Annually, the Saskatchewan Association of Recreation Professionals (S.A.R.P.) recognizes dedicated leaders in the recreation industry, that are members in good-standing with the Association.

We are excited to announce the award recipients of 2019 that will have the honour of receiving their awards during our 50th Anniversary Reception.

Honorary Life Member - Keith Comstock

Keith Comstock has been a member of SARP (formerly Saskatchewan Recreation Society [SRS]) since 1979 when he joined as a student member. Keith became a professional member in 1983, and has continued his membership and support of the organization since. Keith took a turn as President in 1989, and received the Recognition Award in 1988 for the redesign of Update (newsletter), and again in 1991 for his involvement in the Therapeutic Recreation Coordinating Committee. Keith has volunteered on committee’s and task groups off and on over the years and recently was back on the JAF Committee to contribute, and as quoted by Keith, volunteer on the committee “just for fun”.

Keith joined Saskatchewan’s public service in 1979 – he was one of the first 13 people hired to staff the two new provincial correctional centres that were built back then in Saskatoon and Prince Albert. His career has included many years of direct community development work and stints as the province’s lead civil servant on the cultural industries file, as manager of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs Legislation and Regulation unit, and as the Executive Director of the Strategy and Sector Relations branch.

At the time of his retirement from public service in May of 2019 he was Assistant Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Government Relations, and was responsible for the four “operational” branches in the ministry – Community Planning, Northern Municipal Services, Municipal Infrastructure and Finance, and Advisory Services and Municipal Relations. Key major projects of the Division included the administration of over $250M in revenue sharing funding and coordinating municipal participation in infrastructure funding programs like the New Building Canada Fund and the Investing in Canada Plan.

Outstanding Recreation Professional - Linda Ostryzniuk

Linda Ostryzniuk has been working in the Therapeutic Recreation field for over 25 years. She is currently the Recreation Therapist/Adult Day Program/Volunteer Coordinator at William Booth Special Care Home/Grace Hospice, in Regina, Saskatchewan. As part of the leadership team at William Booth, Linda manages a thriving therapeutic recreation department. Her creative and dynamic therapeutic recreation programming truly makes William Booth a home for its 53 residents.

While there is a great deal to admire about Linda’s work within William Booth, her long-term commitment to the growth and development of the Therapeutic Recreation profession truly makes her shine as a professional in our province. Linda has been an active executive member of the Regina Therapeutic Recreation Association for the past two decades. She has served as treasurer since 2015, and as RTRA has grown, Linda has kept the association financially sustainable, bringing the finances into the 21st Century. Linda has been a member of CTRA since 2007, serving as Prairie Director from 2013-2015.

Linda earned her CTRS designation in 2012, she has supervised more than 10 TR fieldwork students, providing them with an enriching, supportive environment to develop their skills as Recreation Therapists. Because of her efforts William Booth Special Care Home received the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies Outstanding Fieldwork Agency award in 2015. In addition to the fieldwork students, Linda has mentored countless TR student volunteers through their service learning projects. In addition to mentoring TR students, Linda is a sessional lecturer at the University of Regina in the TR program; she has taught TR and Aging, TR Interventions, and Mental Health and Addictions many times over the past several years, having a lasting impact on TR students.

In 2015, Linda was selected by the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region to undertake an environmental scan exploring Therapeutic Recreation in long-term care within the health region. The resulting report highlighted the value of Therapeutic Recreation in long-term care as well as the need for greater support for TR. We have no doubt that this important report will lead to the growth of TR in our region in years to come.

Linda has long demonstrated a commitment to continuing education in Therapeutic Recreation at a local, provincial and national levels by both attending conferences/workshops, as well as bringing professional development opportunities to professionals in Saskatchewan through both RTRA and TR Innovations, as well as often offering learning space at William Booth for professionals to get together to view webinars hosted by CTRA, ATRA, and NCTRC.

