Cynthia Brunelle is a dynamic and vibrant woman who brings a solid background of knowledge and experience to TBL as the new Director of Recreation and Community Services. She’s a graduate of Université de Sherbrooke in kinesiology, the science of physical activity as it relates to well-being and sports. Originally from Cowansville, where she worked from the age of 15 as swimming pool monitor, and where she still lives, Cynthia worked in Alberta in physical re-adaptation and then returned to the area to work as coordinator at Sutton’s recreation services for four years. And now she says “TBL was a logical next step. The town wants to move forward and stand out. I wanted to join such a dynamic team; a team that is supported by Council.’’
Her priority now is to ensure a smooth transition from the former type of governance of Community Services from a not-for-profit organization to a full-fledged town department. “I am now learning about the various files and their integration with the town. It is important to keep volunteers while remaining focused on the community and the involvement of people.” She praised the input of the personnel of Centre Lac-Brome to help her “they are efficient, pro-active and very competent,” she added. When it comes to tourism, which is also part of her mandate, she acknowledges that she has more to learn.
Her approach is based on team work where “each person can contribute their ways as well as their knowledge. Citizens come and see me and I encourage that. I believe that a good working team will help move forward, develop projects and that is one of the pillars of small communities such as ours. If people are at the root of new programs, they will want to be a part of them and will contribute to their implementation.’’ In that vein, Brunelle invites citizens to submit new ideas and new projects. When asked about the ‘competition’ between Knowlton and the surrounding rural areas of TBL for recreation services attention, Brunelle is prudent. “I have not experienced this yet,’’ she says “but I believe there are ways of responding to the needs of every sector to their satisfaction. But, we have to find the right way of doing it.’’
Well aware of the saga surrounding the building of a swimming pool in TBL and of the financial support the CARKE Foundation could provide Community Services, Brunelle is quite clear about what she would do with such a contribution. “I would like to see a splash pad in Lions Park or elsewhere in TBL which could be used from May to October.’’Cynthia Brunelle has dreams for our community. That’s an excellent omen for her new mandate.