2020-2021 Annual Report

Each year the NWT Recreation and Parks Association publishes our annual report.


This is where we share our audited financials for transparency and accountability with the public and our membership. It's also where we get to give an update on all of the progress we've accomplished towards achieving our Strategic Goals, during the previous fiscal year.


In 2018, the NWTRPA identified six goals for its 2018-2021 Strategic Plan.


During the 2020–2021 year, just as we have all had to adapt as we navigate through life during a pandemic, the NWTRPA has too. But we have also been up to a lot of great work!


Goal #1: The NWTRPA is working with intention to advance decolonization and reconciliation through its work, workplaces, and relationships.

  • Hosted a presentation by the Native Women’s Association of the NWT about the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Gils and two Spirited People (MMIWG2S) Calls for Justice at the September 2020 Board meeting.

  • Staff and Board participated in a facilitated racial equity assessment workshop.

  • Staff completed anti-racism training, and participated in a facilitated antiracism book club.

  • Our Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) representatives participated in anti-racism training and implicit bias training with the CPRA Board.

  • Board approved the inclusion of a territory acknowledgement permanently on our website.

  • Conducted a review of the Awards program to determine if it is in line with our commitment to decolonization and reconciliation.

  • Hosted an Ethical Space session by Bush Kids for staff and the Awards Review Committee.

  • Advocating for the Canadian Recreation & Parks Association to address the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action, to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and to act on reconciliation.

  • Continued to work with Crystal Fraser, Paul Andrew, Sharon Firth, Lorna Storr, and Kyla LeSage on a public exhibit and website about recreation and residential schooling in the NWT. Because of the pandemic, the project team shifted their focus from interviews with Survivors to archival research this year

Goal #2: NWT leaders, communities, and NWTRPA partners understand recreation and recognize that it is essential to healthy minds, bodies, families, and communities.

  • Promoted and celebrated June is Recreation and Parks Month campaign by offering Active, Resilient, and Connected (ARC) Grants. Approved 45 June ARC applications from 18 communities. A total of 1,389 NWT residents participated in ARC events during the month of June.

  • Working with the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs to develop a Sport, Physical Activity, and Recreation (SPAR) Framework, guided by: Canadian Sport Policy, A Common Vision for Increasing Physical Activity, and Framework for Recreation in Canada. The NWTRPA has been meeting with partners to advance the SPAR Framework.

  • Presented five awards celebrating recreation and its importance in the NWT (see page 11 for information on the 2020 Awards recipients).

  • Virtually presented and celebrated three Bright Spots that recognize successful recreation-related programs, events or initiatives.

  • Continued focus on creating and sharing digital content on social media. Our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter followers rose by 60%, 9.89%, and 7.1%, respectively. While more than 11,980 people visited our website last year

Goal #3: The NWTRPA is a vital resource for and champion of community-directed on the land programs.

  • Continued participation on the administrative team for the NWT On The Land Collaborative. In 2020, the Collaborative distributed just over 839 thousand dollars in grants to 48 projects.

  • Provided in-kind training to 18 Collaborative grant recipients, including hosting 11 training events in canoeing, wilderness first aid, water safety, Supporting Wellbeing, and conflict resolution with a total of 135 participants.

  • Hosted the 2021 World Tour of the Paddling Film Festival in Sǫ̀mba K’è / Yellowknife and Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę/Fort Simpson with 102 total attendees which raised almost $1,400 for local paddling programs.

  • Developed the first draft of the curriculum for Supporting Wellbeing and delivered the pilot training to 15 on the land leaders at Reindeer Station to evaluate the curriculum and guide adjustments to Supporting Wellbeing.

  • Sponsored a screening of Family Routes at the 2020 Yellowknife International Film Festival where 99 people streamed the film.

  • Commissioned an updated review of Collaborative grant reports that includes important information about the impact of on the land programs and the Collaborative, as well as key learnings from Collaborative-funded projects.

  • Coordinated virtual sharing circles where Indigenous knowledge holders shared their approaches to being safe around water and ice.

  • Collaborated with Adze Studios to create a film about Chief Paul Niditchie School’s annual canoe trip, entitled Rediscovering the Tsiigehnjiik.

Goal #4: The NWTRPA is a valued organization, driven by community and membership, and committed to ethical governance and management.

  • Adapted and tailored our programming to follow GNWT Chief Public Health Office guidelines and community risk assessments.

  • Board initiated the inclusion of a respect of the land at all future Board meetings.

