CTRA BOD/STAFF 2021-2022

Tanea Goncalves Forward

Executive Director

Tanea Goncalves Forward is the Executive Director for the Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association. Tanea completed her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Alberta. She was a Recreation Therapist with Alberta Health Services (Lakeland Regional Health Authority and East Central Health Region) for twelve years. In September 2006, Tanea decided to pursue her Master degree because she felt that research needed to be conducted to advance  the profession of Therapeutic Recreation in Canada. In August 2012, Tanea completed her Master Degree from Dalhousie University. Tanea has always been interested in the advancement of the TR profession and has served on various committees that have worked to achieve this goal. Tanea is very aware of the accomplishments of Therapeutic Recreation in Canada and hopes to assist in the future growth of the profession.

Carl Ings

Past President

Carl Ings is a Recreation Development Specialist with Central Health. He currently works in Mental Health and Addictions with both Youth and Adults in Grand Falls-Windsor, NL. He worked in Long Term Care for 19 years prior to this switch in October of 2018. He graduated from Dalhousie University in 1999 with a BRec in Therapeutic Recreation. In 2001 obtained his CTRS status from NCTRC. He is currently serving his 1yr term as the President for CTRA. Before this he was the President Elect (1yr) and Atlantic Director (3yrs) with the CTRA Board. He also served as President and Central Director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Therapeutic Recreation Association for four years. Carl has presented provincially and nationally and internationally on a variety of topics including evidenced based programs for challenging behavior in dementia care, therapeutic recreation internships and the TR process and co-presented on working together with our national and provincial associations as well as a presentation on how TR is viewed Internationally, he spoke on the Canadian content; at a recent ATRA Conference in Grand Rapids Michigan. For those who don’t know him, Carl thoroughly enjoys his leisure time and enjoys a variety of leisure activities such as golf, softball and camping with his family in the summer time and playing hockey, cross country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. Also, he is a family guy who will be celebrating 19 years of marriage this July to his wife Lorraine and also has two amazing girls, Bryanna 14 and Catherine 10 who keep him busy and happy all year long.

Carl Ings


Glenn Skimming works as a Recreation Therapist II in Edson and Hinton, and coordinates two Adult Day Programs. Glenn also supports clients living in a lodge setting in Edson by supporting them to connect with their community. Glenn is an active member of his provincial organization and considers his being a Recreation Therapist an honor and continues to encourage individuals to make informed leisure choices. Glenn was a Transit Operator for almost 24 years, and during this time went to the University of Alberta and Graduated with a BPE in 2001. Glenn has worked in Adult Day Support programs, worked in Supportive Living and Long Term Care, has worked and continues to work in the community building partnerships with community organizations and clients he supports. Glenn loves to cook for family and friends, enjoys camping, and spending time with family and friends. He and his wife have 3 Grandchildren they love to spoil, and have two cats and two dogs that keeps them very busy.


President Elect

Heather Baker


Heather Baker is a Recreation Therapist at Capital District Health Authority in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. She has worked in a variety of service delivery areas and is currently the Consult Recreation Therapist for the Therapeutic Assistant Service where her work is focused on managing responsive behaviors in an acute care setting. Heather graduated from Dalhousie University in 2005 with a BSc in Therapeutic Recreation. Prior to her introduction to  therapeutic recreation she was pursuing a career in the field of nursing. She is currently serving a term as the Vice President of the Therapeutic Recreation
Association of Atlantic Canada (TRAAC) and has previously held TRAAC board positions as a student director, treasurer, advocacy chair, and president. Heather is also the Chair of TRAAC’s Licensure Committee. She recently joined the CTRA Board of Directors, serving a term as the treasurer and is the Chair of CTRA’s Regulation Committee. Heather has presented provincially and nationally on a variety of topics including licensure, managing responsive behaviors and working with individuals with cognitive impairments. For those who don’t know her, Heather thoroughly  enjoys her work and although it appears that she has little time to engage in leisure she manages to enjoy a variety of leisure activities between her work life and volunteer commitments. She thoroughly enjoys reading, spending time in the kitchen, playing the piano, enjoying nature, spending time with family and friends, scrapbooking and travel to name just a few.

Tracey Dion


Tracey Dion has enjoyed an extremely rewarding 37 year career in Therapeutic Recreation as a Recreation Therapist, a TR Practice Leader and an advocate in our field. Along the way she has worked with thousands of patients, students and volunteers facilitating their achievement of meaningful leisure goals. Recently retired, Tracey looks forward to the time to explore her own leisure lifestyle through new learning, volunteer work and the ever increasing list her own leisure interests.