Up and Coming Professional Award - Bethany Dick

Bethany Dick graduated with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Kinesiology and Exercise Science Degree from the University of Saskatchewan in the spring of 2016 and started as a Youth Consultant with Lakeland District for Sport Culture and Recreation in February of 2017. Bethany has been a member of SARP for over 2 years, and in this short time, has accepted the role of SARP representative on the University of Saskatchewan’s Senate, most likely the youngest SARP member in this prestigious role.

Bethany has been committed to professional development and ongoing training, both as a student and a new professional, having gained experience with Active Saskatchewan (current board member), City of Saskatoon, Saskatoon Youth Soccer, MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do It!), Dream Brokers and more.

Up and Coming Professional Award - Matt Bahm

Matthew Bahm has been the Facility Operations Manager at the Town of Whitewood for the past six years. He plays an active role in the recreation profession in Saskatchewan and served a two-year term on the board of directors for the Southeast Connection during those years. Currently, Matt is a member of the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) Facility Advisory Committee.

Matt graduated from the University of Waterloo’s Recreation and Business Program, adding a strong educational background to Whitewood’s recreation services.

Recreation is deeply ingrained into who Matt is as a person and is the perfect fit for him professionally. Matt uses recreation as an outlet to unwind and enjoy life and feels fortunate to have the opportunity to help members of his community live their best lives while having a good time in the process.

Student Leadership Award - Erin Hedley

Erin Hedley was raised in Yorkton, Saskatchewan and most recently graduated in May 2019 from the Therapeutic Recreation Program, Saskatchewan Polytechnic. While a student in the program Erin was a model student achieving a high academic average throughout her two years, and embracing leadership roles within not only the program, but also the community through her volunteer work. Erin was co-lead as class president, and co-chair for grad planning and fundraising; she was also the Student Representative for the Students’ Association of Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

Erin also showed leadership in her three practicums, demonstrating a high level of organization, leadership, and compassion in working with people of all ages with disability or illness. During her two years as a student, Erin attended numerous Therapeutic Recreation conferences/webinars, and the SARP AGM’s as well as contributed to a presentation on School-based Recreation Therapy (pre-taped video presentation) for the national TR conference, Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Conference in Quebec City, June 2019.

Prior to, during and post diploma, Erin has had extensive volunteer roles and work experience working with children, and people of all ages with disability or illness. She is currently working with Luther Riverside Terrace, an enriched housing residence for seniors.

Employer Professional Development Award - S.P.R.A.

Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association is the 2019 recipient of the SARP Employer Professional Development award. SPRA as an employer has been a leader in support of ongoing professional development for both staff and volunteers. The SARP Employer Professional Development award was created to recognize a member’s employer who has:

  • Contributed financially, philosophically, or through time considerations to the continual upgrading and development of their employees in the recreation field;
  • Encouraged their employee or employees to attend seminars, conferences, or engaged in work of the Association through time considerations and/or financial assistance;
  • Initiated innovative strategies to further the development of their employees.

    Over the past three years alone, SPRA staff has accessed the professional development fund totally an investment of $23,002.68 in 36 different opportunities. Beyond this fund, SPRA staff are also encouraged to seek out additional professional development opportunities, which included SARP events and webinars.

All seven (7) Field Consultants are current Professional Members of SARP, and amongst SPRA staff, there are four former board members, one former SARP Executive Director, and one former employee.

SPRA also has a volunteer time policy that supports employees who lend their voluntary time to programs that enrich the quality of life and opportunities for all citizens. Overall, SPRA is an employer who has developed and supported innovative strategies to further the development of their employees.

Award of Merit - Dr. Rebecca Genoe

Dr. Rebecca Genoe is currently an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies at the University of Regina. Dr. Genoe has been employed at the University of Regina since 2009.

Dr. Genoe completed her B.A. in Recreation and Leisure Studies – Therapeutic Recreation at the University of Waterloo in 2002. She then completed her M.A. Leisure Studies at Dalhousie University under the direction of Dr. Jerome Singleton in 2004. Following its completion Dr. Genoe enrolled in the PhD. Program in Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Waterloo under the direction of Dr. Sherri Dupuis and received the distinguished Ph.D. in 2009.

