CPRA Award and Bursary Recipients

Welcome to the CPRA Awards and Bursary Recipient page, where we celebrate the exceptional achievements of individuals and organizations that have significantly contributed to the parks and recreation sector in Canada.

Here, you will find a list of past award and bursary recipients who have demonstrated outstanding commitment, passion, and leadership on a national level. These awards honor those who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to enhance and promote parks, recreation, and community well-being across the country.

Since 2016, the Harry Boothman Bursary has supported Canadian recreation practitioners in their personal and professional development. Based on the submissions received, it is clear that the Canadian recreation sector is benefiting from strong leaders who are motivated to participate in unique professional development programs.

Read about our recipients below.

Award Recipients

  • CPRA President’s Award of Distinction: Caroline Sparks (YT)

    Emerging Leader Award: Maxwell Joy (NU), Haley Smith (NS)

    Partnership Award: Jumpstart

    CPRA Award of Merit: Kyle St. Laurent (NU), Matthew Smith (PEI), David Bosiak (MB), Masooma Sayed Hashim (BC)

  • CPRA President’s Award of Distinction: Pierre Morin (QC)

    Emerging Leader Award: Ashley Broker (NS)

    Partnership Award: On the Land Collaborative

    CPRA Award of Merit: Trisha Davison (BC), Damara Geddes (MB), Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation (NU), Island Trails (PEI), Sue Meikle (YT)

  • CPRA President’s Award of Distinction: Geoff Ray (NWT)

    Emerging Leader Award: Quentin Sala (NU)

    Partnership Award: Michael Nadler

    CPRA Award of Merit: Jocelyn MacLeod (MB), Makigiaqta Inuit Training Corporation (NU)

  • CPRA President’s Award of Distinction: Norm Campbell (SK)

    Emerging Leader Award: Kelsey Johnson (BC)

    Partnership Award: Jays Care Foundation

    CPRA Award of Merit: Dan Pagely (AB), Doreen Nitsiza (NWT), Kimberley Masson (NU), Darryl Condon (BC), ROC Eastman (MB)

  • CPRA President’s Award of Distinction: Murray Kopp (BC)

    Emerging Leader Award: Vikki Niptanatiak (NU)

    CPRA Award of Merit:, Starbuck Recreation Centre (MB), John Andersen (NL), Berry Freeze (NB), Sue Fraser (PEI), Blaise MacEachern (NS), North West Company (NU), Tony Devlin (NWT), Terry Welsh (AB)

  • CPRA President’s Award of Distinction: Larry Ketcheson (ON)

    CPRA Partnership Award: Canadian Parks Council

    CPRA Award of Merit: Pam Meunier (AB), Johanna Elliott (NWT), Qikiqtani Inuit Association (NU), O’Leary Kraft Hockeyville Committee (PEI), Murray Kopp (BC)

  • CPRA President’s Award of Distinction: Barbara Hill (AB)

    CPRA Partnership Award: University of Alberta Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, HIGH FIVE Canada

    CPRA Award of Merit: Marc-André Lavigne (QC), Jason Tologanak (NU), Tim Burton (AB), HIGH FIVE (Janie Romoff, Nina de Vaal, Joanne Russell) – (ON), Susanne Moore (MB)

  • CPRA President’s Award of Distinction: Randy Kinnee (SK)

    CPRA Award of Merit: John Macintyre (ON), John Maurice (NU), Shane Thompson (NWT), Chris Szabo (AB), Ian Reid (NB), Brenda Robertson (NS), André Thibault (QC), Caroline Sparks (YT)

  • CPRA President’s Award of Distinction: Don Hunter (BC)

    CPRA Award of Merit: Jennifer Reynolds (ON),, Chris Nelson (BC), Rick Gilbert (NS), Randy Kinnee (SK), Romeyn Stevenson (NU), Shelley Shea (AB), Nancy McMinn (PEI)

Harry Boothman Bursary Recipients

  • Amanda Dean

    Amanda has been in recreation most of her career, from a Summer day camp leader with Pacific Sport to Recreation Program Coordinator with the District of Summerland she found a true passion for the recreation field and getting people active. When Amanda's not working you can find me outdoors hiking, biking, or taking care of her little hobby farm alongside her 2-year-old daughter. Amanda loves being outdoors and connecting with others in sport and recreation. She recently started a graduate certificate program in Recreation Management through the University of Alberta. Her goal in competing this certificate is to bring best practices back to her small-town recreation department to help ensure our aging infrastructure can continue to be maintained and upgraded to provide the best possible recreation opportunities to the community she lives, works and play in. Amanda is so honored to have the CPRA backing her education journey and can’t wait to see the influence and change she can make through out this process.

  • Sarah Bruni

    Sarah Bruni is a dedicated and experienced professional in the field of recreation. With an impressive 16-year career in the industry, Sarah’s commitment to providing top-notch recreation services shines through in every aspect of her career.

    Sarah’s passion for recreation began as a volunteer herself, and over the years, she has climbed the ladder of success, evolving from a camp counsellor to a community recreation programmer, with numerous recreation jobs in between. This unique perspective has enriched her understanding of the industry, allowing her to bring a well-rounded approach to her work.

    What sets Sarah apart is her unwavering passion for providing high quality recreation services to all, especially those facing financial constraints. Her commitment to reducing barriers for low-income families seeking to enjoy the benefits of recreation has been the driving force behind her work. By creating inclusive and accessible programs, Sarah has touched countless lives and enriched the community she serves.

    Currently, Sarah excels in her role at Islington Community School, which offers an array of programs to a constantly developing and diverse community. Her ability to adapt and innovate has played a pivotal role in the center’s continued success.

    Miranda Thomas

    Finding my passion for recreation in my participation in the 2011 Katimavik program, I had the incredible opportunity to volunteer for the Ten Oaks Project in Ottawa and the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival in Whitehorse. Moving to northern Alberta afterward I worked in the largest recreation centre in Canada, MacDonald Island Park, where I continued to gain experience in different recreational areas in the 4 years working there.

    Currently, I am working on finishing my Recreation and Sports Management diploma through Vancouver Island University, while working full time as the Recreation Programmer at the District of Kent, part time as a contract lifesaving instructor with LIT Aquatics, and volunteering with local community and sport organizations.

    In the future I aspire to obtain a director position in the municipal recreation sector and help shape the future of community recreation. I am extremely grateful to the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association for the Harry Boothman Bursary to help assist me in making my future goal a reality.

    Maxine Tebbe

    With 20 years of event management and hospitality management, Maxine has moved to recreation with the management of Optimist Hill in Saskatoon. This facility just completed its 4th season of offering skiing, snowboarding and tubing in the centre of the city. Optimist Hill is a non-profit organization operating in a city park. There are many types of equipment essential to the operation that require certification. Maxine is a hands-on manager and believes that to successfully operate a business, she needs to understand all aspects of the positions. LIFT 151 is an online course on the operation and maintenance of passenger ropeways and passenger conveyor lifts which are necessary to running a ski hill.

    Janet Naclia

    Janet Naclia is the Director of People and Programs for Alberta Recreation and Parks Association (ARPA). She has worked on ARPA’s community developmental programs as well as with both Indigenous and diverse communities. Janet’s current focus is working in collaboration with Indigenous communities across Alberta (First Nation, Métis, and urban Indigenous). She has a Masters Degree in Fine Arts and completed the University of Alberta’s “Indigenous Sport and Recreation Graduate Certificate” program. As a non-Indigenous settler and ally, Janet believes that the creation of relationships as well as ethical spaces is key to moving forward towards positive change.

  • Alex Estela

    Over the past five years, Alex has worked for The Town of Ajax in various positions including camp staff, festival and event staff, site supervisor of The Spot Collaborative Youth Hub, and Youth Program Leader within the Town of Ajax Youth Rooms. Prior to this, Alex worked for the Durham Regional Police Service as a supervisor and program coordinator of their Youth In Policing Initiative, as well as the OSCC55+ as a Recreation and Special Events Coordinator during the summer of 2019.

