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The importance of supporting our community members to pursue recreational activities has never been clearer than it is right now! The pandemic has taken its toll on every Canadian. However, it has disproportionately affected vulnerable groups, including women, girls, and gender diverse people.

As we look for ways to enhance the physical, mental and social well-being of these groups, recreation can play an important role. CPRA is presenting four FREE workshops, each on a different aspect of gender equity and recreation facility use and design, as part of the suite of CPRA resources focused on gender equity in recreational sport.

The series strives to build organizational capacity in four areas: organizational culture change and shared commitment, creative community engagement, facility design to attract and encourage use, and evaluating outcomes.

These interactive Zoom sessions are based on research to determine the topics of greatest interest to recreation practitioners and an understanding of the current situation in Canada. The workshops will include:

  • Overall facilitation by a renowned Canadian expert.
  • Content based on research and input from recreation practitioners.
  • Success stories and examples to bring the topic to life.
  • A focus on addressing women and gender diverse individuals in a variety of leadership roles, and measures of success for each topic.
  • Pre-workshop materials to prepare participants for the group session on each specific workshop topic.
  • Discussion among participants and questions for the experts.

Each workshop will host up to 40 people to provide an interactive learning experience. Sign up for one or all of the sessions. A waitlist will be available once all sessions are filled.

Who should attend?

  • Recreation practitioners from organizations such as municipal recreation departments, Boys & Girls Clubs, YM/YWCAs or private recreational sport facilities.
  • Representatives from organizations that make or influence decisions regarding:
    • The allocation of program space.
    • Design features of a recreational sport facility, both inside and outside.
    • Staff and volunteer recruitment.
    • Program development and promotion.
    • Organizational policies.

What else do you need to know?

  • It is recommended that each interested organization complete the “Temperature Check” self- assessment tool in advance of registering for one or more workshops to help determine where their current capacity in gender equity lies.
  • If more than one person from your organization would like to attend, we encourage you to register as an organization and attend the training as a team to ensure for the greatest number of organizations to attend.
  • Workshops will take place in English with slide presentations available in French. Bilingual workshops are planned for the new year.
  • Prior to the workshop, you will receive a package of information including some pre-workshop questions to complete. Your responses will help us customize the session to participants as much as possible.

The CPRA Gender Equity project is supported by Sport Canada to achieve gender equity in sport at every level by 2035 (Government of Canada, Budget 2018). This project is designed to increase the recruitment and retention of women, girls and gender diverse individuals in recreation and sport.




The schedule and topics are as follows:

WORKSHOP #1: Gender Equity in Recreational Sport – Creating a Strong Culture and Shared Commitment

Monday, October 4, 2021
12:00 – 3:00 P.M. (ET)
Facilitator: Claire Tucker-Reid

Organizational culture is the collection of values, expectations, and practices that guide and inform the actions of the organization. A great culture exemplifies positive traits that lead to improved performance, while a dysfunctional company culture brings out qualities that can hinder even the most successful organizations. The atmosphere or climate in a recreation facility will set the tone for the recruitment and retention of participants, as well as volunteers and staff.

This workshop will focus on three specific topics regarding organizational support for girls, women and gender diverse individuals:

  • Creating a Welcoming Environment (apart from the physical infrastructure, which will be addressed in the Facility Design workshop).
  • Intersectionality.
  • Social Hubs and Disrupting Social Norms.

International and Canadian examples will be shared, and many opportunities will be provided for questions and discussion.

WORKSHOP #2: Gender Equity in Recreational Sport – Who are the People in Your Neighbourhood?

Thursday, October 14, 2021
12:00 – 3:00 P.M. (ET)
Facilitator: Claire Tucker-Reid

Many women, girls, and gender diverse individuals in communities across Canada are not engaged in recreation and sport for a variety of reasons. This workshop will explore non-traditional ways of understanding the community and, specifically, those who do not typically participate in recreation. Further, the workshop will focus on the creative engagement of partners to optimize recruitment and retention of those women and girls who are not currently participating in local recreational sport. This could mean the coordination and collaboration in a community that maximizes opportunities for participation across facilities and programs.

