ASSAI on Haida Gwaii

The After-School Sports and Arts Initiative (ASSAI) offers free programs that support students who face barriers to participation in recreational activities. The programs include both sport/movement and art/creative activities that foster skill development, capacity building, collaboration and confidence. Funded by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, ASSAI programs for grades K – 8 operate in 22 school districts across British Columbia. On Haida Gwaii, Haida Gwaii Recreation aids in the administration of the program. Our ASSAI Coordinator (Julia Breese) and their staff work closely with School District #50 District ASSAI Principal Lead (Ian Keir) to administer programs for students of Port Clements Elementary, Tahayghen Elementary and Chief Matthews School.

We are hiring an ASSAI COORDINATOR! 

We are hiring Sports & Arts Leaders for 2023-24 beginning September 1, 2023!

E-mail for more information or to submit your application.

Evidence-Based After School Programs

There was a three (3) year research study conducted on ASSAI. Results found that programs make a significant positive impact on the social, emotional, physical, creative, and cognitive outcomes of students. Parents/caregivers reported that their child/ren were more willing to go to school on ASSAI days. There are clear program standards for ASSAI across the Province, to ensure these are school-based, high quality, culturally appropriate, accessible, accountable programs that supports community capacity and professional development. Canada’s Food Guide and the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for Children and Youth inform healthy food prep and physical activity programming.

Programs are voluntary and we aim to reach those children in greatest need of support. In communities where there are fewer students, all or most will be invited to attend program. In some circumstances, ASSAI program leaders select attendees after consulting with school district staff. If you have questions about your child/ren’s eligibility to attend ASSAI, please e-mail the ASSAI Coordinator at or call 250-626-5652.

Our trained staff work together to program plan and deliver engaging and skill-building content after school. They provide a safe and supportive environment, including healthy snack preparation for participants at each session. Funding from the Ministry is spent to train program leaders each year, which may include a combination of:

  • Child Development Training
  • Group and Behaviour Management & Positive Behaviour Support
  • Physical Literacy & Fundamental Movement Skills
  • Inclusion of Children with Diverse Abilities and Disabilities
  • Anti-Racism Training
  • Inter-Cultural Awareness Training
  • SOGI 123 (Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity)

All Sports and Arts Leaders are required to complete HIGH FIVE® training. It is the only recognized certification for recreation & sport in Canada based on the Five Principles of Healthy Child Development for children aged 4 – 12 years.

In light of COVID-19, ASSAI follows the COVID-19 health and safety protocols set out by the school district, the Provincial Health Officer, the BC Centre for Disease Control and WorkSafe BC.


The Haida Gwaii Recreation Commission is a non-profit society operated by a volunteer board of directors. If you’re interested in being a part of our team, either as a volunteer or an instructor, fill out the form below. Our mandate is to provide recreational opportunities to all communities on Haida Gwaii.