Speakers

Dr. Mariana Brussoni​

Dr. Mariana Brussoni

University of British Columbia

Dr. Mariana Brussoni is a developmental psychologist, Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the School of Population and Public Health, and the newly appointed Director of the Human Early Learning Partnership at the University of British Columbia. She is an investigator with the British Columbia Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the British Columbia Injury Research & Prevention Unit. Mariana investigates child injury prevention and children’s risky play, focusing on parent and caregiver perceptions of risk, and design of outdoor play-friendly environments.

Heather Cowie

Heather Cowie

City of Fort Saskatchewan

Heather Cowie is the General Manager of Community and Protective Services with the City of Fort Saskatchewan. Prior to that she was with the City of Calgary where she was instrumental in bringing the 2017 International Play Association Conference to that city and co-created the Mobile Adventure Playground and the Play Charter with amazing Parks and Recreation staff in Calgary. Heather is currently the President of the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association and a proud founding member of Outdoor Play Canada. She is an avid supporter of anything play for children and youth and believes strongly in the power of partnerships and collaborations.

Ryerson University

Dr. Raktim Mitra is an Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning and co-Director of TransForm Research Laboratory at Ryerson University. He completed his PhD in Urban Planning in 2011 from the University of Toronto, and is currently affiliated with the Department of Geography and Programs in Environment at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) as an Associate Professor (status only). Raktim’s teaching and research explores the intersection between the neighbourhood environment, mobility behaviour and wellbeing. His current research programs and publications focus more specifically on walking, cycling and playing in urban neighbourhoods. Raktim is the co-editor of a recently published book titled Transport and Children’s Wellbeing, which summarizes 10+ years of his research on this topic. In recent years, he has collaborated with school boards and community-based organizations in delivering and evaluating play-based programming at schools and within Toronto’s neighbourhoods. Raktim is also leading a major multi-institutional collaboration called StudentMoveTO – a partnership between 10 universities and colleges in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area- that focuses on transportation behaviour, mobility challenges and wellbeing of post-secondary students. 

Dr. Rakim Mitra

Dr. Frank Welsh

Canadian Public Health Association (retired)

Dr. Frank Welsh recently retired from his post as Director of Policy for the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) where he was responsible for developing policy alternatives and supporting advocacy on public health issues. Prior to joining CPHA, Frank held managerial and Director-level positions with the Federal government, and worked in science-based regulatory and policy development, business and strategic planning, emergency preparedness and response, and management of science-based organizations. He began his career as a research scientist. Frank holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Manitoba, Masters and Doctoral degrees from Cornell University, and a Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Ottawa.

Dr. Frank Welsh

Dr. Mark Tremblay

Dr. Mark Tremblay

Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute​

Dr. Mark Tremblay is a Senior Scientist with the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research (HALO) Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute and Professor of Pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, President of the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance, Founder of the Sedentary Behaviour Research Network, Chair of Outdoor Play Canada, and Adjunct/Visiting Professor at five other universities on four continents. Dr. Tremblay has published more than 440 scientific papers and book chapters in the areas of childhood obesity, physical activity measurement, exercise physiology, sedentary physiology and health surveillance. 

Dr. Louise de Lannoy

Outdoor Play Canada

Dr. Louise de Lannoy completed her PhD at Queen’s University in 2019 in clinical exercise physiology. Her interests in population health and knowledge translation led her to join the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Team at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in 2020 through which she now manages Outdoor Play Canada. She can’t believe her luck in finding such a joyous and satisfying form of work! Outside of OPC, Louise enjoys exploring Ottawa by running/cycling/skiing through it and winding down at the end of the day on the couch with a glass of wine, her partner Jeff, and their puppy. 

Dr. Louise de Lannoy

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