation asset inventory for all of their members. That idea grew in functionality and adoption. RFAM now has over 10 modules for recreation operations and is being used and endorsed around the world by a variety of organizations.

    RFAM currently has a number of partners from across Canada and the US. Our partners operate within the parks and recreation sector and have years of industry knowledge and expertise. They continually help enhance RFAM to better suit the needs and requirements of RFAM’s users. On a regular basis our partners have an active share in the development, marketing, and adoption of the RFAM product. Without their support RFAM would not be where it is today.

  • November 01, 2021 12:22 | Anonymous


    What is your organization mission statement and values? 

    Active Aging in Manitoba (AAIM) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting active aging opportunities for all older Manitobans to enhance their health, mobility, and continuing participation in their community. We are also the provincial organization responsible for the planning and implementation of the annual Manitoba 55+ Games. Our office is located inside the Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks General Hospital, 1075 Leila Avenue in Winnipeg.

    What types of programs, services or events is your organization currently offering?

    Active Aging in Manitoba programs are designed to change the attitudes of all Manitobans towards healthy aging. Volunteer peer leaders are our core resource. These well-trained volunteers lead exercise classes, walking programs and facilitate presentations to educate all walks of life and all age ranges.
    • Steppin’ up with Confidence is a peer-led exercise program that trains volunteers at no charge and supports them in offering free classes for older adults within their communities.  Steppin’ Up with Confidence is a program of Active Aging in Manitoba and was developed in partnership with the Manitoba Fitness Council. Some of our Peer Leaders are currently offering their classes online and via television until in-person can be resumed. All Manitobans 55 years of age or older interested in healthy, active aging and a desire to lead an exercise class for their peers are encouraged to get involved.  Contact our Master Trainer – Linda Brown at - lpstoesz@shaw.ca

    Older adult volunteers who have completed training with AAIM present on various healthy aging and wellness topics in partnership with AAIM member organizations and partners. We are currently offering the following presentations at no charge to any community in Manitoba, virtually and in-person, if permitted under public health orders:

    - Ten Habits to a Healthy Lifestyles
    - Staying on your Feet – Falls Prevention
    - Active Living
    - Healthy Habits for a Healthy Brain

    Manitoba 55+ Games is a cornerstone program that AAIM has offered for many years. This year, our Games, sponsored by Playnow.com, went virtual and were provided throughout the entire summer, versus a 3-day event hosted by a community in Manitoba. Interested individuals were required to register, track their activities on an activity tracker and then submit their stories and pictures at the end of the event to be eligible for prizes.

    AAIM is also acts as an active living resource for older adults in Manitoba and is the backbone agency behind Active Aging week each year in October, part of our Manitoba Seniors & Elders Month.

    Are there any upcoming programs, projects, or event your organization would like to share?

    Take a Minute to Move TWOgether, built on our Take a Minute to Move Campaign, encouraging Older adults to move more, sit less and feel better throughout their day. AAIM Steppin’ Up with Confidence Peer Leaders will be reaching out to isolated older adults in their communities, and encouraging them to move more, sit less and feel better throughout their day, but more importantly, be a social connection for someone. Older adults can also call AAIM and be paired up with a volunteer who will guide them through a series of exercises that will be mailed out to them in advance of their first phone call or virtual meeting.

                   Be Winter Active: Don’t Hibernate!

                a free webinar in partnership with Fort Whyte Alive

                Wed., November 17 from noon – 1 pm 

                Registration required: https://bit.ly/3m0PGJw

    Falls Prevention - November is Falls Prevention Month.  

    Linda Brown, AAIM’s Master Trainer & Certified Fall Prevention Educator, will be providing fall prevention tips throughout November.

    What are the two or three biggest challenges your organization face?                     While we are doing our best offering training sessions, webinars, meetings via online platforms; connecting with volunteers, and the older adults we serve hasn’t always been easy.  Many do not have computer access or good Wi-Fi connectivity where they live. We know that in-person is often better, we are doing the best we can. We are using the telephone lot these days. Having to pivot quickly.  For example, we received a TD Park People grant and offered A Walk in the Park event in Kildonan Park.  A day before our event, Manitoba went into Code Orange. We quickly altered our plans while still getting our message across; the health benefits of connecting with parks and nature. It is essential to AAIM that we keep everyone safe, abiding by public health orders.

