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Online Conference Information

Currently Awaiting CEU Pre-Approval

Live sessions will be recorded and available to delegates for 45 days after the conference!

Message from the Co-Chairs:

Welcome to the 25 th Annual Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association Conference! Although we would have loved to see you face-to-face, we are thrilled to offer another fantastic virtual conference to therapeutic recreation professionals across Canada. We are excited to provide this tremendous opportunity to highlight, build knowledge around, and expand our profession.

The theme for this year’s conference is Transition and Transformation. As we venture forward, and despite all the uncertainty and unknown, therapeutic recreation continues to thrive. During the worldwide pandemic, Recreation Therapists have been called upon to be more creative and innovative than ever before. Rising up to face challenges such as adapting to online program delivery, providing resources and supports for home- based leisure pursuits, supporting mental health and isolation, reflecting on cultural awareness and biases within our practice, and supporting our teams and clients where needed. The world we will be heading into post-COVID will be one of great transition and transformation, and Recreation Therapists will be ready to lead the charge.

Our hope is that you will leave this conference feeling rejuvenated and empowered to advocate for the profession and clients whose lives you impact each day.

“See” you in May!

Jaclyn England & Pam Russ
2022 CTRA Conference Planning Committee

CTRA 2022 Virtual Conference Program

Conference Program PDF – Click Here

Conference Session Information


Emotional Intelligence: Harnessing our Whole-Brain Power…aka Play is the New Work…aka Recreation Therapists are Saving the Damn World

Presented by: Rena Rachar

Rena Rachar (Certified Life Coach) will take you on a journey of learning and understanding emotional intelligence. During her keynote address we will look at some exciting and fresh data from the world of neuroscience; information that will not only further validate the work you do, but will perhaps add a spring to your step as you teach others how to harness the power of their whole brains to improve their lives.

In a society that uplifts productivity and performance, emotional intelligence often takes a back seat. When we truly understand the emotional component of our physiology, life gets better. Individuals with high levels of emotional intelligence know their triggers, responsibly manage their intense feelings, have greater empathy, are more effective connectors, have stronger relationships, and are more trusted leaders. (They are also more fun. And we could all benefit from that right now.)

During our time together, we will look at some exciting and fresh data from the world of neuroscience. We will explore which parts of the brain are responsible for planning, for feeling, for playing, and for loving; and we will learn how to harness the power of these different cellular structures to maximize both our potential and our well-being. This information will not only further validate the work you do in the world, but will perhaps add a spring to your step as you teach others how to harness the power of their whole brains to improve their lives.

Presented by:

Rachel Skanes & Charlotte Sabean

Discover how a little hospital in Nova Scotia is making monumental gains in the therapeutic recreation world. In rural Digby General Hospital (DGH), two therapeutic recreation professionals are decreasing the need for physical and chemical restraints through their multidisciplinary Therapeutic Recreation Behavioural Care Plans. The hospitals Mobility Enhancement Program (MEP), led by a recreation programmer, ensures patients are improving their mobility in an engaging and holistic way. This little hospital is proving the unique way therapeutic recreation professionals can positively change the healthcare world.

Presented By:

Laura Oldford & Chelsea Crockford

The field of therapeutic recreation, like other professions in healthcare, has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. One major area that has been impacted is the work therapeutic recreation practitioners do in the community- community transition, community reintegration, and community participation. This presentation will highlight the evidence and best practices surrounding supporting community transition and reintegration in therapeutic recreation, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in meeting these goals and needs.

Presented By:

Bev Foster

musiccare CONNECT™ is an app that puts over 700 purposely designed songs, videos, and activities at your fingertips for use in caregiving to support better outcomes. Recreation therapists can customize programs for care use and personalize playlists of music and videos either by musical genre or by theme, such as travel or love. This session focuses on the process Room 217 used to transition from hard copy delivery to streaming application, how to customize personalized music programs for various care situations using CONNECT, and using the app for optimizing care outcomes. Included is a case study where musiccare CONNECT is being used by a recreation therapist in a geriatric rehabilitation hospital.

