Fall Edition - October 2017    

In This Issue
Message from the President
Meet the 2017 - 2018 TRAAC Board of Directors
Upcoming TRAAC Events
CTRA 2018 - Call for Papers & Poster Presentations
Meet a TRAAC Member - Nicole Gillies
Join Our Members Only Facebook Page
Join Our Mailing List!
Message from the President 
Autumn is a time for reflection. We have had an extremely fruitful and exhilarating transition as a new Board for the 2017-2018 year. During the last two seasons, our association has enjoyed a very lively spring and summer. Many volunteers work in the shadows diligently to bring to fruition a variety of initiatives that we hope will continue to strengthen and nurture our professional community.
Some highlights to mention... there is continued momentum on licensure, and we thank those dedicated professionals for volunteering their time to keep this on the table and active. We also have volunteer representation on the committee working towards national standards of practice. This is an exciting collaborative initiative with CTRA and our provincial partners sure to contribute to bolstering advancements of the profession in Canada.
Our education committee volunteers are hard at work on not one continuing educational opportunity, but two! First is a workshop this fall, organized as a joint partnership with NSRPH. This day and a half break to routine has TR practitioners coming together for innovative learning, professional networking, and celebrating successes, so plan to attend! Nominate a colleague you know for one of our awards... Crystal, Horizon, and Vanguard are all up for grabs. Nominations and registration close at the end of this week. Visit our website ( www.traac.ca ) to learn about this opportunity and CTRA's national conference heading back to Atlantic Canada, but this time in Dartmouth, NS, June 2018, hosted by both NSRPH and TRAAC! A lot of collaboration in the works between these associations! Our gratitude for such positive relations.
Speaking of relations, we wish our colleagues at NLTRA the very best with their upcoming conference this week. So thrilling to build knowledge that enhance capacity and strengthens skills. You are encouraged to join in and build connections that will strengthen your TR practice in one or all of the educational forums mention. They are planned to better our community of practice and provide evidence to the work that we all do. If there is something going on in your region of Atlantic Canada, please let us know, we love to share your stories, champion your efforts, and acknowledge your achievements.
I enjoyed representing TRAAC and our members at CTRA 2017, in Kelowna, BC. I attended with a commitment to the journey of learning, and this commitment was fortified hearing about the evidence-based practices, and how they build our learning and build our belief in the profession and us as professionals. I came away from this cross-country experience with the appreciation that growth as a profession is more about competency. That establishment of a community of practice is about collaborating, sharing, acknowledging, networking, experiencing, and strengthening connection. The field of TR must establish a community of practice that is culturally sensitive. We must listen and respond from the heart, head, and hand in our work.
In this message, I must take time to congratulate Jacqueline Connors and Alicia Dobranowski for receiving national awards and recognition for the contributions they make as an innovator and outstanding volunteer. I also wish to toast all graduating students of therapeutic recreation across Atlantic Canada and welcome any new students to the study of our field. We wish you well in the upcoming challenges that lie ahead and look forward to the contributions you will make in the field, and extend our hand as a source of support as you transition and grow as a professional.
In the final months of my term as your President turns the corner, I want to thank you all for your friendship and the passion that is felt from this professional community. My main mission has been to guide us in a direction with a clear vision for a united association. I wanted to establish a plan for steps to move us forward with clarity that focuses on opportunity, and solidarity. I personally have grown to value "momentum". This desire to make positive forward motion can make a difference both professionally and personally. Our current Board will continue to enhance communication, openness, and being accessible to our membership as the seasons of change move in and around us.
So it is said, "enjoy what you do and who you do it with." Getting involved and sharing experiences with colleagues is a priceless benefit and there are numerous opportunities within TRAAC to get involved. Please reach out to any Board member, Committee Chair, or myself personally to find out how you can play a part in our organization. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity that awaits you with your TRAAC membership.
I am delighted to work alongside our kindhearted Executive, Lynette Stevens, Vice President, Natalie Baglole, Treasurer, and Sonya Yurchesyn, Secretary. Also I am grateful for the uplifting chairs of our board; Jannick Theriault, Melissa Strachan, Alicia Dobranowski, Kate Giles, Anna Millar, Janice Arndt, and Jocelyn Blackburn.
In closing, my challenge to each of you is to take the initiative to grow personally and professionally with TRAAC in your professional tool kit. I encourage you to play with us, become engaged, become informed, and influence the changes you want to see for the profession. A step in the right direction is to attend our upcoming "special meeting" on Friday, October 27, 2017 at 7:15am just before the start of the workshop at the Veteran's Memorial Building in Halifax, NS. Please RSVP (via our website, where you can find more information). Important bylaw changes need to happen to have us in good standing with the Joint Registry of Stocks, and a special resolution is on the table that advances us towards revitalizing our profession. Let us grow together to be stronger together.
Best wishes,
Dana Mills, President, TRAAC 2017-2018
"Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go."


