Our History

The BCTRA originated as a sub-group in a voluntary Therapeutic Recreation registration program within the Recreation Integration Branch of the BC Recreation and Parks Association. On February 22, 1990, this group voted to form a separate organization to represent the professional needs of therapeutic recreation professionals

Foundations of the BCTRA
  • The BCTRA was incorporated under the Societies Act on June 17, 1991. The first AGM was held September 19, 1991, and the first executive was elected.
  • Philosophy, Bylaws and Constitution developed in 1990
  • Logo & tag line established “as a profession we can move mountains” in 1991
  • First Therapeutic Recreation Week implemented in BC in 1992
  • Code of Ethics adopted in 1994
  • Continuing Education Units implemented in 1994
  • First Recognition Awards distributed in 1995
TR Profession & Regulation
  • Regulation Task Force formed in 2003 to seek title protection under the Societies Act, the establishment of a professional College and a registration process
  • In 2003, legal advice regarding title protection prompted changes including a change of title to Therapeutic Recreation Practitioner (abb. TRP), clearly defined professional membership criteria with specific courses identified & a mechanism for receiving/handling complaints along with the creation of a disciplinary process. These changes were completed in 2004. We were also advised that we must represent 60 percent of all TR practitioners in BC.
  • In 2004, changes in the Health Protection Act limited the ability of BCTRA to seek title protection under the Societies Act
  • The 2006 CTRA Standards of Practice & Competencies were adopted to replace the 1998 BCTRA Standards of Practice
  • CTRA endorsed official negotiations with the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification in 2007
  • In 2011 a Director of Regulation replaced the Director of Advocacy on the board
  • In 2012 a Standardized Recreation Therapist Job Description was created and available on the website for use by practitioners and potential employers
  • In 2014 the Regulations Task Group was re-formed to provide recommendations for advancing Therapeutic Recreation in the pursuit of safe, competent and ethical practice as well as steps towards certification, regulation and licensure
  • 2015 Regulation Task Group Key Terms: Licensure/Regulation paper completed
  • 2016 Certification and Regulation Q&A document completed
  • In 2020 BCTRA submitted a response to the BC gov’t’s proposal to reconfigure regulatory colleges including the creation of a new umbrella regulatory college, Health & Care Professions
Research Focus
  • Series of research workshops offered in 2010 including “Research 202: Moving ahead with TR research projects” by Dr. Colleen Reid to increase practitioners’ comfort with the research process
  • In 2011, Dr. Colleen Reid facilitated a TR week workshop, Building a TR Research Culture in TR Education (and Beyond), using videoconferencing for the first time for members from Vancouver Island, Prince George, and Kelowna
  • Therapeutic Recreation Journal (TRJ) – online version subscription in 2011 giving members access to annual issues and archived materials
  • Research Network was formed in 2011 – comprised of members who expressed interest in undertaking a research project with Dr. Colleen Reid
  • Research Network project was published in 2013 in the Therapeutic Recreation Journal “Using Community-Based Research to Explore Common Language and Shared Identity in the Therapeutic Recreation Profession in British Columbia, Canada” Colleen J. Reid, Anna Landy and Paloma Leon
  • Membership survey conducted to understand current membership needs, areas for improvement and areas where potential has been so far untapped
  • Framework for Recreation in Canada workshop: facilitated by: Dr. Susan Hutchinson (Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia) was held at Sunny Hill Care Centre on February 12, 2016
  • Promising Practices in Therapeutic Recreation Related to the Framework for Recreation in Canada research project launched in 2016.
  • Annual Student Research Night initiated in 2016 with Douglas College
Strategic Planning and Strategic Brand Positioning
  • New Mission Statement was adopted in 2013
  • Strategic Plan development began in 2015 at AGM. Members participated in person and by video conference in an open space technology session facilitated by Roy Johnson, Neutral Zone Coaching & Consulting Services Inc
