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05/04/12 Contributors to Healthy Living Recognized at Wellness Conference

June 4, 2012 - On Wednesday, May 30, champions of healthy living in the Interlake joined together in Gimli at a sold out awards banquet evening. The Interlake RHA recognized winners of its Healthy Living Promotion award. The Interlake Municipal Recreation Association recognized winners of its recreation awards.


Interlake Municipal Recreation Association (IMRA) Awards

Rod Cameron, IMRA chair, recognized the following individuals and organizations for their time and energy dedicated towards helping others enjoy a healthy, active life.


IMRA Outstanding Organization - Balmoral Recreation Center - Balmoral

The Balmoral Rec Centre has been the heart of the community since the 1930s. For many years, it was truly the place to get together with other people from the area. Like many small towns and volunteer run organizations, it went through a period in the ‘90s where participation dwindled and questions were raised that maybe it was time to call it quits but the Rec Centre was not ready to die off. Over the last 10 years, the Rec Centre has made a huge comeback and is now as popular as it ever was. The facility itself has been revitalized with many upgrades and new equipment. Most importantly the people of the community that run it became more determined to bring the centre back to its original glory and after years of hard work they’ve make it! The Balmoral Rec Centre is back to being the hub of the community offering a multitude of recreation and leisure opportunities to the community.


IMRA Community Innovation - Gimli Film Fest - Gimli

The Gimli Film Festival had its first event the summer of 2001 and has grown into the place to be for up and coming independent film makers. The signature, one of a kind outdoor beach film screenings on the shores of Lake Winnipeg are shown on an 11 meter screen that rises out of the water while the audience watches from the sand. Other features of the event include: numerous indoor screenings, industry sessions to give you a glimpse of the business side of film making, a digital media camp for all ages and a youth mentorship opportunities by industry professionals.


IMRA Community Improvement - Arborg Garden Club - Arborg

The Arborg Garden Club was formed five years ago and featured only a couple members. Since then, it has grown to over 30 members. The Arborg Garden Club has led the charge in many improvements throughout the community including construction of a gazebo and new park on the river bank, construction of a sundial, development of over 20 new planting areas in the community, the planting of over 100 trees and shrubs, establishment of a community garden, enhancement of Centennial Cairn and the annual planting of over 5,000 flowers.


IMRA Unsung Recreation Hero - Fred Shipley - Balmoral

Fred has been an unsung recreation hero in Balmoral for years. He has been involved in curling, baseball, judo and many other community organizations for pretty much his whole life. Fred was a teacher by profession (phys-ed) but encouraging youth to participate in recreation has been his life mission. Fred has always been involved in coaching youth, but since his retirement he has made it a real priority to encourage youth to try new sports.


During years when recreation was on a decline in Balmoral, Fred never gave up. He ran his programs regardless of the number of kids involved and now that our community is growing and recreation has made a comeback he continues to encourage youth and has been instrumental in getting other parents involved to continue the legacy of recreation in Balmoral. Fred is always there to lend a hand willing to do whatever needs to be done. He has never looked for, or expected, recognition for his efforts and that is why he is so deserving of this award. It’s time for Fred to be recognized for all that he has given his community and all the support and encouragement he’s given to the kids in Balmoral.


IMRA Young Person in Recreation - Dylan and Cole Kushnir - Gimli

Awesome! That’s the response from young skateboarders as they raced across the first stage of the new skateboard park in Gimli. The first stage of this $235,000 skateboarding facility has become a reality due to the tireless work of the Skateboard Park Committee. Dylan and Cole Kushnir are two members of that committee who have been part of the fundraising efforts and now the building of the facility. Their work over the last four years has been fundamental to the project’s success. As young men just starting their careers, they have taken time out of their busy lives to make this skate park a reality and, more importantly, a place for skateboarders, BMXers and inline skaters of all ages to enjoy. They truly are an example of outstanding young people in recreation.


