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Senyk retires from Creighton rec director spot, 15 years after taking on role

After 15 years on the job as Creighton’s recreation director, Channa Senyk has retired from the job.
C11 Rec Director Retirement
Outgoing Creighton recreation director Channa Senyk and her incoming replacement, Lindsay Shirran, pose during Senyk’s retirement party March 11. Senyk is stepping away after 15 years in her post.

After 15 years on the job as Creighton’s recreation director, Channa Senyk has retired from the job.

Senyk’s retirement, which first became known earlier this year, came after one of the year’s major events, the Bust the Winter Blues Festival, held this year for the first time in-person since 2020. With the blues busted and her successor already named, Senyk said it took time for her pending retirement to sink in.

“It seemed like it took a lot of time to come, in the last couple months. The last few weeks have just snuck up and today, it seems a little surreal than I’m actually done. Fifteen years went by pretty quick,” she said.

From her office on Creighton Avenue, Senyk oversaw the Town’s recreation programs and facilities, ranging from community skates at the Creighton Sportex to Creighton’s annual Canada Day extravaganza. Senyk said that looking back, she is proud of the work she and the Town accomplished, particularly with programming done during the pandemic.

“Creighton’s been busy. We’ve beautified our community and I think we’ve offered a lot of programs for the kids and programs for the adults to try to keep everybody busy. In the last few years with COVID-19, we shifted gears a little bit and did a lot more virtually, to keep people’s minds busy and try to keep people happy and involved in the community when they couldn’t be,” she said.

“It does make things a little tougher.”

Looking back over her decade and a half as recreation director, Senyk said her biggest challenges were to start new activities and traditions that the community hadn’t seen before. Sometimes they stuck and sometimes they didn't - and sometimes, those ideas could come back again later.

“I think, for me, it was the challenge of trying to introduce a new sport. For the first little while, we’d try to introduce something new,” Senyk said.

“Being able to offer different programs and seeing what works, continuing on with those that work and the programs that don’t work well, then you just leave it behind and you look for something else to do.”

As a case in point, Senyk brought up the two years in the late 2010s where Creighton Recreation helped hold lacrosse camps for kids and adults. After two years, the program stopped when the people who ran it moved away, but years later, the Town is primed to do it again with professional help inbound.

“We introduced lacrosse in my first couple of years - we ran it two different years. The people who were facilitating it moved away, so we had no one here to carry it on. We’re now bringing in the [National Lacrosse League’s Saskatchewan] Rush at the end of the month to do another clinic at Creighton Community School, so hopefully that will introduce lacrosse to the community once again and people can give it a try,” she said.

With Senyk leaving, Lindsay Shirran, a long-time staff member of the City of Flin Flon and current Town employee, will take over the recreation director position - Senyk said Shirran has her full confidence.

“I’m very excited for Lindsay. I know this is in very good hands,” Senyk said.

“I don’t have any thoughts about things not progressing or continuing. She’s excited and I think that’s the main thing - you have to be excited about your job and she is. I think Creighton is in very good hands.”

In retirement, Senyk plans to spend time with her grandchildren and see family and friends, as well as relax at her cabin. She said she has no plans to move away from the area and may volunteer with groups and at events in the future.

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