Presented By:

Susan Kaufer

This session provides an in-depth coverage of recertification standards and requirements for the areas of specialization. Continuing education, professional experience, and re-examination will be described in detail. Utilization of the 2014 NCTRC National Job Analysis Study in relation to recertification requirements will be discussed.

Presented By:

Rachelle Forster & Charlotte Jordan

This session will review the use of a new and innovative product being integrated into healthcare. We will discuss the use of Silent Disco Headphones in a long term care environment and the programs implemented with these devices. The presentation will focus on our varied populations within this setting, including young adults, seniors and those with a diagnosis of dementia. We will review the entire process from program development, implementation, evaluation and documentation. We will discuss our challenges, successes and overall outcomes. There will be a demonstration of the product for all attendees as well as opportunities for discussion and ideas for future use within evidence based practice.

Presented By:

Aimee Douziech & Sienna Caspar

There has been consistent pressure for more than a quarter century to transform long-term care (LTC) facilities into more homelike settings. Yet there is a lack of guidance in helping LTC facilities effectively become more homelike. With this in mind, we conducted a study that further explored this notion of home in LTC. This session will examine the results of this study and how these findings relate to the therapeutic recreation profession. Furthermore, this session is designed to facilitate group discussion where participants will be encouraged to consider their own role in facilitating a more homelike environment in LTC.

Presented By:

Emily Dukeshire

This presentation will highlight the outcomes from a photography club that took place in a complex mental health/harm reduction program in an inner-city Long Term Care center. If you have been looking for a new intervention to support mental health and socialization, then this session is for you. We will be discussing this therapeutic intervention, learning about the facilitation approaches and intervention techniques as well as risk management and safety concerns. I will highlight the exciting outcomes from this intervention and demonstrate how you can use an outcome tool in your program to evaluate changes in functioning and determine the effectiveness of your interventions.

Presented By:

Lesley Fox & Sandra Gray

Engage your client’s day with purpose filled, meaningful, leisure activity and true engagement. Work alongside clients with less listed as on, and more random a happenings and findings pre-planned and in place that enhance life and everyday living. Gone is the cruise ship looking programme, with days full of things we know people like and want to do. But continually struggle to get people to attend, at the right time, or in the right place. We now have a social calendar with next to nothing on it, so our time as therapists is open for clients to choose whatever they desire to do, allowing for their day to freely flow. No day feels the same and we are embracing and catering too, the beautiful diversity of client lifestyle needs and choices. These are exciting and innovative changes to activity delivery in a residential aged care that optimise personal wellness.

Presented By:

Amanda Parent & Val Shah

DROM is a unique combination of drumming (the DRUM) and meditation (the OM) to energize, relieve stress, bring clarity and calm – all while having FUN drumming on an exercise ball or tables and chairs. Come prepared with your runners and wooden spoons to experience this adaptable intervention technique designed to provide physical, social, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual outcomes for people of all ages and abilities, while providing a safe space in which they can play, try new things, and learn new ways of moving, thinking and being present. We have modified DROM techniques to support older adults, children in pediatrics, those with autism, ADHD, addictions, and mental health, people with physical, emotional, and developmental challenges, stroke rehabilitation, among many, many more. Upgrade your professional knowledge about how this certification can help you enhance your leadership tools and empower you to “transform” the quality of life of your participants.


Presented By:

Sabrina Ball & Brandee Elliott

This session will energize and inspire your passion for Therapeutic Recreation and your willingness to be adaptable, collaborative and take creative risks within your practice. The virtual Recreation Therapy program entitled Go the Distance, developed for Adult Day Program clients has shown innovation, , the importance of virtual practice, and connection with clients throughout the pandemic. Go the Distance has enabled partnerships to be built and collaboration of Recreation Therapy practice across Canada. Like ripples on the water, the effect of virtual practice in Recreation Therapy will present a lasting impact and we must continue to glide forward.

Presented By:

Charlene Edwards, Jonathan Barrow, Gillian Kinsella, Nancy Hodder

The Discharge Liaison Program (DLP) Recreation Development Specialist position (RDS) pilot project was trialed in St. John’s NL to bridge the gap between inpatient and community TR services and provide a smoother transition from hospitalization to independence in the community. Session will include the rationale, advocation, service delivery and implementation, data collection, evaluation and recommendations.

