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History

In 1983 three energetic and concerned people joined forces to discuss therapeutic recreation issues. Darlene Nielson, Jeff Nelson and Dianne Bowtell all agreed to commit portions of their time and energy to work towards the formation of a provincial association concerning itself with the advancement of therapeutic recreation. The meeting of the founding members of the Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) was held in Red Deer, Alberta on August 7, 1985. In 1986, the membership totaled 49. They lobbied with the University of Alberta to determine the possibility of an evening class in therapeutic recreation and they also requested a certification program through the Faculty of Extension. The first therapeutic course was to be offered to non-classified students in the spring session of 1986.

In December of 1986, a meeting of ATRA developed five new goals which were prioritized. The first provincial-wide Therapeutic Recreation Week was implemented as a means of awareness in September 1986.

In 1987, the Therapeutic Recreation Association of Calgary (TRAC) disbanded and reformed as a chapter of the Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association.

In 2006, ATRA celebrated twenty years as an association. These years have been filled with many firsts …. many milestones … many celebrations … many challenges … but most of all, many committed and passionate individuals who helped us become the association we are today.

Note: If ATRA members are aware of milestones/achievements which have been missed from this list, please email and let us know so they can be added.

Highlights over the past years include:

  • President: Kari Medd    
  • Symposium: "Navigating Changes and Challenges", Edmonton    
  • Ongoing contact with Alberta Health and Wellness regarding the status of the HPA Application    
  • Ongoing contact with educational institutions to ensure that students are able to meet entry to practice criteria upon graduation    
  • New poster designed for TR Week    
  • Published and distributed the Copentency Profile    
  • Membership: 422
  • President: Kari Medd    
  • Symposium: "ATRA‐ Growing Forward" with Dr. Rodney Dieser, Calgary.    
  • Members are now able to carry over 10 CEU’s from the previous year    
  • Development of an ATRAbute committee to solicit articles and adhere to copy write rules. The ATRAbute will be mailed out twice a year; in the spring and fall.    
  • Development of three Professional Advancement Committees delegated to different chapters: Membership Review (Central), Continuing Education - Continued Competency (North-Edmonton) and Supervision and Delegation to Assistants/Aides (North-Grande Prairie)    
  • Published and distributed the Competency Profile as an exerpt from the application to the Health Professions Act    
  • Membership: 393
  • President: Lorraine Grover & Kari Medd    
  • Symposium: TR from the Grass Roots ‐ A Frank Discussion with Dr David Austin, Creator of the Health Protection/Health Promotion Model, Calgary    
  • ATRA’s HPA application was submitted    
  • ATRA head office was set‐up in the In‐Definite Arts building in Calgary    
  • Membership: 382
  • President: Lorraine Grover    
  • Symposium: "Health & Wellbeing: Moving Beyond the Medical Model" with Dr. Colleen Hood, Edmonton    
  • New ATRA brochure, promoting the benefits of recreational therapy, designed and posted on the ATRA website    
  • Bow Valley College contacted ATRA to assist in the development of their Recreation Therapy Assistant program    
  • Membership: 347
  • President: Lorraine Grover
  • Symposium: Ready, Set, Rec-R-8,Edmonton    
  • Supporting membership category is renamed “Associate Membership”    
  • Work continues on finalizing the application for professional designation under the Health Professions Act    
  • New website is designed and launched with the assistant of website design firm Red Engine    
  • Membership: 355
  • President: Jane Crawford    
  • Symposium: Promoting Health & Wellness through Therapeutic Recreation with John Shank & Katherine Coyle, Calgary    
  • Paraprofessional membership category is eliminated    
  • ATRA signs a joint membership agreement with CTRA    
  • Membership: 300
  • President: Jane Crawford    
  • Symposium: Assessment 101 with Norma Stumbo, Sienna Boothman and Marita Kloseck, Calgary    
  • ATRA is 20 years old!!    
  • First 20 year members are celebrated    
  • CTRA has their 10th anniversary    
  • Membership: 301
  • President: Jane Crawford    
  • ATRA co-hosts the International Symposium on Active Leisure for Citizens with Disabilities in Edmonton    
  • Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (TRO) Standards of Practice are purchased and adopted by ATRA membership    
  • Membership: 291
  • President: Jane Crawford    
  • Symposium: Therapeutic Recreation-Opening Doors, Edmonton    
  • Workshop held with Dr. Rod Dieser inCalgary    
  •  Jon Pascoe hired as consultant for the HPA application    
  • Membership: 288
  • President: Glenda Heale    
  • Symposium is held in Lethbridge    
  • Non-Practising Professional membership category is added    
  • Membership: 295
  • President: Glenda Heale    
  • ATRA hosts the CTRA Conference in Calgary    
  • ATRA members vote to make application to the Health Professions Act    
  • Heightening Our Profession (HOP) Committee is struck    
  • New logo is adopted by the association and the ATRA slogan is changed to “Living Well … Being Healthy”    
  • TR Marketing Toolkit is developed and marketed acrossCanada    
  • Membership: 271
  • President: Glenda Heale    
  • Symposium: Bloom Where You Are Planted, Edmonton    
  • Members vote to establish CEU program    
  • Membership: 262

