Outstanding TR Practitioner Award

Award Description

Formerly the Brian Bennison Practitioner Award.

The Outstanding TR 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.


Formerly the Brian Bennison Practitioner Award.

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).

Nomination Criteria
  1. A nominee must be a Registered (R/TRO) member of TRO
  2. Works in a direct client service capacity
  3. Nominees may not be a current member of the Board of Directors of TRO
  4. Anyone may nominate a Registered Professional member for this award
Selection Process

The Awards Sub-Committee consists of a minimum of three volunteers including: at least one representative from the Professional Development 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 for approval to 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.

Previous Winners
  • 2023: Chelsea Lazar
  • 2021: Lindsay Passfield-Leu
  • 2020: Beverly Farrell
  • 2019: Shelagh Keesmaat
  • 2018: Lesley Breen
  • 2017: Sandra Berzaitis-Smith
  • 2016: Sara Richardson-Brown
  • 2015: Rebecca Thompson
  • 2014: Shannon McCallum
  • 2013: Nancy Bowers-Ivanski
  • 2012: Lynn Curley
  • 2011: Dan Houle
  • 2009: Janet Griffin
  • 2008: Peggy Allin
  • 2007: Bernice Miller
  • 2006: Leona Leduc

The Winner Receives

  1. One Complimentary membership renewal
  2. Professional Contribution points for initial Registration (R/TRO) application (awarded = 3, nominated = 2, to a maximum total of 4 points)
  3. Recognition at the Annual TRO Conference Awards Ceremony
  4. Recognition on the TRO website, newsletter, and social media

Nominations closed on February 29, 2024

Established in 1999, Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (TRO) is the only professional association that represents Therapeutic Recreation practitioners in the province.

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