IMRA Volunteer Involvement - Pam Seekings – Selkirk

Pam is the chairperson of the Tri-Party Committee that brings together East Selkirk’s Middle school and Happy Thought School, East Selkirk Recreation Association and St. Clements Municipality to identify how groups can work together to better the community and its members. Pam played a huge role in the St. Clements 125 celebration organizing all the volunteers. She co-chaired the Upgrade and Improvement Committee that raised funds for the total renewal of ESMS and HTS playgrounds. She has been on parent advisory councils at Happy Thought School, East Selkirk Middle School and the Lord Selkirk Comprehensive High School for the last seventeen years. Her unwavering commitment to her community makes her a champion for children and an innovator in recreation opportunities. She has left countless positive impacts on the community and continues to devote her time to advances in better recreation facilities and opportunities.


IMRA Recreation Champion - Dolly Lindell - Eriksdale

Dolly Lindell has been the volunteer coordinator of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Satellite Program in Eriksdale since 1999. After seeing an advertisement for a satellite program in another community in the Interlake, she wondered “why not in Eriksdale?” She made the calls and connections with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet did all the organizing and promoting and the Eriksdale Dance Troupe was born! It has grown to be one of the larger satellite programs in the province, offering pre-ballet/creative movement for the young children, three levels of ballet and three levels of jazz, as well as a tap class.


Interlake Regional Health Authority Health Promotion Awards

The Health Promotion Awards were established to identify and hold up as examples those Interlake people and projects that enrich community health. The following programs were commended by Interlake RHA board chair, Jim Rodger, for their capitalization on the power of partnership, motivation of community participation, leading by example and significant contributions to the health of community residents.


IRHA Workplace Award – Working on Wellness Program – Interlake

Delivered by the Interlake RHA’s mental health staff, the Working on Wellness (WOW) program offers social, recreational, and educational opportunities to adults experiencing social isolation due to long standing mental health issues. The program operates in Selkirk, Stonewall, Gimli, Arborg, Lundar, and Ashern.


Working on Wellness activities can include social events, recreational activities, physical fitness, healthy lifestyle promotion and mental wellness. As a group, program participants have taken walks, exercised with Zumba fitness sessions, played bingo, participated in nutrition workshops and made healthy meals together. Currently, an artist is teaching participants how to paint and plans are underway to showcase the artwork.


IRHA School Award - Interlake School Division’s Preschool Program

The Preschool program started in the fall of 2010 with the goal of enhancing the caregiver and child bond. Over the past two years, they have successfully partnered with local professionals and agencies to deliver innovative opportunities.


All programs offer a fun, simple approach to learning, promoting positive growth and child development. Families are presented with healthy living options. Program offerings across the Interlake School Division include Big Science for Little Hands; Fun with Nutrition; Wee Be Jammin’ and Wiggle, Giggle and Munch.


In recognition of a program that brings caregivers closer to their little ones and that offers caregivers a place for learning, sharing and friendship – I ask Preschool program coordinators Cynthia Jacobson and Sandy Sigurdson to come forward and accept their award.


IRHA Community Award - Stony Mountain Sportsfield Development – Stony Mountain

This project started in 2008 with an outdoor skating rink and warm up shack. In 2010, a soccer field was developed and in 2011, T-Ball and Baseball Diamonds were added.


The sportsfield provides opportunities for physical activity for all ages with infrastructure that previously did not exist. The project has also fostered a sense of community pride. Volunteers have been recruited through the school, 4-H club, child care group, and other community contacts. As a community, they have developed the area, trees have been planted, and now all ages are coming together to play and be active.


IRHA Community Award - Behavioral Health Foundation - Selkirk

A long-term residential facility for women dealing with addictions and behavioral issues, the Behavioral Health Foundation has just completed its first year of operation in Selkirk. The program incorporates two hours of daily physical activity. Yoga, circuit training, workout DVDs and walking are teamed with self-esteem and confidence building activities, and meditation to focus on body, mind and spirit.


The program engages community experts to help with team building, communications and creating a healthier self-image. Program participants contribute to the day-to-day running of the facility that helps create the strong sense of community established at the foundation.



For more information and images of preference, contact:

Lauralou Cicierski, Manager of Public Relations, 467-4747,

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