What's New in Recreation

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  • July 15, 2021 15:09 | Shane Ray (Administrator)

    As of Saturday July 17th new public health orders come into effect. There are a number of changes outline that affect recreation and parks.

    To view the public health order visit https://manitoba.ca/asset_library/en/proactive/20212022/orders-soe-07152021.pdf

    In addition MB Health has special instructions for day camp providers. Please download the letter by clicking on this link

  • 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 29, 2021 11:08 | Shane Ray (Administrator)

    Current Public Health Orders


    Clarification regarding day camps

    • Effective June 26, 2021, day camps for children of all ages may open. The maximum number of children per group is 20. Joint activities between groups are not permitted and campers are required to bring their own food and beverage or all food and beverages served at the camp are individually packaged. Overnight camps are not permitted. For additional guidance on public health measures, operators should reference the Early Learning and Childcare Practice Guidance found at Province of Manitoba | fs - COVID-19 Notices and Circulars (gov.mb.ca). Mask use is required for staff and campers when in indoor public spaces, as per the public health orders. Personal protective equipment as outlined on pages 15 – 18 of the practice guide is not required, but is encouraged for staff if possible. The guidance on documentation beginning on page 18 of the guide does not apply to day camps and is only for Early Learning and Childcare programs.  


    Clarification from Sport Manitoba about sport related activities


    • Outdoor organized sports and recreation activities may reopen for groups up to 25 people, with no tournaments allowed. The group of 25 participants DOES NOT include coaches or officials. So, an outdoor sport activity can include 25 athletes, plus coaches and officials. In addition to the group of 25 participants, you are allowed up to 25 spectators, physically distanced by at least 2 metres, as per the outdoor gathering size limit for public spaces.
    • Indoor organized sport and recreation activities may reopen to groups of no more than 5 athletes plus coaches/instructors. The five-athlete plus coach/instructor groups cannot intermingle. No tournaments are allowed. Dressing rooms are limited to 50% of the usual capacity or to a number that ensures that all persons in the dressing room are able to maintain a separation of at least two metres from other persons, whichever is lesser. Masks are required at all times for indoor settings.


    Clarification regarding swimming pools and swimming lessons

    • Outdoor & indoor public pools are allowed to open at 25% capacity. Is this 25% of their normal bather load as listed on their permits or something else? 

    For outdoor pools:

    Spectators are permitted at an outdoor sporting facility. Spectators are not to be included when calculating the number of participants in a sporting activity. Spectators must maintain a separation of at least two metres from other spectators.

    The operator of an outdoor swimming pool must (a) limit the number of members of the public in the pool to 25% of the usual capacity of the pool; and implement measures to ensure that members of the public in the pool are reasonably able to maintain a separation of  at least two metres from other members of the public.

    For indoor pools:

    The operator of an indoor swimming pool must limit the number of members of the public in the pool to 25% of the usual capacity of the pool; and implement measures to ensure that members of the public in the pool are reasonably able to maintain a separation of at least two metres from other members of the public at the pool.

    For pool bather load:

    Operators must ensure 4m2/per person of pool surface area is provided.   Generally your bather load for a swimming pool is 1.5m2/per person and for an outdoor whirlpool it is 1 m2/per person so you can do a simple cross multiplication from the bather load listed on the permit to get your COVID 19 compliance bather load.  

    If a pool has an assigned bather load of 200, the bather load is calculated by

    Surface Area (SA)/1.5 persons per square meter (per Sec 14(1) of the Regulation)

    Therefore to determine the SA, take the assigned bather load on the permit and multiply by 1.5. 300 m

                            i.e. 200 X 1.5 = 300 m2 

    Therefore the bather load for this pool under the current PHO would be 300/4 m2 per person = 75 persons.


    • Can outdoor or indoor semi-public pools (aka hotel pools allowing other person besides their guests to have access) open, and if so are the limits the same as for public pools.


    Yes the public health orders apply to all indoor and outdoor public and semi-public permitted pools.

    All hotels that allow for users groups must adhere to the section of the regulation regarding user groups as well this take up capacity.

