What's New in Recreation

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  • 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.

     

  • 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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