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TRO Brian Bennison Practitioner Award

The Brian Bennison Practitioner Award recipient is a TR practitioner, working in direct client service capacity, who has made significant and outstanding contributions to the field of Therapeutic Recreation through their work, advocacy and/or community involvement. The award is presented to a practitioner who has demonstrated excellence in relation to the Core Values, Standards of Practice and Scope of Practice.

2018 Award Winner

Lesley Breen, R/TRO
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Leanne Hughes, Lesley Breen, Brian Bennison

Leanne Hughes, Lesley Breen, Brian Bennison


Brian Bennison was an original TRO Board Member and spent 10 consecutive years on the TRO Board of Directors. During this time, he gave so much of himself to advance the field of Therapeutic Recreation in the province of Ontario and build the foundation for Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (TRO). When he announced he was not running again, it was decided that our first professional award would be created and named in his honour to acknowledge his contributions to the organization and the field. The Brian Bennison Practioner Award was unveiled at the TRO conference at Horseshoe Resort in 2005, a conference which Brian was the Co-Chair of. Brain returned to the TRO Board for an additional 2-year term and is currently involved with TRO as a member on the Therapeutic Recreation Provincial Education Steering Committee (TRPESC).

Past winners of this prestigious award include:

2006 Leona Leduc 2007 Bernice Miller 2008 Peggy Allin 2009 Janet Griffin 2011 Dan Houle
2012 Lynn Curley 2013 Nancy Bowers-Ivanski 2014 Shannon McCallum 2015 Rebecca Thompson, R/TRO 2016 Sara Richardson-Brown, R/TRO
2017 Sandra Berzaitis-Smith        

Nomination Criteria:

A nominee must be a Registered (R/TRO, R/TRO DIP) member of Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (TRO) and work in a direct client service capacity. Nominees may not be a present member of the Board of Directors of TRO.

The Winner Receives:

  • 1 Complimentary Registered Professional membership renewal
  • Recognition at the Annual TRO Conference Awards Ceremony Dinner (including 2 complimentary tickets)
  • TRO Certificate
  • TRO Award
  • Recognition in various TRO communications: TRO website, TRO Blog, e-TRO, etc.

Selection Process:

  • All identifying information will be removed prior to selection committee review

The Awards Sub-Committee consists of a minimum of 3 volunteers including: at least one representative from the Membership and Professional Services Committee and up to six TRO members (the TRO Communications Coordinator is an ex-officio member). It is responsible for reviewing TRO award nominations and will forward recommendations to the Membership and Professional Services Committee for approval by the TRO board of directors.

Application Instructions:

Anyone may nominate a Registered Professional member for this award. Download the award nomination form questions, complete and save on your computer. Upload your completed form (describing how your nominee meets the criteria for this award) where indicated in the award nomination form below. Complete and submit the award nomination form. 

If you have any questions about the award nomination process, please contact the Communications Coordinator at: communications@trontario.org ‚Äč


  1. THERAPEUTIC RECREATION ASSESSMENT - Utilizes an individualized and systematic process to determine individual strengths, needs, and interests of clients to establish the priorities and direction of TR intervention.
  2. THERAPEUTIC RECREATION INTERVENTION PLAN - Outlines specific strategies and modalities based on assessment results. The individualized plan is achieved via a collaborative approach including the client and support networks to attain a client-centered and outcome oriented process.
  3. THERAPEUTIC RECREATION PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT - Creates a framework for each program addressing the needs and interests of clients within the context of their environment. It is a systematic process and should include purpose, rationale, description, target population, goals, outcomes, evaluation mechanisms and resource requirements.
  4. THERAPEUTIC RECREATION PROGRAM DELIVERY - Encompasses the provision of outcome- oriented programs that reflect a continuum of care model.
  5. THERAPEUTIC RECREATION DOCUMENTATION - The written record of therapeutic recreation services, which may include initial screening, assessment report, progress report, discharge report, case review and/or intervention notes.
  6. THERAPEUTIC RECREATION EVALUATION - Involves a thorough review of therapeutic recreation assessment, intervention plan, program development and/or program delivery to illustrate and ensure the efficacy of therapeutic recreation services.
  7. THERAPEUTIC RECREATION RESEARCH - Involves a formalized analysis of the components that comprise therapeutic recreation services. Work in this area illustrates professional efficacy while contributing to the growth of therapeutic recreation as a whole.
  8. THERAPEUTIC RECREATION PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT - A commitment to ongoing involvement in upgrading personal and professional knowledge related to therapeutic recreation.
  9. THERAPEUTIC RECREATION AND COMMUNITY PRACTICE - The obligation to create opportunity for community involvement and development for clients in a variety of service delivery settings.


Thank you for your involvement in the award application process!

Select which TRO Award you are making a nomination for:

Name of Nominee

Name of Nominator