Outdoor play is a valued part of daily life for all people living in Canada.
Outdoor Play Canada is a growing network of leaders and organizations working together to galvanize an outdoor play movement across Canada.
Outdoor play is a valued part of daily life for all people living in 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.
The history of outdoor play advocacy, practice and research in Canada is diverse and strong. Recently, there has been a marked increase in multi-sector efforts to align our work and build a movement together. This timeline captures only some of the pivotal way points and events that are contributing to our momentum. It is important for the outdoor play story in Canada to honour the work of leaders who have paved the way, to build on each other's work and respect the cultural and historical relevance of all of our work.
The inaugural Outdoor Play Canada Awards are awarded: (1) Honour Award: The Lawson Foundation, (2) Dr. Mariana Brussoni Award: Dr. Mariana Brussoni, (3) Policy Award: The City of Calgary, Parks and Recreation, (4) Practice Award: Maple Ridge Environmental School, (5) Research Award: Dr. Ian Janssen, (6) Youth Award: Chloe Dragon Smith.
Outdoor Play Canada is launched at the Breath of Fresh Air Outdoor Play Summit in Ottawa.
The first Canadian Outdoor Play Summit takes place at the Ottawa Forest and Nature School, and Wesley Clover Parks Campground.
Lawson Foundation hosts the Outdoor Play & Early Learning Policy Research Invitational Symposium in Toronto.
The Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health (CCMOH) Statement supports and endorses the Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play developed by a coalition of organizations in 2015, which states: ``Access to active play in nature and outdoors-with its risks-is essential for healthy child development. We recommend increasing children's opportunities for self-directed play outdoors in all settings-at home, at school, in child care, the community and nature.``
A Common Vision for Increasing Physical Activity and Reducing Sedentary Living in Canada: Let’s Get Moving is released in May, 2018 by the Government of Canada.
Gathering Strength: Framework for Recreation in Canada Forum, Regina - May 8-10, Canadian Parks and Recreation Association.
Parks for All, An Action Plan for Canada’s Parks Community embeds outdoor play within some strategic action items as an essential part of strengthening children’s connection to nature. Canadian Parks Council and Canadian Parks and Recreation Association.
#Nature4All in Canada was formed as a collaborative of partners working together to advance the #nature4all movement in Canada. Outdoor Play Canada is a contributor to this collective impact model.
Unleashing the Power of Play 20th International Play Association (IPA) Triennial World Conference, Calgary - Sept. 13-16
Moving Research to Action for Healthy Kids Children’s Health and the Environment Workshop and Symposium, London, ON - June 26-28
Children Need Nature, Nature Needs Kids, Child and Nature Network International Conference, Vancouver, B.C.
Parks, Protected Areas, Open Spaces and Public Places, Canadian Parks Conference - Banff, AB. Keynotes and workshops focused on health, nature and play.
Formation of Outdoor Play Canada, a growing network of multi-sector leaders working collaboratively to grow the outdoor play movement in Canada.
Ontario Trillium Foundation invests in the development of Outdoor Play Canada through the collective impact stream of funding.
Initial development of the Outdoor Play Strategic Impact Plan.
Canadian Outdoor Play Working Group transitions to design a collective impact model and process with national scope and provincial application in Ontario.
Ontario Trillium Foundation funds an initial stage of an Outdoor Play Collective Impact project.
Canadian Parks Summit - Canmore, AB - Parks for All document drafted. Canadian Outdoor Play Working Group provides input to include the role of outdoor play as integral for building a child’s connection with nature.
Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology released the report, Obesity in Canada - A Whole of Society Approach for a Healthier Canada, including a few recommendations to encourage and enable outdoor play.
Lawson Foundation Outdoor Play Strategy launched, with an initial investment of $2.7 million between 2013-2018 in outdoor play initiatives across Canada. The Lawson Foundation's total investment in outdoor play has now reached almost $5 million.
Supreme Court of British Columbia accepted the Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play and 2015 ParticipACTION Report Card as ‘social fact’ and ‘authority’ evidence and ruled in favour of the District of Saanich that it was not negligent in a case involving a child and outdoor play (a game of grounders).
Position Statement Strategic Planning Meeting - Ottawa, ON. Position Statement on Outdoor Active Play partners and community experts identified stakeholder gaps & a dissemination strategy.
Release of the Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play.
Release of the ParticipACTION 2015 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth.
Provincial and Territorial Ministers endorsed and the Government of Canada supported the Framework for Recreation in Canada 2015. The announcement took place at the 2015 Conference of Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers responsible for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation.
Position Statement Working Group initiated the Position Statement draft process at Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto, lead by Dr. Mark Tremblay and the CHEO-HALO research group.
Child care legislation in all provinces and territories require the provision of designated outdoor play space for licensed early learning and care programs.
Recreation Framework Summit - Toronto. Endorsement of A Framework for Recreation in Canada 2015 – Pathways to Wellbeing.
Systematic reviews initiated to gather evidence: 1. What is the relationship between outdoor time and physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and physical fitness in children? 2. What is the relationship between risky outdoor play and health in children?
Canadian Parks Council releases the report, Connecting Canadians with Nature.
Canadian Injury Prevention & Safety Promotion Conference – Montreal - pre conference workshop Risky Play Symposium, As safe as possible or as safe as necessary - can injury prevention include healthy risk promotion? The resulting paper was published, Can child injury prevention include healthy risk promotion?
Active Canada 20/20 National Roundtable - New Brunswick. Active Play Action Group formed.
Committee on the Rights of the Child provides General comment No. 17 (2013) on the right of the child to rest, leisure, play, recreational activities, cultural life and the arts (art. 31).
Right in Principle, Right in Practice, Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Canada, Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children.
Active Canada 20/20, the national physical activity sector strategic plan, was launched and includes references to the need for ‘spontaneous’ play within the context of physical activity.
Is Active Play Extinct?, Active Healthy Kids Canada 2012 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth includes the outdoor and nature indicator and highlights play as an essential part of child and youth physical activity levels.
Healthy by Nature Conference - multi-sector dialogue to support the connection between human health and nature. Vancouver, BC.
Healthy Children Healthy Spaces Conference - Ottawa, ON. Hosted an indicator workshop for the development of an outdoor and nature indicator to be included in the 2011 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card.
Canada ratifies United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
To be the unified voice of leadership on outdoor play in Canada.
To create and maintain an inclusive collaborative network of partners for outdoor play.
To build knowledge and understanding of the benefits and barriers of outdoor play.
To develop and share practical tools and resources to promote, provide and facilitate outdoor play.
To advance policy/system-level change to strengthen support for outdoor play.
To re-establish habitual outdoor play as a cultural trademark for Canada.
The goals and activities of Outdoor Play Canada will:
Leverage collective strengths, expertise and reach
Represent diverse sectors and roles
Align “bottom-up and top-down” perspectives
Promote equity and access for all
Be attentive to outdoor play opportunities across the lifespan
Be action oriented
With support from the Lawson Foundation and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Outdoor Play Canada was formed as a collaborative multi-sector network of researchers, practitioners, leaders, educators and advocates committed to increasing every child’s opportunity for outdoor play.
Through knowledge mobilization, we want to connect and align efforts by sharing resources, tools, training, research and stories. This hub is designed to be an evidence-informed ‘north star’ to support child-centred decision making in our communities and sectors.
Our founding partners include: