Harry Boothman Bursary

2016 - 2018

Between 2016 - 2018 the Harry Boothman Bursary was proud to support Canadian recreation practitioners in their efforts to enhance their personal and professional development.

Based on the submissions received, it was identified that the Canadian recreation sector is benefiting from strong leaders who are motivated to participant in unique professional development programs.

Read about our recipients below.


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Mariam Fares – 2019

Mariam was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. Mariam is a recreation enthusiast who is involved with volleyball, softball, running and yoga. With over 10 years of experience in the recreation field across Canada, she has held positions with Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary, City of Mississauga and most recently as the Community Development Coordinator for Town of Halton Hills, Ontario. Mariam’s passion aligned when she was able to bridge the social services sector with the municipal services sector in the field of recreation. Currently, she provides front-line services in the area of Community Development: facilitation of special events, coordination of volunteer services and community grant support. She is a strong believer in life-long learning and ongoing professional development. The opportunity to participate in the Parks and Recreation Management Certificate Program will allow Mariam to take her leadership skills to the next level in the area of Municipal Recreation.

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” – unknown


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Tara Cowan – 2019

Tara Cowan is the Recreation and Facility Manager for the RM of Pipestone and Pipestone Albert Recreation Commission. Her passion for recreation came at a very early age while volunteering and working for the City of Winnipeg in Summer day camps and as skate patrol at the local arena. Tara is applying the Harry Boothman Bursary to participate in the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association Professional Development Certification Program.

“I always loved playing sports and of course my favourite subject in school was gym class! I tried university right out of High School and learned that it was not for me; so, I moved to Northern Alberta to work. My sister gladly took me in and I began working as the Recreation Programmer in High Level, AB. This is where I learned that recreation was going to be my career. I love helping community groups, plan events and organize programs for the community. After about 7 years I moved back to Manitoba and attended Red River College to pursue a certificate in Community Development/ Community Economic Development. During my practicum a job posting came up in the RM of Pipestone with Pipestone Albert Recreation Commission. I was successful in my endeavors and have now been with the RM of Pipestone just over 5 years and love it. On my down time (if you call it that!) I am also a Town Councillor for the Town of Virden; I play hockey, fastpitch baseball and love volunteering at various events in my community.”


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Sigourney Hoytfox – 2018

Sigourney has been the Director of Leisure Services for the Town of Wynyard since February 2016. Her primary role is to enhance and facilitate local recreation opportunities and maintain town-owned recreation facilities. Sigourney has been a member of Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association for three years, is a Lifesaving Society Instructor-Trainer, serves on the Board of Directors for the Prairie Central District for Sport, Culture and Recreation and is actively involved in various local fundraising groups. The Harry Boothman Bursary is supporting Sigourney as she participates in the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association Professional Development Certification Program.

“I strongly believe in lifelong education to keep the field of recreation moving forward.”


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Michelle Horncastle - 2018

Michelle is the Recreation Director for Assiniboine Valley Recreation based in Russell, MB. She utilized the Harry Boothman Bursary to attend the Gathering Strength: Framework for Recreation in Canada Forum held in Regina. This national event focused on building relationships, continuing dialog and working in cooperation towards achieving the goals of the Framework for Recreation in Canada: Pathways to Wellbeing. Attending this national conference allowed her to expand her knowledge base and learn best practices from communities across the Country. It confirmed that our organization is on the right track on implementing the Framework for Recreation in Canada in our strategic planning and specifically our programming philosophy. Lastly, it reiterated the importance of collaboration with other sectors for all those working in the recreation industry to achieve our goals and improve our communities.


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Sarah Ane - 2017

Community Development and Volunteer Coordinator, City of Welland (Ontario)

Participating in the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association Professional Development Certification Program

Sarah works for the City of Welland in the Recreation and Culture Department as their Community Development Coordinator.  Sarah’s primary role is to enhance recreation opportunities for residents of the community.  Sarah has also taught at Niagara College in the Recreation and Leisure Studies program as well as acted as the Community Engagement Coordinator for Brock University’s Recreation and Leisure undergraduate program. Sarah is an avid volunteer and acts as the First Aid Program Chair for the Niagara Region Area Chapter of the Lifesaving Society.

Sarah contributes to the recreation field as a longstanding member of Parks and Recreation Ontario, the Ontario Recreation Facilities Association and as an Instructor Trainer for the Lifesaving Society. Sarah believes in lifelong education and professional development. She is currently completing a certificate program with Fleming College in Sustainable Trails Management and will also complete CPRA’s Professional Development Certificate during 2017.


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Shelly Howe - 2017

Shelly is a long-time resident of Moose Jaw, SK with her family of four almost-grown children, her husband and dog.  She works for the City of Moose Jaw as the Recreation Program Supervisor, programming the pools and arenas in Moose Jaw.  Her passion for drowning prevention has been fostered by a lifetime of involvement in aquatics through her own years of lifeguarding, teaching swimming lessons, and now training others in these areas.  Through volunteer work with the Canadian Red Cross Water Safety Program and as part of the Lifesaving Society Critical Incident Stress team, Shelly works to spread the message of drowning prevention to all that she can.  For Shelly, attending the World Conference on Drowning Prevention in 2017 was an amazing experience and she looks forward to sharing her newly-gained ideas and knowledge.


Janet Naclia - 2016

Janet Naclia, who is the Program Manager for the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association (ARPA) was also granted the Harry Boothman Bursary in 2016. Ms. Naclia is enrolled in the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Indigenous Recreation through the University of Alberta. The goal of the Certificate program is to provide students with a deeper understanding of the cultural context of Indigenous communities and populations. This knowledge will provide practitioners with the skills to offer relevant and quality recreational opportunities to indigenous populations. Ms. Naclia is currently participating in the program, which will conclude in the spring/summer of 2017.


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Lisa McLaughlin - 2016

Lisa McLaughlin is the Program Manager for the Communities ChooseWell initiative with the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association (ARPA). Her application to attend and present at the International Union for Health Promotion and Education World Conference on Health Promotion in Curitiba, Brazil was approved by the Committee. Ms. McLaughlin attended the event in May, 2016, where she also presented two sessions, specific to the topics of health, community, support and people living in vulnerable situations, and food access and consumption: the role of health promotion. Ms. McLaughlin recognized that:

“Attending the conference was a good opportunity to learn about issues related to my work and graduate studies in health promotion and to connect with other practitioners, researchers and leaders in the field.”