    How many employees are currently employed in your organization?

     We are a very small organization, with only three employees and a large core of volunteers.

    Can you give us some two or three points of pride?

    The development of our Take a Minute to Move Campaign. We partnered with CJNU nostalgia radio and encouraged individuals to move more – sit less – and feel better throughout their day while staying safe at home. We created practical, easy exercises which aired three times a day; 8:30 am, 1:30 pm, and 5:30 pm on weekdays; 9:30 am, 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm on weekends, February 15 through to April 4, 2021. You can access these exercises at Take a Minute to Move - Active Aging in Manitoba, listen to the audio, or access our handouts.

    Our Peer Leaders took it upon themselves to continue reaching out to their participants during the pandemic, learning how to use virtual platforms to teach and even working with a local television station in Neepawa, which MTS cable also picked up. You can watch channel 1030 at 10:30 am on MTS cable if you’re able to access and participate in a Steppin’ up with Confidence class. Many of our Peer Leaders are continuing to offer their classes virtually and in – person following Public Health Guidelines.

    The Manitoba 55+ Virtual Games were a resounding success with over 45 communities in Manitoba participating (Participant Map - Active Aging in Manitoba (activeagingmb.ca)), many who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to participate; ** I would add – Assisted living facilities and Day Hospital Programs to participants in The Pas and Flin Flon, Manitoba. As a result, we are considering a hybrid model moving forward to be more inclusive for all Manitobans to participate and have fun!

    The Games this summer was a great success for our clients who really enjoyed the Virtual component of the Games this year! Thank you for the opportunity to participate! - Cheryl Lindsay B.R.S, Recreation Facilitator, Riverview Day Hospital

    I participated in the 18-hole golf events - from June 14 to July 14. I golfed everyday except for 2 days when the temperature was 37 degrees. I was grateful to be able to participate because recently two of my best friends were diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I still have my health although my golf game certainly is not what it used to be. I have been participating in the senior games since they began. I missed 1 year. Thank you for organizing the 55 plus games despite COVID restrictions. Will be hoping for actual competitions next year.  Ida Theodore, Age 82

                               Website: www.activeagingmb.ca                      

    Inquiries: info@activeagingmb.ca

  • October 18, 2021 13:55 | Anonymous
    •  What is your organization mission statement and values?

    Volunteer Manitoba supports groups and individuals in the voluntary sector to develop and enhance their capacity to anticipate, understand, celebrate, and meet community needs in Manitoba. Our vital contributions to the community include connecting people with volunteer opportunities, promoting volunteerism, and providing leadership and counsel in the non-profit and voluntary sectors.

    • What types of programs, services or events is your organization currently offering?

    Volunteer Manitoba is the only volunteer centre in the province and for over 40 years we have connected people with volunteer opportunities, promoted and celebrated volunteerism, and provided leadership and support to the non-profit and voluntary sectors.

    Our Community Outreach allows us to connect with individuals and groups and share information on volunteerism, how to get involved, and advocate for the non-profit sector. We help people find volunteer opportunities, and we work closely with organizations to help promote positions within their volunteer programs.

    We run a program called Board Connect, which helps facilitate matches between boards and individuals who want to serve, and the VM Youth Program raises awareness in youth and young adults about the value of volunteerism, and works with agencies and communities on ways to engage the next generation of volunteers.

    Over the years, we’ve become known for our training in board governance, volunteer management, and capacity building for groups and individuals. We have workshops, group training, distance and online courses, and webinars! VM’s training is offered in a variety of formats, our most popular (and right now the only) options being virtual and online. We also have lots of resources and supports available so please check out our website for more info on that.

    And last, but certainly not least, our Annual Volunteer Awards. We celebrated virtually this year on September 23, and it may have been our most-watched and most popular volunteer awards to date! You can check that out on our website as well.

