The British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA), a not for profit organization, plays a central role in leading the enrichment and improvement of the quality of life of British Columbians and their communities. We do this by championing the power of recreation and parks.
Ours is a story of creating community connectedness and individual well-being based on the knowledge and recognition that recreation and active living, as well as access to parks and the natural environment, have significant impacts on our physical and mental health.
Since 1958, we have provided leadership, training and support, fostering the principles of accessibility and inclusiveness, to help our members meet provincial and local health and physical activity priorities.
The sector has evolved from its early days as a service provider - offering recreational activities, cultural programs and access to facilities, parks and other services. Today, with its many stakeholders including local governments, senior governments, non-profit and community organizations, industry associations, the private sector, the fitness industry, volunteers and academia, the sector addresses increasing physical activity (especially among children and youth); improving physical literacy, health and wellbeing; increasing access to nature; enhancing participation in community sport; promoting active aging; and much more.
Inactivity and its related health and socioeconomic consequences contribute to the national escalation of healthcare costs and the deterioration of quality of life.
The recreation, parks and culture sector has taken on an essential role in combatting this trend, supporting physical activity at the community level which leads to healthier lifestyles, stronger community connections, increased productivity and economic growth.
Recreation and parks are valued as essential to active, healthy, and connected communities, and to improving the quality of life of every British Columbian.
To lead the enrichment of individuals and their communities through the power of recreation and parks.
BCRPA Strategic Plan (238 KB pdf)
Read the BCRPA Constitution & Bylaws (293 KB pdf)
We are looking to capitalize on our past successes to lay the foundations for a promising future. We know our original structure needs to reflect who we have become and position us to achieve new heights as we continue on the way forward.
Read the BCRPA Personal Information Protection Policy (24 KB pdf)
Core competencies are the unique capabilities of the organization that enable it to achieve its vision with a sustained competitive advantage.
For the BCRPA, these include:
- Provincial reach across all communities in BC and with agencies, governments and organizations in the province
- Unique position within the sector, providing services that are generally unavailable from any other organization
- Proven ability to develop and deliver high-quality programs and services
- Trust and respect of government and other agencies with similar values
- Proven capability to build partnerships within and outside the parks and recreation sector (locally, provincially and nationally)
- Proven ability to support community development
- Credible advocate for the benefits of healthy living and the importance of the parks and recreation sector to the general public and key stakeholders
- Industry leadership as the “go to” resource for information in the parks and recreation sector
- Strong understanding of the community development process and the supports required by communities to become active, healthy communities.
- Standard setting organization in the fitness industry and recreation and parks sector.
The BC Recreation and Parks Association is pleased to report that Provincial and Territorial Ministers have endorsed and the Government of Canada supported the Framework for Recreation in Canada 2015, a collaborative effort between P/T governments and the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association.
The Framework provides opportunities to enhance mental and physical well-being, connect people and nature and address constraints to participation. The announcement took place at the 2015 Conference of Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers responsible for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation last week in Prince George, BC.
Implementation of the Framework will begin in earnest now that the Ministers have offered their endorsement. Governments, communities and organizations working in allied sectors will be invited to apply the Framework to their own policies, practices and procedures in a manner and timeline that works best for them.
By virtue of its broad vision, the Framework for Recreation in Canada connects to an extensive array of existing provincial and territorial strategies in the areas of wellness, health promotion, community sport, etc.
In turn, the Framework can inform strategies being developed to ensure a seamless and coherent approach to recreation across jurisdictions and disciplines. At the local level, the Framework can be adapted to meet the needs of municipal strategic plans and official community plans.
It can become a guide to individual municipalities to create their own community recreation plans. There are many implementation partners identified in the Framework document, across all government levels and stakeholder sectors. Undeniably, the key delivery system for the elements of the Framework is local governments; it is the mandate of municipalities that most closely come upon the Framework. Your involvement in implementation is essential.
Framework Portal: Tools and Resources
For Tools and Resources to help you implement the Framework in your region, community or workplace, visit The Framework for Recreation in Canada Portal.
Read the Framework here:
The BCRPA worked closely with the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association and the Interprovincial Sport and Recreation Committee on the development of the Framework for Recreation in Canada. Pathways to Wellbeing - A Framework for Recreation in Canada 2015 provides a new vision for recreation and suggests some common ways of thinking about the renewal of recreation, based on clear goals and underlying values and principles.
Conversations around what was then called a national recreation agenda, began in October 2011 at the National Summit in Lake Louise, followed by a Roundtable in New Brunswick in 2013. There were many consultations in between these two gatherings, and BCRPA members contributed to refine the content and structure of this agenda. Brian Johnston provided leadership in the creation of several drafts of the agenda and facilitated many of the consultations in BC and in other provinces.
BCRPA was also actively involved in the creation of the Framework, as both a member of the Framework for Recreation in Canada Working Group and the Recreation Framework Writing Committee. BCRPA CEO sat on the 2011 Summit Secretariat and Working Group.
Complete information on the Framework can be found here.
The BCRPA is a member of the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA). CPRA is a national organization dedicated to realizing the full potential of parks and recreation as a major contributor to community health and vibrancy. Membership includes the 13 provincial and territorial parks and recreation associations and their extensive networks of service providers in over 90% of Canadian communities.
Through our membership with CPRA we are able to ensure BC's recreation and parks sector is represented and included in national discussions, initiatives and policy decisions.
Learn more about CPRA's priorities, initiatives and accomplishments by visiting their website.