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Jasper’s director of culture and recreation retiring after 25 years of service

Ali Howat, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter |

For the past 25 years, Yvonne McNabb has worked with the Jasper Improvement District and the Municipality of Jasper.

After these years of service, McNabb will start her retirement on Oct. 1.

“Every day as director of culture and recreation brought something new, different and challenging to the table, and I have enjoyed being ready to pivot and change directions at the drop of a hat,” McNabb said in a release.

“The most rewarding aspect of my career has been to have had the chance to coach and lead staff and students as well as to mentor lifesaving, work and life skills. I have watched with pride as each grew and prospered within and outside of the municipality.”

McNabb originally came to Jasper to be the aquatics manager in 1996 and over the years worked up to be the director of culture and recreation in 2001.

Throughout her time with the municipality, McNabb has helped secure funding to support upgrades to recreation facilities.

McNabb has also been a health and safety auditor for the past 25 years and initiated the health and safety program with the municipality.

She has also worked on the organizing committee for the Special Olympics Canada Winter Game and the Alberta Winter Games.

Some of the projects that McNabb secured funding were for the new fitness centre, the climbing wall, the renovations to the activity centre, the curling rink and many others. 

McNabb also was in charge of organizing to get the Centennial Park Playground in place. 

She also worked with and mentored young staff.

“Yvonne’s contributions to our municipal organization are far too numerous to list,” said Jasper Mayor Richard Ireland in the news release.

Ireland described McNabb as “a pillar of our organization,” noting how difficult it was to imagine what the future of the department would look like in her absence.

“Yvonne’s continued engagement in assisting with the transition to a new director is a fitting testament to the depth of her commitment. A sincere and heartfelt ‘thank you’ from all of us who have benefited from her hard work, devotion and enthusiastic approach for the last 25 years is certainly in order.”

Throughout the last year and a half, with COVID putting a strain on everyone, McNabb wanted to take this time to be with her family and enjoy the little things life has to offer. 

McNabb said that she will miss her municipal staff family and that this is a career that is never the same, everyday is different and one always has to be ready to change directions with the drop of a hat. 

McNabb also says that without the incredible staff that she has, the community would not have such great amenities and programs to grow and play in.

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