2016-17 Year in Review Southeast Connection Sport, Culture & Recreation District

2016-17 was an incredible year for Southeast Connection. We are pleased to share with you some of the highlights of the many accomplishments and successes that resulted in increased capacity and enhanced leadership in sport, culture and recreation in our south east communities! Our organization strives to meet the needs of our communities and to make it easier for groups to offer a wide variety of sport, culture and recreation opportunities for all people to enjoy.

Our organization is powered by a dedicated and passionate Board of Directors who are from all over the south east and bring a variety of perspectives that represent our diverse sport, culture and recreation community.

Our Mission: To foster the development and delivery of culture, recreation and sport for the benefit of all people in south east Saskatchewan.

Our Vision: Our communities are vibrant and engaged in active, creative and healthy lifestyles.

Our Role:

  • We help build capacity to strengthen our communities' ability to offer a wide variety of sport, physical activity, arts, culture and recreation programs and events.
  • We support and develop leaders in sport, culture and recreation by providing networking, training and education opportunities in the district.
  • Our staff team is friendly, approachable and knowledgeable about the latest issues and trends.
  • We are a "one stop shop" for sport, culture and recreation resources and information.

Our Newest Team Staff Member

We welcomed Kirsten Regel as our newest team member this past year. Kirsten, Consultant - Community Development, started in October and works out of our field office located at Emerald Park. Kirsten oversees the recreation/sport and funding portfolio for us and is responsible for communications. Kirsten has already brought some great ideas and strategies to help us move forward in achieving our goals!

Saskatchewan Games Program

Southeast Connection is one of many partners involved in the Saskatchewan Games Program. Our role is to promote the Games, provide a team of volunteer Mission Staff to oversee Team South East during the Games, and to be a key communication link between sport teams (athletes and coaches) and the host community.

Some of the members of the 2016 Summer Games Mission Staff for Team South East. A huge thanks to all 12 Mission Staff members for their time and volunteerism!

It is truly an experience that I will never forget, proud to be part of the team and see these young athletes strive to be the best they can be." - Mission Staff Member

"I would volunteer again because it's a rewarding and enjoyable experience and Southeast Connection staff and volunteers are great to work with." - Mission Staff member

The 2016 Saskatchewan Summer Games took place in Estevan in July. Team South East consisted of 239 athletes, coaches and managers. In comparison with the 2012 Games, we had 201 participants.

We are excited to report that Team South East captured the Joe Griffith Trophy which is awarded to the District team showing the greatest percentage improvement from their final standing at the previous Games.

Southeast Connection hosted a pep rally and a series of athlete development workshops for athletes in order to prepare them for competition at the Games. 70 of the athletes took part in nutrition, mental training and strength training sessions.

Team South East preparing for the Opening Ceremonies!

"This was the best experience of my life, and I was so sad when it was over because I knew I would never ever experience something this awesome again" - Team South East Athlete, 2016 Saskatchewan Summer Games

Leadership Development

Strengthening local leadership and knowledge...

Recreation Board Development

Southeast Connection, in collaboration with the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA), was pleased to offer south east communities an opportunity to participate in Recreation Board Development. The service is provided at no cost and helps municipalities improve the way recreation is delivered in the community, from restructuring to policy development. We worked with four (4) communities this year including Rocanville, Redvers, Oxbow and Carlyle.

"Yes this workshop met our needs. There was good discussion amongst the groups and it should provide a foundation to work from if a rec board is developed."

"This was probably the best workshop I have attended. So much knowledge taken away from this!"

Redvers was one of several communities who took part in Recreation Board Development this past year. The initiative aims to assist municipalities to enhance recreation service delivery through a review process and educational sessions.
Tara-Leigh Heslip, Consultant - Community Development, arrives at the Rocanville Community Hall to deliver a board development session.
Carlyle participants gather outside during a recreation board development session to enjoy the fresh air and brainstorm!

Workshop Series

Southeast Connection strives to support community leaders with training, tools and information that support the delivery of quality sport, culture and recreation programs and services. Our Workshop Series topics reflect the needs of leaders such as grant writing, capital fundraising and cultural planning.

We trained close to 160 individuals through 17 different learning opportunities this past year. This included sport taping clinics, High Five Principles of Healthy Child Development workshops, and a museums workshop.

Southeast Connection, in collaboration with the Sport Medicine and Science Council of Saskatchewan, hosted a Sport Taping Clinic in Estevan and Gladmar this past year. This clinic is taught by a Sport Physiotherapist and gives hands-on learning to coaches and parents on how to know when to tape; how to tape ankles, fingers and wrists; and tensor bandaging.

Building Welcoming and Inclusive Communities

Southeast Connection strives to support multiculturalism, diversity and inclusive communities. This past year, we shared resources and information to communities on how to celebrate diversity in the community. We promoted the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan's (MCoS) launch of its #WelcomeHome150 - Creating Welcoming and Inclusive Communities (WIC) project (strives to facilitate a deeper understanding of Canadian history and set the foundation for a positive future by shared experiences between diverse cultures).

One of Southeast Connection's staff members participated in the Intercultural Facilitator training offered as part of the #WelcomeHome150 project, which will provide as a sustainable resource for training for the south east into the future. We also assisted in promoting "Introduction to INVOLVE (Integrating Newcomers with Volunteer Opportunities)" within our network and delivered a presentation at one of the sessions to educate newcomers about our own Board volunteer opportunities.


