Community Connections | Citizen Engagement

Alberta Recreation and Parks Association

We are committed to building healthier and happier communities and citizens by developing and promoting recreation and parks. We deliver a variety of programs that enhance the quality of life of all Albertans and also work in collaboration with our Indigenous communities.

Our Story

Why We Exist

We believe recreation and parks include everything from play, to sport, to arts, to culture and outdoor pursuits. All are essential for creating beautiful and thriving communities that foster healthy and happy citizens.

In 1961, recreation and parks professionals from across Alberta collaborated to create ARPA, hoping to foster better communication and connection in the local sector. Almost sixty years later, ARPA is a not-for-profit organization working tirelessly alongside our members to ensure all Albertans have access to recreation and parks. Through professional development, community health initiatives, and other programs and services, we strive to help all Albertans experience the benefits of healthy, active lifestyles.

We believe recreation and parks includes everything from play, to sports, to arts, to culture and outdoor pursuits. All are essential for creating beautiful and thriving communities that foster healthy and happy citizens.

We work alongside our municipal, academic, corporate, and political membership to build an Alberta that embraces and proactively uses recreation and parks as essential means for enhancing the wellbeing of the province.

Our Impact

What We Do

We provide leadership & advocacy so the to ensure the recreation and parks sector is recognized and supported for its vital contributions to enhancing the wellbeing of individuals, communities and the natural and built environments. We work to ensure the experience of Indigenous peoples in recreation and parks are recognized and enabled with a holistic approach drawn from traditional values and cultures. ARPA works alongside Indigenous communities to recognize the experience of Indigenous peoples, valuing and promoting a holistic approach to recreation and parks drawn from traditional beliefs and cultures.

Our Programs

How We Do It

Children & Youth and Aboriginal HIGH FIVE: The Alberta Recreation and Parks Association oversees provincial implementation of a variety of programs and initiatives related to children and youth recreation, including including Everybody gets to play™, HIGH FIVE®, Kids at Hope, Sogo Active, PLAY, After School, and the Youth Development Through Recreation Services (YDRS) Symposium. ARPA has also pioneered Aboriginal HIGH FIVE®, which empowers Indigenous leaders across Alberta to enhance the quality of sport and recreation programs in their communities.

HIGH FIVE is Canada’s only Quality Assurance Program for recreation and sport programs for children aged 6-12 providing a range of training, assessment tools and resources to ensure that organizations deliver the highest quality programs possible.

If you are…an organization providing sport or recreation programs for children aged 6 to 12,a sport or recreation practitioner working with children,a parent or guardian of a 6 to 12 year old child…then HIGH FIVE® is for you!

Communities in Bloom is a vibrant network of volunteers working together to strengthen community pride through beautifying and maintaining outdoor spaces. Involve your community and participate in year-round projects and continuous improvement for the entire community. Communities across the province are invited to participate. Click HERE to register now.

Communities Choosewell is a provincial initiative that is transforming its communities into places where making the healthy choice is the easy choice. Become a Choosewell Champion and participate in workshops and webinars, receive funding, information and staff support to pursue your goals for creating healthier, more active communities. Click HERE to register now.

Indigenous Communities: ARPA works alongside more than 30 Indigenous communities and partner organizations across the province.

We collaborate on training for those working with children and youth, building healthy communities, and re-imagining our use of parks. Together with our Indigenous communities, ARPA is undertaking the important journey towards reconciliation.

Conferences: ARPA provides well-respected annual conferences and bi-annual parks forums to promote knowledge, training, inspiration and collaboration for the recreation and parks sector across the province.

Our Requests

What You Can Do


If you share our belief that recreation and parks are a public good and essential to individual and community wellbeing and defend its value in your life or through your work, please consider making it a top charitable giving choice or joining us as a program/event sponsor!

We build long term relationships with our donors and sponsors. We listen and find the best way to collaborate, create value and meet our common goals.


Your membership matters to ARPA and to the recreation and parks sector. Strenthen your association and your professional community. Become a member today! For information about membership and benefits, please contact Lori Simmonds at [email protected].

VOLUNTEER – Join a Committee!

Children and Youth Sub-Committees

  • HIGH FIVE® Task Force
  • Physical Literacy Task Force
  • Youth Development through Recreation Services Symposium (YDRS) Streering Committee

If you are interested in joining one of our Children and Youth committees, please contact Pamela Jones, Children and Youth Programs Coordinator.

Be a Communities in Bloom Judge: CiB Judges donate a week or two of their time in the summer months to visit participating communities throughout Alberta. Using a standard evaluation form, they assess the efforts and achievements of communities in a number of categories. Learn more…

Join our Member Services Committee: Oversee the development and maintenance of membership policies, procedures, strategies and services for ARPA members, including membership structure, fees, surveys, benefits, and membership drives. If you are interested, please contact Steve Allan, Director of Finance and Operations.

Join our Awards and Scholarships Committee: Oversee the annual ARPA awards and scholarships program and volunteer recognition program and to recommend award and scholarship recipients to the Board of Directors.  If you are interested, please contact Steve Allan, Director of Finance and Operations.


Steve Allan

Alberta Recreation and Parks Association


Charitable Number: 118781046RR0001

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