Lauren Cripps

Education Director

Lauren Cripps is a recent graduate of Brock University’s PhD Program, where she has been teaching Therapeutic Recreation for the past 8 years. Lauren has a B.RLS in Therapeutic Recreation, a Master’s in Leisure Studies and a PhD in Social and Cultural Health Studies from Brock University. Lauren is a community engaged scholar who focuses on creating effective and meaningful interventions using a collaborative approach to program design, implantation and evaluation. Lauren has completed several major projects in partnership with Canadian Mental Health Association, Pathstone Mental Health, Niagara Health and the Niagara Catholic District School Board.

Lauren’s areas of interest include strengths-based practice in mental health initiatives; the integration of an evidence-informed process in mental health programming; recovery-oriented practice; animal-assisted interventions and innovative mental health program design. She travels throughout North America speaking about the value of evidence-informed practice in Therapeutic Recreation.

Outside of her professional pursuits, Lauren is a proud mother to Nyla, Emma, Willa and Luca and spends her free time championing (taxiing) their many pursuits. She is also well known for her love of animals and spent the first decade of her ‘adult’ life as a registered veterinary technician. Lauren’s passion for animals continues to help her blur the lines between work and play with the Cripps household population nearly tripled by the dogs, cats, guinea pigs and rabbits that also share their home.

Lauren is a long-time member of the NCTRC and a recent applicant to the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

Chelsea Crockford

Marketing Director

Chelsea Crockford is a passionate Recreation Therapist who completed her Bachelor’s degree in TR at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.  Her love for the profession got ignited from working in Long Term Care with seniors, WWII and Korean War veterans with various types of physical and cognitive disabilities since 2012 where she saw the most impact of meaningful leisure on these individuals lives.
Chelsea got her CTRS in 2019 and has since been working in New Brunswick at a neurological rehabilitation facility with inpatient adults who have attained spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, strokes and other complex neurological disorders. She is currently an active member in the NB chapter and is the founder of “Connect through Leisure” Facebook and Instagram page where she uses this platform to advocate for the field, connect with fellow Recreation Therapists, share the value that Recreation Therapy has to offer and promote the importance of inclusion for all disabilities.
Chelsea values her leisure and loves doing things that make her soul sing such as spending time in nature, running, journaling, practicing yoga and meditation.  She also loves road trips which allows her to visit her family in Quebec & Ontario (once COVID allows them to gather…) & she is looking forward to contributing to the great team of CTRA.

Melissa D'Souza

Western Director

I was born in Mumbai, India, and moved to Halifax when I was 10 years old.  I grew up in Halifax City (HRM) and graduated from Dalhousie University in therapeutic recreation in 2013.  I obtained my CTRS in 2013 in Halifax, NS.  After graduation, I moved to Alberta with an employment opportunity as the lead recreation therapist/manager at a long-term care home.  With this opportunity I was able to network in the community with the PCN (Primary Care Network) and present in Newfoundland at the CTRA conference with the Happiness Basics Workshop program in mental health and addictions in 2015.  Researching programs that are inclusive of an individual’s participation has always been a keen interest and I currently work with my team to develop new programs on site. I also teach at Bow Valley College in Calgary, Alberta, as a clinical instructor for two courses that include recreation program and design and practicum placements.  My current role includes supervising 10 recreation assistants, and 1 volunteer coordinator, 1 pastoral coordinator and overseeing 70 volunteers in the community.  Every year I supervise student placements in recreation therapy from either Dalhousie University or the University of Lethbridge.  In my leisure time, I keep busy with running, catching up with friends all over the world and in the Maritimes, I love animals and have a 2 year old labradoodle dog that just loves to go outside even in -30 weather.  My biggest passion is travelling, and I have been to over 10 countries and hope to see more to share stories and learn from many cultures. 

Vallyn Sielski

Prairie Director

Vallyn Sielski is a Recreation Therapist with the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Vallyn completed a B.Sc. in Sport and Exercise Studies at the University of Saskatchewan in 2011 and went on to complete a Bachelor’s in Therapeutic Recreation at Douglas College in 2014. Vallyn received her CTRS certification in 2014 and is currently working at Parkridge Centre with residents needing long term and complex care. Vallyn is a mom to one human and one pup, avid gardener and outdoor enthusiast, spending most of her leisure time with family and at the lake.


Central Director

Anne Mack

Atlantic Director

Anne is presently working part-time as a Recreation Specialist with the Centre for Pain and Disability Management at the Miller Centre, St. John’s, NL. Participants in the program attend a 5 week intensive self-management program for people with chronic pain. Anne also has extensive experience working in Mental Health.  She attended Memorial University and earned a M.P.E. from this University in 1992. She also attended Concordia University and received a Graduate Diploma in Sports Administration. In 2011 Anne was certified as a CTRS with NCTRC. Anne enjoys running, biking, skiing and spending time outside with her family and friends. She lived in Nepal with her husband and four children on two separate occasions (2012-13 and 2017-18) and had the opportunity to volunteer and see the value of Therapeutic Recreation in a developing country.

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