    • Are there any upcoming programs, projects, or event your organization would like to share?

    We are currently in the middle of our Fall Training Calendar and we are busy preparing for our Winter courses. We are also launching a new youth program later this fall, and we are really excited about that project. Our volunteer referral program continues to see a lot of traffic, which tells us that people are getting back to volunteering in-person and are eager to give back to their communities.

    • How many employees are currently employed in your organization?

    We have 6 employees at VM – a small, but mighty team!

    • What are the biggest challenges your organization face?

    Probably our biggest challenge right now is navigating the pandemic and finding new ways to support the non-profit and voluntary sector during these times. We recognize that technology is essential to maintaining our programs and services, and we’ve been working hard to adapt all we do so we can continue to connect with people and work towards achieving our vision.

    Website: www.volunteermanitoba.ca

    Facebook: VolunteerManitoba

    Instagram: @volunteermanitoba

  • October 08, 2021 08:43 | Anonymous

    What is your organization mission statement and values?

    Ritchot Recreation follows the Municipality of Ritchot Mission and vision:

    Mission: A sustainable Municipality that engages residents in their quality of life and place.

    Vision: To evolve as a leading Municipality, attracting growth and fostering connectivity.

    Ritchot Recreation has 4 pillars:

    1. Facility Support
    2. Volunteer Support and Development
    3. Programs/Events
    4. Green Spaces

    Ritchot Recreation is a relatively new department in the Municipality of Ritchot. It was formed in 2013 after the completion of Recreation Needs Assessment that recommended the hiring of a recreation director to support programs, events, facilities and most importantly local volunteers. We have 3 arenas, 3 community halls, 1 large event centre, 4 large multi-use parks, and a growing trail network. Each facility is governed and operated by a volunteer board of directors.

    How many employees are currently employed in your organization?

    We have 2 full time employees and 1 part time employee in the recreation department. Amber Mamchuk- Director of Recreation Services, George Humeniuk, Director of facilities and Special Projects and Liam Harder, Program Coordinator.

    In 2018 the Municipality of Ritchot completed a recreation master plan. Following the adoption of the plan, the department grew from 1 employee to 3. A director of facilities and special projects was hired with a focus on lifecycle and capital projects and a part time program coordinator was hired with a focus on the development and growth of a summer camp program and enhancing year-round programming. The two new positions have allowed us to provide more recreation opportunities for residents and to begin the process of developing an asset management plan for our facilities.

    What types of programs, services or events is your organization currently offering?

    As we started to plan for fall programs, we felt that we needed to connect with our residents to gauge their comfort level with in person programming vs virtual programming. We sent out a survey in the late summer. Most people were interested in in-person programming with a strong desire for outdoor/physical activity programming. Our fall programming lineup is as follows

    • 4 Family Forest days in partnership with Fort Whyte
    • 8 Guided Trail walks
    • 2 Shake, Rattle and Roll- physical activity program for toddlers and parents
    • Intro to skating
    • 2 Fitness classes
    • 4 Multi-generational Art Programming in partnership with Art City
    • 3 Babysitting courses
    • Old Tyme Dances

    We have hosted 2 events this fall

    • Volunteer Celebration- Night at the Movies- Drive In at the TC Energy Centre in IDC where we showed Back to the Future and offered a movie concession.

    • National Truth and Reconciliation StoryWalk®: children’s books about the Canadian Residential School system were posted along pathways and trails on Sept. 29&30 as an opportunity for our residents to learn and reflect.

    Are there any upcoming programs, projects or event your organization would like to share?

    We are supporting many exiting projects in our Municipality including:

    •  Completion of a new community centre
    • 2 large park development/revitalization projects
    • Dock and Boat Launch project to increase access to the Red River
    • Development of a new trail system
    • Installation of a 9-hole disc golf course

    What are the biggest challenges your organization face?

    Many of the challenges that we face are common across the sector. This year has been especially challenging from a program perspective as we have had to cancel and postpone many programs due to changing public health restrictions. We also rely on access to local schools to offer programming and we are currently unable to use them.

