You may recognize our new Executive Director, Sheena Tremblay, because she isn’t new to the NWT Recreation and Parks Association.
Sheena has worked with us at the NWTRPA since the fall of 2009, when she started as a Ski North Coordinator! Sheena organized and facilitated Cross Country Canada coaching courses, and trail grooming clinics across the NWT in interested communities. Sheena has a degree in Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership from Mount Royal University and has participated in several leadership courses through Simon Fraser University and Peter G. Gustavson School of Business. She’s also spent many years volunteering as the female coach for the Yellowknife High Performance Cross Country Ski Team.
“I’m passionate about recreation, the people of the NWT, and the mission and vision of the organization,” says the new Executive Director. “Recreation and outdoor spaces are big parts of my life. I value and truly believe in the benefits of recreation and on the land programs.”
The NWTRPA has grown a lot since Sheena joined us in 2009. Positions have changed as we have grown larger to better support all NWT communities, and our strategic goals keep pushing us further toward our vision of a territory where everyone in the NWT has access to recreation programs and spaces that foster healthy families, strong cultures, and vibrant communities.
In 2010, the Active Communities Coordinator position was created, and Sheena took on this role where she started out working with our Nordic Walking program, and Elders in Motion program. She became the Director of Active Communities in 2016.
“Sheena brings a depth of knowledge to the organization having helped build programs from the ground up,” says our Professional Development Director, Amanda Grobbecker. “With a decade at the RPA she brings stability and strong partnerships that she has built over this time. We're fortunate to have her grow and flourish in her new role.”
As this position has grown, through the work Sheena has achieved while with the NWTRPA, she has coordinated and delivered all aspects of the Active Living programs we offer including Walk to Tuk, Get Active, Elders in Motion, Fitness Leadership (which Sheena spearheaded in this role), and Generations on the Move—some of which are the highest profile programs and events offered by the NWTRPA.
Sheena led and grew the Nordic Walking Program into the now nationally recognized annual Walk to Tuk challenge!
In 2015, Walk to Tuk was selected as one of six finalists in the Play Exchange and showcased on national television. And in 2017, Sheena received the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada for developing Walk to Tuk. This program is largest and longest physical activity initiative in the NWT!
“I’m grateful to have had experience in many different program areas and I am excited to work in this new role,” says Sheena. “I’m looking forward to working collaboratively with the board, staff, NWTRPA members, partners and communities to make a positive impact. I want to do my part in building a healthy, strong and resilient NWT.”
As Executive Director of the NWTRPA, Sheena will help steer the organization to achieve its Advocacy Priorities, Strategic Plan, Annual Budget and other Ends Policies, all of which are driven by the Board of Directors, and NWTRPA members. The Executive Director works facilitates interaction with the membership-elected Board of Directors, and is always operating under specific policies established by the Board to accomplish the roles and responsibilities of the position.
In 2018, The Elders in Motion program was selected as one of Canada’s top 30 Frailty Innovations, by the Canadian Frailty Network in the Frailty Matters Innovation Competition. This program was based on the Home Support Exercise Program created by the Canadian Centre for Active Aging. In partnership with the Centre, Dene Nation, NWT Seniors’ Society, Aurora College, and the GNWT Department of Health and Social Services, Sheena helped build Elders in Motion into well-known, community-driven trainings, events, mentoring and gatherings where community leaders enhance their knowledge, skills, and confidence in organizing and leading safe, engaging, and culturally appropriate recreation programs for older adults in the NWT. Sheena was recognized in 2014 by the national organization, Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging, with a Community Leadership Award for her work with the Elders in Motion program.
Filling the shoes of Sheena in the role of Director of Active Communities is Bri Krekoski!
“Sheena seems to have community development superpowers! I’m excited to learn from her as our new Executive Director,” says Bri. “It’s obvious from the depth and quality of the programs Sheena’s developed over the years how compassionate and creative she is as a programmer, and how talented she is at developing meaningful relationships with all people she works with.”
To contact Sheena, or anyone else on the NWTRPA staff, visit our Staff and Board page.