Presented By:

Jessie Jones

Join Jessie Jones to discover and discuss how art modalities within therapeutic recreation can be used as a functional technique to overcome adversity. In this lecture, Jessie will provide examples of art programming through an emergent strategy lens, share the barriers and benefits of art-inspired programming, and discuss how to draw parallels between art practice and resiliency.

Presented By:

Emily Sitter

As a form of physical, cognitive, and social engagement, Sharing Dance Older Adults is a safe, accessible dance program that utilizes dance movements as human expression, regardless of age, ability, health status, language, or culture. This evidence-informed program, developed by Baycrest and Canada’s National Ballet School, emphasizes personal and creative expression amongst older adults and offers a sense of accomplishment and community belonging. Dance interventions also provoke reminiscence and storytelling activities through the added benefit of music. During this presentation, the speaker will provide an overview of program assessment and implementation, highlighting best-practices, facilitation techniques, and adaptations.

Presented By:

Rajneet Dhesi & Erica Botner

Seniors’ Wellness Centres’ are a community-run program that aims to maintain and improve the health and well-being of English-speaking seniors in Quebec, to improve access to and knowledge of health and social services, and to decrease social isolation through purposeful and informed health education and health promotion programming. In this presentation, we will share the profile of English-speaking seniors in Quebec, the history of Senior Wellness Centres, what makes them unique, and how the initiative has benefited from having Therapeutic Recreation Students in a setting that previously did not incorporate TR models, theories, process, or practice. This presentation will include lived experiences from seniors who participate in Senior Wellness Centres across the province.

Presented By:

Silvo Hernesniemi & Sienna Caspar

Come to this presentation to learn about our findings from a study that we conducted with TR experts in the field of continuing care. During the session, you will hear about what these experts envisioned for a future Centre of Excellence for TR in continuing care settings. We are excited to share with you how a Centre of Excellence could provide you with the resources you need to continue to deliver excellent TR services in continuing care settings.

Presented By:

Bev Foster

musiccare CERTIFY™ uses a quality improvement model to integrate and sustain music care into health and social care organizations. It is the first program in Canada to raise the standard of music care delivery through certification. This session focuses on how recreation therapists can leverage musiccare certification within their own personal practice or within the organization served. Content includes outcomes from the pilot and BETA tests in long-term care, benefits of musiccare CERTIFY for recreation therapists, the certification process, and how to get started.

Presented By:

Emily Johnson

There are two big areas of concern as we age – a failing body and a failing brain. Research supports that being physically active provides the biggest return on investment for staying fit mentally and physically. Therapeutic recreation professionals are well poised to help older adults realize these benefits! Join Emily for a movement packed session with ideas and examples for bolstering the brain benefit in your older adult physical activity programs.

40 person limit to attend session.


CTRA continues to develop several nationwide communities of practice (COP) to help TR professional’s network, collaborate, find, and share evidence-based literature, assessments, and other helpful resources specifically related to the population you work with. These Community of Practice groups will meet virtually at the CTRA conference, and connect throughout the year by website, webinars, e-newsletters, etc. Find out how you can be part of these exciting groups to improve your TR competencies and effectiveness, offer or receive mentorship, and share evidence and helpful resources. Share your input to help CTRA brainstorm ideas and plan priorities of focus as we navigate through the upcoming year.

An interactive presentation with professional musician and music-in-health-care facilitator Matt Day. Matt leads us through some key habits of professional musicians, showing us why they work and how we can apply the same concepts to our work and personal life. Crescendo means “an increase,” often in volume. In this case Matt uses the metaphor of a ‘crescendo’ to help us see how we can experience an increase in the things that matter most to us.

Conference Schedule:

Please note all times are in EST.

Conference Pricing:

Early Bird Registration Fees (February 22nd – March 28th):

Members – $195
Student Member – $75
Non-Members – $230
Non-Student Members – $90

Late Registration Fees (March 29th – April 25th):

Members – $230
Student Member – $90
Non-Members – $265
Non-Student Members – $110

*Please note: Registration fees does not include CEU processing fees

**Please note: Any registrations received after April 25, 2022 are subject to a $50 administration fee

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