Five years ago, on October 5, 2015, I embarked on a new adventure, joining the recreation team for the Town of Hawkesbury. Although I had never worked for a municipality before, my past experiences at Easton Sports, Québec en Forme, CAMMAC Music Centre and coaching at Orca gave me many of the tools needed to lead a recreation department. To the person who had the vision to hire me five years ago, thank you! Your faith in me gave me an opportunity that has changed my life for the better.
A recreation department is similar to a hockey team; there are players, a head coach, a GM and owners. A recreation director is much like the head coach; often in the limelight, loved by some, disliked by others. We must sometimes make difficult decisions, knowing that the decisions will not please everyone, but understanding that it will be better for the team and organization.
The Town of Hawkesbury Municipal Council has decided that they want to take the recreation department in another direction, and much like the owners of an NHL franchise, they have decided to go with a new head coach. It’s their prerogative, and I respect their decision. I am disappointed that I won’t be able to see out many of the projects I was working on with my team, but I hope that what I have accomplished over the last five years will be beneficial to the Hawkesbury community for many years to come.
To Hawkesbury’s associations and partners, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with you. I hope I was able to help you develop and enrich the projects and activities we worked on together.
To my colleagues, thank you for welcoming me, supporting me and teaching me the complexities of municipal government, which began the moment I made my oath of office. My accomplishments are shared with you.
To my GM, although we only spent a few years working together, I learned a great deal from you. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge and wisdom with me. My future successes will be, in part, because of you.
To my assistant coach, you will one day make an excellent head coach, don’t ever doubt that. We had an exceptional connection that allowed us to achieve many great projects together. I will really miss working with you every day. I was lucky to have you as a part of our team, and I’d recruit you again in a heartbeat.
To my team at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex, you are the heart of the recreation department, each and every one of you. As head coach, all I did was ensure I put the right person in the right position. All of the credit goes to you. We laughed, we argued, we worked hard… always together. You were my family away from home and I will miss you most of all. Nous étions l’équipe de feu!
To the citizens of Hawkesbury, the fans, thank you for welcoming me to your community. You have enriched my life and taught me so much, and I will always be grateful for the time we spent together. I hope we meet again soon, but until then, here’s to new adventures.
“Keep calm and carry on? No thanks, I’d rather raise hell and change the world.”
*Nicole Trudeau was the Director of Recreation and Tourism for the Town of Hawkesbury from 2015 to 2020.