  • BCTRA Open Space Technology Report 2016 was written by Student Liaison, Amanda Murphy based on the 2015 strategic plan development session
  • In 2017, work began on 2018 – 2020 Strategic Plan with data from the Open Space Technology Report 2016 & facilitated by Patricia Evans & Associates
  • In 2018, the BCTRA Strategic Brand Positioning Guide was facilitated and developed with Karley Cunningham from Big Bold Brand.
  • In 2022, the Strategic Plan 22-24 was revised with the assistance of Patricia Evans & Associates
Postsecondary Education
  • Douglas College Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation started in Sept. 2006
Promotional & Advocacy efforts
  • In 2000, the first website was launched; website redesigns in 2012 & 2020
  • In 2000 – Celebrating 10 Progressive Years Vision in Action!
  • First promotion brochure issued in 2001
  • New logo and tag line in 2004: “Leisure, Recreation and Play…building blocks of health and wellness”
  • In 2014, Social Media Age began with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
  • Facebook group reached 194 members in 2015 and in 2017 there were 111 followers on Instagram
  • In 2016, posted the first edition of the new on-line newsletter
  • In 2016, new TR posters created, mailed to members and posted on the website
  • 25th Anniversary Awards Dinner held on October 21, 2016, Holiday Inn, Metrotown was a ‘sold out’ event with students, active and retired practitioners
  • On June 23, 2016, Brenda Kinch, Jackie Angel, Meghan Brooks & Geri Paterson,  of the TR Seniors Advocacy Group met with BC Seniors’ Advocate, Isobel Mackenzie, to advance the case for TR services for older adults
  • In 2019 – a refreshed, new logo and a series of 3 practice area brochures that made the case for TR in Rehab, Mental Health and LTC, 3 companion case stories and a trifold introduction to TR were developed with Big Bold Brand
  • In 2022, an Advocacy section was added to the Homepage of the BCTRA website
  • In 2003 reduced student fees to increase inclusion and build future membership
  • In 2004 new graduate fees are half price in first year after graduation
  • As of March 30, 2012, new applicants must hold a TR degree to qualify for professional membership.
  • Membership fees increase in 2012 by $25 – $210 for Professional; $110 for Supporter memberships
  • In 2014 membership fees for new graduates were re-established
  • In 2014, members introduced 2 motions, first, to change professional membership criteria to include TR Diploma graduates and second, to recognize graduates from the University of Calgary Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies degree program. Motions were defeated.
  • CTRA / BCTRA Joint Membership began as a trial for one year in 2008. In 2013, CTRA / BCTRA joint membership was formalized by signing a 2-year agreement
  • On June 11, 2015 at a Special General Meeting at Sunny Hill Hospital approved a Special Resolution changing professional membership to include a person who received a two-year diploma in therapeutic recreation from a Board recognized educational institution on or before December 31, 2008.
BCTRA Structure and Function
  • In 2013 Membership fees for serving Board members were waived
  • In 2014 a paid Administrative Assistant position was created providing 35 hours/month and first Administrative Assistant was hired in September
  • Regional Ambassador volunteer positions created for each region of the province to strengthen connections with all BCTRA members.
  • Restructuring Task Force – sessions held across BC to seek the members’ advice, resulting in the dissolution of Chapters and the introduction of Professional Practice Groups and a restructuring of board positions
  • TR Seniors Focus Group and Private Practice Group were formed in 2016
National TR Presence and Joint BCTRA/CTRA Conferences
  • Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association was formed in 1997
  • BCTRA hosts the 2005 9th Annual CTRA Conference in Vancouver
  • BCTRA hosts 2011 CTRA conference “Power in Process” in Whistler
  • BCTRA hosted the 2017 CTRA Conference in Kelowna.
    • BCTRA Tenth Anniversary Commemorative Booklet ‘Evolution of an Association – Honoring our past and working positively towards our future’ January 2000
    • Monique Kendrick’s (Bicknell) article in Vision and Views V.13, Issue 5, Jan – March 2005
    • Updated by Brenda Kinch in 2008 and 2016 from association records.

Updated September 2022