  • Board prioritized using a lens of reconciliation, racial equity and ethical space while completing governance work.

  • Board reviewed a newly developed Business Continuity Plan.

  • Met with Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs Paulie Chinna to discuss government priorities.

  • Advocated for the GNWT to review and update the current Sport Physical Activity and Recreation Framework. Presented with recreation sector partners our recommendations to the Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Government Operations.

  • Engaged in creating a new and integrated website.

Goal #5: More NWT residents of all ages are able to choose active ways of living because of improvements in the accessibility, diversity, and quality of community-based recreation programs.

  • Assembled a steering committee to review and revise the current Fitness Leadership Program to better centre the training around NWT cultures, bodies, and lifestyles.

  • Supported two individuals remotely to achieve their AFLCA fitness leadership certificate.

  • Successfully trained nine individuals across the territory to become regional Elders in Motion facilitators. • Began project to translate key information from all Active Communities programs into all 11 official NWT languages.

  • Conducted two pilot trainings in two communities for a Long- Term Care version of Elders in Motion training. The goal of the pilot training was to increase accessibility and appropriateness of exercise programs for the very frail living in facilities through the pandemic.

  • Hosted six knowledge sharing webinars, featuring five different NWT Elders in Motion experts/knowledge holders. Over 40 participants engaged in at least one session and 10 participants attended three or more sessions.

  • Continue to work with recreation leaders in Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę First Nation, Cole Crook Fiddle Association (Hay River), Hamlet of Ulukhaktok, and Whatì Community Government to support intergenerational recreation programs during the pandemic.

  • Active participant on the leadership team for the Collaborating for the Inclusion of Older Adults programs. Began work with the NWT Seniors Society in the creation of a five-year communications strategy to increase awareness and capacity in communities to access resources for older adults.

  • Offered Active, Resilient, and Connected (ARC) grant program to replace Get Active funding during COVID-19. The ARC grant program was offered to support organizations with flexible funding options for the unique situations during the pandemic. Approved 64 Winter ARC and Water Smart grant applications from 22 communities to support 147 events with over 9,060 participants.

  • Contracted Constellation Consulting to evaluate the Get Active Program from 2010-2020.

  • 5,579 people from 31 NWT communities and beyond participated in Walk to Tuk 2021 with a total 752, 215 kilometres walked. 2021 also saw the most participation from NWT residents ever

Goal #6: The NWTRPA is the leading recreation training organization in the NWT.

  • Introduced and offered a third second certificate to the Recreation North Training Program: Certificate in Northern Recreation Management.

  • Delivered 19 online Recreation North Learning Events. An additional five spaces were added to each learning event to accommodate demand. In total, a completion rate of 91% was achieved by 208 participants.

  • Reviewed and updated Recreation for Mental Health training to better reflect the needs of the NWT.

  • Offered 2 HIGH FIVE® events and gained northern participation in one national online event.

  • Hosted a series of nine engaging webinars in place of the 2020 Annual Conference due to COVID-19 restrictions. Webinar topics ranged from favourite parts of the conference, to how to engage audiences, to sharing circles.

2020 NWTRPA Award Winners

In 2020, the NWTRPA recognized it was more important than ever to continue celebrating excellence in recreation across the NWT by adapting our Awards program during the pandemic.


The 2020 award recipients were:

  • Scott McAdam Youth Leadership Award Ava Pope (Tłegǫ́hłı̨/Norman Wells)

  • Active Elder Award Elizabeth Hardisty (Łíídlį Kų́ę/Fort Simpson)

  • Innovation Award Inemesit Graham (Sǫ̀mba K’è/Yellowknife)

  • Award of Excellence Rob Johnson (Sǫ̀mba K’è/Yellowknife)

  • Canadian Parks and Recreation Association President’s Award of Distinction Geoff Ray (Sǫ̀mba K’è/Yellowknife)

The NWTRPA hosted 62 in-person and virtual events with a total of 810 participants from 28 communities.



Communities with an orange dot represent the communities where residents participated in NWTRPA events.

Recreation during a pandemic

Though we can’t know with any certainty what life will look like in the months ahead, we do know that recreation is key to finding a new normal because recreation at its core is about being well and being connected. It’s been a bumpy year, but we are focused on moving forward while staying flexible. We love connecting with communities, and recreation and on the land leaders in person but as there continues to be uncertainty concerning the pandemic we continue to adapt and adjust while following public health protocols.