    Can you describe your local recreation facilities, parks, trails and spaces?

    The Municipality of Ritchot is a beautiful part of south-eastern Manitoba. Recreation in our communities is growing in a positive way and we are seeing residents connecting more and more with our trails and green spaces. Our facilities are well maintained and run by dedicated volunteers. If we had to sum up our recreation facilities, parks, trails and spaces in 3 words we would say that they are:

    1. Community Driven
    2. Diverse
    3. Growing

    Can you give us some points of pride?

    First and foremost, we are proud of the volunteers that create and maintain our community spaces. They give so much of their time, ensuring that their fellow community members have a space to play and connect. Their passion and dedication is inspiring and maintaining a positive relationship with them will always be a top priority for us.

    As a department, we are proud of how we have put our Recreation Master Plan into action. The process of developing the plan was a positive experience in engaging residents and stakeholders and we have relied on the document to guide strategic priorities. The plan has resulted in developing a Recreation Advisory Committee (RAC) that has provided recommendations to council on enhanced support for facilities. The RAC is made up of local volunteer board members from a variety of special interest groups and facilities and they act as a sounding board for the Recreation Department.

    Other sources of pride include the development of a summer camp program our ability to support funding applications.

    During the summer months we use local arenas and parks to offer a summer camp program. Over the last 3 years our summer camp program has grown significantly, and the program fills up quickly. The camps bring in a variety of experts to guide activities based on a weekly theme. We are fortunate to have incredible, local summer camp staff.

    We work very closely with our facility boards to identify priority projects on a 5yr cycle. Grant writing can be challenging and time consuming at the best of times. One way that we support our volunteers is by taking on the writing of applications with their input. In the last 6 years we have supported groups in funding applications totaling over $1.4million.

    “Now more than ever parks and recreation….”

    We are very fortunate to have a supportive council and that has had a great impact in our ability to advance recreation in the Municipality. We asked them the question “Now more than ever parks and recreation….” And they said:

    “Now more than ever parks and recreation play a leading role in supporting wellness and a means to stimulate positive and healthy pursuits. There is an expectation from communities that this will remain a focus and be expanded upon. It feels like the appetite for new activities, new facilities, and new green spaces is limitless.”

    “Now more than ever parks and recreation are such an important piece for our mental health. As restrictions change nationally, it is important to be able to provide a space where residents can get out to walk, run, sit, play, soak up some sunshine and just get out of their space in a safe manner. People are looking at recreation to provide some semblance of normal for them and their families, whether that be being bringing the kids to the ball diamonds, the arena, dance, but overall, just getting into a routine.”

    “Now more than ever parks and recreation remind us that we are not alone. They are the spaces where we connect with one another and our environment.”

  • August 18, 2021 17:03 | Shane Ray (Administrator)

    Join Gil (Guillermo) Penalosa, 8 80 Cities and World Urban Parks on the free webinar series. The goal is to share information with people interested in urban parks, from any angle, elected officials, public health, climate change, economic development, or just pure enjoyment. We feel that sharing very good practices, others can adapt and improve and use in their own cities.

    Gil is the 80 Cities Founder & Chair, World Urban Parks Ambassador and Our Third Act Founder & Advocate

    The next webinar is Tuesday August 24th. “Parks are Ever More Important”, with Enrique Penalosa. Twice elected Bogota mayor. He built over 1100 parks, 380km/236mi protected bikelanes, planted over 150,000 trees. Register at http://bit.ly/3fRexvT

    Future dates, guests and topics include:
    • Sep. 7th: Rob Adams, City Architect, Melbourne, Australia. From Gray to Green. Over 90 hectares of streets into parks, footpaths / sideWALKS.
    • Sep. 21st Ruth Holmes, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, UK. From Olympic Games to World Class Public Park.
    • Oct. 5th, 2021 - Denise Ora,  Chief Executive, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, Australia. Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain (Greater Sydney) – More than just green space.
    • Oct. 19th, 2021 - Chris Glaisek, Chief Planning and Design Officer. Waterfront Toronto. Port Lands Flood Protection project, creating significant amounts of parkland around the newly naturalized river mouth.
    • Nov. 2nd, 2021 – Jayne Miller, chair World Urban Parks. Former Head of Parks & Rec. in Minneapolis & Pittsburgh. Creating an equitable citywide park system.

