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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.

2021 Award Winner

Lindsay Passfield-Leu, Osgoode Home Care


Brian Bennison was a founding 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 built 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 for which Brian was the Co-Chair. Brian returned to the TRO Board for an additional two-year term. He is currently involved with TRO as a member on the Therapeutic Recreation Provincial Education Steering Committee (TRPESC).

Past winners of this prestigious award include:

2020 Beverly Farrell, R/TRO
2019 Shelagh Keesmaat, R/TRO
2018 Lesley Breen, R/TRO
2017 Sandra Berzaitis-Smith
2016 Sara Richardson-Brown, R/TRO
2015 Rebecca Thompson, R/TRO
2014 Shannon McCallum, R/TRO
2013 Nancy Bowers-Ivanski
2012 Lynn Curley
2011 Dan Houle
2009 Janet Griffin
2008 Peggy Allin
2007 Bernice Miller
2006 Leona Leduc

Nomination Criteria:

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

The Winner Receives:

  • One Complimentary Registered Professional membership renewal
  • Professional Contribution points for initial Registration (R/TRO, R/TRO DIP) application (awarded = 4, nominated = 2, to a maximum total of 6 points)
  • Recognition at the Annual TRO Conference Awards Ceremony Dinner (including two complimentary tickets)
  • TRO Award Plaque
  • Recognition in various TRO communications: TRO website, e-TRO newsletter, social media, etc.

Selection Process:

The Awards Sub-Committee consists of a minimum of three volunteers including: at least one representative from the Membership Services Committee and up to six TRO members (TRO's Communications Coordinator is an ex-officio member). It is responsible for reviewing TRO award nominations and will forward recommendations to the Membership Services Committee for approval by the TRO board of directors. The selection committee will identify if there is a conflict of interest with any of the award categories, any persons with a conflict of interest will not be part of the discussion and decision-making process for that award. 

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. Download Brian Bennison Practitioner Award Nomination Form Questions
  • The nominator must provide a maximum of two letters of reference for the nominee. Please email reference letters directly to communications@trontario.org.
  • Additional supporting documentation is encouraged and may also be submitted by email to communications@trontario.org (e.g., articles, news releases, photos, publications, program details, and professional awards). 

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


  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