2000

  • President: Glenda Heale    
  • Symposium: TREK-ing into the Future, Calgary    
  • Strategic Plan developed    
  • North West Peace ATRA Chapter closes    
  • Membership: 247
  • President: Tony Spencer    
  • Symposium: Celebrating Memories & Dreams, Calgary    
  • ATRA Board is restructured, positions are eliminated    
  • Membership: 280
  • President: Tony Spencer    
  • Workshop: Benefits Driven Recreation with Carol Petersen, Calgary    
  •  ATRA adopts the slogan “Wellness through Leisure”    
  • New Standards of Practice are adopted    
  • Website launched  
  • Membership: 267
  • President: Cheryl Prediger    
  • ATRA hosts the 5th International Therapeutic Recreation Symposium, Edmonton    
  • Workshop on Assessments & Protocols with Joan Burlingame    
  • 50th Issue of the ATRAbute is published    
  • Membership: 203
  • President: Renate Sainsbury    
  • Symposium: Leisure Links-Partnerships for Change, Edmonton    
  • Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association is launched inToronto    
  • 10 year membership awards are presented    
  • Membership: 202
  • President: Susan Bury    
  • Symposium: Leisure Links-Recreating Community Opportunities, Edmonton    
  • Regional Health Authorities are developed inAlberta, affecting many ATRA members    
  • Office space is officially leased
  • President: Patti Balance    
  • Symposium: Tracking the Trends, Calgary    
  • The ATRAbute is revamped    
  • Paraprofessional membership category is established    
  • New criteria for professional membership is adopted
  • President: Beth Velde    
  • Symposium: Creativity – Open Your Mind to the Possibility, Banff    
  • Paraprofessional Director position added to the board    
  • On behalf of ATRA, Darlene Murphy and Beth Velde present to the International Therapeutic Recreation Symposium inToronto, beginning the formation of the CTRA    
  • Membership: 194
  • President: Jill Kelland    
  • Symposium: Focusing for the Future, Edmonton    
  • Student mentor program established    
  • Formal registration structure established    
  • Membership: 194
  • President: Darlene Murphy    
  • Symposium: From Segregation to Integration, Edmonton    
  • New chapter established inGrande Prairie    
  • TR Week Slogan: “Special Deeds for Special Needs”
  • President: Theresa Matus    
  • Symposium: Identity in Harmony, Calgary    
  • Five year strategic plan was adopted    
  • Membership: 251
  • President: Sue Hatfield-Cusano    
  • Symposium: Recreation Therapy Unfolding, Calgary    
  • Membership criteria established at the AGM    
  • Standards of Practice and Philosophical Statement were adopted    
  • Professional Awards established    
  • Membership: 186
  • President: Starr Kolb    
  • Symposium: Upward Through Leisure, Lethbridge    
  • First application to the Health Disciplines Act (application denied)    
  • Code of Ethics was accepted    
  • Membership: 145
  • President: Dianne Bowtell    
  • Symposium: Enhancing Health Care with guest Dr. Carol Stensrud, Edmonton    
  • Therapeutic Recreation Association of Calgary becomes an ATRA Chapter    
  • First policies & procedures were written    
  • Membership: 140