  • August 06, 2021 09:31 | Shane Ray (Administrator)

    The Sport for Life building will maintain a mask manatee in common spaces for the foreseeable future. In addition Recreation MB will maintain the mask mandate in our office. If you are visiting the Sport for Life Building and our offices please bring a mask with you.

  • July 29, 2021 16:57 | Shane Ray (Administrator)

    Recreation is vital to the well being of communities and individuals. In addition investments in recreation can help drive economic recovery from COVID.

    A number of new projects in recreation and parks have been announced.

    Recreation Manitoba would like to congratulate the recipients on receiving the funding and we are excited to see these projects come to life.

    We would like to acknowledge and thank the Government of Canada, Province of Manitoba and the many municipal governments and community organizations for making these investment in recreation and parks.

    Investing $40M in community and recreation facility in Steinbach

    Community Centre in Oakville, Multi-use Arbour and Powwow Grounds on Brokenhead Reserve

    Outdoor soccer complex in Brandon, Community Aqua Centre and Recreational Facility in Flin Flon

  • July 19, 2021 14:17 | Shane Ray (Administrator)

    The Continued Way Forward

    Message from the Framework Leadership Team

    It is hard to believe that A Framework for Recreation in Canada: Pathways to Wellbeing was officially launched over five years ago in 2015. At its release, the Framework was viewed as a critical step forward in the municipal parks and recreation sector It was designed to guide and stimulate coordinated sector policies and practices in Canada that aim to improve the wellbeing of individuals, communities, and the built and natural environments.

    When the Framework was launched in 2015, we could never have imagined the far-reaching challenges that the COVID pandemic would create for Canadians and communities. Yet, the five Framework goals resonate more today than ever: Active Living; Inclusion and Access; Connecting People and Nature; Supportive Environments; and Recreation Capacity.

    As we recover from a global pandemic, it can be difficult to think of policy when we are thinking of survival. However, in times of crisis, a common compass for the sector is essential. And perhaps without realizing it, we are moving the goals of the Framework ahead even during these difficult times. Looking ahead to the immediate future, we will use the Framework to re-imagine the municipal parks and recreation sector as it plays a critical role in Canada’s post-pandemic recovery. We do this, while recognizing that different parts of the country have experienced the pandemic in different ways.

    In the five years since the Framework was endorsed, the implementation has taken countless forms. At the community level, sector professionals have built master plans upon the foundation of the Framework and harnessed the national strategy to advocate for funding to support parks and recreation services. Every day, practitioners across the country advance the Framework goals – you can see just some examples of success stories at the following link: https://thebenchcpra.ca/members/stories-in-the-field.html.

    In provinces and territories, Framework implementation is unique to each region. The sector and governments continue to partner together to move the goals forward.

    At a national level, the Framework Forum of 2018 allowed for the sector to gather and share success stories and find ways to navigate through the Framework. The creation of a national audit tool allowed communities to measure their own progress on the Framework goals. The building of the Bench www.thebenchcpra.ca has provided an essential platform for the Framework and supporting tools – we encourage you to join today.

    CPRA has and will continue to undertaken multiple initiatives to move the Framework goals forward including launching a knowledge hub on the social/economic benefits provided by our sector, entering into government partnerships on youth employment programs and gender equity initiatives, the creation of Parks for All www.cpra.ca/parks-for-all?locale=en and ongoing advocacy for increased infrastructure and program funding for parks and recreation spaces and places. CPRA is also building a strong relationship with the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA), our counterpart in the U.S. CPRA has recently undertaken extensive research and sector engagement to identify the elements of a path forward in a post-pandemic scenario. This initiative, entitled ReImagine RREC, was funded by Sport Canada and aligns closely with the Framework.

