Innovation Award – Beth Hudson (For her work in Fort Providence)
As a member of Play Around the World, a play-based organization from the University of Alberta, she was part of the first Canadian pilot project, called PAW North. She ran the programming and proved to the community, and to Play Around the World, that PAW North could be a successful, annual program in Fort Providence. Beth eventually moved to Fort Providence full-time to be the physical literacy coordinator, but also took on the duties of a recreation coordinator, gym teacher, and fitness instructor while running summer camps and events year-round. She introduced boot camp to the community and offered free wellness programs and fitness classes in the evenings. Beth’s programming was for all ages, from preschoolers to adults. Before she moved to Yellowknife to join the staff at the Aboriginal Sport Circle, Beth started the Athletic Excellence Program. The program, which she envisioned as an opportunity to build capacity and empower youth, filled an important gap left when the community’s recreation director left. Beth inspired junior and high school students to volunteer so recreation programming could continue. She arranged for the students to receive training in HighFive® and First Aid. She also brought youth to a regional recreation training where they became physical literacy instructors. Finding the money to create part-time jobs, the youth eventually became recreation assistants, library assistants, and tutors. She inspired them to do big things and taught them that they could make a difference. Beth changed how recreation was done in Fort Providence. Even though she has moved away, she has had a lasting impact. Community members of all ages are embracing active and healthy lifestyles, and wanting to continue to be involved.
Scott McAdam Youth Leadership Award – Wilson Elliot (Yellowknife)
Wilson is an exceptional person who manages to juggle academia, work, volunteering, and a busy judo training schedule. For five years, he has worked in the City of Yellowknife’s Recreational Programs. Currently, he is a head instructor with the preschool and youth programs. He is a caring leader who ensures that everyone has fun, participates, and learns new skills. Wilson is an innovative leader who, in collaboration with his brother, has developed three very successful programs for kids: Mad Scientist, Nerf Wars, and Lego. The young men pitched the ideas and created proposals for the programs, which the City now offers every month. Currently, Wilson competes in the U18 category in Judo and has competed for the past three years on the Judo National Training Circuit. He has top three placements at many national and international events and is currently the only athlete from the NWT to attend the Invitational Elite 8 Judo Nationals event (where he placed 2nd in 2017). Wilson is a high-level competitor who believes in fair play on and off the mat. He volunteers with family Judo and Recreational Judo programs, and mentors kids as they work on their different coloured belts. He has also been an instructor in the Active After School Program at Weledeh where he taught judo skills to elementary-age children.
Scott McAdam Youth Leadership Award – Christina Bonnetrouge (Fort Providence)
Christina has made it a priority to give back to her community by helping to facilitate physical activity, sport, and recreation programming. As a high school student, Christina excelled at badminton. In addition to being an NWT High School Champion in 2013, she represented Team NWT at the 2014 and 2016 Arctic Winter Games. While on Team NWT, she achieved outstanding grades, volunteered with community programming, and worked at the pool as a lifeguard. She had early morning practices and workouts, but always had a great attitude and managed to dedicate time every day to her community. Christina continues to volunteer with young athletes from her community as a coach. Christina graduated from high school in 2016. She was the first youth from her community to be accepted directly into university (the University of Alberta). She decided to take the last year off so that she could gain further experience and devote more time to her community. She served as the Community Health Representative before being hired last spring as the Physical Literacy Coordinator in Deh Gah School. Christina was the first person born and raised in the NWT to fill this role. Her passion, education, and involvement made her the perfect candidate. Christina takes every opportunity to improve her skills as a recreation leader. Her continued desire to take on additional professional development, courses, and training is a testament to her commitment to education and her passion for delivering quality recreation programming. As an athlete, recreation leader, and role model, she exceeds any expectation placed on her and is a true leader within her community.
