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Let's talk parks, rec and culture pricing logoLet's Talk Parks, Rec and Culture Pricing

The City of St. Catharines Parks, Recreation, and Culture Services Department has partnered with researchers in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at Brock University to research residents' perspectives on parks, recreation and culture services pricing.

Why are we developing a pricing policy

The goal of the policy is to develop a consistent approach for how the City charges for parks, recreation and culture programs and services. Consistent pricing will also allow the City to put funds where there's most value to the community.

The development of a pricing policy is a recommendation within the City's ten-year Recreation Master Plan, and a priority for the Recreation Master Plan Implementation Advisory Committee.

How you can get involved

The City of St. Catharines will be holding focus groups with St. Catharines residents to gather feedback on the City's current parks, recreation and culture services pricing structure and what residents value most about parks, recreation and culture services programming.

Focus groups will take place in February/March.
Participants will receive two complimentary swim passes or skate passes.

In the focus group, we will discuss two main topics:

  1. How to price for different types of users;
  2. How to price for different types of activities;

The feedback will be used by City staff to create a new parks, recreation and culture services pricing policy.

How the focus groups will work

  • Focus groups will have between eight and 12 participants.
  • The time commitment of the focus group is up to three hours. 
  • Participants must register in advanceby completing our focus group form

Sign up to participate in a focus group

Interested residents can complete the focus group form to participate in a focus group.

Understanding the focus group process

  • If you choose to participate, we will first ask you to complete a workbook.
  • This workbook will include background information on the pricing strategy, key terms we will use in the focus group and descriptions of the questions we will ask and activities that will take place in the focus group.
  • The workbook will take between one and two hours to complete.
  • In the focus group, you will be asked to share your perspectives and indicate your preferences from among different pricing options.


The information you share in the focus group will be treated as confidential, meaning that we will not release any identifying information about you in any reports of research findings. We also ask that all participations keep all information that identifies or could possibly identify a participant and/or his/her comments confidential.

However, please note that there are limits to the confidentiality we can guarantee you as a result of Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA). As a result, if a request for information is submitted to the City in accordance with MFIPPA, we may be required to release the names of the focus group participants to the public. As such, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.

If you have any questions about your rights as a research participant, please contact the Brock University Research Ethics Officer at 905.688.5550 ext. 3035 or

If you have any questions about the 'Let's Talk Parks, Rec and Culture Pricing' focus groups, please feel free to contact us! See below for contact information.

Contact information

Dr. Erin Sharpe, Principal Investigator

Associate Professor, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies
Brock University, St. Catharines
Phone: 905.688.5550 ext. 3989

Eric Lamothe, Co-Investigator

Operations Planner
City of St. Catharines
Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture Services
Phone: 905.688.5601 ext. 3147

Brock University LogoThis study has been reviewed and received ethics clearance through the Research Ethics Board at Brock University [File #17-169 SHARPE]

Copyright © 2014 The Corporation of the City of St. Catharines