The British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA)

The BCRPA is a not for profit organization dedicated to enhancing quality of life in our province. The Association and its extensive network of members, in the parks, recreation, physical activity and culture sector support the development of healthy individuals and communities and sustainable environments and economies.

Since 1958, the BCRPA has provided leadership, training and support, fostering the principles of accessibility and inclusiveness, to help its 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.

BCRPA Core Competencies

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 Way Forward - A New Vision for the Parks, Recreation and Culture Sector

In 2006, the BCRPA commissioned a strategic planning process to assist the parks, recreation and culture sector in understanding and clarifying our expanding role. The resulting plan – The Way Forward – was unanimously adopted by the members at the 2008 BCRPA Annual General meeting in Victoria.

The Way Forward is a pioneering document.

As the first comprehensive strategic plan for the parks, recreation and culture sector in British Columbia, it represents a momentous step in coordinating stakeholders, assets, programs and initiatives to work as a collective body toward a shared vision of a high quality of life for all British Columbians and related common goals. It outlines a definitive action plan to guide us toward our goals and is the foundation of the development of operational strategic plans for the Association.

The Way Forward is a superb resource for the sector and includes a number of components that you will find useful for your community or organization.

Visit the webpage for more information.


BCRPA - Leading the Way for 50 years

For its 50th anniversary the BCRPA created a historical video looking at the origin and development of the BC Recreation and Parks Association, and at the path charted for the future.


View the videos here:

Part 1 and Part 2