Each year, Recreation New Brunswick presents its Jim Fox Award of Distinction to an individual, community, facility, or group in recognition of their meritorious and significant achievement at the community or provincial level. The recipient shall have made a significant and distinct contribution to the field of recreation through such areas as growth, development and/or enhancement of recreation.
Dana Purton Dickson exceeds all the criteria. Dana is our Director of Community Services for the Town of Quispamsis. A valued and trusted member of the town’s executive team, Dana has been a passionate recreation professional for more than 30 years. Under her outstanding leadership, our Community Services department has flourished, and the town’s recreational offerings have increased exponentially and continue to grow.
Throughout her tenure, Quispamsis has seen an increase in active transportation and recreation thanks to the creation of an additional 15 kilometres of multi-use trails, with the continued goal of providing an active transportation network that connects one end of the town to the other.
Dana has helped spearhead multiple complex projects including the creation of the qplex, the Millennium Cycle & Sport mountain bike park, revamping the Meenan’s Cove Beach House, and, the community’s first splash pad, which will open next month.
She has helped bring about sustainable environmental change to the Town of Quispamsis through the revitalization of Matthew’s Cove, which allowed for the decommissioning of a long-standing sewage lagoon, transforming it into a functioning natural wetland park, which residents enjoy daily.
With Dana’s vast connections, knowledge and experience with programming and events, the Town of Quispamsis has been able to provide its residents, as well as the region, with major events, such as the 2016 TELUS Cup, 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and a 2023 World Junior Hockey Championship pre-competition game between the United States and Finland, which sold out in 100 minutes.
Most importantly, Dana has helped to create a department that is held in high esteem throughout the province. Dana and her team are regularly contacted by other municipalities looking for guidance on matters related to recreation, parks and events.
Dana’s contributions to recreation are felt in our community, and at the regional, national, and international levels as well. She is the current President of the Fundy Recreation Professionals Association. While in this capacity, she was part of the think-tank that has helped to advance women in sport and recreation in New Brunswick through the creation of She is Active NB.
Dana is a past president of Recreation New Brunswick and has also served two terms as a board member of the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association. While on the board of the CPRA she helped to develop ‘The Framework for Recreation in Canada’, the guiding document for public recreation providers in Canada. She has also volunteered with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities helping with economic development projects in Saint Lucia, Dominica, and Grenada.
Dana’s dedication, commitment and service to her community are second to none. For all her many contributions, Dana Purton Dickson is this year’s recipient of the Recreation New Brunswick Jim Fox Award of Distinction.