Six individuals and one organization were honoured last week for their contributions to recreation in the NWT.

Lillian Crook, right, president of the Hay River Committee for Persons with Disabilities, accepts the 2019 SideDoor Youth Centre Award of Excellence on Oct. 9 during the annual conference of the NWT Recreation and Parks Association. Making the presentation, which included a ceremonial blanket, is Amanda Price, special projects co-ordinator with the SideDoor Youth Centre in Yellowknife. Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

They were recognized on Oct. 9 during the annual awards banquet of the NWT Recreation and Parks Association (NWTRPA), held in Hay River during its yearly conference.

And Hay River was well represented among the award winners.

Dale Loutit, the recreation programmer supervisor with the Town of Hay River, was presented with the Award of Excellence, which recognizes individuals, organizations or communities that significantly contribute to recreation and parks development.

Loutit expressed appreciation for the award.

“What an honour,” she said. “I understand the bravery it takes to take this work and believe in it. When people do not share a vision, it can be a very lonely position.”

Loutit offered thanks to the people and partners in Hay River who believe in recreation.

“Without a will in the community, we cannot succeed,” she said. “It is for them I do my small part and sometimes wonder if I am enough. This award means so much to me, to Hay River. It says keep the faith. It says you all recognize the support my community gives me and what I try to give back. This work is the best job a person could ever want.”

The 2019 Sidedoor Youth Centre Award of Excellence was presented to the Hay River Committee for Persons with Disabilities for the support it offers to youth in the community.

Dale Loutit, centre, recreation programmer supervisor with the Town of Hay River, accepts the Award of Excellence from the NWT Recreation and Parks Association on Oct. 9. Making the presentation are association president Cynthia White, left, and Jessica Van Overbeek, executive director of the Mackenzie Recreation Association. Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

The award was accepted by Lillian Crook, the committee’s president, and Pravina Bartlett, the committee’s executive director.

“It’s a great honour for our organization,” said Crook following the presentation.

The other award winners were:

  • Karen Johnson of Yellowknife – Innovation Award
  • Davonna Kasook of Inuvik – Scott McAdam Youth Leadership Award
  • Lena and Henry McKay of Fort Resolution – Active Elder Award
  • Joanne Ogina of Ulukhaktok – Honourary Life Membership
  • Doreen Nitsiza of Whati – Canadian Parks and Recreation Association Award of Merit

“There are so many recreation leaders in the territory who, every day, are going above and beyond what is expected of them,” said Geoff Ray, executive director of the NWTRPA, in a news release. “Whether they’re a recreation co-ordinator, volunteer, lifeguard, or an elder, the awards are our way of showing those individuals that their work is important and appreciated.”

The NWT Recreation and Parks Association works with communities across the NWT to promote healthy living through active recreation.


Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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