Who We Are

Who We Are

Canadian Association for Leisure Studies /

Association canadienne d'études en loisir (CALS)

CALS is an organization of Canadian and international scholars and practitioners who share an interest in recreation and leisure research and the delivery of leisure services. Its prime responsibilities are:

(1) awarding the triennial Canadian Congress on Leisure Research to organizations interested in convening it (usually universities), and (2) maintaining communication among members between Congresses.

History of our Organization

The first Canadian Congress on Leisure Research was convened in Quebec City in 1975, under the auspices of Laval University. It was conceived as a one-time event, with no conscious idea that it would become the first in a series of such congresses -- although there was discussion among some delegates about the need for a second congress perhaps five years down the road!

The success of the first Congress encouraged a group in Ontario to organize another, titled the Second Canadian Congress on Leisure Research, which was held in Toronto in 1978. It was at this Second Congress that a continuing series of conferences was first envisaged, together with the idea of a permanent organization to promote leisure research generally in Canada and, specifically, to take responsibility for the convening of the Congress.

A group of delegates met and charged a small committee, headed by Jack Ellis from York University and Bill Knott from the Ontario Government, to prepare a proposal and constitution for a formal organization, which would be presented to delegates at a Third Congress tentatively scheduled to be held a year later in Edmonton. It soon became apparent that organizing a national conference in the absence of a formal organization with permanent resources could not be done in a few months.

And so, it was not until 1981 that the Third Canadian Congress on Leisure Research convened in Edmonton. The proposal and constitution for a Canadian Association for Leisure Studies (CALS) was unanimously endorsed by delegates. The Association also settled on the triennial pattern for the convening of the Congress which had emerged for the first three congresses, since this appeared to be reasonable from a logistical standpoint. Two years later, in 1983, the Association received its Federal Charter.

    Board of Directors 2020-2023

    Meet the Board of Directors for CALS

    Dr. Dawn Trussell

    President

    Brock University, Ontario

    Dr. Paul Heintzman

    Vice-President

    University of Ottawa

    Dr. Luke Potwarka

    Treasurer

    University of Waterloo

    Dr. Darla Fortune

    Secretary

    Concordia University

    Dr. Heather Mair

    Past President

    University of Waterloo

    Dr. Rebecca Genoe

    Leisure/Loisir Editor

    University of Regina

    Devan McNeill

    Director – Student Representative

    University of Lethbridge

    Christine Ausman

    Director – Student Representative

    Dalhousie University

    Dr. Denis Auger

    Director

    Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

    Dr. Barb Hamilton-Hinch

    Director

    Dalhousie University

    Dr. Dan Henhawk

    Director

    University of Manitoba

    Dr. Fenton Litwiller

    Director

    University of Manitoba

    Dr. Kim Lopez

    Director

    University of Waterloo

    Dr. Pooneh Torabian

    Director

    University of Otago

    Dr. Richard Norman

    Director

    Ryerson University

    Past Presidents

    1981-1984 Tim Burton, University of Alberta
    1984-1987 Jack Ellis, York University
    1987-1990 Tim Burton, University of Alberta
    1990-1993 Dick Butler, University of Western Ontario
    1993-1996 Susan Shaw, University of Waterloo
    1996-1999 Ed Jackson, University of Alberta
    1999-2002 Susan Markham-Starr, Acadia University
    2002-2005 Susan Markham-Starr, Acadia University
    2005-2008 Bryan Smale, University of Waterloo
    2008-2011 Bryan Smale, University of Waterloo
    2011-2014 Bryan Smale, University of Waterloo
    2014-2017 Heather Mair, University of Waterloo
    2017-2020 Heather Mair, University of Waterloo
    2020-2023 Dawn Trussell, Brock University