The Recreation Manager for the town of Niverville is the 2024 Prairie Crocus Award Winner. Chantel Todd received the award, presented by Recreation Manitoba, at an awards luncheon on Friday, March 15 in Winnipeg.

When asked who nominated her, Todd replied, “I did not know I was nominated for this award. I only found out when I got the e-mail from Recreation Manitoba saying congratulations, you've been nominated, and you have been selected as the award winner.”

Todd continues, “I was like, what? I couldn't believe it. I'm like, no, this is for people who are, like, amazing in our field of recreation and I'm like, that's not me.”

Todd had been nominated by Warren Brighton, Niverville’s Community Resource and Recreation Centre Manager, along with several co-workers. She pauses and reflects on her win.

“I'm just, I'm so very humbled, and so excited and surprised, and I still can't get over it, that I've actually won this really prestigious award.”

The Prairie Crocus award is the most prestigious award presented by Recreation Manitoba and honors a professional who has made significant contribution to recreation, parks and or leisure services within the province of Manitoba.

Todd notes the irony of the moment.

“It's kind of funny because literally 10 years ago at this conference, I won the Student Leadership Award, I was in my last year of university. And now, 10 years later, I'm winning the most prestigious award with Recreation Manitoba, it feels amazing.”

She continues. “I've always looked up to the other people who have won the award in the past. Like last year it was Moni Loewen from ROC Eastman who won it, and I've always looked up to Moni these past 10 years, and I'm like, wow, like, Moni is just such an amazing person, and to come to the realization that people look up to me like how I look up to Moni is just, I'm just in awe that people actually look at me like that.”

Todd took a moment to extend her thanks to the community and co-workers.

"Thank you for this amazing award. I'm so honored to receive this. I'm beyond ecstatic, and to be honest, I never thought I would be the one up here receiving this award. I'm just incredibly passionate about recreation and growing our community and collaborating with my work colleagues and our recreation professionals in our province.”

“It's just an amazing feeling to be this connected, and the community person that wants to see our community thrive. Recreation lives within me.”