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Goals and History


The NWT Aquatics program seeks to provide safe and enjoyable aquatics activities in a safe, clean and healthy environment. This is done through:

  • Providing communities with an opportunity to offer summer aquatics recreation programs.
  • Promoting safe aquatics attitudes, practices, and skills to reduce drowning and water-related accidents.
  • Assisting in the development of northern aquatic leadership skills.
  • Promoting the enjoyment of safe aquatics activities.


Did you know? The NWT Above-ground Pool Program started in Fort Simpson in 1967.

In the past, program staff had to put the pool together at the start of the season and take it apart at the end. Communities put shallow-water pools (usually 13 metres long X 1 metre deep) in arenas, curling rinks, maintenance garages, and a variety of other buildings.

Because pools came apart, they often moved from community to community so more people could experience aquatic programs.

Some communities created waterfront areas in rivers, lakes, and the Arctic Ocean so people with no pool in their community could have some experience with aquatic programs.

At its height, 41 aquatic programs operated in the NWT and what is now Nunavut. There were:

  • Five programs where people took a bus to a neighbouring community with a pool
  • Twenty-one programs with pools
  • Eight seasonal waterfront programs
  • Seven short-term waterfront programs

The GNWT ran the Above-ground Pool Program until the mid-1990's. At that time the NWT Recreation and Parks Association (NWTRPA) slowly took over.

The NWTRPA is now responsible for:

  • Organizing recruitment of Aquatic Supervisors for seasonal pools and waterfronts.
  • Supporting all pool staff, Senior Administrative Officers, Recreation Directors/Coordinators, and Facility Maintainers.
  • Advocating for aquatic programs throughout the territory.

A pool on a barge (“Corky the Barge”) travelled down the Mackenzie River and stopped at communities along the way.

goals.txt · Last modified: 2017/05/06 00:52 by nwtrpa