    The Framework Leadership Team (members include CPRA, PT governments, academics, sector partners) is undertaking a mid-term environmental scan on the Framework and its goals in the context of the new realities we face. We are determining how the Framework can best guide the sector through evolving challenges including the pandemic, systemic racism, and climate resilience. The efforts of the Leadership Team will ensure the Framework remains equally relevant over the next five years, allowing the sector and government to design new tools and approaches that meet the current and evolving challenges. And soon, the sector and government will begin to consider a renewed Framework for 2025, a process that is being mapped out now by the Framework Leadership Team. Of course, these efforts will continue to align with the Canadian Sport Policy and the Common Vision.

    Critical milestones such as the five-year anniversary of the Framework offer an important opportunity to look back and reflect. While aspirational planning and strategy documents are always created with the best of intentions, they are far too often left on a shelf collecting dust. Conversely, the Framework has been the foundation of the successful efforts of CPRA and its partner organizations since 2015. Moving ahead, our activities and success will continue to rest upon, and align with, the goals of the Framework. Collaboration amongst the sector is more important than ever to ensure we get Canadians engaged and active again and the Framework provides the foundation for that call to action.

    At this moment in time, municipal park and recreation stakeholders across Canada are weary. The effects of the pandemic on our field – from closures, ever-changing regulations, and financial hardships – combined with the mental and physical health challenges that we each face as individuals, parents, and family members, have been significant. Thank you for your ongoing efforts and dedication.

    As we move forward together toward a new normal, let us rally around and lean into the Framework to build our sector back better and stronger than ever. Let us use the goals within the Framework to reimagine the parks and recreation sector in the post-pandemic world. I encourage you to consider how the Framework can guide the re-creation of your master plan, the delivery of your recovery programs and the renewal of your community partnerships.

    Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions or ideas of how we can best support the sector’s recovery via the Framework.

    Download a copy of the French version

  • June 30, 2021 09:20 | Shane Ray (Administrator)

    As part of June is Parks and Rec Month Recreation Manitoba asked former board member Leila McVannel to tell us about some of the best parks that she uses for programming in her role at the Manitoba Developmental Centre. Here is what she had to say.

    Not is any particular order – these are just some of the Central Region area locations that we have enjoyed taking our recreation participants to:

    1)     Spruce Woods Provincial Park – Winter Active area (Link)

    They have a great area for Winter activities in the Spruce Woods Provincial park.  It has warming cabins, a skating oval through the trees, skating rink for a game of shinny, a toboggan hill and jam pail curing – all within walking distance from each other.

    There is paper, an axe, matches to light the wood stoves inside the two warming huts; it has benches and tables inside for warming up and having snacks.  It also has a large outdoor fire pit where we cook our hot dogs and warm the beans.  We have made and cooked bannock on a stick on the open fires.  We plan Winter Active Days at this location and it is wonderful spot for this adventure.

    2)      Headingly Spray Park –located behind the Headingly Community Centre.  (link)

    We love stopping in at this Splash pad. It has an accessible washroom/change room facility and is close to a great ice cream stop along the highway – formally, KO’s but now goes by E’s.

    3)     MacGregor Splash Pad (link)

    It is small, quaint sprinkle pad with accessible washrooms close by.  It also has plenty of shade, as well, as a small wooden shelter where you can do crafts or table top activities. 

    The Normac Centre arena, soccer fields and ball diamonds – great place to fly kites.

    4)     Stephenfield Provincial Park (link)

    One of our favorite spots is a lovely location in the over- flow campground area.  It has a large shelter that has sliding barn doors, windows with shutters and a stone fireplace.   It is great for Fall trips as it is nestled in the trees and the fire place keeps you warm.  Great place for cooking s’mores with a hot chocolate.  The bathrooms are close by and accessible for all. 

    It also has a water tap close by – great for water balloon games.