    Pool Regulations- section 28 - Where the operator of a semi-public swimming pool other than a whirlpool allows access to the pool by the public or the pool is rented to a user group, the operator shall ensure that lifeguards and safety equipment are provided in accordance with section 23.

    • Can outdoor and or indoor public pools offer public swimming lessons (e.g. preschool, parent & tot, learn to swim, aquacise, ….) if so is the total class size including instructor 5 or 10 persons.

    Indoor swimming…25% is the indoor capacity of the pool. If there is a swim lesson you can have an instructor plus 5 people in your group.   You can have several groups to total the 25% capacity of the pool

    If the outdoor lesson is in the pool then 25% the usual capacity of the pool.  

    So if you are doing water polo, aquafit class you are likely to have a normal class size or 2 teams as long as you are within the 25% bather load and don’t go over 25 in that group.

    • Outdoor private pools (backyard pools) – can swimming lessons occur as long as there are no more than 10 persons in total including the instructor in the class and/or the total number of persons at the site, and they meet Section 28 of the Swimming Pools and Other Water Recreational facilities Regulation (MR 132/97).

    Private pools offering classes to the public have to register, obtain a valid Health Permit and meet all sections of the provincial pool regulations because now they are not private but rather semi-private pools.  A pool used for lessons would have to be permitted by our department. However if someone has their own children and an instructor is on site at their own pool, that is not the same, the public is not attending for lessons, and that is private use and private lessons at their own home.

    • If it is 10 for a private pool and if it is 5 for a public pool, why? Is it overall risk of potential larger gathering sizes at a public or semi public pool?  (I will get the question if there is a difference)

    The outdoor gathering size at a residence is 10. Persons may gather on the outdoor

    portions of the property on which their private residence is located with no more than 10 other persons who do not reside at their residence.

    • If the backyard pool owned by the person is used as part of their business for running public swimming lessons, are they limited to 5 or 10 people in total (assuming that they meet Section 28 of the Swimming Pools and Other Water Recreational facilities Regulation)?

    Private pools used by the public for swimming lessons are not allowed unless they meet all requirements of the regulations and hold a valid Health Permit issued by a Public Health Inspector.

    • Can public swimming lessons at a lake? If so, is the class size 5 or 10 persons including the instructor?

    Yes can occur and groups are kept separate. Persons may engage in any type of outdoor sporting or recreational activity but they must not engage in an activity as part of a group of more than 25 persons.

    • There are no changes to the conditions for training aquatic staff from the previous health orders – right?

    Yes correct under 2(4) This Order does not apply to any gathering where persons receive training respecting first aid, emergency response measures or workplace safety and health protocols.

    • Lifeguards on deck and swimmers in the water do not have to wear a mask. However, Instructors on deck must wear a mask – right? Can an instructor who needs to enter shallow  water, but will not be swimming, wear a clear face shield instead of a mask both on the deck and in the water? If they are splashed, they may then be trying to breath through a wet mask.

    No mask requirement for a person who is swimming or acting as a lifeguard;  They don’t include instructors.  However if the instructor is in the water then they would be considered a swimmer and therefore would not require one in the water.  However an instructor in the water is also taking up bather capacity.



  • June 22, 2021 08:48 | Shane Ray (Administrator)

    The Morden Access Event Centre is selling off gently used rink supplies

    • 24 pieces of 6ftx4ft tempered rink glass are $300/piece (also a few narrower pieces)


    • 1 year of use Orange puck strip package for $500
    • 50 8ft pieces 1 year of use ¼” puckboard  $45/piece or $2000 for all (save over $250) plus approximately 10 partial pieces as well
    • 64 short glass posts and bolt on fronts $30 each
    • 33 tall glass posts and bolt on fronts   $50 each
    • 1 partial pallet of miscellaneous length posts for plexiglass and gates $ 40/piece

    Possible deals on larger purchases

    All inquiries can reach, Al Smith at   asmith@mymorden.ca or call/text on cell at (204) 823-3467

  • June 16, 2021 16:49 | Shane Ray (Administrator)

    The Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) has secured Government of Canada funding via Parks Canada to support a “green jobs” program for youth. This program will provide direct financial support (via wage subsidies of up to 50%) to local governments (municipalities, Indigenous communities, etc) and other sector organizations, supporting 700 jobs that focus on employing youth in the conservation and enjoyment of nature and culture.


    The goals of the Green Jobs Initiative are to:

    • Create meaningful job experiences for 700 youth across Canada

    • Provide much-needed support to communities to hire additional youth to advance their green priorities

    • Provide job placements for youth, particularly those facing barriers, allowing them the opportunity to gain skills and build experience in the green sector


    This is an open competition and eligible organizations are invited to apply in English or French

    Rapid Intake Deadline Friday June 25, 2021
    Second Intake Deadline Friday, July 9, 2021

    For more information visit the CPRA website

  • 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.


  • May 20, 2021 12:05 | Shane Ray (Administrator)

    Exciting news! The CFLRI with Research Power Inc., is providing a FREE 5-week virtual training course on evaluation and outcome measurement for practitioners. Early registration is recommended as space is limited. Visit https://cflri.ca/training for more information.

    Nouvelles passionnantes! L’ICRCP et Research Power Inc. offrent aux praticiens un cours virtuel de 5 semaines, GRATUIT, sur l’évaluation et la mesure des résultats. Réservez tôt, les places sont limitées. Visitez https://cflri.ca/fr/formation pour en savoir plus

  • April 21, 2021 08:40 | Shane Ray (Administrator)

    The Canadian Parks and Recreation Association(CPRA) has provided the following summary on Federal Budget 2021 and it proposed impacts on the parks and recreation sector.

    Overall it is seen as a good budget for the sector with lots of opportunities for funding and partnerships.

    You can read the summary and response by clicking on this link

  • April 13, 2021 17:05 | Shane Ray (Administrator)

    CARHA Hockey recently participated in Recreation Manitoba’s 2021 Annual Provincial Recreation Conference Virtual Trade Show. During this event we had the pleasure of meeting with many Manitoban community representatives which gave us the opportunity to listen and learn about their individual recreational community needs. 

    CARHA Hockey is working towards developing a Community Outreach Program in the near future but with big dreams comes big questions. We had to ask ourselves - when it comes to communities, recreational hockey, and their facilities – what do individual communities need? What are their wants, successes, and challenges? Is there a way that CARHA Hockey can collaborate with these communities through a community outreach program? Here at CARHA Hockey we knew the only way to find these answers was to speak to as many communities directly as possible. The Recreation Manitoba Conference provided that platform for us and so the “CARHA Hockey Listening Booth” was born. 

    We invited attendees of the conference to come to our booth and share with us their community stories, successes and challenges, and in turn we received much more than just information. This opportunity provided CARHA Hockey with community connection, education, potential partnership opportunities, and more. Nationwide, the recreational world has been hit hard by COVID-19 but to see the willingness of Manitoban communities to share their stories with us has been a rewarding experience to be a part of and although we connected with many communities at the conference, we know there are many more that we could learn from that we did not get the chance to speak too.  

    Although the conference is over, there is still time to connect and collaborate so we are taking our Virtual Listening Booth on the road (hypothetically of course)! If we did not have a chance to chat at the conference, we would like to connect with you and learn more about your community’s facilities’ needs, wants, challenges, and successes. If interested, please contact Laurie Langlois at llanglois@carhahockey.ca. We can’t wait to learn about you and find ways to collaborate! 

  • February 04, 2021 20:22 | Shane Ray (Administrator)

    Like many industries recreation practitioners, organizations and facilities have been substantially impacted by COVID. Facility closures, staff layoffs and adoption of completely new programming models has produced many challenges. From a municipal perspective, it is hard to identify another department impacted as much as recreation and parks departments. 

    Through it all the recreation delivery system has shown the ability to safely adapt and continue to bring communities and families together, while continuing to contribute to the wellbeing of Manitobans.

    Recreation Manitoba, a provincial organization dedicated to realizing the full the potential of parks and recreation as a major contributor to community and individual wellbeing and vibrancy, conducted an online survey over the last two weeks of March with members, and organizations involved with recreation in Manitoba to see how COVID has impacted them.

