Looking back 20 years ago, Louis Dauphin ’08 would never have imagined being where he is today. With dreams to work in education and a career that began in teaching, Dauphin’s appointment as the new director of parks, recreation and culture at the City of Mission in BC last June is not something he would nave predicted as a young English and physical education double major at Redeemer.
“It’s been an adventure but a welcome one,” he says of the transition to his new role. “I’ve really appreciated my time here and feel that I’m starting to hit my stride.”
It has required a significant move for Dauphin and his wife from Toronto, where he was director of athletics for York University’s Glendon Campus for six years, to a new province and a growing city where they have no prior connections.
It’s been an adventure but a welcome one…I’ve really appreciated my time here and feel that I’m starting to hit my stride.
Dauphin sees so much potential for the area he is now leading. With a rapidly growing city comes new opportunities for program growth and the creation of new events and activities catering to the needs of a growing population. But growth also presents a challenge.
“It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of being able to create new opportunities, and at the same time lose sight of all that’s been done in the past and the history of an area,” he says, adding that Mission has a rich history and legacy that should be recognized and respected as it grows. Striking that balance is something he knows is important, having grown up in the Hamilton area and seen rapid growth in Ancaster; and Hamilton. He wants to continue to be mindful of the things about Mission that have made residents feel at home and that they may fear they could lose in the course of rapid urban development.
Dauphin is confident that through various opportunities and experiences, God has prepared him to take on this new challenge. Having the opportunity to teach in a classroom setting at the outset of his career gave him a lot of transferable skills that he could apply to his administrative roles. He’s also been able to put to work a wide range of knowledge and experiences from both his undergraduate and graduate studies.
“Redeemer being a liberal arts university really gave me the opportunity to be exposed to a wide range of subjects,” he says. The physical education program at Redeemer also offered outdoor and experiential education courses that took him on excursions that piqued his interest in things like hiking, backpacking and kayaking, which he is excited to now be able to bring to his new position and the people of Mission.
“We’re looking at how can offer more outdoor education programs to the community. Seeing that many residents live in urban parts of the city, giving them more opportunities to experience the wilderness in a safe and relatively controlled environment with experienced guides and programming for all ages can help to further develop their appreciation for nature and this incredible world that we live in.”
Dauphin is able to draw on his volunteer experience as well. He is currently serving as a director-at-large for Cycling Canada, a national sporting organization that promotes getting more Canadians on bikes. As chair of the equity, diversity and inclusion committee, he’s helping to explore how to make cycling more accessible, inclusive and equitable for all.
Redeemer being a liberal arts university really gave me the opportunity to be exposed to a wide range of subjects.
Looking back, Dauphin says he can definitely see how all the events and opportunities in his life have been used by God to prepare and equip him for what he’s doing now.
“It’s significantly better than how I thought my life would have turned out,” he says, adding that he’s continually learning to find joy when life goes off script.
“We all have a narrative of how we’d like our lives to be … Very quickly, we realize we are not the ultimate directors of our lives. Events happen and situations occur where our plans get derailed and there can be moments of incredible discouragement. But when we have a chance to look back on our lives and if we do believe that God is sovereign and that he is ultimately working things for our good and his glory, then we should be able to see how he has orchestrated all these events to shape us into the people we are and how he used those events to prepare us for where we are now and where we will be in the future.”