    Alex is a graduate of the Durham College Recreation and Leisure Services Program and will be returning to Durham College in September 2020 in their new Esports Business Management Graduate Certificate Program. He is the founder and current president of the Durham College Esports Club and the host of the Power On Podcast for Durham College’s Riot Radio. Alex also received the 2015 Public Hero award by the Intercultural Dialogue Institute (IDI) GTA for my contribution and commitment to youth, 2020 PRO Bob Secord Award, and 2020 Durham College Alumni Association (DCAA) Leaders of the Future Award.

    Alex aspires to work within the recreation and leisure field as a municipal supervisor or manager. He also hope to explore the possibilities of e-sports within the recreation and leisure field while creating inclusive and engaging programs for members of my community.

    Kim Bryan

    Kim Bryan has worked in the recreation, health, and sport sectors for over a decade. After earning a B.A. from the University of Victoria in the recreation and health education co-op program (and swimming varsity!), she set sights on the small town of Golden, BC where she has since worked as Recreation Coordinator for the municipality. For the past eight years she has dedicated herself to growing “the little pool that could” and creating leadership opportunities for the staff who work there.

    Kim looks forward to a lifelong career in recreation, and is grateful to the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association for the Harry Boothman Bursary, which will go toward education in local government administration.

    Rachel Bedingfield

    Rachel Bedingfield is the Director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Kentville, Nova Scotia. In 2015, she was named to the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) list of the top 25 most influential women in Canada in the field of Sport and Physical Activity. Rachel has served as a board member with Recreation Nova Scotia, as an Individual Member with Commonwealth Games Canada, and currently sits on the National Parks Task Team for CPRA. In 2016 Rachel helped spearhead the efforts to form WomenActive-NS, an organization focused on ensuring all women and girls in Nova Scotia have access to the benefits of sport and recreation. Most recently in 2019 Rachel was awarded the Community Leadership Award from Acadia University, and she currently chairs the provincial committee for Access and Inclusion to Recreation in Nova Scotia.

    Throughout her career, Rachel has advocated for the use of sport and recreation as tools for the development of both individuals and communities. A passionate believer that all persons have the right to play, Rachel’s work continues to focus on access through the lens of equity. A former varsity athlete and a lover of the outdoors, Rachel is often seen with her pack on, heading into the wilderness to reconnect with the natural world.

     

  • Mariam Fares

    Mariam was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. She 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 the Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary, City of Mississauga and most recently as the Community Development Coordinator for the 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 frontline 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 lifelong 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” – Anon.

    Tera Cowan

    Tara Cowan is the Recreation and Facility Manager for the Regional Municipality 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 applied for the Harry Boothman Bursary to participate in the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association’s 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, Alberta. 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 seven 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 the Pipestone Albert Recreation Commission. I was successful in my endeavours and have now been with the RM of Pipestone just over five years and love it. On my downtime (if you call it that!) I am also a Town Councillor for the Town of Virden; I play hockey and fast-pitch baseball, and love volunteering at various events in my community."

  • Signourney Hoytfox

    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 the 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’s Professional Development Certification Program.

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

    Michelle Horncastle

    Michelle is the Recreation Director for Assiniboine Valley Recreation based in Russell, Manitoba. She used her 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 dialogue, 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 for implementing the Framework 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.

     

  • Sarah Ane

    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. Her primary role is to enhance recreation opportunities for residents of the community. She has also taught at Niagara College in the Recreation and Leisure Studies program, as well as acting as the Community Engagement Coordinator for Brock University’s Recreation and Leisure undergraduate program. Sarah is an avid volunteer and serves 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. She believes in lifelong education and professional development, and is currently completing a certificate program with Fleming College in Sustainable Trails Management. She also completed CPRA’s Professional Development Certificate in 2017.

    Shelly Howe

    Shelly is a longtime resident of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan with her family of four almost-grown children, her husband and her dog. She works for the City of Moose Jaw as the Recreation Program Supervisor, programming the pools and arenas. 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 her 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.

  • Lisa Mclaughlin

     

    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.”

    Janet Naclia

    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. With this knowledge, practitioners gain the skills to offer relevant and quality recreational opportunities to indigenous populations. Ms. Naclia was participating in the program that was to conclude in the spring/summer of 2017.