WORKSHOP #3: Gender Equity in Recreational Sport – Understanding How Facility Design Can Attract and Encourage Use by Girls, Women and Gender-Diverse Individuals

Monday, November 1, 2021
12:00 – 3:00 P.M. (ET)
Facilitator: Mary Chow

Awareness around diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and equity is evolving and changing the physical environment that forms the backdrop for sport and recreation. In the development of designs that consider all humans, making the case for girls, women, and gender diverse individuals can positively impact participation in programming offered at facilities and help overcome the barriers that often deter participation.

This workshop will focus on two key components related to gender equity and the design of recreation facilities:

  • Facility infrastructure design that is universal (“gender mainstreaming”) and/or gender-friendly in nature.
  • Methods to “make the case” for facility design changes in support of gender equity to a variety of stakeholders (e.g., funders, current participants, senior volunteers and staff).

Examples of many types of facilities will be shared as well as the opportunity for questions and discussion.

WORKSHOP #4: Gender Equity in Recreational Sport – Evaluating Outcomes Using the Best Questions and Data

Wednesday, December 8, 2021
12:00 – 3:00 P.M. (ET)
Facilitator: Nancy Dubois

Gathering and understanding the results of your efforts to address gender equity in your recreational sport organization and sharing these findings in the most appropriate way(s) with stakeholders is fundamental to sound program planning. This workshop will focus on OUTCOME evaluation in general with specific application to gender equity initiatives and understanding the impact of this work. A six-step framework to evaluation will be accompanied by practical worksheets and relevant gender equity examples shared. Discussion among participants and questions will be encouraged.

For more information, please email To register, use the links provided in each of the workshop descriptions above.


Claire Tucker-Reid. Claire Tucker-Reid, President of Tucker Reid & Associates is highly experienced in defining and building corporate, departmental and group cultures, values, and behaviours. Claire has just completed a chapter in a book sponsored by the Global Leadership Institute entitled Courageous Women in Leadership. The book is a compilation of women’s experiences in leadership reflecting international perspectives. Claire was asked to contribute based on her work to amalgamate six municipalities and two levels of government to form the City of Toronto as well as her role in non-traditional leadership roles. She has completed over 200 service delivery, organizational effectiveness studies, and related strategies in her work as a consultant and has found that defining a culture and respective values and behaviours can create much stronger cohesion in an organization. The use of appreciative enquiry, early adapters, champions, and charters of engagement can all be tools to build a proactive and innovative organization. A culture to support female participation must garner strong beliefs in equity by all involved. Claire has also been engaged in strengthening the ability of communities to respond to social issues from many fronts – as a practitioner, a community advocate, as well as a consultant to municipalities, politicians, and not-for-profit organizations. She has a passion for the subject matter and her first protest march for women’s rights was at Parliament Hill at 18 years of age. She has developed many strategies and related policies on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and engaging all related stakeholders is job one. While there are many other multi-layered interventions that can be effective, Claire believes that the readiness and beliefs of the organization, having a mandate, a champion, the willingness of staff to “jump over their desk” and get engaged with the community and making small, measured wins as a collective can all be part of a winning strategy.

Mary Chow. Mary is an Architect and Associate Vice President with HDR who has dedicated the last 15+ years of her career to designing recreation facilities. Firmly believing that community amenities must serve the stakeholders and demographics for which they are created for, she truly engages the users and thoughtfully implements the best solutions into her work. Mary’s track record of Facility of Excellence awards is proof that she places client and community needs first. In addition to local venues, Mary has traveled internationally to give presentations on various issues related to community facility design, universal design and how community engagement is being integrated into the architectural process. In the past few years, she has spoken at the Athletics Business Conference in Florida and New Orleans, the IAKS (International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities) Congress in Germany, and the TAFISA (The Association for International Sport for All) World Congress in The Netherlands.

Nancy Dubois. Nancy was an award-winning physical activity promoter for 35 years and a Planning and Evaluation Consultant for over 20 years, most often with clients in the public health, recreation and not-for-profit sectors. She has trained hundreds of professionals in evaluation through her work with the (former) Health Communication Unit at the University of Toronto and has conducted evaluations for organizations across Canada, often in conjunction with their program and/or strategic planning. Nancy has been one of the Lead Consultants for this CPRA Gender Equity project.

Gender Equity in Recreational Sport Workshop Series: Optimizing Facility Use

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