The BC Recreation and Parks Association has presented its Program Excellence Award for members with a population of under 15,000 to the City of Nelson for its Nelson and District Youth Centre program. The award recognizes a creative, successful, and innovative program which may serve as a model for other recreation and parks agencies to enhance their services.
The Nelson and District Youth Centre program is a social enterprise developed to empower children, youth, and families through connection, education, and recreation in a safe, fun, and creative environment. The program offers barrier-free programming, allowing anyone to enter the centre to participate in programs at little or no cost.
The centre’s facilities include an indoor all-wheels park, a bouldering cove, multi-sporting court, dance studio, art and band rooms, kitchen, and a new Makerspace — all designed to increase physical literacy and social well-being.
Programming at the centre is always evolving to meet the changing needs of the community. Current programming includes flexible and affordable childcare, technology programs focused on digital arts, electronics, coding and robotics that aim to support youth to develop confidence and new skills to assist them when entering the workforce, a Books Everywhere mini-library literacy program, the Eazy-Eats introduction to cooking skills program, and a community mural.
“The City of Nelson is a highly deserving recipient of our Program Excellence Award for the dynamic Nelson and District Youth Centre program,” said Rebecca Tunnacliffe, CEO of the BC Recreation and Parks Association. “This engaging, responsive program has brought creative education and recreation opportunities to the community, and strengthened the overall fabric of an already vibrant city.
“Not being able to hold our annual awards ceremony in person this year, we have chosen instead to present them as another way to celebrate June being recreation and parks month. Recreation and parks have never been more important to our lives than they are right now and our awards help further highlight the impactful work being done in communities across B.C.”
The Program Excellence Award is one of four provincial awards presented virtually by the association on behalf of over 3,300 recreation and parks sector members from across B.C., each working to enhance the physical and mental health, wellness, connectedness and quality of life of their communities.