Active Elder Award – Eunice Nasogaluak (Tuktoyaktuk)
Eunice has lived in Tuktoyaktuk for the past 52 years and enjoys being part of the community. She gives back in so many ways, through music, teaching, sharing her language, and volunteering at community events. Eunice has been part of the Walk to Tuk challenge for the past few years, keeping active and encouraging others to do the same. She is also an active singer, dancer, and drummer, and is always ready to share her skills with the youth. She has raised money, written proposals, and organized trips for the dance group to Nome, Barrow, Edmonton, Haines Junction, and Whitehorse. Eunice enjoys playing bass guitar for old time dances and community gatherings, and volunteering with the Tuktoyaktuk Music Festival. She is also an excellent sewer, who always joins in for local sewing projects. Eunice takes advantage of every opportunity to share her language and culture with young people in the community. She brings traditional foods, such as geese and caribou, to the school so students from junior kindergarten to grade nine can learn how to process meat. She shows the students how to clean, cut, and prepare the foods, while also teaching them the different parts in Inuvialuktun. Eunice has taught Inuvialuktun for many years in the community. She encourages graduates to continue to use their Inuvialuktun language. She is also a strong proponent of education, supporting young people to go on to college or university as they are the community’s future leaders. At every event or opportunity, she is there to cheer on and encourage the youth.
Award of Excellence – Arthur Taylor (Fort Smith)
Arthur has been responsible for starting the squash club and squash lessons at the Recreation Centre in Fort Smith. He started out by giving up many weekends to organize, host, run, and referee squash tournaments. He has also focused on investing in the future by running free squash lessons three times a week for all ages. Anyone who shows interest in the sport of squash in Fort Smith is supported by Arthur. He will run practices for new players, organize games for out-of-towners, and use social media to organize squash ladders and games. He even traveled to Yellowknife to bring two players to compete in their first tournament. Arthur has written and received many grants to build capacity and acquire squash supplies, which has allowed equal access for all. Whether its rackets, glasses, balls, pylons, and cups, the Town of Fort Smith and its community members are able to access the equipment they need to put on amazing events. His investments in equipment, his avid support, and his dedication to his community have enabled people of all ages and skill sets to play the game. Whether they are new or old players, local residents or people who have traveled to Smith for work or school, Arthur is there to help. Most importantly, by coaching children as young as five and providing so much support to everyone, he is building tomorrow’s competitors and building capacity for the Town of Fort Smith.
CPRA Award of Merit – Tony Devlin (Inuvik)
Tony Devlin has made a significant impact on recreation at the local, territorial, and national level over the last decade. As the director of the Northern Arts Festival in Inuvik, he oversaw its growth into the premier arts festival in the NWT. His tenure at the Town of Inuvik as Community Services director saw significant additions and improvements to the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex as well as new, innovative program offerings to the community. Tony has also devoted a great amount of time as a volunteer on local sport organization boards and with the Inuvik District Education Council. Territorially, Tony served for many years as the representative for the Beaufort Delta region on the NWTRPA Board of Directors. He also served for four terms as Board president. While in that role, Tony oversaw a major governance review that resulted in a more robust and self-sustaining organization. He remains a strong proponent of the benefits of recreation in the NWT even after his tenure at the NWTRPA ended. Nationally, Tony served as the NWT Representative on the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association’s Board of Directors, as well as the chair of the CPRA’s Strategic Development & Communications Committee. Significant achievements for the CPRA during Tony’s time on the board include the inclusion of the recreation sector in the Federal Government Infrastructure Renewal program for investment and the completion of the National Framework for Recreation in Canada. The Framework for Recreation in Canada is an excellent example of the kind of impact Tony had on a national level. Tony worked tirelessly to bring the unique perspective of the North during the consultations and development of the Framework. Tony’s contributions changed the conversation about recreation in Canada in a very positive way leading to what ought to be long-term benefits to the public.
The NWTRPA accepts nominations for the awards program annually in July. For more information about current awards and nomination guidelines, visit http://www.nwtrpa.org/awards.htm.