Recreation and Sport Studies

Studying, Experiencing and Facilitating Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport through Wellness and Physical Activity

Wellbeing Through Recreation- A Framework Analysis

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In 2015 the Provincial and Territorial Ministers as well as the Government of Canada endorsed the Framework for Recreation in Canada 2015, Pathways to Wellbeing. This document was the focus of my critical analysis; although it is not policy, it is significant to the recreation sector as the first step toward a cohesive path for the intent of wellbeing for Canadians in almost 30 years. The Framework was a collaborative effort between the ISRC and the CPRA, but municipalities, as primary suppliers of recreation, were not a fundamental contributor to the developmental process. Each individual community or municipality will determine which pillars or goals are a priority and implement it into their own strategic action plans.

The collaborative effort of recreation in Canada is a multi-sector initiative from urban planning to arts and culture. The multi-sector position is associated with wicked problems, which are complex multi-dimensional social issues that contradict and change while being problematic to identify[i]. The Framework does exceptionally well to combat wicked problems by acknowledging the collaborative effort needed within the sector. The term wellbeing and wellness are seemingly interchangeable, but the distinction is essential to the vision of the Framework. Wellness is profoundly associated with healthcare, while wellbeing is not exclusively physical but mental and social as well. The Framework is a significant contributor to the recreational sector and future policy development[ii].

[i] Shannon, C., Oncescu, J., & Hutchinson, S. (2016). The potential of leisure education to address the “wicked problems” prioritized in A Framework for Recreation in Canada. Leisure/Loisir, 40(3), 253–270.

[ii] Interprovincial Sport and Recreation Council, & Canadian Parks and Recreation Association. (2015). Framework For Recreation In Canada: Pathways to wellbeing, 40. Retrieved from For Recreation In Canada_EN.pdf


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