Accessibility Tools

on the beach
Twilight over waves
Meat Cove
Winter Lodge
Rural Landscape
Ocean Sunset
Mountain Road
Playing Golf
Lake and Hills
Early Morning Boating

President, Rachel Bedingfield - Director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Kentville

Rachel's list of successes in sport and recreation includes being named to the Canadian Woman and Sports Association's 2015 list of the top 25 most influential women in Canada in the field of Sport and Physical Activity, being awarded the Community Leadership Award from Acadia University in 2019, and in 2022 the Queens Platinum Jubilee medal for her service to public recreation. She has served as a board member with Recreation Nova Scotia and as an Individual Member with Commonwealth Games Canada. Currently, she sits on the National Parks for All committee on behalf of Recreation Nova Scotia. 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. During this time, Rachel also sat as chair of the provincial committee for Access and Inclusion to Recreation in Nova Scotia. Advocating for sport and recreation as a tool to develop individuals and communities, Rachel passionately believes that all persons have the right to play. Her work continues to focus on access through and lens of equity.

President-Elect, Brendon Smithson - Director of Regional Recreation Services for Halifax Regional Municipality

Brendon was the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the 2023 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) Host Society in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), where the team delivered a safe and supportive environment to over 5,000 Indigenous youth from across Turtle Island. He is also a Board Member of the Aboriginal Sport Circle. He was also formerly with the province of Nova Scotia as a Sport and Recreation Consultant supporting the growth of sport, recreation and physical activity within the Mi'kmaw communities. Before his time with the province, Brendon worked in Municipal Recreation for ten years as a Director, focusing on creating inclusive environments for all participants. In Brendon's free time, you can find him in and around the lacrosse community in Nova Scotia, where he is a player, coach, board member and official. When not on the lacrosse floor, he enjoys all that Nova Scotia has to offer, especially its great outdoors and is a passionate football fan.

Past President, Gord Tate

Gord Tate is the Active Living Coordinator for the Municipality of Chester in Nova Scotia. Over the past thirteen years in that position, Gord has tried to inspire and activate citizens, and create a culture of physical activity that is supported by the built environment and policy changes that are needed to sustain the change. Most recently he has led park and open space developments, spearheaded active transportation infrastructure projects, and has supported citizens to plan and develop their own community projects that advance physical activity and health outcomes. He sits on the Board of the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association and volunteers on the Board of Our Health Centre, a community-led, collaborative health care center that serves residents across the municipality.

Director at Large (2yr.), Gabrielle Riley Gallagher - Senior Analyst for the Nova Scotia Government

Gabrielle Riley Gallagher, "Gabby," has worked or volunteered in the recreation sector for over 20 years. She has held many leadership roles in recreation at the municipal, non-profit, and provincial levels, most recently serving as Provincial Recreation Consultant for the Nova Scotia Government. She loves connecting with individuals/organizations - and linking them with the right resources to advance their work in their community. She greatly respects and admires the power and potential of recreation for all. She's often found adventuring in the great outdoors with friends and family. Gabrielle is honoured to be able to serve on the Recreation Nova Scotia Board and continue to be involved in supporting a sector that she believes in (and loves).

Director at Large (2yr.), Laura Jacobs - Active Living Coordinator with New Minas 

Laura Jacobs grew up in Truro, Nova Scotia, beginning with a love of soccer when she was four. Her passion for athletics drew her to Acadia University, studying Kinesiology and Athletic Therapy (if she couldn't play, she was at least going to be on the field!). Laura has worked in rehab therapy, workplace recovery, case management, and as a recreation director for the Village of Port Williams. Laura is now the Active Living Consultant for the Village of New Minas, helping to develop the Village's first Active Living Strategy, and is also the president of Valley Recreation. All points of her career come back to one intention and one goal – helping people. In joining the Recreation Nova Scotia Board, she hopes to further her interest in leadership development and capacity building and support the wider recreation community.

Director at Large (1yr.), Christena Curry - Manager - Parks, Recreation, & Youth for Millbrook First Nation

Christena Curry (she/her) is a member of Pictou Landing First Nation and is the Manager - Parks, Recreation, & Youth for Millbrook First Nation. She has earned a diploma in Recreation Leadership, undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of New Brunswick (BRSS, MASRS), and has a research background in partnership development. Christena has been heavily involved in competitive sports both as an athlete and coach and has dedicated several years to developing her coaching credentials, with a specific focus on track and field. She was a member of Team Nova Scotia's Athletics Team and Head Coach for the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) since 2008 and had a support role in Archery for NAIG 2023. She is passionate about community development, Indigenous sport, food security, and self-determination. She loves spending time with her family, travelling, camping, and fishing with her husband and son.

Director at Large (1yr.), Ruth-Ellen Jackson - Northwood Volunteer Coordinator & Community Recreation Lead

Ruth-Ellen Jackson's passion for physical activity, recreation, and leisure has been life-long. As a fine arts graduate of the University of North Carolina's School of the Arts, Ruth-Ellen established an international career as a professional dancer with New York City's prestigious Parsons Dance Company and the Martha Graham Dance Ensemble. Upon returning home to Halifax, Ruth-Ellen continued her professional dance career with Mocean Dance and received the 2016 Nova Scotia Masterworks Award. She has served on the Boards of Dance Nova Scotia and Kinetic Studio and is a certified Pilates teacher. Following her graduation from NSCC's Therapeutic Recreation Program, Ruth-Ellen joined Northwood, where she is currently the Volunteer Coordinator and Community Recreation and Wellness Lead. In addition to her interest in recreation in community settings, Ruth-Ellen enjoys engaging people of all ages in dance, performance, Pilates, and the arts.

Vice President of Monitoring, Joel Dawe - Town of Truro

Joel Dawe began his career in recreation in 1995 as Program Director at the Don Henderson Memorial Sportsplex, becoming General Manager in 2002. He also worked as Manager at Shearwater Flyers Forum and Colchester Legion Stadium. Joel has been the Assistant Director of Parks Recreation and Culture with the Town of Truro since 2018 and has been on the RNS board since 2020. Joel brings leadership experience to the Recreation Nova Scotia board through working with the Recreation Facility Association of Nova Scotia (RFANS), the Canadian Recreation Facility Council, the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League, Brookfield Elks Jr. Hockey, and Project Hope Syrian refugee settlement committee over the years.

Recording Officer, Clare Steele - Active Communities Coordinator for Pictou County

Clare Steele is passionate about community and making our beautiful corner of the world a healthier place to live and play. In her spare time, she can be found teaching yoga, paddling, or on a hiking trail with a couple of her four-legged sidekicks.

Student Representative, Jack MacLean – Nova Scotia Community College

Jack MacLean grew up in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, where his love for recreation began at a young age with soccer and basketball. Falling in love with basketball, he never looked back. This love for sport and recreation has made him want to pursue this as a career path. Jack is a second-year Nova Scotia Community College student taking their Community Recreation program. Although this is his first time serving on a board, he is very excited to step into the recreation world and be part of the board.