Atlantic Recreation and Facilities Conference

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In lieu of the 2020 Atlantic Recreation and Facilities Conference, originally scheduled to take place in May, the planning partners have opted to host a professional development webinar series. The purpose of the series is to provide tools, resources and best practices for parks and recreation practitioners in Atlantic Canada. The recreation sector is ever evolving, and it is important that you, your staff and colleagues continue to keep pace with the most up-to-date information.

You’re invited to register for this series at We understand that due to Covid-19 there are economic factors to consider. Therefore, we are offering this educational series at a very affordable rate of $25.00 + HST per webinar or you can gain access to all 5 for $100.00 + HST! We are also allowing for transfer of credits. For example; If only 3 webinars apply to you, but the other 2 would be beneficial for a team member, they are more than welcome to take your seat for the other 2!

Workshops Presented by Brian Johnston and Meaghan Carey, RC Strategies

Rationale for the Delivery of Public Leisure Services

Tuesday, July 21, 2020 2:00 PM (AST)

Municipalities across Atlantic Canada are responsible for efficiently providing rewarding leisure experiences for their residents. This workshop focuses on the fundamentals of the business we are in and explores how we rationalize spending public funds on parks and recreation services. Through a benefits-based approach, this workshop will construct a complete and compelling rationale which underpins all that we do and will provide a platform for decision making, planning, communicating about the benefits of public leisure services and setting priorities in your community.

Drivers of Change

Tuesday, August 18, 2020 2:00 PM (AST)

Recent decades have been marked with rapid societal change, economic fluctuations, increased globalization and a rise in digital information technology. These changes have led to new opportunities and presented new challenges in how municipal recreation services and facilities are planned, organized and implemented or built. As such, contemporary recreation professionals must be innovative and proactive as they are required to anticipate and effect community change, rather than waiting to react to shifting community demands. Through an exploration of key social, cultural, economic and environmental factors or drivers of change, this workshop will explore how the provision of public recreation is impacted and influenced by societal change. Furthermore, the discussion will address how recreation is an integral component to the social fabric of modern communities particularly in times of hardship, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic event.

Fees and Charges

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 2:00 PM (AST)

Determining the value of leisure activities and experiences is a challenge faced by all in the parks and recreation sector. Building on the fundamentals outlined in the Rationale for the Delivery of Public Leisure Services workshop, this workshop will translate that philosophical foundation into operational policy. It focuses on the best approach to develop policy that governs all aspects of what and how much to subsidize different categories of users. While the workshop doesn’t specifically address facility allocation priorities, participants will develop the knowledge and understanding of how the presented fees and charges framework can be easily adapted to a facility allocation policy.

Measuring What Matters

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 2:00 PM (AST)

There is an old adage in management circles – you can’t manage what you don’t measure. This workshop challenges parks and recreation practitioners throughout Atlantic Canada to consider what the real benefits of recreation are, and how those benefits could be measured. The need to shift the what and how we measure will be explored, considering how transitioning from a focus on measuring outputs to a new paradigm of measuring outcomes could lead to greater accountability. The discussion builds on the previously outlined Rationale for the Delivery of Public Leisure Services (in workshop #1) and Drivers of Change (in workshop #2), and is consistent with the fundamentals discussed within the Fees and Charges workshop.

Effective Public Engagement Strategies

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 2:00 PM (AST)

Engaging with the public is of key strategic concern for municipalities of all sizes across Atlantic Canada. When well done, public engagement means that decision making will not just be led by elected officials or vocal elites, but by the community as a whole. This workshop will present a framework for determining best practices on engaging the public in the decision-making process, specifically addressing when to engage, how to engage, and how much to engage. It concludes with a process of how to evaluate your engagement activities. In total 21 different public engagement strategies are reviewed and evaluated. A special section on how to engage with the most vulnerable and marginalized sectors of the community is included.


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