With the help of over 750 residents and 50+ organizations, the Town of Salisbury has been named Canada’s Most Active Community as part of the fourth edition of the ParticipACTION Community Challenge. Throughout the month of June, Salisbury residents and organizations tracked over 10.4 million minutes of physical activity as part of the national physical activity and sport challenge, winning the Municipality a $100,000 prize towards recreation activities.

“Salisbury’s residents now look forward to the month of June to showcase to other Canadian municipalities on a friendly-competition level how active our community is,” says Mayor Robert Campbell. “Winning this title in 2023, the first year with the Town’s new municipal boundaries, is a testament to our sense of community and showcases how being active is in our nature.”

Throughout the month-long challenge, the Town had over 70 sessions of free, public activities to get residents moving, ranging from walking groups, Zumba classes, and kayaking/hiking excursions to Learn to Play Clinics (baseball, soccer, and pickleball), a kick-off event, and a ball hockey tournament. Countless community partners held their own activities for ParticipACTION and/or tracked the Move Minutes of their team(s) and staff throughout the month. In addition to this, the Town hosted multiple age-friendly activities at local nursing homes, had a Council versus Staff challenge, and partnered with the BGC Salisbury for a $5,000 grant to get residents moving throughout the month.

“Our team of staff and volunteers began working on this year’s efforts in early 2023, had pop-ups throughout the community to encourage residents to download the ParticipACTION app in May, and had banners and lawn signs throughout the Town by the start of June,” says Austin Henderson, Chief Administrative Officer of Salisbury. “We look forward to working with residents to determine how the prize can keep our community moving and would like to thank the volunteers, organizations, and residents who all played an essential role in winning the national prize”.

In 2022, Salisbury was named New Brunswick’s Most Active Community, winning the $15,000 provincial prize. This June, the Town issued a survey at the start of the challenge requesting input from residents on what they would like last year’s prize to be spent on, with 54% voting for the option to hold off on spending the funds in pursuit of the $100,000 prize in 2023. In the coming weeks, the Town will be issuing an updated survey with a number of more concrete plans for community input to determine what the prize will be used for.

Salisbury has participated in the national challenge for the past three years. From June 2-30, the Town held the top spot for the number of minutes tracked in New Brunswick, and fluctuated from first to fifth place Nationally, often competing with the City of Toronto, the City of Red Deer (2022 National Winner), and the Town of North Grenville (2021 Winner).

More information on the ParticipACTION Community Challenge can be found online.