Meet the 2017 - 2018 TRAAC Board of Directors
Dana Mills, President  
Lynette Stevens, Vice President  
Natalie Baglole,Treasurer  
Sonya Yurchesyn, Secretary  
Alicia Dobranowski, Advocacy Chair  
Melissa Stratchan,  Education Chair 
Kate Giles, Promotions Chair  
Jannick Theriault, Membership Coordinator  
Anna Millar, Member at Large   
Photos forthcoming...                                 Janice Arndt, Student Director
they're still "babies"           
to the rest of us!                                          Jocelyn Blackburn, Student Director
Upcoming TRAAC Events

Please see TRAAC's website (www.traac.ca) for further information on these upcoming events: 

"Revitalizing Your Practice" Joint Workshop
Don't miss out on attending TRAAC & NSRPH's fall joint workshop being held on

Thursday October 26th & Fri day October 27th, 2017
Join us for two days of networking and learning as we join together to revitalize our practice in Atlantic Canada!

A conference registration form and program can be downloaded on TRAAC's website.
Deadline to Register: Thursday October 19th, 2017

2017 TRAAC Award Call for Nominations    

It's not too late to recognize a fellow TR colleague for their hard work and determination in the TR field!

We are currently accepting nominations for the following awards:

  • The Vanguard Award celebrates the successes of those who have been working in the field for a period of more than 5 years.

  • The Horizon Award celebrates the successes of those working in the field for a period of 5 years or less.

  • The Crystal Award, named after the first recipient of the Vanguard Award, celebrates the success of students studying therapeutic recreation at either the community college or university level.
Download an application form and forward your nomination to
Deadline for Award Nominations: Friday October 20th, 2017

The winners of these awards will be announced at the TRAAC & NSRPH Joint Banquet on Thursday October 26th starting at 6:00pm.

Student Networking Event

Join TR students on Thursday October 26th, 2017 at our " Student Networking Event"!
This event will occur from 1:00pm - 4:00pm at the NSCC Ivany Campus in Dartmouth.
Come meet with students and fellow TR colleagues as we network, learn from one other and develop new connections.

If you'd like to join us, please RSVP to this email address: studentnetworking@outlook.com by ASAP!

TRAAC Special Meeting

Attention all voting members of TRAAC!

We encourage you to RSVP and attend a Special Breakfast Meeting as we discuss        by-law amendments and present a special resolution.
This special meeting will occur prior to beginning our joint workshop on

Friday October 27th at 7:15am

Veteran's Memorial Building Auditorium
The following resolution will be presented:
Special Resolution: TRAAC membership approves dissolving TRAAC as an Association, transferring all assets to Nova Scotia Therapeutic Recreation Association (NSTRA) and transferring memberships to NSTRA effective June 2018. This resolution is pending NSRPH motion approval of the same wording to dissolve and transfer all assets and membership information.
On July 24, 2017, communication was distributed around correspondence and direction received from the NS Registry of Joint Stocks.  There are further revisions that must occur to some of our bylaws. Please review those revisions to these bylaws as attached. For your reference we attached the working bylaw document, that was passed by membership at our AGM but was rejected by the Registry of Joint Stocks.