Since 2009, Dr. Genoe has made a remarkable contribution to the therapeutic recreation and broader recreation and leisure field provincially, nationally, and internationally. She is the recipient of close to $200,000 in research grant funding with much of this funding coming from the Social Science and Humanities Research Foundation (3 grants for ~$155,000) and the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (1 grant for ~ $33,000).

Dr. Genoe has parlayed her research in to 29 peer reviewed articles in a variety of prestigious journals, has published 6 book chapters and delivered over 70 peer reviewed presentations at provincial, national, and international conferences. Dr. Genoe has also supervised and been on thesis and dissertation committees for 22 students at the University of Regina (Kinesiology and Health Studies, Psychology, Johnson Shoyama graduate School, and Social Work) and Lakehead University.

Dr. Genoe is a member of the Saskatchewan Association of Recreation Professionals, Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association, Canadian Association for Leisure Studies, and the Canadian Gerontology Association. She has served as the Prairie Director for CTRA since 2017, was a member of the CTRA Provincial Chapters Committee from 2015-2017, Chaired the Regina Therapeutic Recreation Association from 2015-2018, was a board member of the Canadian Association on Leisure Studies from 2014-2017 and serving as RTRA Secretary from 2012 – 2015. Rebecca has also served on conference planning committees including TR Innovations, and served on provincial committees with SPRA (Research Committee 2010 – present) and SaskPolytech TR Program Advisory Committee (2103 – present).

Dr. Genoe teaches in the Therapeutic Recreation program in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies and has been instrumental in education and development of a number of graduates from that program who have gone on to achieve the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) designation. In her less than a decade here in Saskatchewan, Dr. Genoe has made remarkable contribution to the Therapeutic Recreation and the broader field of recreation and leisure studies. She has made an impact at the local level with students and alumni of the TR program at the University of Regina and has contributed to the professional development of TR professionals in Saskatchewan through chairing two TR Innovations conferences. Further, she is a sought after speaker at provincial, national, and international conferences and regularly contributes with colleagues from universities in Canada and the United States and other international scholars.

Builder Award - Murray Hidlebaugh

Award presented to Murray Hidlebaugh on behalf of the founding (17 Professional Charter Members) listed as follows:

  • John Austin
  • Neil Balkwill
  • Edwin Brandt
  • W.R. (Butch) Green
  • Allan Heron
  • Murray Hidlebaugh
  • Lawrence Jacques
  • Allison Koester
  • Marvin Kolke
  • Bill Knibbs
  • Rene Marleau
  • Murray Richardson
  • J.W. (Jack) Staples
  • Boris Titus
  • Glenn Tuck
  • N.J. (Tim) Twardochleb
  • J.M. (Jack) Young

Roy Ellis Bursary - Kendall Ehrmantraut

Kendall Ehrmantraut graduated with distinction in May 2019 from the Therapeutic Recreation Program, Saskatchewan Polytechnic. Kendall maintained a high academic standing and was on the Dean’s honor list for all four academic semesters of the program. She is very passionate about working in Therapeutic Recreation and providing recreation services to people with a disability or illness.

Prior to, during and post diploma, Kendall has demonstrated her passion for recreation therapy and physical activity through her education/course work, employment and volunteering. Kendall has been working for the past 3 years with youth with a disability at the PAAL program at the U of S where she is the program and volunteer coordinator; she has also worked at numerous jobs in the area of aquatics. As a volunteer her work has ranged from assisting people with a disability, to coaching volleyball, and an event assistant with Heart & Stroke.

Kendall is very passionate about working in recreation therapy; is a strong leader and role model for children & youth with a disability; she is kind, considerate and funny, and has a huge passion for physical activity and recreation. She has also developed a great set of leadership skills as a result of the PAAL program and other work and volunteer related activities. Kendall is a great role model for the participants, volunteers and other program leaders/instructors.