At the 2017 NIRSA Annual Conference & Campus Rec and Wellness Expo, which is happening in National Harbor, MD from February 21–24, we’ll have our largest contingent of Canadian attendees ever as we celebrate the new NIRSA Canadian Region! Thursday, February 23 has been designated “Canada Day,” and to commemorate the occasion, Canada-specific educational sessions, a Canadian leadership summit, and a Canadian Celebration Social will all take place at NIRSA 2017.

The promise of a dedicated day focused on Canadian issues has been a valuable tool in attracting Canadian stakeholders in student affairs, athletics, and kinesiology/academy—many of whom are joining NIRSA for the first time—to be a part of a dialogue regarding their connections to campus recreation on Canadian campuses.

While several panel sessions on this day are Canada-focused, the topics will also be widely applicable to conference attendees working on both sides of the 49th parallel. These panels will encourage new and established NIRSA members to engage in sharing their unique perspectives.

Topics that will be explored on that Thursday include campus recreation’s role in the Okanagan Charter (an international charter for health promoting universities and colleges), win-win collaborations with the stakeholders on our campuses, and harnessing the campus recreation value proposition for institutional and societal impact.

Building off of the Canada in Motion Leadership Summit that took place during the Western Canadian Campus Recreation Conference (WCCRC) in November, a Canadian Region Leadership Summit will be held with invited leaders from recreation and campus stakeholder groups.

This summit is focused on advancing strategies for bolstering the future of campus recreation in Canada with NIRSA. Coast-to-coast participation in the summit will serve as a catalyst for membership engagement and leadership development while aligning a national Canadian recreation strategy.

February 23 at NIRSA 2017 will end with the Canadian Celebration Social to earmark the momentous occasion of establishing a new NIRSA Canadian Region. All conference attendees are welcome to join the celebration to learn about the Association’s unique past, present, and future as one NIRSA family!


  • For more information, please contact NIRSA Membership Outreach Coordinator Emily Hughes.

Chris Dawe is currently the Recreation Director at Mount Royal University and served as a member of NIRSA's Regional Realignment Task Force. Chris can be reached at Kathleen Hatch is retired from Washington State University and is a Past President of NIRSA. Kathleen can be reached at