    What we found was that across the Province COVID has impacted all aspects of organizations from staffing and facilities, to programs, services and events. Financially these impacts are expected to last into the new fiscal year as budgets have been decimated this year with the impacted expected to last into the new fiscal year.

    As we move forward it is essential to recognize the critical role that recreation and active living play in supporting the mental and physical health recovery of Manitobans as well as the economic recovery of communities. 

    A basic analysis of the data shows

    Responses were received from all seven regions in Manitoba. Winnipeg lead the way with 22% of responses, followed by Westman (19%), Central (17%), Interlake (16%), Eastman(15%), Parkland(6%) and Norman(4%).

    The sizes of organizations varied, however most are small departments or organizations. 42% of respondents indicated their department/organization/business had 0 to 5 employees, 17% indicated 6 to 15 employees, 19% indicated 16-30 and 22% indicated 31+ employees.

    When looking at how staffing was impacted.  We first asked respondent to indicate impact to full time staff.  68% indicated that full time staffing was impacted in some way. These impacts included, full or permanent layoffs (6%) partial or temporary layoffs (34%), redeployment or reassignments (16%) and other (12%).  32% of respondents indicated full time staffing was not impacted.

    When we asked how part time and casual staff were impacted in greater numbers by COVID.  Only 21% indicated there was no impact to staffing. 30% indicated partial or temporary layoffs, full or permanent layoffs indicated 19%, 7% were redeployed or reassignment and 13% indicated they hired less part time or casual staff.

    COVID has substantially impacted the finances of most to the organizations. 82% of respondents indicated a negative impact to their finances this year with 46% of respondent indicating a substantial negative impact and 36% indicating a moderate negative impact. These impacts are expected to carry over into the next fiscal year with 81% of respondents indicating a substantial or moderate negative impact on their budgets.

    Revenue was the single hardest hit aspect of budgets. 83% of respondent indicated revenue had been negatively impacted, with 59% indicating a substantial negative impact for this year with a further 24% indicating is would have a moderate negative impact.  These impacts are once again expected to carry over into the next fiscal year with 73% indicating it will continue to have a negative impact.

    We asked what areas have been most significantly impacted by COVID. As expected, due to shutdowns and other restrictions, events were most significantly impacted with 87% of respondents indicating a substantial negative impact and 97% indicating at least a moderate impact.  Facility operations were the next area most negatively impacted with 76% indicating a substantial negative impact and 94% indicating at least a moderate impact. Services were third on the list with 65% of respondent indicating a substantial negative impact. Recreation Manitoba gives credit to the resiliency of recreation practitioners and organizations and their ability to adjust to ever changing conditions for this lower impact.

    This is supported by comments we received when we asked respondents for something positive that has come out of the changes with COVID.  Overwhelming we heard that the delivery system was able to adapt and offer more virtual programs and services and being leaders in community building to help combat social isolation. Respondents indicated these virtual programming options allowed them to reach community members who might not otherwise take part in programs due to barriers including finances, travel and equipment.  A number of respondents acknowledged the support of the Safe at Home Grant and the financial assistance provided by the Province of Manitoba to allow them to make the successful transition to virtual programming and new outdoor related programming. One respondent had this to say "although this time has been difficult it has really taught us how to find a new normal and implement these simple things into our future programming" 

    Recreation Manitoba asked how can we help and here is what you told us

    "Education/Learning Webinars"

    "Ensure you are being our voice and advocating for our sector. Keeping your members informed of possible changes and speak up for us"

    "I think keeping us informed with steps going forward.. most of us are one person department working for a board, and we get overwhelmed with all the info or how to keep up. so support, guidance going forward is awesome" 

    "Messaging to council about the impacts of recreation" 

    "Assist with clarifying regulations especially around facility use/summer camps. Sharing education such as training volunteers for cleaning or sanitizing. "

    "I would like to see Recreation Manitoba try get into the details of the provincial restrictions and ask those questions about the grey areas so each of us does not have to search out our local health inspector and get answers that conflict from one person to the next that cause confusion as it current operations." 


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