Register for event here:

2011 Bylaws can be found on our website: www.traac.ca

CTRA 2018 - Call for Papers & Poster Presentations
 The CTRA 2018 National Conference is coming back to Nova Scotia!

The Therapeutic Recreation Association of Atlantic Canada (TRAAC), Nova Scotia Recreation Professionals in Health (NSRPH) and Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association (CTRA) are excited to host next year's conference on
June 13th - 15th, 2018 in Halifax.

We are now accepting " Calls for Paper and Poster Presentations" for next year's conference.

Email submissions by midnight AST Friday, November 1st, 2017.
We thank you for your interest in presenting at the Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association's 22nd National Conference.
Speakers will be notified by email after December 1st, 2017.

Meet a TRAAC Member - Nicole Gillies
Nicole Gillies is a Recreation Therapist with Horizon Health Network in Saint John, New
Brunswick. She has worked as a Recreation Therapist for over 19 years providing patient centered care in long term care, dementia care and psychiatry. During the first 17 years of her career, she worked at Ridgewood Veterans Wing, serving World War I, II and Korean War Veterans. Nicole worked with Veterans who had cognitive and physical disabilities, as well as Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. Work as a Recreation Therapist focused on meaningful recreation therapy experiences which met patients' psycho-social, emotional, cognitive, spiritual and physical needs, following the Leisure Ability Model and Standards of Practice for Recreation Therapy. During the last three years at Ridgewood Veterans Wing, Nicole held a supervisory position which provided opportunities to embrace Recreation Therapy, working closely with the multidisciplinary team and encouraging staff to engage and work effectively.

One of Nicole's career highlights includes an initiative to involve the greater community with the war Veterans at Ridgewood Veterans Wing. With the support of the facility & unit nurse manager, staff members, Veterans, families and Legion Members, Ridgewood engaged in their 1st Annual Marigold Project. In the Spring of 2014, they commemorated the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Students from Sussex Elementary School, Grade 3 French Immersion class, local Royal Canadian Legion Members, Veterans, staff and families from Ridgewood participated in planting over 2000 marigolds to honour those Veterans who served during the war. The flowers were planted on a wet and mucky day, which put into perspective for the students that the Veterans had to continue fighting during the war, no matter what the conditions were.  The students stayed for lunch, a presentation was given on D-Day by our Chaplin, a Veteran who actually landed on the beaches of Normandy during the invasion, also answered questions from the students. The conclusion to the Marigold Project and the students visit to Ridgewood Veterans Wing included a well-known Veteran who has been extremely successful in his fiddling career, play for the Veterans, students and families. This day provided so many positive aspects of Recreation Therapy to all those involved - Physical, Cognitive, Emotional, Spiritual, and Psycho-Social.

For the past 2 ½ years, she has worked at the Saint John Regional Hospital, providing opportunities for clients to achieve independence in leisure, optimal health and quality of life on the Acute In-Patient Psychiatry Unit.

Nicole has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from St. Thomas University with a double major in Gerontology and Sociology. Nicole has participated in specialized training, a few including U-First Training, Mental Health 101, Advanced Code White Training, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Depression and Anxiety and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training.

Nicole is married and a mother of three children. Nicole enjoys the great outdoors in any form - camping, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and nature walking.

Join Our Members Only Facebook Page
Attention TRAAC Members!
Don't forget to join our " Members Only" Facebook page to keep up to date on all things new with TRAAC including upcoming events/continuing education opportunties, inquiries of fellow TRAAC members, new initiatives and current job opportunities shared by members! 

Thank you for continuing to support the work of TRAAC!

Know of something you think other TR professionals would like to hear about?
Please drop us a line anytime at communications@traac.ca

For up-to-date information keep an eye on TRAAC's website at:

We look forward to working with all TRAAC members to advance the field of
Therapeutic Recreation in Atlantic Canada!
- TRAAC Board of Directors 2017 - 2018