Town of Drumheller council officially welcomed Rick Ladouceur as the new Recreation, Arts and Culture manager during the Monday, September 11 Committee of the Whole meeting, although he took over the role in late August.
Mr. Ladouceur has extensive training and background in recreation, and says he has some plans on how to grow use of the Town’s various parks and recreation facilities.
“The Recreation and Parks Master Plan is quite good… I think, perhaps in the past, there’s been more focus on the (Aquaplex) and (Badlands Community Facility) BCF-those are very important, however, I see a bigger picture,” Mr. Ladouceur tells the Mail.
He shares he plans to look at ways to bring parks and sports venues, such as the ball diamonds and soccer field, under the Recreation, Arts and Culture portfolio “to give it direction.”
While he recognizes recreation facilities are not often money makers for municipalities, Mr. Ladouceur and staff at the BCF are currently looking at ways to “lessen the blow” and better utilize or promote the facility for its conference capabilities.
Mr. Ladouceur has an extensive history in recreation, beginning at the age of 15 when he joined a recreation committee in Green Valley, Ontario.
After graduation, he went on to receive his Recreation Management Leadership diploma from Algonquin College in Ottawa before receiving his Physical Education through the University of Ottawa.
Although he took some time away from recreation to take on the Technical Director position at the former Ottawa District Hockey Association-now known as Hockey Eastern Ontario-and coaching competitive hockey at the Junior A and semi-pro level, his passion remained in recreation.
He has managed recreation facilities with multiple amenities, from concessions and restaurants, to multiple ice rink surfaces, racquetball courts, and an Olympic sized pool.
“The staff has been amazing. Staff have a really great relationship with people who come into this building,” he says. “The amount of seniors that are coming in is wonderful.”
He says he would like to initiate a pseudo-program at the BCF to help introduce members to the machines in the facility, and help make people more comfortable with the equipment.
While recreation is his passion, he says he is not forgetting the Arts and Culture part of his title and will be looking at ways to bring things like sporting events and potentially concerts. He is meeting with some stakeholders, including the Drumheller Dragons, minor hockey team and other sports leagues, as well as the Rotary Club and some of the local museums.