Ottawa, September 27, 2019 – Outdoor Play Canada was launched today at the Breath of Fresh Air Outdoor Play Summit in Ottawa – an open-air conference where outdoor play thought leaders, practitioners, researchers, and policy-makers gathered to exchange knowledge and best practices for promoting outdoor play.
Outdoor Play Canada has a vision that outdoor play is a valuable part of daily life for all people living in Canada. It is a new network of advocates, practitioners, researchers, and organizations working together to promote, protect, and preserve access to play in nature and the outdoors for everyone. Outdoor Play Canada is housed in the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute in Ottawa. The official sponsor of the launch is Kamik, whose mission is to bring unstructured outside free play back to families worldwide.
“With mounting evidence that Canadians are withdrawing from nature and the outdoors, and that this withdrawal is linked to many adverse health consequences, Outdoor Play Canada was conceived as an inclusive, collaborative and passionate network of leaders and enthusiasts committed to providing evidence, support and a unified voice promoting outdoor play in Canada” said Mark Tremblay, Chair of Outdoor Play Canada and Director of HALO at the CHEO Research Institute. “With the generous assistance and reach of Kamik and other partners we hope to grow our membership and impact.”
“With our #FreeYourPlay campaign, Kamik is committed in the promotion of free play for children. As such, we are proud to take concrete actions in the advancement of the free play movement by supporting the launch of Outdoor Play Canada,” said Catherine Fortier, Communications Marketing Vice President, Kamik. “In this week of Global Climate Strike, it also supports our conviction that children who accumulate positive experiences in nature will be more likely to become responsible adults, engaged in the protection of the environment”
The Breath of Fresh Air Summit is a new innovative national forum on outdoor play taking place at the Ottawa Forest and Nature School and Wesley Clover Parks Campground, located on 900 acres of land in Canada’s National Capital Region. It features inspiring keynote addresses, hands-on, in-the-forest workshops, and networking opportunities with outdoor play enthusiasts.
Outdoor Play Canada is grateful to Kamik for their support, and to the organizers of the Breath of Fresh Air Summit: the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada (CNAC), the HALO Group at the CHEO Research Institute and Earth Day Canada/EarthPLAY for facilitating the launch.
For more information on Outdoor Play Canada, or to become a member, please visit: www.outdoorplaycanada.ca.
About the CHEO Research Institute
The CHEO Research Institute coordinates the research activities of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and is affiliated with the University of Ottawa. Its three programs of research include molecular biomedicine, health information technology, and evidence to practice research. Key themes include cancer, diabetes, obesity, mental health, emergency medicine, musculoskeletal health, electronic health information and privacy, and genetics of rare disease. The CHEO Research Institute makes discoveries today for healthier kids tomorrow.
About Outdoor Play Canada
Outdoor Play Canada is a network of advocates, practitioners, researchers, and organizations working together to promote, protect, and preserve access to play in nature and the outdoors for all people living in Canada. Outdoor Play Canada provides leadership to galvanize the outdoor play movement across Canada to promote the health and wellness of Canadians and the environments in which we live.
Kamik is a leading footwear and apparel manufacturer on a mission to bring unstructured moments of Outside Free Play back to families worldwide. Kamik creates a complete line of comfortable, Northern-inspired versatile footwear and apparel for the whole family. Rugged, dependable, and durable, these products keep playful feet dry and warm year-round, from the first spring puddle jumps to the last wintry snowball fight. Kamik’s Montreal-based parent company, Genfoot, boasts a century-long history and about 400 employees in its plants across Québec, Ontario and New Hampshire. Kamik footwear is available in over 10,000 outlets in more than 40 countries. Learn more at www.kamik.com and join the movement to #FreeYourPlay by following Kamik on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Stayci Keetch, CHEO Research Institute
613-737-7600, ext. 4144 | SKeetch@CHEO.on.ca