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NWTRPA Celebrates 25 Years

 June 1, 2015
Posted by NWT Recreation and Parks Association

The NWT Recreation and Parks Association has been celebrating its 25th Anniversary over the last year. In 1989, the NWT Recreation and Parks Association was created by recreation professionals who acted on the need to coordinate their events, access training and funding, and learn and share with each other. Little did they know that 25 years later, we would be celebrating their vision for a professional association!

Since 1989, the NWTRPA has grown in leaps and bounds. In the 1990s the organization was run by a group of dedicated volunteers working to keep people connected and build programs and services like the Annual Conference, joint memberships with the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association, the NWT Recreation Code of Ethics, Go for Green, and the NWTRPA Awards Program. It was not easy and there are grim stories of conversations about “should we keep this organization alive?” Despite it all, the NWTRPA helped to raise the profile of recreation and parks in the NWT and increased its own standing and recognition as an organization that represents community recreation.

By 2000, the organization had one staff member and was trying to survive through devolution and the division of resources with newly formed Nunavut. New partnerships were being formed with the NWTRPA becoming the lead organization for the Trans Canada Trail in the NWT and helping to organize the Trans Canada Trail Relay. Participation with the Canadian Recreation Facilities Council also became more formalized. The NWTRPA had become the NWT voice for recreation in Canada. It was an exciting time!

NWT Recreation & Parks Association – Board of Directors Summary

By the end of 2010, the NWTRPA had developed significantly as an organization. Five staff now managed its operations as directed by a volunteer eight-person Board of Directors. By the end of the decade, the NWTRPA was busy wrapping up a five year $750,000 Trail Building Fund and had created programs such as Elders in Motion, Walk to Tuk and Ski North. The NWTRPA also established a territorial Aquatics Committee and took the lead from the GNWT in offering support to community swimming pools.

And in 2014, we celebrated our birthday!! From an organization that came from an idea of a few passionate people to an organization that now engages with every NWT community and thousands of people across the NWT and Canada, we all have something to be proud of in our organization.

Happy Birthday to the NWT Recreation and Parks Association!

  • Some interesting (and cringe-worthy) events that happened in 1989:
  • The first baseball game was played in the Toronto Skydome
  • Saskatchewan Roughriders defeated the Hamilton Tiger Cats in the 77th Grey Cup
  • Calgary Flames defeated the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Final
  • Brian Mulroney was Canada’s Prime Minister and Ronald Regan was President of the USA
  • Dennis Patterson was Premier of the NWT
  • The Berlin Wall fell
  • Tiananmen Square massacre
  • The first GPS satellite was launched
  • Milli Vanilli, Poison, Janet Jackson, New Kids on the Block, and Paula Abdul all had success on the pop charts
  • Nirvana released its debut album ‘Bleach’
  • The Simpsons and Seinfeld both aired for the first time