    5)     Island Park – Portage La Prairie(link)

    This park is amazing. It has accessible pathways that wind through an arboretum, large trees and pond.  It has a disc golf course, as well as beautiful views of Crescent Lake and plentiful waterfowl. It has picnic shelters located throughout the park that can be pre-booked through the City of Portage.   Also located on the Island Park is the outdoor Splash Island aquatics centre, which has a pool and two waterslides.  Both the outdoor and the indoor aquatics centre have zero-depth entry which make is so easy for anyone to use.  Having the Stride Credit Union Centre in the middle of the Park allows for easy access to accessible washroom when needed.  If you visit at the beginning of July – Mayfair farms has a strawberry patch on Island for picking/ or pre-picked strawberries. Definitely, a great place for a road trip.

  • June 07, 2021 06:30 | Shane Ray (Administrator)

    Recreation Manitoba is looking for different resources that will benefit volunteers and practitioners in the recreation and parks sector. We asked President Elect Emily George, MA to provide us with a review of the Art of Gathering by Priya Parker

    I held a potluck dinner party, a gathering of friends and their significant others, and it was one of the first times we were together outside of work. I wanted to make a toast to set the stage before our meal and recognize this moment. It didn’t happen because I believed it would add a level of formality than the casual gatherings we were used to. Instead, I focused on the logistics of how people should flow to get at all the food and where to sit. After reading The Art of Gathering, I know that I did a disservice to the event and our purpose for gathering.

    The main premise of this book is summed up in the title. It is a pivotal read in 2020 and 2021, given the ongoing restrictions with the pandemic. The book reflects on how we are going to come back together, once it is allowed. My first exposure to this book was in audiobook form, read by the author. It was compelling enough to purchase the book and read it again. I knew it would be a staple in my collection and a go-to reference as I go forward in my career. The book flows through the elements that should be considered as one plans a meeting, an evening with friends, a birthday party, or a festival.  Building on the author's experience as a professional facilitator and training in a group dialogue method called Sustained Dialogue, Priya Parker focuses on the process of what happens when you bring people together. She challenges all individuals to gather with a bold purpose, not just for tradition or societal expectation or out of habit.

    This radical shift in the analysis of gathering means looking at it from all angles, not just the typical logistics of venue, food and time of day. She challenges us to think about the opening, the guest list, the role of the host, the invitation process, managing the mood, and ending with a purpose - just how you opened it.  The book is written in a relatable way - we have all been to an occasion that left you wondering where you should be standing or sitting, having to navigate an awkward silence, or wondering what you had just experienced, on the drive home.

    The elements, like setting the mood, conversation points, or choosing guests who would complement the mood, were quickly glossed over in my program planning class. These elements and others are placed front and centre and used as a compass to make decisions. The author challenges everyone who brings individuals together to consider the ‘why of the gathering’, as the cornerstone of all decisions. With the combination of these elements you set the stage - starting before the event even begins with your invitation then moving into how the guest is greeted and transported throughout the venue. The host can design the experience in such a way that transforms the event into a meaningful gathering. It also proposes that not every event can happen in a virtual setting and not every meeting requires the camera being on when it could just be an email or a quick phone call instead. Meetings, events and gatherings that require full-body participation (either online or in-person) requires the individual to be guided throughout the entire experience - and that direction helps to fulfill the mission of your gathering.

    The book taught me that every gathering needs to have a beginning, middle and end and as a host I am required to use the time in a thoughtful way. As gatherings are slowly becoming an option in a post-pandemic world, we will need to be mindful of people’s hesitancy to attend events and how they will approach gatherings. Their lack of practice in social interactions from being apart for a year will mean that organizers need to be more deliberate and use the ideas in this book to design what meetings, community programs, events unfold and how spaces are used in the future.

    Without the focus on the purpose, an intended outcome, how would you know if your gathering was successful? There is a call for radical change in facilitating gatherings of all sizes so that we can make the most of our time together, online and face to face. It is also a great reminder that bringing people together is powerful and should be done with care and purpose. I would recommend this book as a beginning when designing experiences, and even to reflect on. I know that the next dinner party I have will be a curated event from the invitation, to the conversation topics, and of course, a toast to commemorate the evening that we are once gathered again.


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