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Outdoor Play Canada Launched at Breath of Fresh Air Summit

News Item

posted by Research Admin 1 on 3 October 2019

CHEO Research Institute news, Ottawa, September 27, 2019

Outdoor Play Canada was launched today at the Breath of Fresh Air Outdoor Play Summit in Ottawa – an open-air conference where outdoor play thought leaders, practitioners, researchers, and policy-makers gathered to exchange knowledge and best practices for promoting outdoor play.

Outdoor Play Canada has a vision that outdoor play is a valuable part of daily life for all people living in Canada. It is a new network of advocates, practitioners, researchers, and organizations working together to promote, protect, and preserve access to play in nature and the outdoors for everyone. Outdoor Play Canada is housed in the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute in Ottawa. The official sponsor of the launch is Kamik, whose mission is to bring unstructured outside free play back to families worldwide.

“With mounting evidence that Canadians are withdrawing from nature and the outdoors, and that this withdrawal is linked to many adverse health consequences, Outdoor Play Canada was conceived as an inclusive, collaborative and passionate network of leaders and enthusiasts committed to providing evidence, support and a unified voice promoting outdoor play in Canada” said Mark Tremblay, Chair of Outdoor Play Canada and Director of HALO at the CHEO Research Institute. “With the generous assistance and reach of Kamik and other partners we hope to grow our membership and impact.”

“With our #FreeYourPlay campaign, Kamik is committed in the promotion of free play for children. As such, we are proud to take concrete actions in the advancement of the free play movement by supporting the launch of Outdoor Play Canada,” said Catherine Fortier, Communications Marketing Vice President, Kamik. “In this week of Global Climate Strike, it also supports our conviction that children who accumulate positive experiences in nature will be more likely to become responsible adults, engaged in the protection of the environment”

The Breath of Fresh Air Summit is a new innovative national forum on outdoor play taking place at the Ottawa Forest and Nature School and Wesley Clover Parks Campground, located on 900 acres of land in Canada’s National Capital Region. It features inspiring keynote addresses, hands-on, in-the-forest workshops, and networking opportunities with outdoor play enthusiasts.

Outdoor Play Canada is grateful to Kamik for their support, and to the organizers of the Breath of Fresh Air Summit: the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada (CNAC), the HALO Group at the CHEO Research Institute and Earth Day Canada/EarthPLAY for facilitating the launch.