Building awareness is one of the most important services Southeast Connection provides to its communities. Enhancing awareness of the opportunities and capacity-building resources that are available within the system and promoting the benefits of sport, culture and recreation is a priority for the organization. This includes face to face visitations with community groups, electronic communications as well as social media. Visit our website for the latest news at www.southeastconnection.ca!

In-person interactions are crucial to the District's success in forging and strengthening relationships and enhancing awareness of sport, culture and recreation resources. Staff conducted over 25 community visitations in 2016-17.

Monthly e-updates (Get the Scoop) were distributed to an average of 350 contacts, which provides the latest news and information on district, provincial and national campaigns and resources.

Network extension

Southeast Connection connects a growing network of individuals and organizations interested in sharing, discussing and obtaining information on cultural development in south east Saskatchewan! A total of 22 volunteers, professionals and guests attended our 2017 Community Cultural Gathering featuring presentations from ARTFarm, Indian Head Theatre, Cultural Exchange, MultiCultural Council of Saskatchewan and SaskCulture!

When attendees were asked what was the most beneficial aspect of the Community Cultural Gathering, they responded: "the ability to make contacts with other small communities; resources and learning that we have support; the inspiration received through ideas that were shared; stories, ideas and examples we can use in our own communities; loved hearing from organizations and individuals in the area - the upcoming projects are so innovative and exciting; getting in a room with others - sharing ideas".

We also hosted two Recreation Practitioners' Meetings in the spring and fall. A total of 26 recreation directors, programmers, and facility managers attended these networking opportunities to discuss the latest trends in recreation service delivery and to chat about hot topics in the sector.

Our staff continue to support museums and attend museum networking meetings in the district. We recently worked with the Museums Association of Saskatchewan (MAS) to assist in the development of a new network in the Estevan/Oxbow area! Congratulations to the museums in that area - keep up the great work!


Throughout 2016-17, the District established partnerships and collaborations to roll out various sport, culture and recreation initiatives. Southeast Connection forged connections with partner groups such as the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA), Cultural Exchange, SaskCulture, and Museums Association of Saskatchewan. The benefits of these collaborations are becoming increasingly evident every year, coming together to pursue and promote common interests.

We embarked on a new partnership this year to plan an event that will provide an opportunity for agencies and organizations who provide programs and services to youth to come together to learn and share in the south east region. Southeast Connection is on a planning committee with Sun Country Health Region, SPRA, Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region, Weyburn Big Brothers Big Sisters and Cornerstone Family & Youth (Carlyle) to host IGNITE YOUTH in April 2017. We are excited to see the results of this new venture!

Building Capacity: Funding Resources

Southeast Connection supported 23 recipients for the 2016-17 Recreation Equipment Program (REP) allocating approximately $11,000 in total. The REP provides up to a maximum of $500 for the purchase of recreation equipment for the implementation and delivery of recreation programs. Through the purchasing of proper equipment a community can provide opportunities for safe and quality recreation programming. Preference is given to those applicants who demonstrate barriers to accessing safe and quality equipment for community recreation program delivery.

"This equipment will help our young skaters develop their skills, providing confidence as they learn ice sports. This equipment greatly enhances our public skate programming." - 2016 REP Recipient

"We are using the equipment to promote an after school program at the school. Our major barrier is proper equipment. You can't run effective programs without the proper equipment for physical activity." - 2016 REP Recipient

This year, Activity Assistance supported 32 projects focusing on arts, physical activity and sport programming. Groups can apply for up to $500 to assist with covering the deficit of sport, culture and recreation programs. There are four (4) deadlines per year to apply for.

Southeast Connection was pleased to be able to work with Cultural Exchange this year on a Arts Outreach Program, focused on community-engaged arts projects. This program is meant to increase access and exposure to arts and cultural experiences to communities in the south east. Five (5) communities participated in the program.

The Community Summer Play Initiative supports the development and delivery of rural community summer play programs and training of leaders to lead and implement quality and safe programs. Successful recipients of the Community Summer Play Initiative may receive up to a maximum of $2000 in assistance to help cover the costs of program materials, program leader contracts and program leader training (HIGH FIVE®). A total of 11 communities were funded with approximately $18,980 allocated in total with 39 youth leaders and 328 participants impacted by the programs offered.

"Participants ranged in age from 4 to 12 years. One of the participants was a recent arrival to Canada from the Philippines. The program helped this child to meet youth that will attend school with the child in the fall!" - CSPI Recipient

"Being able to offer training for the leader and assistant and knowing they will have the tools needed to manage a large group was fantastic." - CSPI Recipient

"Without the financial assistance from Southeast Connection it would not have been possible to offer the programs that were so diverse and creative." - CSPI Recipient

A new initiative this year was our Family Day Celebration Initiative which supports south east communities and organizations to coordinate accessible, low-cost or free active and/or creative family-based activities during the Family Day weekend February 18-20, 2017. Seven (7) community groups were supported.

Snowshoe activities at the Family Day Event held in Indian Head.

Southeast Connection Sport, Culture & Recreation District receives its core funding from the Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund for Sport, Culture and Recreation (established in 1974). Saskatchewan's lottery system is built on a complementary relationship that exists between the Government of Saskatchewan and the volunteer-driven, non-profit sport, culture and recreation organizations (Sask Sport Inc., SaskCulture Inc. and Saskatchewan Parks and recreation Association Inc.).

Through an agreement with the Government of Saskatchewan, proceeds from Saskatchewan Lotteries are dedicated to sport, culture and recreation organizations to benefit communities throughout the province!

Community engagement


Created with images by cherylholt - "girl player ball" • geralt - "view eyes by looking" • mgrhode1 - "100_9707"

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