Tai Chi for the NWT: NWTRPA Rona Williams Tai Chi Fund

Rona Williams is a long-time practitioner of tai chi. Rona is a certified tai chi instructor, which requires numerous hours of tai chi training and involved many weekend workshops. A few years ago, Rona was given an anniversary present from her husband that was indicative of her love of tai chi.


To mark their golden anniversary in March of 2015, Chris Williams wanted to do something special. His gift: A $10,000 endowment fund to be put towards sharing the practice of tai chi throughout communities in the NWT.

Because Rona is very involved in the tai chi community in Yellowknife, and Canada, Chris decided it would be really special if he could help support tai chi in the Northwest Territories.


Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art practiced for both its defence training and its health benefits and is typically practiced with slow movement. The Canadian Tai Chi Academy teaches 108-move Tai Chi, a style developed by Master Moy Lin-Shin (1931–1998).


Rona became a certified tai chi instructor, which requires numerous hours of tai chi training, and many weekend workshops. Rona would teach tai chi in Yellowknife, and also chair tai chi for seniors who do not have the physical ability to stand and do exercises.


Rona was the recipient of the 2014 NWTRPA Active Elder Award, and over the years she has been engaged with the NWTRPA through Tai Chi and Elders in Motion. “I am inspired by Rona’s quiet encouragement to each senior to participate according to their ability, her grace, and her honesty in knowing the need to ‘keep moving’ even on days when it isn’t always easy,” wrote Linda Henry of Rona in 2014.


Master Moy Lin-Shin modified the traditional Yang Style 108-move Tai Chi set to maximize the health benefits for faster health improvement, as he realized that in a modern society, an exercise that was good for health was more important than a martial art for fighting. His goal was to make tai chi available to everyone. The Online Introduction to Tai Chi Courses will teach beginners of Tai Chi the first 17 moves of the 108-move Tai Chi set.


“Administering this fund, and supporting the practice and development of Tai Chi trainers in the NWT is such a great way to honour Rona while building northern capacity and interest in Tai Chi,” says Sheena Tremblay, Executive Director of the NWTRPA. “Rona is an inspiring and amazing example of an active, involved community member.”


The NWTRPA Thanks to Rona, Chris and the Canadian Tai Chi Academy, Yellowknife Club for this unique and long-lasting collaboration.


Rona Williams Tai Chi Fund

In recognition of the high cost of internet throughout the NWT, participants registered for the Fall 2021 Online Introduction to Tai Chi Course can apply to the NWTRPA’s Rona Williams Tai Chi Fund for a one-time $50 subsidy.


The subsidy application is only open to NWT residents. The funds are limited, and the subsidy will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis until the funds are distributed. When registering for the online course there will be an additional, optional if you need it, opportunity to apply for the $50 internet subsidy. Priority for the subsidy is for participants residing outside of Yellowknife.


This subsidy is made possible through the generous gift of Rona’s husband. The NWT Recreation and Parks Association invested the fund on behalf of Rona and Tai Chi NWT, and we are administering the fund for one-time internet subsidies to support more accessible participation in the online Intro to Tai Chi course, in partnership with Tai Chi NWT.


Online Introduction to Tai Chi Course

The NWTRPA is partnering with the Canadian Tai Chi Academy to offer a 10-week Online Tai Chi course. The online course that will be offered will include integral tai chi foundation exercises and the first 17-moves of the 108-move tai chi set.


When:

Where:

  • Online via Youtube: Links to the instructor led videos will be sent out weekly to the participants, one video per week for 10 weeks. The videos will be available to view for the full 10 weeks.

Who:

  • Local Canadian Tai Chi Academy instructors will offer videos of instruction and host three zoom discussions over the course of 10 weeks.

  • The NWTRPA is helping to administer and organize the online course.